IBJJF 2016 World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship

Which American Black Belt Has The Best Shot Of Winning No-Gi Worlds?

Which American Black Belt Has The Best Shot Of Winning No-Gi Worlds?

Historically, American black belts have always performed well at the IBJJF No-Gi Worlds. In the last three years U.S black belts have claimed nine gold medals and host of second and third spots on the podium.

Nov 1, 2016 by Hywel Teague
Which American Black Belt Has The Best Shot Of Winning No-Gi Worlds?
Historically, American black belts have always performed well at IBJJF No-Gi Worlds. In the past three years, U.S.-born athletes have claimed nine gold medals and a host of second- and third-place spots on the podium. 

Read on for an analysis of this year's best American hopes of winning gold at the 2016 IBJJF No-Gi Worlds. 


6: AJ Agazarm

Lightweight, Gracie Barra 
A 2014 black belt No-Gi world champion and a bronze medallist in 2013, Agazarm's strengths include his formidable wrestling, stubborn submission defense and strategic control of the scoreboard. He's faced many of the competitors in his division at least once, and his experience is a factor that can't be counted out. 


5: Michael Musumeci

Light Featherweight, Brasa CTA
Musmeci's seen more often competing in the gi, but he and his sister Tammi's dangerous guard games translate well to both gi and no-gi. Joao Miyao is also in the division, but Musmeci is currently 3-0 against the Brazilian. While statistics would predict another win for Musumeci, they've not yet faced off without the gi. Musumeci's chances of gold are also complicated by the fact there are two other members of Brasa CTA in the division in Rene Lopez and Vitor Paschoal, so team politics could cast a doubt on which rep would take gold should they close out. 


4: Amanda Loewen

Middleweight, Straight Blast Gym International (SBGi)
Loewen came tantalizingly close to winning gold last year, losing out to champion Angelica Galvao in the final. The middleweight division is the busiest of all the female brackets with six competitors, but Loewen likely has the best chance of winning gold.  


3: Tim Spriggs

Super heavyweight, Team Lloyd Irvin 
Spriggs missed out on competing last year but is back in action and is one of the most dangerous super heavyweights on the roster. Jared Dopp and Luis Panza are two of the top black belts in the division he'll need to get past, but Spriggs is a monster when it comes to no-gi. He won the 2015 Five Super League and has a bronze medal from the 2014 No-Gi Worlds to his name. 


2: Mansher Khera

Lightweight, Alliance 
A silver medalist last year (losing only to Michael Langhi in the finals), Khera is in one of the toughest divisions of the tournament. There's no Langhi to worry about this year, though there is his teammate, Gianni Grippo (with whom Khera would close out), and Brazilian Alliance rep Fabio Caloi (whom 'Munch' would fight). Past opponents include Garry Tonon, who Khera lost to via advantage in an ADCC rules match, and AJ Agazarm, who Munch beat earlier this year at Worlds. The biggest threats are 2015 featherweight champ Augusto 'Tanquinho' Mendes and Marcio Andre, both athletes Khera has never faced. 

Photo: Mike Calimbas

1: Tammi Musumeci

Lightweight, Brasa CTA
A two-time No-Gi World champion at black belt, Musumeci is the heavy favorite to take her division once again. She topped the podium in 2013 and 2015, and it would be a huge surprise not to see her in top spot once again on Nov 6. 

American Black Belt IBJJF No-Gi World Champions 2013-15

BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle
De'Alonzio Jerome Jackson - Team Lloyd Irvin

BLACK / Adult / Female / Feather
Tammi Alana Musumeci - Atos Jiu-Jitsu

BLACK / Adult / Male / Light
AJ Agazarm - Gracie Barra

BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium Heavy
Keenan Kai-James Cornelius - Atos Jiu-Jitsu

BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather
Justin S. Rader - Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu

BLACK / Adult / Male / Light
Jonathan Torres - Atos Jiu-Jitsu

BLACK / Adult / Male / Super Heavy
James Richard Puopolo - Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu

BLACK / Adult / Male / Ultra Heavy
Rafael Lovato Jr. - Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu

BLACK / Adult / Female / Feather
Tammi Alana Musumeci - American Top Team 

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