The bombshell announcement took the whole jiu-jitsu community by surprise but is even more noteworthy because of the two other names already announced in the grand prix. World champions Andre Galvao and Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida have already thrown their hats into the ring and with a hall-of-fame addition like Gracie in as well, things just got a whole lot more interesting.
Gracie is considered by many to be the greatest of all time; however, after a flawless bid at the 2016 World championships "Buchecha" is creating his own bright legacy. In 2016 the CheckMat black belt broke Gracie's long-standing record of three back-to-back open weight titles, becoming the only man to win four absolute gold medals.
For all intents and purposes, Gracie has retired from jiu-jitsu competition but has continually left the door open for a rematch with the young all-star "Buchecha." The two met back in 2012 in one of the biggest superfights in jiu-jitsu history. In fact, that fight alone propelled jiu-jitsu superfights into the mainstream consciousness.
Gracie has said multiple times that he'd like a rematch with "Buchecha" after their first fight ended in a draw. Well, five years later we just might get the mouth-watering rematch! While the IBJJF has yet to announce the remaining five competitors it's clear that the heavyweight tournament will be one of the most anticipated of the year. With $40,000 dollars on the line it also makes it one of the most financially rewarding tournaments in jiu-jitsu today.
It's rare we get to see two of the greatest grapplers from two different generations square off in such a high-stakes tournament, but the IBJJF has outdone itself with this hall-of-fame booking. The super tournament will take place during the Masters World Championships in Las Vegas on August 24-26. This will be one you won't want to miss!