IBJJF No-Gi Pans Black Belt Divisions Breakdown

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The IBJJF No-Gi Pans is set to showcase former ADCC champions, No-Gi World champs, and the past three No-Gi Pan absolute winners as part of a loaded field of competitors this Saturday in New York City.

This event takes place at the City College of New York's Nat Holman Gymnasium and, of course, is streaming live on FloGrappling.

Any tournament in New York is going to feature a high number of entries from the Marcelo Garcia Academy, and No-Gi Pans is an event its team members usually dominate each year.

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Black belt powerhouse Matheus Diniz. ​Photo: Mike Calimbas

Marcelo Garcia black belts Jonathan Satava and Matheus Diniz have won the last two absolute divisions at this tournament and are registered at medium-heavyweight and heavyweight this year. Diniz is up a weight from last year and will most likely have to go through 2016 No-Gi Pan heavyweight champ Todd Mueckenheim (Soca).

Satava certainly won't have an easy route at medium-heavyweight, with ZR team members Lucas Rocha and Diego Ramalho sitting on opposite sides of the bracket.

Marcelo Garcia team member Gianni Grippo won this tournament a year ago but will have to deal with rival in the featherweight division, Shane Hill-Taylor (Lloyd Irvin), who is making his IBJJF no-gi debut at black belt.

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​Checkmat black belt Jackson Sousa.

Super-heavyweight should be a matchup between two men who just competed last weekend at ADCC in Espoo, Finland: Jackson Souza (Checkmat) and Elliot Kelly (Yemaso). Souza won the absolute division here in 2014, has two No-Gi Worlds silver medals, and defeated Rafael Lovato for third place last week at ADCC.

Former No-Gi World champion and ADCC veteran Joao Miyao of course will be a heavy favorite in the light-featherweight division. Also keep a look out for 2016 brown belt No-Gi World champs Renato Canuto (Zenith) and Dante Leon (GF Team).

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​Catherine Perret in action. Photo: Mike Anderson

The big story in the women's divisions is the registration of former ADCC and No-Gi World champion Michelle Nicolini (Checkmat). Nicolini took a long layoff from jiu-jitsu competitions but just took third at ADCC a week ago and should be ready to go.

The women's featherweight division features two 2016 No-Gi World champs, Talita Alencar (Alliance) and Patricia Fontes (Checkmat). Rookie black belts Aarae Alexander (Lloyd Irvin), Amanda Monteiro (GF Team), Catherine Perret (Checkmat), and Heather Raftery (Atos) will be looking to win their first world titles at the black belt level.

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