Young Guns: The Breakthrough Black Belts Winning World No-Gi Gold Medals

Here are six new faces in the black belt divisions who impressed us by claiming their first World No-Gi gold medals.

Mayssa Bastos

GF Team berimbolo machine Mayssa Bastos has been a hot prospect since her colored belt days, and in the short time since she got her black belt (June 2018) she's already proved that she belongs at the top. 

A gold medal at the IBJJF Pan No-Gi in September, winning the EBI women's strawweight tournament, and now a gold medal at No-Gi Worlds... Bastos looks unstoppable. Pati Fontes was hoping for a fourth World No-Gi gold medal, but Bastos stopped those plans by taking her back and submitting her with a rear naked choke after going 9-0. 

Watch final 

Adult / Female / Black / Light-Feather

1 - Mayssa Caldas Pereira Bastos - GF Team

2 - Patrícia Maria N. Fontes dos Santos - CheckMat

3 - Miriam Cardoso Cerqueira - Elite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Redmond

3 - Sofia Rosa Amarante - Fight Sports

Hugo Marques 

Marques is the "oldest" black belt on this list, having been promoted on June 3, 2017. Marques has been competing in the black belt ranks since and is a veteran of the big tournaments such as Euros, Pans and Worlds. He conquered his first major No-Gi medal at the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals in September, taking double gold (middleweight and absolute). 

The World No-Gi gold medal did not come easy for Marques. He had to beat the always-dangerous Victor Silverio, an incredibly sharp Dante Leon in the semifinal and the crafty Jaime Canuto in the final. 

Watch final 

Adult / Male / Black / Middle

1 - Hugo Doerzapff Marques - Soul Fighters BJJ

2 - Jaime Soares Canuto - GF Team

3 - Dante Leon - GF Team

3 - Manuel Ribamar V. de Oliveira Filho - Unity Jiu-jitsu

Ffion Davies 

The first British grappler to win a medal in the black belt divisions of No-Gi Worlds, Ffion Davies made history here in California. 

A brown belt World champion and purple belt World No-Gi champion, Davies only received her black belt just over two weeks ago! In at the deep end in her first major black belt tournament, Davies passed the guard of the 2018 World and European champion and out-scored her by a huge 7-0. 

Watch final

Adult / Female / Black / Feather

1 - Ffion Eira Davies - ECJJA

2 - Amanda Monteiro Nogueira - GF Team

3 - Heather H. Raftery - Atos Jiu-Jitsu

3 - Jessica Cristina C. A. dos Santos - Elite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Redmond

Kaynan Duarte 

Anybody who follows jiu-jitsu will have already heard that Kaynan Darte is the next big thing out of Atos– literally and figuratively. Competing here at super-heavyweight, the powerhouse cruised to gold in his first World No-Gi Championships. 

We've known all about Duarte's no-gi prowess since early 2017 when he qualified for ADCC as a purple belt. This is the first time he'd had chance to show his skills as a black belt, having only been promoted in June of this year following a gold medal at Worlds in the brown belt division. 

Kaynan's preferred no-gi submission is the guillotine, and that's exactly what he used to tap the veteran James Puopolo for gold. 

Watch final 

Adult / Male / Black / Super-Heavy

1 - Kaynan Casemiro Duarte - Atos Jiu-Jitsu

2 - James Richard Puopolo - Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu

3 - Eliot Andrew Kelly - Yemaso Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Catherine Perret 

Like Marques, Perret earned her black belt in June of 2017 after winning Worlds as a brown belt. She always performs well in no-gi, as she showed in September by winning No-Gi Pans. 

Perret's performance at No-Gi Worlds included wins over two former champions: 2017 champ Jena Bishop in the semi, and then three-time champ Tammi Musumeci in the final, a match Perret won via two advantages. A physical and dynamic athlete, Perret thrives in no-gi and this is likely her first of many important titles. 

Watch final 

Adult / Female / Black / Light

1 - Catherine Fuhro Perret - CheckMat

2 - Tammi Alana Musumeci - Brasa CTA

3 - Jena Rae Bishop - Gracie Humaita San Diego Competition Team

3 - Michelle Zonato Nicolini - CheckMat

Kennedy Maciel 

If the 2018 World No-Gi Championships was a test, Maciel passed it with flying colors. With only six month's experience as a black belt, there were many questions over how Maciel would handle competing in a division as loaded with talent as featherweight. 

The young man proved that he is sharp with his submissions, intelligent in his approach and mature with his decisions– everything a black belt needs to become a champion. Five matches saw wins over fellow rookie Matheus Gabriel, veterans Sergio Calderon and Gabriel Marangoni, ADCC vet Pablo Mantovani and finally Gilson Nunes in the final... all making Maciel a world champ at only 21 years of age. 

Watch final

Adult / Male / Black / Feather

1 - Kennedy Leonardo Maciel - Alliance

2 - Gilson Nunes De Oliveira Neto - CheckMat

3 - Ian Phyllip Sanders - Rodrigo Freitas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

3 - Pablo Mantovani Dutra - Atos Jiu-Jitsu 

Let's Chat: 2019 European Championships

It was a tremendous week in Lisbon, Portugal for the 2019 IBJJF European Championships and there is plenty to unpack from the whirlwind event. From Lucas Lepri taking out two ultra-heavyweights, Levi Jones-Leary's huge upset and more! Let's Chat!

Spyder Invitational Set To Unleash HUGE Series in 2019; Brackets Announced

We've called Spyder the hottest professional jiu-jitsu event in Asia, and with good reason – the event pulls no punches when building out the brackets and inviting top athletes from around the world.

Shields Accidentally Knocks Ref Off Stage at Fight 2 Win 98

Jake Shields scored some accidental takedown points during the main event of Fight 2 Win 98 on Saturday night, but it didn’t stop him from winning the unanimous decision.

Who is Levi Jones-Leary, The Aussie Black Belt Who Defeated Lucas Lepri?

Levi Jones-Leary stunned the jiu-jitsu world by beating veteran lightweight and 2018 World champ Lucas Lepri in the European lightweight final. 

Europeans 2019: Watch Every FloZone Final

FloZone brings you a view of matches like none other.  Get the best view and commentary from Braulio Estima & Hywel Teague now.

2019 IBJJF European Black Belt Finals: Results & Match Videos

Here you can find all of the updates from the black belt finals at the 2019 IBJJF European Championships. 

Lucas Lepri Slays Giants at Euros, Has Early Match of the Year

There is a reason Lucas Lepri is renowned as one of the best pound-for-pound technicians in the game, and he showed it during the absolute division at the 2019 IBJJF European Championship. 

IBJJF European Championships: Black Belt Absolute Brackets Are Out!

We just got our hands on the brackets for the male and female black belt absolute division, and there are some crazy potential matches!

Live Updates: Male Absolute Division At 2019 Europeans

Lucas Lepri in the Absolute?! The 6x Lightweight world champ will be giving up some weight to compete against a slew of monstrous superstars.

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloGrappling!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Why Winning At Euros Is Crucial For Rudson Mateus's Mindset

Rudson Mateus has got a monkey on his back, and the only way to shake it off is to win big at the 2019 IBJJF European Championships.