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By winning KASAI Pro 5 in dominant fashion, Kaynan Duarte has effectively drawn a line in the sand that says he is THE man to beat at 200lbs+ in 2019.
Think we're getting ahead of ourselves? Just take a quick scan of the list of black belts that the 21-year-old has beaten – all within the first 8 months of getting promoted to the rank.
- Fellipe Andrew
- Patrick Gaudio
- Craig Jones
- Tim Spriggs
- Murilo Santana
- Tarsis Humphreys
- Manuel Ribamar
- Dante Leon
- Jackson Sousa
- Nicholas Meregali
- Victor Hugo
- Rudson Mateus
- Adam Wardzinski
- James Puopolo
- Aaron Tex' Johnson
The '2018 FloGrappling Breakthrough Grappler of the Year' is on pace to demolish his outstanding accolades from last year, already racking up gold at the European Championships, Pan Championships, and now proud owner of a shiny KASAI belt. Duarte is already set to compete at the Abu Dhabi World Pro later this month and he will surely be at Worlds; the Atos star has also received his ADCC invitation (at +99kg).
Is Duarte a guaranteed gold medalist in these upcoming challenges? Absolutely not. This is jiu-jitsu after all, anything can happen. But you better believe the smart money says his chances are exceptionally high.
WATCH: Kaynan Duarte vs Craig Jones – KASAI Pro 5
WATCH: Kaynan Duarte vs Patrick Gaudio – 2019 Pan Championships
WATCH: Kaynan Duarte vs Fellipe Andrew – 2019 European Championships