The 8 Heavyweights Who Will Battle For $40k At The IBJJF No-Gi Grand Prix

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Eight of the best No-Gi grapplers in the world have been invited to compete for $40K. 

In 2017 The IBJJF held their first Heavyweight Grand Prix at the Evexia Fitfest in Las Vegas, with Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida bringing home the $40,000 prize. That Grand Prix took place in the gi. 

With ADCC around the corner and the world's best black belts all heavily-focused on no-gi training, the IBJJF will host a No-Gi Heavyweight Grand Prix on Saturday, August 24. 

Here's a look at the eight elite competitors who will go to war on Saturday. 

Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa (Atos)

Lucas Barbosa had a dominant run at No-Gi Worlds in 2017, submitting five out of six opponents on his way to double gold in Anaheim. Hulk submitted Jackson Sousa and Joao Assis at that tournament before defeating Joao Gabriel Rocha 2-0 in the final and is a four-time No-Gi Worlds champion. Registered to compete next month at ADCC in the 99kg division, Hulk has been taking part in an intense No-Gi training camp at Atos in San Diego for ADCC and should be considered one of the favorites to win the Grand Prix.


Joao Gabriel Rocha (Soul Fighters)

While no doubt one of the best No-Gi competitors of his generation, Joao Gabriel Rocha has yet to reach the top of the podium at a major No-Gi competition with two silver medals from ADCC and another two silvers from No-Gi Worlds. Joao finished second at ADCC in both 2013 and the 2015 absolute, and lost close matches in his weight and open class finals to Cyborg and Hulk at the 2017 No-Gi Worlds. Joao will have a chance to avenge those No-Gi Worlds losses in this tournament and should be by far the largest competitor in the bracket. Joao looked sharp in a close loss to Gordon Ryan earlier this year at Kasai Dallas.

Watch: Joao Gabriel defeats Keenan at No-Gi Worlds 2017


Yuri Simoes (Caio Terra)

One of the most accomplished No-Gi grapplers of all time, Yuri Simoes is a two-time ADCC champion and four-time Nogi Worlds champ. Yuri has won ADCC at both the 88 and 99kg divisions and won his weight and the open class at the 2014 and 2016 No-Gi Worlds. Yuri has strong wrestling and some of the best No-Gi passing in the game and is one of the favorites to win this edition of the Heavyweight Grand Prix.


Roberto Abreu (Fight Sports)

Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu is one of three athletes in this tournament who is a No-Gi Worlds open class champion and has five No-Gi Worlds gold medals in his collection. Cyborg was also the absolute champ at the 2013 ADCC. Cyborg has never lost to any of the other athletes in the Heavyweight Grand Prix.


Luiz Panza (Checkmat)

One of six No-Gi World champions competing at the Grand Prix, Luiz Panza submitted his way through the event in 2016. Panza is also a weight and open class champ at both the Pan No-Gi and Brazilian Nationals No-Gi. Known for his deadly foot attacks, Panza can end the match quickly from almost any position.


Tim Spriggs (Team Lloyd Irvin)

2018 No-Gi World champion at heavyweight Tim Spriggs has a solid takedown game and has had a recent run of success in No-Gi competition. Besides winning No-Gi Worlds, Spriggs also won the ADCC East Coast Trials and recently defeated Tex Johnson by decision at Fight 2 Win. Spriggs defeated Simoes 2-0 in the final of the 2015 Five Super League and recently won the Spyder Invitational in Korea.


Patrick Gaudio (GF Team)

Patrick Gaudio had one of the most exciting matches at the 2018 No-Gi Worlds when he went head to head with Gordon Ryan in the open class, losing by an advantage. Although primarily known for his gi accomplishments, Gaudio has gone all-in for No-Gi competition this year with matches at KASAI, the Heavyweight Grand Prix and the ADCC 99kg division all coming up in August and September.


Matheus Diniz (Alliance)

Matheus Diniz has been on a tear in No-Gi recently, winning a KASAI Pro Grand Prix and defeating Craig Jones in his last match. Matheus won his weight and the open class at the 2015 No-Gi Pans, and has medaled multiple times at No-Gi Worlds. The Marcelo Garcia black belt should be coming in prepared, right in the middle of an ADCC training camp at Marcelo’s academy in Manhattan.


Watch the 2019 IBJJF Heavyweight Grand Prix live on-demand on FloGrappling

Keenan, Craig And Other Pros Predict Nicky vs Tye

Nicky Ryan vs Tye Ruotolo is matchup of two of the most promising prospects in submission grappling today. Nicky has long been heralded as the next big thing out of the Danaher Death Squad, predicted to follow in the footsteps of his three-time ADCC champion brother Gordon. Tye burst on the scene as a late addition at ADCC 2017, when the then 16 year old made it to the semifinals before finishing fourth.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Gabi Garcia Dominates At Fight To Win 142

The biggest card of Fight To Win's comeback tour went down tonight in their adopted home of Dallas  – and wow –  what a show it was!

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Relive The Final Day Of Action From Worlds 2019

Though it's hard to believe, exactly one year ago from today we were inside of Walter Pyramid, covering the final day of the IBJJF 2019 World Championships. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Official FloGrappling Predictions: Fight To Win 142

Fight To Win 142 is the promotion's biggest card of the summer yet, and heralds the ongoing return of professional grappling after a months-long hiatus. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

In-Depth Match Analysis With Keenan Cornelius

We got in four match studies for episode three of Into The Wormhole with Keenan Cornelius. I'll link all four of them here, but first here is the full episode:

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

On The Rise: Kendall Reusing

Soon to be a household name, Kendall Resuing may be the fastest rising star in the female division. After a short career as a freestyle wrestler, Kendall is dominating in jiu-jitsu competition. Now she prepares to face off against her toughest opponent yet, ADCC legend...Gabi Garcia.

ADCC 2021 Will Be The Most Badass Tournament In History

ADCC has never looked better and it's all thanks to Mo Jassim. Last year, they raised the bar and made ADCC 2019 a true spectacle for grappling fans. Now spectators are psyched for next year's event and are highly curious about what the future of grappling will look like.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Gabi Garcia Is Ready For Fresh Challenger in Kendall Reusing

Gabi Garcia has NOTHING left to prove, but the fact that she still wants to battle it out against the next generation makes us very, very excited. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Gordon Ryan vs Kyle Boehm To Headline Who's Number One!

We are happy to announce our second Who's Number One event (RIP to WNO: Mikey vs Erberth) coming to Dallas, Texas on Friday, June 5. 

How To Watch Fight To Win 142: Garcia vs Reusing

Fight To Win's momentum continues to grow as the biggest party in grappling extends their Texas residency for another weekend at Fight To Win 142.