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The IBJJF World No-Gi Brackets are out, and they are available here. The black belt adult divisions will be competing on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, there are some crazy first-round matches.
Here are four that stood out to me scanning the brackets.
Joao Miyao (Cicero Costha) vs Richard Alarcon (One Jiu-Jitsu)
Joao Miyao will be trying to win his fourth No-Gi World title in the light-featherweight division. Joao doesn't have an easy route, though, as he will have to fight ADCC vet Richard Alarcon in the first round this weekend. Both men are in our 66kg rankings, Joao coming in at 10th and Alarcon at 11th.
Joao finished Richard earlier this year at Kasai Pro 6 with an RNC. Alarcon put together an impressive three-match win streak after that defeat, though, taking out Ashley Williams, Jon Calestine, and Gianni Grippo by a combined score of 11-2. Richard also has a win over Joao's teammate Junny Ocasio. While Joao dominated the last match and should clearly be considered the heavy favorite here, Alarcon is a new black belt and has been progressing quickly. I think this one should be closer than their last meeting.
Otavio Sousa (Gracie Barra) vs Guthierry Barbosa (Carlson Gracie Team)
A clash of generations here, as three-time gi IBJJF World Champion Otavio Sousa squares off with first-year black belt Guthierry Barbosa. Otavio is more known for his gi accomplishments; he is a No-Gi Pans champion as well as runner-up at both ADCC and No-Gi Worlds.
Guthierry had an incredible run at the colored belts, winning all four grand slam tournaments over his career at blue, purple and brown belt. He beat some of the biggest names of his generation during that run, including a win over Johnatha Alves on his way to winning Euros in 2019. Guthierry also has a big win already over Jaime Canuto at black belt and should be tough competition for the veteran Otavio. The winner doesn't have an easy next match either, as they feed into top seed Jefferson Guaresi.
Gabriel Almeida (Checkmat) vs Jake Watson (Maracaba)
Two of the best young medium-heavyweights will face off in the first round in Anaheim. Both Watson and Almeida are ranked in the top 20 at 88KG. The winner should most likely meet up with Ronaldo Junior in the semifinals.
Earlier this year Almeida won six matches to come out on top of the ADCC Sao Paulo trials. Watson finished second in September at the No-Gi Pans. In a year that No-Gi Worlds is rife with an influx of young talent, this matchup at medium-heavy is a perfect example of the next generation of stars that will be vying for the title of No-Gi World champion.
Julia Boscher (Double Five) vs Andressa Cintra (Gracie Barra)
Andressa Cintra stormed the women's black belt division in 2019, defeating former world champion Luiza Monteiro in the finals at Worlds. Cintra recently won her match at Third Coast Grappling by kneebar this past weekend in the gi as well.
Cintra will have her hands full with new black belt Julia Boscher. Boscher was a No-Gi World champion a year ago at brown belt, and she has good takedowns, passing and an aggressive style that fits well with the no-gi game. While she has had success against some high-level black belts already, a match with Cintra should be her biggest test yet.