2020 Official Gi Season Preview: Male Ultra-Heavyweight

buchecha no disrespect.jpg

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

We are only a couple weeks away from the 2020 gi season, so it’s time for the last of the season previews at black belt: male ultra-heavyweight.

Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida has won this weight class seven of the last eight years, with a knee injury at the 2015 Worlds stopping him from getting eight straight. He has some legit challengers here, and probably the best ultra-heavyweight colored belt of all time entering his first season at black belt.

Previously released previews: Season Dates / Male Rooster / Male Light-Feather / Male Feather / Male Light / Male Middle / Male Medium-Heavy / Male Heavy / Male Super-Heavy / Female Rooster and Light-Feather / Female Feather and Light / Female Middle and Medium-Heavy / Female Heavy and Super-Heavy


Here are the top 25 athletes at ultra-heavy heading into the season:

RankNameTeamCountry
1Marcus AlmeidaCheckmatBRA
2Joao Gabriel RochaSoul FightersBRA
3Ricardo EvangelistaGF TeamBRA
4Victor Hugo RibeiroBRA
5Eduardo LopesGuigo/Lloyd IrvinBRA
6Felipe BezerraCheckmatBRA
7Max GimenisGF TeamBRA
8Victor HonorioQatar BJJBRA
9Renan VieiraMorumbiBRA
10Otavio NalatiGuigo/Lloyd IrvinBRA
11Roberto AbreuFight SportsBRA
12Antonio Braga NetoR1NGBRA
13Gustavo DiasRibeiroBRA
14Matheus FelipeCheckmatBRA
15Rafael MessageDrill BJJBRA
16Antonio PaduaGF TeamBRA
17Pedro AgrizziStriker BJJBRA
18Felipe MatosNabil Jiu-JitsuBRA
19Joseph MokuBeyondUSA
20Seif-Eddine HoumineGF Tea,MAR
21Muslim PatsarigovOXYRUS
22Raul AlmeidaNova UniaoBRA
23Waldyr FilhoBTTBRA
24Pedro MouraQatar BJJBRA
25Felipe PinheiroQatar BJJBRA


These were the podiums at the IBJJF Grand Slams in 2019:

Worlds
1 - Marcus Vinícius Oliveira de Almeida - CheckMat
2 - Ricardo Ferreira Evangelista - GF Team
3 - Felipe Augusto Farias Bezerra - CheckMat
3 - Max dos Santos Gimenis - GF Team


Pans
1 - Ricardo Ferreira Evangelista - GF Team
2 - Max dos Santos Gimenis - GF Team
3 - Antonio Braga Texeira Neto - Gordo Jiu-Jitsu USA
3 - Guilherme Augusto Soares Santos - Alliance


Bras
1 - Luis Eduardo Lopes do Carmo - Guigo JJ
2 - Felipe Augusto Farias Bezerra - CheckMat
3 - Otavio de Souza Nalati - Guigo JJ
3 - Victor Hugo Honório P. da Silva - Qatar BJJ Brasil


Euro

1 - Victor Hugo Honório P. da Silva - Qatar BJJ Brasil

2 - Tanner Wade Rice - Soul Fighters BJJ

3 - Antonio de Padua Assef Nunes Nascimento - GF Team

3 - Seif-Eddine Houmine - GF Team


All right, now let’s get into the Official Gi Season Preview for black belt male ultra-heavyweight:

Return of The King

Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida (Checkmat) is the most dominant gi competitor of all time, with seven weight class world titles and six more in the open class. Buchecha only had six gi matches in all of 2019 — he had nine in 2018 — and I think we will see that trend continue with limited appearances from him.

While he will most likely sit out the first three IBJJF Grand Slam tournaments as usual, he still shows up every year at Worlds and wins double gold. This year at Worlds he won 11-0 in the first round and won by submission in both the semifinal and final.

There’s some doubt about whether Buchecha comes back again; he’s won it all in the gi and there is nothing left for him to prove. I’m strongly leaning towards his return and continued dominance at ultra-heavyweight and in the open class for him in 2020.

Watch: Buchecha Wins 2019 Worlds


Can JGR Finally Get It Done At Worlds?

Joao Gabriel Rocha (Double Five) has finished third at Worlds on three separate occasions. His most recent Worlds final was a referee decision loss to Buchecha in 2018, a loss he went on to avenge when he defeated Buchecha by advantage at BJJ Stars.

Joao had to pull out of both the IBJJF World Championships and ADCC in 2019. He was riding high after finally defeating Buchecha at BJJ Stars, only for that momentum to get derailed with an injury-filled end of 2019. If the two-time Pans champ shows up healthy at 2020 Worlds he is a definite contender for the title.

Watch: JGR Wins The Abu Dhabi World Pro



New Kid On The Block

Victor Hugo (Ribeiro) had a historic 2019, winning the epic double grand slam at brown belt. Victor had a ridiculous six world titles at purple and brown belt, with two weight class titles and an open class at both belts. 

Now Victor is finally among the big boys at black belt and will be put to the test. Buchecha typically doesn’t compete until Worlds so we probably won’t see that match until then. Potentially JGR shows up at Pans, but if not Victor could very likely be entering his first black belt Worlds with some IBJJF Grand Slam gold medals at black belt already in his collection.

Victor already has some impressive wins in the gi at black belt over Ricardo Evangelista and Felipe Bezerra. Typically there is a learning curve when arriving at black, and he might have to make up for some strength disadvantages compared to the more experienced ultra-heavyweight competitors. Victor was a prodigy at the colored belts; it will be fun to see him at the highest level.

Watch: Victor Hugo Taps Cyborg In No-Gi Worlds Open Class Final


Best Of The Rest

Ricardo Evangelista and Max Gimenis closed out Pans in 2019 and both made the podium at Worlds, with Evangelista as the runner-up and Max in third place. They both lost by submission to Buchecha in that tournament, though, and have to fix some things if they’re gonna dethrone the king. Evangelista is also a previous champ at Euros, the Brasileiro and the Abu Dhabi World Pro. Max was a brown belt world champ who has wins over athletes like Mahamed Aly, Felipe Bezerra, and Vinicius Trator at black belt.

Eduardo “Duzao” Lopes (Guigo/Team Lloyd Irvin) is a monster of a man, with 80 percent of his submissions at black belt coming from shoulder pressure. He won the Brasileiro this year, with a shoulder pressure tap in the final there. Duzao went down by toehold to Evangelista in his first Worlds but can be expected to be a force in 2020.

Felipe Bezerra (Checkmat) was the 2018 Brasileiro champ before falling to Duzao in the 2019 Brasileiro final. Felipe finished third at the 2019 Worlds, defeating Victor Honorio before losing to Evangelista in the semis.

Victor Honorio (Qatar BJJ) is a Euros and Brasileiro champ with an impressive 65-12 record at black belt. After winning Euros in 2019 he went down in the semis at the Brasileiro and the quarters at Worlds. Victor has beaten athletes such as Nicholas Meregali, Vinicius Trator, Erberth Santos, and Rudson Mateus in his career and is always a threat.

5 Takeaways From Who's Number One: Garry, Cyborg, Vagner

WNO banner.jpg

Now the dust has settled from last Friday night's Who's Number One event, let's recap some of the action and see what it means for future matches.  

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Results & Match Videos: Garry Tonon vs Dante Leon, Hulk vs Cyborg & More

garry tonon vs dante leon WNO 1.jpg

It's time for another edition of Who's Number One! Our main event this time is an ADCC rematch between Garry Tonon and Dante Leon, which is sure to be just as exciting this time around.

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Official FloGrappling Predictions: WNO Garry Tonon vs Dante Leon

WNO3predictions.jpg

After a wild week, WNO: Tonon vs Leon is finally upon us.  The cad remains stacked from top to bottom, and the FloGrapling staff has given their picks for the top four matches of the night!

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The King Speaks: Gordon Ryan's WNO Picks

gordon WNO picks.jpg

Love him or hate him, when Gordon Ryan speaks, people listen. Naturally, I reached out to Gordon to find out his picks for the upcoming WNO: Garry Tonon vs Dante Leon event after he was forced to pull out of his match with Ronaldo Junior due to COVID-19. Here's what The King thinks about these upcoming matches:

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The Hit List: Seven Of Vagner Rocha's Most Savage Submissions

vagner rocha vs masahiro iwasaki kasai pro 3.jpg

What can we say about Vagner Rocha that hasn’t been said before? Everyone knows his jiu-jitsu is among the meanest in the game: he punishes his opponents, breaking their will before attempting to do the same to their limbs.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Hulk vs Cyborg Is The Final Match Added To WNO!

hulkcyborg1.jpg

As you probably heard, Gordon Ryan and Craig Jones had to pull out of WNO this week after contracting COVID-19. Losing two of the sports biggest stars would usually be the kiss of death for an event, but we were able to bounce back and find two very solid replacements at the last minute.

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Craig Jones Picks WNO Winners: Tonon-Dante, Hulk-Cyborg, Ronaldo-Vagner

craig WNO picks.jpg

Craig Jones unfortunately had to pull out of our upcoming WNO event with COVID-19, don't worry that match is just postponed and we will be running it back soon. 

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Vagner Rocha vs Ronaldo Is Coming To WNO!

ronaldovagner.jpg

As I'm sure many of you are aware, both Craig Jones and Gordon Ryan had to withdraw from our upcoming WNO event after contracting COVID-19. Craig was scheduled to fight Lucas "Hulk" Barbosa and Gordon was slated to have a no time limit match with Ronaldo Junior. Those matches are not canceled but just postponed; we are currently looking at the end of August to run them back.

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Craig Jones & Gordon Ryan React To Missing WNO Due To COVID

craig gordon WNO.jpg

Two of the best no-gi grapplers in the world were forced off the Who's Number One event due to contracting COVID-19. Here's how they responded. 

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Craig And Gordon Out, Garry Tonon vs Dante Leon Is New WNO Main Event

craig

We regret to inform you that our upcoming WNO event has lost both Gordon Ryan and Craig Jones, both athletes having to pull out after showing COVID-19 symptoms in recent days. We would like to thank both Craig and Gordon for being forthcoming and honest about their situation, and would also like to stress that both Gordon Ryan vs Ronaldo Junior and Craig Jones vs Lucas Barbosa are not canceled but postponed until a later date.

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In