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The IBJJF Pan Championships stand as one of the high points of the gi season – competitors have shaken off the cobwebs from the early months of the year and are typically in peak physical and mental condition.
Read on to see a preliminary list of competitors and get up to speed on some of the biggest stories coming to the IBJJF 2020 Pan Championships.
History In The Making: Leandro Going For 10?
Though he has yet to officially throw names in the hat, we've got it on good authority that Leandro Lo will be returning to the Bren Center for another appearance at the Pan Championships.
With eight titles to his name, Lo is already the winningest black belt at the Pan Championships. Despite a lackluster 2019 which saw him have a downturn in wins for the first time in his career, there's no reason to assume Leandro isn't a front-runner in the heavyweight division.
Can Ribamar Continue Hot Streak?
Manuel Ribamar has looked untouchable since moving to medium-heavy for No-Gi Worlds at the end of 2019, where he picked up his very first IBJJF major title at black belt; he followed up that success at the European Championships where he ran up an uncontested 38-0 points.
We asked before Euros if this would be the year of "the Riba," and if he locks in another title, it would be pretty hard to argue otherwise.
Victor Hugo: The Next Big Thing?
Another entrant whose name isn't currently present on the competitor's list, Victor Hugo has confirmed with us previously that he intends to earn double gold at the Pan Championships.
The Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu monster has already bested some of the biggest names in the sport in the short eight months he’s been a black belt, including Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu, Nicholas Meregali, and Ricardo Evangelista.
Pans will likely be his toughest challenge yet, though we feel it’s time to stop looking at Hugo as the upstart and place him at the front of the contender's list.
Women's Lightweight Division Is Looking Stacked
With six competitors signed up a month out, including No-Gi World Champs Nathalie Ribeiro and Raquel Canuto, the women's black belt lightweight division is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting of the tournament.
Set to take on the veteran champions are black belt newcomers Nikki Sullivan and Hope Douglass.
Will We See Keenan?
It would be fair to say that 2020 has been a mixed bag for Keenan Cornelius.
The European heavyweight champion took home silver in the absolute after getting submitted by Fellipe Andrew, an event which marked the first time Cornelius had been submitted in the gi as a black belt.
His next appearance saw him lose a tightly contested match to rookie black belt Roberto Jimenez at Who’s #1 in Costa Mesa, California, earlier this month.
Despite the unpredictable results, Keenan is always a lock for hitting the podium and he may well take the opportunity to bounce back at Pans and show he's still in contention for his first world title.
Mikey Musumeci Intends To Tackle The Absolute
Michael Musuemci Jr. has made his intentions clear: he wants to challenge himself against the biggest and baddest black belts on the planet. The three-time world champion told us on Who's #1 (The Show) that his current idea is to compete only in the absolute division at the 2020 Pan Championships and skip his weight class. (see the clip below; skip to 38 minutes).
Black Belt Entrants
List Current as of 2/17
BLACK / Adult / Male / Rooster
|Ares BJJ Brasil||Cícero Lívio Ribeiro Saldanha Paiva|
|Fight Sports||Suraj Kumar Budhram|
|GF Team||Carlos Alberto Oliveira da Silva|
|GF Team||Eduardo Barboza da Silva|
|JFC Almeida JJ||Cleber de Sousa Fernandes|
|Tri-Force Jiu-Jitsu Academy||Koji Shibamoto|
BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather
|Atos Jiu-Jitsu||João Pedro Bueno Mendes|
|Caio Terra Association||Rene Eduardo Lopez|
|PSLPB Cicero Costha||Hiago George Santos Silva|
|Tri-Force Jiu-Jitsu Academy||Hideyuki Yamada|
|ZR Team California||João Gabriel Batista de Sousa|
BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather
|Alliance Maryland||Felipe Linhares Arruda|
|Ares BJJ Brasil||Esdras Félix Bezerra Júnior|
|Cicero Costha Canada||Rodrigo Gortari Barbosa|
|Cicero Costha Internacional||Ariel Shacher Tabak|
|Clube Feijão de Jiu-Jitsu||Alexssandro Pinto Sodré|
|de Been 100% Jiu-Jitsu||Max Peter de Been|
|ECJJA||Sam Matthew Mc Nally|
|Tinguinha BJJ Academy||Cole Thomas Franson|
|Unity Jiu-Jitsu Brasil||Thiago Aguiar Abud|
|Winners Training Center||Brian Mahecha|
BLACK / Adult / Male / Light
|Alliance Marcelo Garcia||Athos Ribeiro de Miranda|
|Ares BJJ Brasil||Alef José Soares Brito de Morais|
|Carlson Gracie Team Alberta||Celso Ricardo dos Reis Filho|
|CT MR||Ygor dos Santos Rodrigues|
|Nova União||Marcio Andre da Costa Barbosa Junior|
|PSLPB Cicero Costha||Fabricio José Barbarotti|
|PSLPB Cicero Costha||Natan Chueng Freitas|
|PSLPB Cicero Costha||Pedro Henrique Segura Veras|
|Rodrigo Freitas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu||Rodrigo Lamounier de Freitas|
BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle
|Alliance Los Angeles||Rehan Muttalib|
|Alliance Marcelo Garcia||Marcos Vinícius da Silva Tinoco|
BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium-Heavy
|Alliance Campo Grande||Matheus Godoy Romero|
|CheckMat USA||Gabriel Salles Muniz Almeida|
|Maracaba BJJ||Jake Michael Watson|
|Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ||Manuel Ribamar V. de Oliveira Filho|
|Team Royce Gracie||Ronnie Trey Louis Pace III|
|Unity Jiu-jitsu||Devhonte M. Johnson|
BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy
|Academia OCS JJ||Hugo Matheus de Oliveira Alves|
|Alliance Porto Alegre||Gabriel Henrique dos S. Oliveira|
|Checkmat Northridge||Arnaldo Maidana de Oliveira|
|Tac Team BJJ - Midwest||Ashur Sami Darmo|
|Team Lloyd Irvin||Timothy-Michael Spriggs|
BLACK / Adult / Male / Super-Heavy
|Team Lloyd Irvin||Roberto Torralbas|
BLACK / Adult / Male / Ultra-Heavy
|GF Team Texas||Ricardo Ferreira Evangelista|
BLACK / Adult / Female / Rooster
|GF Team||Mayssa Caldas Pereira Bastos|
|Gracie Barra New Mexico||Amber Rymarz-freitas|
BLACK / Adult / Female / Light-Feather
|CheckMat||Rose-Marie El Sharouni|
BLACK / Adult / Female / Feather
|Atos Jiu-Jitsu||Bianca Barbosa Basilio|
|CheckMat USA||Patrícia Maria N. Fontes dos Santos|
BLACK / Adult / Female / Light
|Atos Jiu-Jitsu||Nicole C. Sullivan|
|Carlson Gracie UK||Katherine Victoria Hill|
|CheckMat USA||Nathalie Wan Soares Veras Ribeiro|
|CheckMat USA||Raquel Dayne Kaleialoha Canuto|
|Cicero Costha Internacional||Hope Ellen Douglass|
|Vilanova Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu||Elizabeth Jane Exell|
BLACK / Adult / Female / Middle
|Checkmat New York||Vedha Clemente Toscano|
|Gracie Barra Rio de Janeiro||Glaucia Braga Libanio|
BLACK / Adult / Female / Medium-Heavy
|Abmar Barbosa Association||Maria Malyjasiak|
|Fight Sports||Margaret Rose Grindatti|
|Gracie Humaita||Melissa Stricker Cueto|
|One Jiu-Jitsu USA||Cássia Paola Paixão|
BLACK / Adult / Female / Heavy
|Mako Team Paris||Claire-France Thevenon|
|Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ||Nathiely Karoline Melo de Jesus|
BLACK / Adult / Female / Super-Heavy
|Cassio Werneck BJJ||Elizabeth Katherine Mitrovic|
|Vilanova Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu||Alejandra Gonzalez|