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Any of the 97 brown belts registered for No-Gi Pans this weekend could earn their share of the spotlight with a dominant performance. But there are a few favorites to do it. Among them, there are returning No-Gi Pans and No-Gi Worlds medalists from brown belt divisions, as well as some newcomers from purple belt looking to make their names.
Here are the brown belts to keep your eyes on this weekend.
Watch: The 2020 IBJJF No-Gi Pan Championships LIVE on FloGrappling On Nov. 21-22 or Anytime ON DEMAND
Of the 11 athletes registered in the light-featherweight division, Jordan Vaisman has made the most noise in 2020. He took second at Pans, incurring a penalty after the match to give up the deciding points. And he recently won the featherweight division at the Houston Open. He’ll be defending his No-Gi Pans title against, among others, last year’s Purple Belt Featherweight No-Gi World Champ, Demian Balderrama, and last year’s roosterweight No-Gi Pans and No-Gi Worlds runner up, Tadiyah Danforth.
Watch: Reynaldo De Leon vs Jordan Vaisman N. Teodosio 2019 Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship
Damion Oranday took second at No-Gi Pans last year behind Ruan Alvarenga. He’s been near the top of the brown belt featherweight division since he earned the rank in early 2018. He’ll have one of the highest seeds in this 14-man bracket, meaning he should have a first round bye before he puts his fierce leg attack game to work. If that fails him, he has an equally savvy back attack game; and, really, he has offense from just about anywhere. Oranday rarely stops attacking.
Guilherme Monteiro vs Damion Shaun Oranday 2019 Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship
Igor Feliz and Eduardo Roque are the names to watch in this division of 12. Both are highly ranked in the lightweight division, and both reached the podium at Pans earlier this month, each losing to Andy Murasaki, who has moved up in weight for No-Gi Pans. Feliz has a recent win over Roque, and slightly more no-gi experience. Both of these guys are favorites to make it into the final, and this is a rematch we’d love to see.
The no. 1-ranked pound-for-pound brown belt, Andy Murasaki has had a dominant year. He earned gold at Euros and double-gold at Pans earlier this year. In his Pans performance, Atos’s rising star submitted six of his seven opponents and conceded only two points on the day. Usually a lightweight, Murasaki is up to middleweight for this tournament.
While he’s been prolific in gi competitions, we’ve seen less of him in the no-gi scene. But he did represent Atos last month at Subversiv 4, where he won three of his four matches, including a victory over Kody Steele, a black belt. Murasaki has a scrappy guard and an impressive pressure passing game. If he can successfully convert his style to no-gi, he could walk away with more hardware this year, and likely a highlight reel performance.
Middleweight is one of the deepest divisions with 13 registrants, and Murasaki could run into other top performers including Kemoy Anderson, Bruno Mathias, Luan Andrei, and Clay Mayfield.
Watch: Kody Steele vs Andy Murasaki at Subversiv 4
Adam Bradley is the no. 1-ranked brown belt at heavyweight, and is coming off a silver-medal performance at Pans. He has a good wrestling game and an unrelenting style which makes him exciting to watch. In this four-man division, he could run into Dante Cano. That would be a rematch of their Who’s Number One match in the gi in February of this year, which Bradley edged out by decision.
Watch: Adam Bradley Vs Dante Cano At Who's Number One
Female Light Featherweight
Andreza Morias won No-Gi Pans at brown belt last year before taking third at No-Gi Worlds. She’ll look to continue her run this weekend in one of the deepest female divisions. There are five women registered at light-featherweight including Souza and one of Atos’s newest brown belts, Jhenifer Aquino. Aquino received her brown belt on the podium at Pans in October after winning her division.