2022 World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship

No-Gi Worlds Lightweight Division Could Be Dominated By Canadian Talents

No-Gi Worlds Lightweight Division Could Be Dominated By Canadian Talents

Dante Leon, Deandre Corbe & Kieran Kichuk are the favorites to win gold in the 22-deep lightweight division at No-Gi Worlds.

Nov 29, 2022 by Corey Stockton
No-Gi Worlds Lightweight Division Could Be Dominated By Canadian Talents

The 22-man lightweight division slated for next week’s IBJJF No-Gi World Championships is deep with wildcards, rookies and dark horses. But among them are three clear cut favorites, each of whom have likely earned their positions as top seeds with successful outings at IBJJF majors over the last several years.

Those three favorites have something else in common; all three of them were born in Canada.

Among them is Dante Leon, the 2019 IBJJF No-Gi World Champion and 2022 ADCC bronze medalist has come down in weight since winning his first world title. As a middleweight, he became the first Canadian Born male to win No-Gi Worlds. He nearly doubled down in 2021, narrowly losing in the middleweight final.

Now, the Pedigo Submission Fighting representative will take a shot at lightweight, where he’ll be challenged to press his dynamic top game against a battery of sharp guard players.

Leon is the likely no.1 seed; he’s the only no-gi world champ in the division. But he won’t be the only major no-gi titlist.

Fresh off his first major black belt title at No-Gi Pans, Deandre Corbe will look to double down in the lightweight division at No-Gi Worlds. His recent success could earn him the no.2 seed. And with the confidence he’s developed in the last 14 months of top level competition, it seems likely that Corbe will earn a spot in the division semifinals.

The Canada-born Maryland resident from Standard Jiu-Jitsu has shown a capacity to work the leg game and to utilize his guard, but he’s proven best on top. To win his no-gi Pans title, he applied persistent pressure against several top guard players, earning submission in every match on the way to the final.

In the final, he met Kieran Kichuk, now a multiple-time No-Gi Pans medalist who has been steadily advancing toward the top of the lightweight division since early 2021. He’s shone on stages like ADCC Trials, Finishers Sub Only, and Emerald City, and he’s made the final eight in each of the last three IBJJF no-gi majors he’s attended.

Kichuk, a Canada native representing Team Lloyd Irvin had his closest brush with the top of the podium at No-Gi Pans, submitting each of his opponents before a near miss against Corbe. Like Leon and Corbe, Kichuk has likely earned himself a high seed.

The seeding is not yet official, nor is the bracket. But depending on how that bracket shapes up, there’s a considerable chance that all three of these athletes hit the podium in the lightweight division.