2021 IBJJF Pans Preview: Elite Talent at Middleweight

The 2021 IBJJF Pans take place from September 1, 2021, to September 5, 2021, with adult black belts competing on Saturday and Sunday. The men’s black belt middleweight division is one of the best the tournament has to offer, with a number of elite competitors vying for gold. View the full bracket here.

Below are 2021 Pans competitors to keep an eye on at middleweight.

Tainan Dalpra: Still just 20 years old, Art of Jiu-Jitsu product Tainan Dalpra was instantly one of jiu-jitsu’s most hyped prospects the moment he was awarded his black belt in October 2020. He has lost just once as a black belt, to fellow uber-prospect Mica Galvao at EUG 2. Although he is the number six seed in the division, Dalpra might be the odds-on favorite. If they’re both able to make it there, Dalpra could potentially face Ronaldo Junior in the semifinals for what would be one of the tournament’s most anticipated matches.

Ronaldo Junior: One of Atos’ top competitors, Ronaldo Junior’s high-paced guard passing is well-suited to the IBJJF ruleset. He is the division’s top seed and should be expected to make it to the semifinals where he could square off with Dalpra.

Jonnatas Gracie: Another top Atos competitor, Jonnatas Gracie has one of the trickiest guards in the division. He is the number two seed but won’t have an easy path through to the finals, as he potentially faces Mathias Luna in the quarterfinals and Yago de Souza in the semifinals.

Yago de Souza: The number three seed, Yago de Souza has looked great in competition so far this year. A 2016 Pans champion, he has a clear path to the semifinals where he is likely to face either Mathias Luna or Jonnatas Gracie.

Others/dark horses: Mathias Luna was a 2021 American Nationals champion and has the potential to take home the gold at Pans. At the American Nationals, Luna defeated top-seeded Ronaldo Junior, and he’ll no doubt be looking to do the same in the finals of the Pans. Another name to watch is number-four seeded Alexandre de Jesus. De Jesus was a 2020 European Open champion, and is likely to face Dalpra in the quarterfinals. If he is able to earn the upset against Dalpra, look for him to make it to the finals.

How to watch: The 2021 Pans take place on September 1-5 and will air live on FloGrappling (subscription required).

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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