2021 IBJJF Worlds Brackets and Preview: The Middleweight Division

The 2021 IBJJF Worlds take place on December 9-12 in Anaheim, CA, with black belts scheduled to compete on Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first Worlds since 2019, making it one of the most anticipated and stacked world championships in recent memory.

The middleweight division features established competitors, including no. 1 seed and 2018 world champion Isaque Bahiense, who has looked nearly unbeatable this year and is poised to return to the Worlds podium. On the other side of the bracket, though, awaits Tainan Dalpra, who is still in his rookie black belt year but already a front-runner to take home gold.

View the complete bracket for the middleweight division at the 2021 IBJJF Worlds below:

The division’s top seed is Dream Art’s Isaque Bahiense. A 2018 world champion and 2019 Pans champion, Bahiense is undefeated in competition this year, and that includes a win over no. 2 seed Tommy Langaker. Bahiense will have a relatively clear path to the semifinals, assuming he can get past Checkmat’s Jackson Nagai in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Bahiense is likely to square off with either Leonardo Lara — who Bahiense has twice beat this year — or Jonnatas Gracie, who he has never faced.

Things get quite interesting in the other half of the bracket. All eyes will be on Art of Jiu-Jitsu’s Tainan Dalpra, competing in his first Worlds as a black belt. He has impressed in his rookie black belt year, winning gold at the 2021 Pans, and most recently defeating Renato Canuto and fellow middleweight Jonnatas Gracie at the IBJJF middleweight GP.

Dalpra will be favorite to make it deep into the tournament, but he’ll have his hands full in his first match, where he’s likely to take on 2021 no-gi world champion Jeferson Guaresi. A Unity Jiu-Jitsu representative, Guaresi certainly has the skills to spring the upset, and a match with Dalpra would be one of the tournament’s most anticipated early match-ups. The winner of that match is then likely to face top Atos competitor and 2020 Pans champion Ronaldo Junior. Finally, the winner of that match will probably meet Langaker in the semifinals.

How to watch: The 2021 IBJJF Worlds take place on December 9-12 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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