The 2022 IBJJF Pans took place on April 6-10, with the adult black belt divisions competing on Saturday and Sunday. It was the second major IBJJF tournament of the year, and featured a number of the world’s top gi competitors.
These were the biggest winners stories coming out of the 2022 IBJJF Pans. View the full results from the IBJJF here.
Art of Jiu-Jitsu and Dream Art teams are the future (and present) of black belt gi jiu-jitsu
Two teams — Art of Jiu-Jitsu and Dream Art — accounted for a whopping seven of the adult black belt gold medals. Art of Jiu-Jitsu produced three Pans champions: Jessa Khan, who captured her first Pans title at light-feather; lightweight Jonatha Alves, who defeated top Atos representative Andy Murasaki in the finals; and the ultra-dominant middleweight Tainan Dalpra. With wins over Roberto Jimenez, Ronaldo Junior, and, in the finals, Jeferson Guaresi, it’s hard to argue that Dalpra is anything less than the best pound-for-pound gi grappler on the planet right now.
And in just about a year into its existence, Dream Art is arguably the best professional jiu-jitsu team in the sport. Their squad was good for four gold medals, including two from Erich Munis, who won the absolute division with a big win over Fellipe Andrew, and the super-heavy division in a close-out. Also, at light-feather, Meyram Alves made a statement with a win over Lucas Pinheiro in the finals. And finally, Ana Rodrigues continued her dominance, taking home gold in the featherweight division.
If Dalpra is the near-consensus best gi competitor right now, Munis isn’t in a far second. After winning Worlds and the Brazilian Nationals in 2021, he is off to a hot start in 2022 with a dominant showing at Pans.
Top female champions Mayssa Bastos, Ana Rodrigues, and Gabi Pessanha continue dominance
In the women’s divisions, three champions extended their respective runs of dominance, and once again, all three looked largely unstoppable in doing so. First, Unity Jiu-Jitsu’s Mayssa Bastos continued her claim for the top pound-for-pound female competitor in jiu-jitsu, as she routed her opponents by a combined score of 13-0 to capture her third Pans title.
Second, Grappling Insider’s 2021 female gi grappler of the year, Dream Art’s Ana Rodrigues picked up two submission wins to secure her second Pans championship. Now competing up a weight class from her very successful run in 2021, Rodrigues is off to a hot start in 2022 with a European and now Pans title.
Finally, Gabi Pessanha continues to beat every opponent in front of her. The reigning Worlds double gold medalist faces little competition in the super-heavy and absolute divisions outside of Dream Art’s Yara Soares. Pessanha’s only losses as a black belt have come to Soares, but Pessanha has now won the past six meetings.
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu turns back clock to win second Pans title
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu won his first Pans title in 2008. Now 41-years old and a full 14 years later, the Fight Sports leader captured his second title without a single point scored against him. Abreu’s top game looked strong throughout the weekend, and his 2-0 win over Gutemberg Pereira in the final of the ultra-heavy division is one of “Cyborg’s” best gi wins in recent memory.
Nathalie Ribeiro gets one back against Ffion Davies
The women’s lightweight division is quietly home to one of the more interesting rivalries in the sport. Checkmat’s Nathalie “Tata” Ribeiro in an all-action guard player, while Ffion Davies is an all-action guard passer, so their matches are naturally high-paced and competitive affairs. Davies won the first two encounters, first at the 2019 Pans, then at Who’s Number One, but Ribeiro earned her first win over Davies in the final of the lightweight division at the 2022 Pans in an entertaining match.