The biggest IBJJF no-gi tournament is now on the calendar. On Monday, the IBJJF announced that the 2022 no-gi Worlds will take place December 7-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. Registration for the event is not yet available.
This will be just the second no-gi Worlds in which reaping and twisting leg locks are legal in the adult brown and black belt divisions — a rule change that marked a major shift in IBJJF no-gi competition.
The 2021 no-gi Worlds took place just outside of Dallas, TX, where both established competitors and breakthrough talents made their mark. Longtime veterans like Gianni Grippo, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, and Mayssa Bastos all captured world titles, while competitors like Jeferson Guaresi, Devhonte Johnson, and Elisabeth Clay earned their first no-gi Worlds gold.
At the 2022 IBJJF no-gi Worlds, fans can expect to see most of those competitors looking for repeat success. There are, however, a number of new black belts to keep an eye on. Notably, WNO champions Kade and Tye Ruotolo would be instant favorites in whatever division they compete in, if they qualify and choose to compete on the IBJJF circuit; they are currently enjoying success under their exclusive contracts with ONE Championship.
Also, brown belt gi world champion and ADCC invitee Elder Cruz, representing Checkmat, was awarded his black belt in June of this year. Cruz’s wrestling and physicality make him a real threat at black belt.
Finally, purple and brown belt no-gi world champion Brianna Ste-Marie was awarded her black belt in December 2021. She is a two-time ADCC Trials winner, and if she chooses to compete at the 2022 no-gi Worlds, expect her to make it deep into her bracket if not win gold.
How to watch: The 2022 IBJJF no-gi worlds take place on December 7-11 and will air live on FloGrappling (subscription required).