After being awarded with her black belt less than six months ago, Ffion Davies is taking the grappling world by storm. Not only is she the first European to take home gold in the Brazilian Nationals, she is also the second non-Brazilian woman (after American Mackenzie Dern) and fifth person from outside of Brazil.
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Brazil National Champion ???????????? my first time competing in Brazil and definitely not my last. The Brazilian crowd was amazing, as big an atmosphere as finals day at worlds (if not even bigger). I also now have an addiction to açai with leite condensado and Guarana. Thank you to my top of the pop sponsors @kingzeurope @kingzbrasil @bearfootjj and team @ecjja
This win is just par for the course.
Davies had quite the build-up coming into the tournament. While she might still be in her first year competing at this level, she has already shown that she belongs with the best female grapplers around.
Davies got her black belt career off to a running start. She claimed gold in both the No-Gi world championships and the first IBJJF Dublin Open less than a month after promotion. She returned after the holidays by dominating at the European Open in January and winning another gold.
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These last few weeks have been mentally and physically exhausting, but also some of the best. I admire all the girls on this podium so much and they pushed me really hard this weekend. The female divisions, especially at black belt are small but mighty, there’s no room for putting each other down. One of the biggest things I noticed this weekend is how much the girls root for each other. Looking forward to many more tough fights in the future. Massive thanks to my sponsors; @kingzeurope @kingzkimonos @bearfootjj My amazing teammates and coach @ecjja @darraghoconaill . Such great performances from the whole squad this weekend ❤️
Davies quickly turned her attention back to the submission grappling circuit by soundly beating Christine Martin at Grapplefest 4. She then returned to Polaris in March, where she already owned a perfect 2-0 record after beating Elvira Karppinen by decision and Chelsea Leah by armbar in a title-eliminator last year. The challenge standing in between her and the women’s 55kg title belt was three-time world champion Gezary Matuda. It took less than two and a half minutes for Ffion to sink in the fight-ending arm-triangle. She added the belt to her already impressive haul for an incredibly young career.
Ffion’s only loss since receiving her black belt has been when moving up in weight for the Abu Dhabi World Pro Finals. Davies took silver in a very close final with Beatriz Mesquita. Mesquita is widely regarded as one of the best female grapplers on the planet over the last few years. As Mesquita also took gold in both her own division and the absolute at the Brazilian National Championships over the weekend, a highly-anticipated rematch shouldn’t be far away.
Between the World Championships just around the corner and Davies recently asking for a title defense to headline an upcoming Polaris card, this is set to be a fantastic year for the Welsh breakout star.