Talent-loaded Team Kasai announced for AIGA Qualifier

Team Kasai boasts an incredibly stacked squad of grapplers for the upcoming AIGA Qualifiers in Sao Paulo.

One of the most talent-rich teams ever assembled in grappling is headed to the AIGA Qualifiers in Brazil.

Featuring three current IBJJF no-gi world champions, two Who’s Number One (WNO) champions, and the reigning ADCC 99kg champion, Team Kasai is an early favorite to run through the team qualifying event, set to go down May 23-25 in Sao Paulo.

If Team Kasai advances through the Sao Paulo qualifier, it will vie for a $1,000,000 prize at the AIGA Champions League final, slated for May 2025 in Kazakhstan. 

Check out the Team Kasai lineup below.

Team Kasai lineup

  • 60kg: Junny Ocasio
  • 65kg: Diego “Pato” Oliveira
  • 65kg: Dorian Olivarez
  • 70kg: Fabricio Andrey
  • 76kg: Andrew Tackett
  • 76kg: Renato Canuto
  • 83kg: William Tackett
  • 83kg: Sebastian Rodriguez
  • 91kg: Pedro Marinho
  • 91kg: Roberto Jimenez
  • +91kg: Kaynan Duarte

Every athlete on the squad has seen recent success at the highest levels of the sport, and several are arguably the top competitors in their given weight class.

At 60kg is Unity Jiu-Jitsu’s Junny Ocasio. The talented leg locker enjoyed a banner year in 2023, winning gold at the IBJJF no-gi Euros, Pans, and Worlds to establish himself as a real player in the pound-for-pound discussion.

One division up, at 65kg, the team boasts the world’s current top pound-for-pound grappler, Diego “Pato” Oliveira. The Art of Jiu-Jitsu representative claimed gold at the 2023 IBJJF gi and no-gi Worlds, and with victories over Diogo “Baby Shark” Reis and Dante Leon, has captured both the featherweight and lightweight WNO titles.

Joining “Pato” at 65kg will be 2023 ADCC East Coast Trials winner and recent high school wrestling national champion Dorian Olivarez.

Alliance’s Fabricio Andrey will take the helm at 70kg. One of the sport’s most entertaining athletes, Andrey won the ADCC South American Trials to punch his ticket to his second ADCC World Championship.

At 76kg will be another recent ADCC Trials winner, as the always-exciting Andrew Tackett will look to build on his incredible run at the West Coast Trials.  Also at that weight class will be gi and no-gi world champion Renato Canuto — another all-action grappler.

Andrew won’t be the only Tackett on Team Kasai, as he will be joined by his older brother, William Tackett, who will be competing at 83kg. The elder Tackett is a two-time ADCC Trials winner and has spent the past few years firmly establishing himself as an elite competitor.

Also at 83kg will be 2022 IBJJF no-gi world champion Sebastian Rodriguez.

At 91kg, Team Kasai boasts two competitors at the top of the food chain. Gracie Barra’s Pedro Marinho is the current WNO light heavyweight champion, as well as a 2021 IBJJF no-gi World double gold medalist. Sharing the weight class with him will be current IBJJF no-gi Worlds absolute champion Roberto Jimenez – another man considered to be one of the sport’s most entertaining grapplers.

Finally, two-time ADCC champion Kaynan Duarte will round out the squad’s heavyweight division. In addition to his exploits on the ADCC stage, the Atos representative is a multiple-time IBJJF world champion, a recent IBJJF No-Gi Grand Prix champion, and a Polaris absolute grand prix champion, making him a true pound-for-pound powerhouse.

The first AIGA qualifying event took place in March in Turkey, with Team Eurotrash punching its ticket to the AIGA Champions League.

How to watch: The Brazilian AIGA Qualifiers take place on May 23-25 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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