Worlds Competitor List: Black Belts to Watch

The competitor list is out and the brackets are complete for the IBJFF Worlds 2019 We take a look at how the top Black Belt brackets might play out.

Will Sam Cook leave a legacy?

England’s own Sam Cook will be aiming for top billing at black belt middleweight. After hinting on the Raspberry Ape podcast that her competing days may be numbered, Sam will be aiming high to complete her mission for gold this year. Her bracket pitches her against Lianne Dittrich and then potentially an all-British semi against Laurah Hall. The ultimate test is likely to be lying in wait in the final, because last year’s winner, Ana Carolina Veira, is on the other side of the bracket.

Phenomenal Ffion set to make history

The Welsh Jiu Jitsu phenom hopes to follow last year’s win at Brown Belt by taking Black Belt gold this year in the featherweight division. Following her incredible wins at the Euros at Black earlier this year, a win at the Worlds would surely cement her place as the best female grappler in that division. The bracket looks positive for Ffion in that she avoids last year’s finalists Karen Antunes and Ana Schmitt, who are likely to meet in the semis.

Keenan the Globetrotter  in the “Group of Death” at Heavy weight

As announced earlier this month, the lapel guard laureate Keenan Cornelius will be representing BJJ Globetrotters this year in the grappling equivalent of football’s world cup “group of death”. Other standouts in the category including Adam Wardzinski, Jackson Sousa, and of course ex-teammate and rising star Kaynan Duarte.

There is no easy road to the final. If they all win their opening matches then Keenan would meet the winner of Kaynan and Wardzinski in the final of Bracket 1. The other half of the bracket could see an epic battle early on with Jackson Sousa versus Leandro Lo likely to happen in round 3, with a potential decider against Tim Spriggs.

The Miyao twins and Unity Team Representing

The mighty Unity Team will be firing on all cylinders at this year’s worlds, with fighters including Devhonte M. Johnson and the great Muirlo Santana at Medium Heavy. Levi Jones-Leary will be looking to go one better after his win at Brown Belt last year in the Lightweight category, building on his Black Belt win at the Euros.

The Miyao twins, who have been based at Unity, will be representing PSLPB Cicero Costha team at Black Light-Feather. They are in different brackets and both have byes in the first round. Last year’s winner Mikey Musumeci has dropped down to Rooster; and the man who defeated Joao last year, Ary Farias, is not competing this year. Could the brothers meet in the final?

JT, Oli and Yoga Supremo at Middleweight

Finally, an intriguing prospect awaits at Middleweight, which is truly a legends division this year. The amazing Spiderman JT Torres will be a must-watch, and is drawn in the same bracket as BJJ for Yoga superstar Sebastian Brosche, although the two will only meet if they win all their opening matches. For that all-star match to happen JT would have to dispatch the reigning champ Isaque Bahiense; who he is likely to meet in round 3. On his side of the bracket, Brosche would have to contend with last year’s semi-finalist Jaime Canuto.

In the other bracket, competitors include one of the very best British grapplers of all time, Oli Geddes. Geddes shares the bracket with last year’s finalist Tommy Langaker. Oli has his work cut out to get that far; his first match is against 2015 winner and fomer ADCC champion Claudio Calasans.