5/2/2022 By: Danny O'Donnell
The 2022 Brazilian National Championships will take place at the Ginasio Jose Correa in Sao Paulo, Brazil from May 6-14. Historically, the event has always been one of the toughest major tournaments on the calendar as many athletes who are unable to compete outside of Brazil are present and are hungry for gold. This year will be no exception as Dream Art, Fight Sports, Atos, Cicero Costha, Alliance, CheckMat, and Nova Uniao are bringing their best competitors. With the Europeans and Pans now in the rearview mirror, there are three competitors competing at Brazilian Nationals who are in the running for the 2022 grand slam. Mayssa Bastos, Nathalie Ribeiro, and Gabrieli Pessanha all won their divisions at the first two major tournaments of the year. Gabrieli also won the open class at Europeans and Pans and is chasing the highly elusive double grand slam. The following is a preview of the adult female black belt divisions.
2021 Champion - Mariana Rolszt
Mayssa Bastos of Unity Jiu-Jitsu has been one of the most dominant competitors in the black belt division since being promoted to the rank in 2018. In 2022 she’s already won the Europeans and the Pans and now has her sights set on the grand slam. Also in the rooster weight division are 2021 Brazilian National champion Mariana Rolszt of Gracie Humaita and 2022 European champion Thais Loureiro of Atos Jiu-Jitsu. Mayssa, Mariana, Thais, and Maria Ono will all be on the hunt for rooster weight gold at this year’s Brazilian Nationals.
2021 Champion - Ana Rodrigues
The light feather division this year has three competitors. Jessica Dantas of Caio Terra Brazil, Sayuri Batista of Dream Art, and Brenda Larissa of Fight Sports Brazil will all look for their first major title of 2022. Brenda Larissa has won five Brazilian Nationals titles in the colored belts and will make her Brazilian National debut as a black belt this weekend. Jessica took 2nd at the 2021 Worlds, losing in the final to Mayssa Bastos. In 2019 as a brown belt, she won both the Worlds and the Pans. Sayuri Batista, a brown belt European silver medalist, will come into the tournament well prepared as she has plenty of high level training partners at Dream Art in Sao Paulo.
2021 Champion - Bianca Basilio
2021 Brazilian National champion Bianca Basilio will return to defend her title in the featherweight division. She’s won the tournament at every belt level and will be competing against some unfamiliar foes this year. In her bracket are Duda Lima, Renata Paschoal D’Avila, and Swanny Guimaraes, all of whom have been competing regularly in Brazil and achieving solid results.
2021 Champion - Luciane Antunes
Fresh off her gold medals at the Europeans and the Pans, Nathalie Ribeiro will be competing in Brazil looking for her third major title of the year. She currently trains out of CheckMat in Southern California and this will be her first Brazilian Nationals and her first time competing in Brazil since 2016. Vitoria Vieira of GF Team will also be competing in the lightweight division. Vitoria recently won the 2022 Rio Fall Open as a middleweight, racking up multiple submissions along the way.
2021 Champion - Ericka Almeida
The middleweight division is one of the most stacked of this years Brazilian Nationals. 2021 champion Ericka Almeida of Gracie Barra will return and will face some new challengers. Two time World champion Andressa Cintra of Gracie Barra will also be competing. Andressa won the Brazilian Nationals at blue, purple, and brown belt. Natalie Zumba, who won double gold at the Rio Fall No-Gi Open, will join them along with 2022 Pans silver medalist Chloe McNally of Unity Jiu-Jitsu.
2021 Champion - Sabatha Lais
R1NG BJJ’s Sabatha Lais won the 2021 Brazilian Nationals and will return in 2022 in the medium-heavy division. To win gold she’ll likely have to face off with the always dangerous Elisabeth Clay of Ares BJJ. Elisabeth is a No-Gi World and No-Gi Pan champion and also took second at the 2021 Pans in the gi. Sabatha and Elisabeth both have dangerous guards and are always hunting the submission. The medium-heavy division also includes Liandra Tavares, Marcia Ramos, and Raiane Mara.
2021 Champion - Graciele Del Fava
2021 Brazilian National heavyweight champion Graciele Del Fava will return to the division in search of another gold medal. Joining her will be three time black belt World champion Fernanda Mazelli of Striker JJ and Izadora Cristina of Dream Art. Mazelli recently won the 2022 Curitiba Open. Graciele also won also won Curitiba Open as well as the Rio Fall Open.
2021 Champion - Yara Soares
The super heavy division at the 2022 Brazilian Nationals will include three competitors in Gabrieli Pessanha, Carina Santi, and Claire-France Thevenon. Gabrieli is currently the #1 ranked black belt adult female. She won double gold at the 2022 Europeans in Rome as well as the 2022 Pans in Florida. Should she win a third double gold at Brazilian Nationals, Gabrieli will be well on her way to a double grand slam in 2022. Carina Santi of G13 BJJ is a Brazilian National and European champion. She’ll look to add another gold to her collection at Brazilian Nationals and put a stop to Gabrieli Pessanha’s dominance.
2021 Champion - Gabrieli Pessanha
Gabrieli Pessanha won the 2021 Brazilian National open class and will definitely be a front runner to win the division again in 2022. Potential competitors in the division who could challenge Gabrieli include Carina Santi, Fernanda Mazelli, Sabatha Lais, Elisabeth Clay, and Andressa Cintra.