2022 IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships Preview: Adult Female Black Belt
4/4/2022 By: Danny O'Donnell
2021 Champion – Lavinia Barbosa
The female rooster weight division has been dominated by Mayssa Bastos since she was promoted to black belt in 2018. Mayssa won her first World Championship in 2019 and repeated that feat in 2021. At the 2021 Pans, she went up to the light featherweight division, dropping a close match to Ana Rodrigues in the final. At the 2021 Pan, it was Lavinia Barbosa who took home gold, defeating Jessa Khan of AOJ in the final. Mayssa will be aiming for her third Pan title while Lavinia looks for her second. Newly promoted black belt Jhenifer Aquino is also in at rooster weight and is coming off a World Championship gold medal as a brown belt.
2021 Champion – Ana Rodrigues
Dream Art’s Ana Rodrigues won the light-feather division in 2021 but has since moved up to featherweight. The four-person light-feather division consists of Andreza Morais, Jessa Khan, Sofia Amarante, and Thamires Aquino. Of these competitors, Andreza Morais of Ares BJJ Academy is currently the highest ranked. In 2022 Andreza placed first at the Austin Winter Open and the Atlanta Winter Open. Jessa Khan will look to improve upon her second place finish at last year’s Pan and capture her first major title as a black belt.
2021 Champion – Bianca Basilio
Ana Rodrigues won the light feather division at the 2021 Pans and will compete at featherweight this year. Ana tested out her new weight class at the 2022 European Championships and came away with gold. Alexa Yanes of Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ placed third at the 2021 Pans and will look to improve upon that finish this year. Other competitors in the division include Amanda Canuto, Sophia Dalpra, Michele Oliveira, and Larissa Campos.
2021 Champion – Nathalie Ribeiro
In 2021, CheckMat’s Nathalie Ribeiro won her first Pan title as a black belt. “Tata” followed up her impressive run in 2021 with a European title in February and will be looking to capture her second gold medal of 2022 this weekend. Unity Jiu-Jitsu’s Margot Ciccarelli took second to Nathalie at the 2021 Pans and will aim for her first major title as a black belt. Ffion Davies of ECJJA will also competing in the lightweight division. Ffion is a No-Gi World and Brazilian National champion. She also won double gold at the 2020 IBJJF Europeans.
2021 Champion – Luiza Monteiro
In the final of the 2021 Pans, Luiza Monteiro of Atos defeated Andressa Cintra of Gracie Barra. The middleweight title is up for grabs in 2022 with both Luiza and Andressa missing from the division. Vannessa Griffin of Team Lloyd Irvin is the only returning medalist from last year’s Pans. The middleweight field this year also includes Thamara Ferreira, Suellen Lima, and Chloe McNally.
2021 Champion – Ana Carolina Vieira
The 2022 Pan will see a new medium-heavy champion as last year’s gold medal winner, Ana Carolina Vieira, will not be competing. This year’s medium-heavy division has no shortage of world-class talent. Elisabeth Clay, won took silver in 2021, will return and look to implement her aggressive guard game to get to the top of the podium. Maria Malyjasiak, who won the heavy weight division in 2021, will drop down in search of medium-heavy gold. Also in the division are Vedha Toscano of CheckMat and Izadora Cristina of Dream Art, both of whom will be looking for their first Pans gold medals as black belts.
2021 Champion – Maria Malyjasiak
The competitor list for the heavy weight division includes Elizabeth Mitrovic, Melissa Stricker, Tara White, Maggie Grindatti, and Larissa Dias. 2021 champion Maria Malyjasiak moved down to medium-heavy, so we’ll see some exciting new match ups this year. Melissa Stricker won gold at the 2021 Worlds and has continued to have success in 2022, winning double gold in Austin, Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles. Maggie Grindatti is coming off a gold medal performance at the 2022 European Championships and will look to capture her second major title of the year at Pans.
2021 Champion – Gabrieli Pessanha
The super-heavy division at the 2022 Pans includes Mayara Custodio, Yara Soares, and Gabrielli Pessanha. Gabrielli won the division in 2021, beating Yara Soares of Dream Art in the final. Yara would go on to win the open class and will be looking for two gold medals in 2022. Mayara Custodio of CheckMat, a 2021 No-Gi World Champion, will look for her first Pans title.
2021 Champion – Yara Soares
Yara Soares of Dream Art won the 2021 Pans open class, defeating Ana Carolina Vieira in the final. 2022 European open class champion Gabrielli Pessanha will be on the hunt for her second open class gold of the year. Other competitors likely to enter the open class include Maria Malyjasiak, Melissa Stricker, Larissa Dias, Elisabeth Clay, and Vedha Toscano, among many others.