4/4/2022 By: Danny O'Donnell
The 2022 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship will take place at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida from April 6th through the 10th. With over 4,600 jiu-jitsu athletes registered to compete, this edition will be the biggest Pans in IBJJF history. This year’s black belt divisions are some of the most talent rich that the Pans has ever seen. The following is a preview of each adult male black belt division.
2021 Champion: Livio Ribeiro
At the 2021 Pan Championships in September, Ares black belt Livio Ribeiro defeated Lee Rosenfeld, Kevin Martinkowski, and Hiago Gama on his way to gold. The rooster weight field in 2022 is stacked full of talent as 2020 Pan champion Lucas Pinheiro and 2022 European champion Thalison Soares are also in the bracket. Other competitors looking to shake up the division include Carlos Oliveira, Estevan Martinez, and Roiter Lima.
2021 Champion: Diego Oliveira Batista
With 2021 Pan champion Diego Oliveira Batista moving up to the featherweight division, light feather will see a new champion for 2022. Competitors who pose a solid threat to the 2022 Pan title include Pedro Dias, Meyram Alves, Jordan Vaisman, and Malachi Edmond. Rookie black belt Diogo Reis of Fight Sports made his IBJJF black belt debut at the 2022 Curitiba Open, where he submitted both of his opponents on his way to gold. Keven Carrasco of Ares is also coming into the Pans with momentum, winning the Dallas Open by beating Jordan Vaisman, Carlos Oliveira, and Lucas Pinheiro. Hiago George, who won the light-feather division at the 2022 Europeans, will look to win another gold medal and add a second grand slam title to his resume.
2021 Champion: Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor
At last year’s Pan Championship, Team Lloyd Irvin’s Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor took gold in a loaded featherweight field. Shane went on to compete at Worlds, where he earned silver after Fabricio Andrey submitted him in the final with a triangle choke. Last year’s champion at light-feather, Diego Oliveira, is also in the mix at feather. In addition to winning the 2021 Pans, Diego also won the Pan No-Gi, the No-Gi Worlds, and the Worlds. Alex Sodre of Clube Feijao competed at the Curitiba Open and won the lightweight division. Diego Sodre, who placed third at the 2021 Worlds, will also be in the featherweight division. Other notable contenders include Isaac Doederlein, Kennedy Maciel, Samuel Nagai, Richar Nogueira, Thiago Macedo, and Israel Almeida.
2021 Champion: Johnatha Alves
2021 Pan lightweight champion Johnatha Alves will return to defend his title in Florida. After suffering a hand injury that forced him to pull out of the 2021 Worlds mid tournament, Johnatha made his return to the IBJJF at the LA Open where he won gold. Andy Murasaki of Atos has had an impressive run in 2022. He’s competed in Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, and LA Opens where he’s won 5 gold medals between his weight class and the open class divisions. Other notable competitors at lightweight include Hugo Marques, Alexandre Molinaro, Lucas Gualberto, Victor Nithael, Italo Moura, and Johnny Tama.
2021 Champion: Tainan Dalpra
The black belt middleweight division has been ruled by AOJ’s Tainan Dalpra since he won his first IBJJF grand slam event at the 2021 Pans. He followed up that performance with gold medals at the 2021 Worlds and the 2022 Europeans. Tainan has stayed very active throughout his black belt career and already has wins over Ronaldo Junior, Mathias Luna, and Jeferson Guaresi, three competitors who will also be hungry for Pans gold. Notable contenders in the division are Levi Jones-Leary and Roberto Jimenez. Levi will be moving up from the lightweight division, where he won the IBJJF Europeans in 2019. Roberto Jimenez, who won double gold at the Worlds as a purple belt, will look to capture his first IBJJF grand slam title as a black belt with his aggressive style that focuses heavily on attacking the back of his opponents.
2021 Champion - Andre Porfirio
This year’s medium-heavy division is one of the most stacked of the entire event. Andre Porfirio of Fight Sports won the 2021 Pans, beating Murilo Santana, Manuel Ribamar, and Pedro Marinho to win the division. Isaque Bahiense will be making his medium-heavy debut after conquering World, Pan, and European titles as a middleweight. 2021 brown belt World, Pan, and World No-Gi champion Jansen Gomes will be making his highly anticipated IBJJF black belt debut and will face the best the division has to offer right out of the gate. Other competitors of note in the bracket are Guthierry Barbosa, Leandro Lo, Matheus Luna, and Horlando Monteiro.
2021 Champion - Gustavo Batista
With 2021 champion Gustavo Batista not competing this year, the heavyweight division is wide open for a new Pan champion. 2022 European champion Adam Wardzinski will look to claim another grand slam gold and will carry a lot of momentum into the Pans. Top contenders in the division include Dimitrius Souza, Matheus Diniz, Fellipe Trovo, Rider Zuchi, Gabriel Almeida, and Pedro Marinho. Black belt newcomer Pedro Machado, who won his weight and the open class as a brown belt at the 2021 Worlds, will look to shake up the division with his aggressive, submission hunting style.
2021 Champion – Fellipe Andrew
Number one ranked IBJJF adult male black belt Fellipe Andrew started off his year by winning two gold medals in Rome at the European Championships, further cementing his number one spot. At the 2021 IBJJF Worlds, it was Dream Art’s Erich Munis that took home gold after defeating Fellipe in the final by advantages. Erich will look to add another gold to his collection at the Pans, his first IBJJF tournament of 2022. Vinicius Ferreira, Anderson Munis, and Devhonte Johnson will all be looking to claim their first Pans gold medals as black belts.
2021 Champion – Victor Hugo
Although the ultra-heavy division is missing 2021 champion Victor Hugo, it has no shortage of world-class competitors. The 2022 division includes Roberto Abreu, Max Gimenis, Roosevelt Souza, Erberth Santos, and Wallace Costa. Igor Schneider of Dream Art will also be in the division and is coming off a double gold medal performance at the 2022 Indianapolis International Open. GF Team’s Gutemberg Pereira will be looking for his first IBJJF grand slam title as a black belt. He won both the Pans and the Worlds as a purple and brown belt and will bring his submission-oriented jiu-jitsu game to the ultra-heavy division.
2021 Champion – Fellipe Andrew
Although the open class competitors will not be known until the Pans have already kicked off, it is always interesting to speculate who could potentially sign up for the division. Fellipe Andrew defeated Gustavo Batista in the 2021 Pans open class final, so we’ll likely see Fellipe return to the division. Other potential competitors include Gutemberg Pereira, Erich Munis, Jansen Gomes, Roberto Jimenez, Mathias Luna, Matheus Luna, Pedro Marinho, Leandro Lo, Adam Wardzinski, Rider Zuchi, and many others. The 2022 IBJJF Pan black belt divisions are stacked full of talent, so regardless of which athletes sign up for the open class, we will see action-packed matches full of world-class jiu-jitsu.