For the first time since 2019, the IBJJF World Championships will return to Long Beach, California at the iconic Walter Pyramid. The first Worlds held at the Pyramid was in 2007 and the site has hosted more World Championships than any other venue. Since then we’ve seen many new champions emerge at black belt, making the divisions more exciting than ever. From dominant champions to rookie black belts looking for their first World titles, the black belt female divisions have it all and you will not want to miss a moment of the action.
2021 Champion - Mayssa Bastos
Mayssa Bastos of Unity Jiu-Jitsu has won every major title in the sport and is on her to way to becoming one of the best female champions of all time. Despite being just 24 years old she’s already won two World and three Pan and European titles. She recently added another major title to her collection in Sao Paulo, winning the 2022 Brazilian Nationals. 2022 Brazilian National light feather champion Brenda Larissa will also be competing at rooster. The Fight Sports black belt placed third at the 2021 Worlds and will be looking to improve upon that result this year. Lavinia Barbosa, Jhenifer Aquino, and Mariana Rolszt will join Mayssa at rooster weight and will be looking for their first World titles.
2021 Champion - Ana Rodrigues
Dream Art’s Ana Rodrigues went up to featherweight for the 2022 European and Pan Championships, taking gold at both tournaments in her new weight class. She’ll return to light feather at Worlds, however, looking for her second title at that weight class in as many years. 2019 World Champion Tammi Musumeci will also be joining the division looking for her second Worlds gold medal at black belt. Tammi and Ana met in the finals of the 2021 World Championship where Ana won in a close match that ended 4-2. 2022 Pan Champion Jessa Khan will also be in the division looking for her first black belt World title, making light feather a highly competitive division.
2021 Champion - Gabi McComb
With 2021 World Champion Gabi McComb moving up to the lightweight division this year, Bianca Basilio is now the front-runner at featherweight. Bianca took second at the 2021 Worlds, losing a close final to Gabi McComb. She is coming off a phenomenal gold medal performance at the 2022 Brazilian Nationals, where she scored the fastest submission of all the finals matches, submitting Ronata D’Avila of GF Team with a kimura 1:31 into the match. 2018 World Champion Amanda Canuto, 2021 Pans bronze medalist Alexa Yanes, and AOJ black belt Sophia Dalpra will also be on the hunt for featherweight gold.
2021 Champion - Beatriz Mesquita
In 2022, the lightweight division has been dominated by CheckMat’s Nathalie Ribeiro . She’s already collected gold medals at the Europeans, Pans, and Brazilian Nationals, and will look to add a fourth gold medal to her 2022 collection at this year’s Worlds. 2020 European double gold medalist Ffion Davies, who took second to Nathalie at the Pans will return looking for her first World title. 2021 featherweight World Champion Gabi McComb has also moved up to the lightweight division and will look for her second World title in as many weight divisions. 2021 Pans silver medalist Margot Ciccarelli and 2022 Brazilian Nationals silver medalist Vitoria Vieira are also top contenders at lightweight.
2021 Champion - Andressa Cintra
Two time black belt World Champion Andressa Cintra of Gracie Barra will look for her third World title in Long Beach. Andressa went down to Sao Paulo, Brazil for the 2022 Brazilian Nationals and won her final match 8-2 over Unity Jiu-Jitsu’s Chloe McNally. Elisabeth Clay, Raquel Canuto, Chloe McNally, Thamara Ferreira, and Vanessa Griffin, who have all achieved great results at black belt, are also in at middleweight. Brown belt World Champion Iasmim Casser of AOJ will make her black belt debut and will look to shake up the division.
2021 Champion - Ana Carolina Vieira
Ana Carolina Vieira will return to the medium-heavy division in search of her 5th black belt World title. Pan Champion and Worlds silver medalist Maria Malyjasiak will also be competing at medium-heavy and will look to win her first World title. Izadora Cristina, who took silver at heavyweight in 2021, and 2021 brown belt World Champion Amy Campo are also strong contenders to take gold.
2021 Champion - Melissa Stricker
At the 2021 World in December, Melissa Stricker of Alliance won her first black belt World title. She followed up her gold medal performance at the Worlds with a 2022 Pan title in her weight class and a bronze medal in the open. 2020 Pan weight and open class champion Rafaela Guedes will make her black belt Worlds debut and will be a big threat to the division. Three time World Champion Fernanda Mazzelli and 2022 European Champion Maggie Grindatti will also be aiming for heavyweight gold.
2021 Champion - Gabrieli Pessanha
Gabrieli Pessanha won her first black belt World title at the 2021 Worlds, winning both her weight and the open class. She then she’s gone on to win double gold at the 2022 Europeans, Pans, and Brazilian Nationals, becoming the first ever black belt to win the double grand slam for the official IBJJF season. Her recent dominance has made her the favorite anytime she competes in her weight class or in an open class. Gabrieli has had many matches with Tara Soares as the two often end up in the final of both super-heavy and the open. Yara won the open class at the 2021 Pans and has all the tools necessary to repeat that accomplishment at the Worlds. Alison Trembley, Mayara Custodio, and Claire-France Thevenon round out the tough super-heavy division.
2021 Champion - Gabrieli Pessanha
The open class at the last four major IBJJF tournaments has been won by Gabrieli Pessanha, and her dominance in the division will make her the favorite to win her fifth straight open class at a major tournament. There are many challengers who have the skills necessary to take open class gold, however. Yara Soares of Dream Art won the open class at the 2021 Pans, defeating Ana Carolina Vieira in the final. Maria Malyjasiak, Ffion Davies, Nathalie Ribeiro, Melissa Stricker, Ana Carolina Vieira, and Elisabeth Clay could all compete in the open class, making this year’s journey to gold one of the most challenging we’ve ever seen.