The 2022 World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championships are almost here. As the last major championship of 2022, the event is full of returning champions, new black belts, and veterans looking for their first major no-gi title. In this year’s major no-gi events, we’ve seen many athletes put on some of the best performances of their careers. Now they’ll look to finish the year on a high note in Anaheim, California amid some of the most stacked divisions we’ve ever seen at the event.
Dates: Thursday December 8th - Sunday December 11th
Location: Anaheim Convention Center
How to watch: FloGrappling.com
Divisions to Watch
2019 and 2021 ultra-heavy champion Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu returns to the 2022 Worlds No-Gi aiming for his third straight title. Cyborg is coming off a solid performance at the IBJJF Absolute GP, where he put on one of the best matches of the night against 2022 Pan No-Gi champion Henrique Ceconi. The match saw Cyborg and Ceconi go back and forth with takedowns and counter attacks, with Cyborg winning a close match via a 4-0 score. Cyborg will be joined by Victor Hugo, the 2019 World No-Gi open class champion. Cyborg and Victor split a pair of matches at the 2019 Worlds No-Gi as Cyborg won the ultra-heavy final and Victor won the open class final. Leg lock specialist Roosevelt Sousa along with Davi Cabral, John Hansen, and Helton Junior are all in at ultra-heavy, making this a competitive division you will not want to miss.
The female featherweight division at this year’s Worlds No-Gi includes three black belt World Champions and a Pan No-Gi Champion. 3X World No-Gi Champion Tammi Musumeci returns to the Worlds No-Gi, this time as a featherweight. Tammi won the event in 2013, 2015, and 2016, making her the most accomplished no-gi competitor in the division. Another highly accomplished featherweight is Bianca Basilio, who won her first gi World title this year after making it to the final in 2019 and 2021. Her style is very efficient in both gi and no-gi, as she has some of the best straight ankle and toe hold submissions in the sport. Amanda Alequin of Alliance won the middleweight division at the 2016 Worlds No-Gi, but will compete as a featherweight this year. Amanda is another competitor with great leg lock skills who fights aggressively and is always ready to attack a submission. 2022 Pan No-Gi Champion Alex Enriquez will look to capture her first World title using her elite takedown and top control skills. Her featherweight gold at the Pan No-Gi was her first major title at black belt. New black belt Jasmine Rocha will also join the featherweight mix as she looks for her first major title at black belt.
As a historically difficult division, the lightweight always offers exciting matches and highly skilled competitors. This year’s lightweight division at the Worlds No-Gi is one of the toughest there has been to date. 2019 middleweight World No-Gi Champion Dante Leon of Pedigo Submission Fighting will drop to lightweight for this year’s event. Dante has consistently been one of the most successful no-gi competitors on the scene since receiving his black belt. His takedowns and constant pressure lead to submission opportunities that Dante often capitalizes on. Another newcomer to the lightweight division is Ares’ Josh Cisneros. Though Josh had been competing as a featherweight recently, he decided to jump up to lightweight for this edition of the Worlds No-Gi. Josh is another competitor in the division with great takedown abilities and also creative submission attacks. His ability to pounce on submissions from different angles makes him a dangerous opponent for anyone in the division. 2022 Pan No-Gi lightweight champion Deandre Corbe of Standard Jiu-Jitsu will look to win his second straight major no-gi title and will have plenty of challenges in the division. Kieran Kichuk, Lucas Valente, Carlos Henrique, Jonata Gomes, Alexandre Molinaro, Michael Perez, Danilo Moreira, and Fabio Caloi are all competitors who have a great chance of winning lightweight gold.
2021 World No-Gi brown belt lightweight champion Brianna Ste-Marie will make her IBJJF black belt debut at the Worlds No-Gi. The Brazilian Top Team representative has a very efficient and effective game, utilizing the closed guard from bottom position and pressure passing from the top to great effect. Pans silver medalist Margot Ciccarelli is also in at lightweight, and will look to capture her first major black belt title using her dynamic open guard game. Nicole Sullivan of Atos and Claire North of TAC Team are two other competitors looking for their first major black belt titles and who have the skills and experience needed to stand on top of the podium.
Middleweight is one of the most interesting divisions of the 2022 Worlds No-Gi as it includes veterans, former World Champions, and newcomers to the division. 2021 medium-heavy World No-Gi champion Jeferson Guaresi of Unity Jiu-Jitsu will compete as a middleweight this year as he chases his second straight title. Jeferson’s Unity Jiu-Jitsu teammates Italo Moura and Francisco Cuneo are also in the division and are aiming for middleweight gold. Francisco reached the #2 overall adult no-gi ranking after winning the Pan No-Gi and many no-gi open events this year. Andy Murasaki and Rolando Samson of Atos will compete in their first Worlds No-Gi as black belts. Andy is coming off an IBJJF Absolute GP super fight victory over Matheus Rodrigues and Rolando is coming off gi and no-gi gold medals at Jiu-Jitsu CON. AJ Agazarm, Celso Vinicius, Servio Tulio, and Igor Feliz are all threats to the middleweight title as well.
Male Super Heavy
Last year’s World No-Gi super heavy champion Devhonte Johnson of Unity Jiu-Jitsu dropped down to the heavyweight division this year, leaving the 2022 super heavy title up for grabs. 2021 silver medalist Joe Dierkhising is back and will look to improve upon his second place finish from last year. 2019 No-Gi World Champion Adam Wardzinski, who won the 2022 European No-Gi open class, is a top contender in any division he enters. Adam’s butterfly and x-guard games combined with his passing have earned him many important victories and titles throughout his black belt career. 2022 Pan No-Gi champions Fellipe Trovo and Henrique Ceconi bring a significant amount of momentum into Worlds No-Gi and will be competing for their first black belt titles at the event.
Gabriel Arges, Oliver Taza, Jonnatas Gracie, Francisco Lo, Sebastian Rodriguez, David Garmo, Bruno Matias, Felipe Cesar Silva, Rafael Dos Anjos, and Angelo Claiborne will all compete in the medium-heavy division at the 2022 Worlds No-Gi. In a division that is so difficult to pick a winner or even a favorite, it is guaranteed to have some of the most exciting matches of the event. Gabriel Arges, Jonnatas Gracie, and Sebastian Rodriguez have all won major titles in the gi as black belts, and will look to capture their first black belt World No-Gi titles this year. Felipe Cesar Silva has consistently produced great results without the gi, including his second place finish at the 2022 Pan No-Gi. The division is up for grabs and has competitors with a mix of various attributes and styles.
Prior World No-Gi Champions Competing At 2022 Worlds No-Gi
Estevan Martinez - 2021 Rooster
Carlos “Bebeto” Oliveira - 2021 Light Feather
Gianni Grippo - 2018 Light, 2021 Light
Dante Leon - 2019 Middle
Johnny Tama - 2019 Light
AJ Agazarm - 2014 Light
Jeferson Guaresi - 2021 Medium-Heavy
Adam Wardzinski - 2019 Heavy
Devhonte Johnson - 2021 Super-Heavy
Arnaldo Maidana - 2017 Heavy
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu - 2021 Ultra-Heavy, 2017 Ultra-Heavy, 2012 Ultra-Heavy, 2011 Ultra-Heavy, 2010 Ultra-Heavy
Victor Hugo - 2019 Open Class, 2021 Ultra-Heavy
Amanda “Tubby” Alequin - 2016 Middle
Tammi Musumeci - 2016 Light, 2015 Feather, 2013 Feather
Elisabeth Clay - 2021 Medium-Heavy
Fernanda Mazelli - 2012 heavy