Brazilian Top Team’s Brianna Ste-Marie is ready to take on one of her biggest challenges to date at the upcoming Worlds No-Gi. 2021 was a career-year for Brianna, winning every event she competed in. “I think the fall of 2021 is the time that I broke out as an athlete. I did four big events back to back and was successful in all of them. With the pandemic I was not able to compete as much as I normally like and I remember how badly I wanted to get that World title at brown belt.” Brianna accomplished her goal, winning the brown belt lightweight division and taking third in the absolute at the 2021 Worlds No-Gi.
After a highly successful competition career in the colored belts and a brown belt Worlds No-Gi gold medal, Brianna was promoted to black belt in late 2021, a moment she viewed as an opportunity to continue challenging herself against the best competitors in the world. “I was very happy to receive my black belt because it meant being able to register for any tournament on the planet and being able to fight against the best in the World. I am very proud of my accomplishments at the colored belts but in my head it was always about preparing for black belt. Every time I fought in the Pyramid, I would always think to myself, "I can't wait to be a black belt fighting in the Pyramid!". I think that my career in the colored belts showed me that I could do great things if I kept on working hard.”
A black belt World title is now within reach as Brianna will take on the black belt lightweight division at the 2022 World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championships. “I think it is a really fun division with lots of different styles. Margot Ciccarelli has a beautiful style with an excellent berimbolo, while Jasmine Rocha is a master scrambler and has some great submissions up her sleeve.” Winning gold with so many talented competitors at lightweight would be the highlight of Brianna’s career thus far. “It would mean so much to me to win No-Gi Worlds at black belt. Like I said before, I am proud of my accomplishments in the colored belts, but winning a World title at black belt has always been my ultimate goal.”
Though Brianna has always trained and competed in gi and no-gi, she has mainly been focused on no-gi since her promotion. However, she’s not ready to give up on the gi any time soon. “I have definitely been focusing more on no-gi lately but I absolutely love the gi. I think that both versions of the sport have contributed to who I am today. It is possible that the highly strategic nature of the gi game influenced my no-gi game, as I tend to be slower and more strategic as a no-gi player. I would definitely like to compete in the gi this year. I think it is now or never as they say. I have always dreamed of being a black belt in the Pyramid.”
You can catch Brianna competing at the 2022 World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championships exclusively on FloGrappling. Coverage for the event starts on Thursday December 8 and runs through Sunday the 11th.