World, Pan, and European Champion Gustavo Batista will return to the Pans in Kissimmee, Florida, looking to capture his first major title of 2023. The last time Gustavo competed was at the 2022 Worlds, where he took 3rd place in the medium-heavy division. Since then he’s been training and evolving his game at Atos HQ in San Diego, California, focusing on this year’s major gi events.
You took a little break from competition after the 2022 Worlds. How excited are you to compete at the Pans?
"Yes, I took some time for myself after competing at the Worlds and now I feel very motivated and ready to return to competitions. I’m very excited to compete at the Pans.”
Medium-heavy is arguably the toughest black belt category. Jansen Gomes, Uanderson Ferreira, Mauricio Oliveira, Francisco Lo, Matheus Spirandelli, and many others are in the division. Who are some of the names you’re excited to compete against?
“Yes, the division is stacked. There are lots of tough guys, some I’ve already competed against and some I haven’t. There’s no specific name I’m looking to fight. I just feel excited to compete against anyone in my bracket and test my jiu-jitsu.”
Are there any new parts of your game that you’re looking to showcase in 2023?
“I’ve been preparing myself for a while. I believe I’ve evolved a lot as a fighter and I want to show more and more the dominant jiu-jitsu that I have. That’s my focus for this season.”
What other tournaments do you plan to compete in this year?
“I’m looking to compete in the Brazilian Nationals and Worlds this year.”
Do you have any final words?
“I just wanted to say thank you to all the fans for the support. I’m really excited to be back competing and I’m looking to showcase a high level jiu-jitsu to the public. Thank you IBJJF for the opportunity.”
Watch the 2023 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships, starting Wednesday March 22nd, only on flograppling.com.