After nearly nine months since last competing with the gi, Roberto Jimenez returned to gi competition at the 2023 London Open. His last gi competition prior to London was the 2022 World Championships, where he competed in the medium-heavy division. In London, Roberto took first at heavyweight and silver in the open, dropping a 4-2 match against Jansen Gomes in the open class final that was one of the most exciting fights of the event. He also competed without the gi the following day, winning his weight class and the open.
“I felt good at the London Open. With the gap between Worlds 2022 until the London Open, that was 6+ months not wearing a kimono. I didn’t even check the list of athletes at the London Open and there were some tough fighters. I was just happy to be back in the gi to kick start the year.”
On Saturday March 25th, Roberto will compete in the gi for the second time in 2023 at the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships. He’ll be in the heavyweight division alongside Fellipe Andrew, Adam Wardzinski, Pedro Marinho, and Andre Porfirio, among others. Roberto touched on his decision to compete at heavyweight and the competitors he sees as the best in the division.
“I’d rather not cut weight. I fought at lightweight in 2022 but prior to that I was fighting at heavyweight since purple belt and always felt great. The main goal is double gold weight and absolute, one step at a time. The heavyweight class is a tough set of fighters. I recognize Fellipe Andrew, Andre Porfirio, and Pedro Marinho, to name a few, that I know will be great fights. A fights a fight and I’m energetic to step up on the mat.”
Though Roberto was less active in the gi in 2022, he has big ambitions for this year. “The main mission for the gi season is Worlds. But the mission at hand is Pans. That’s all I can say for now.”
Roberto Jimenez competes in the heavyweight division at the 2023 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships on Saturday March 25th. You can watch Roberto and the rest of the amazing competitors take the mats starting on Wednesday March 22nd, with coverage brought to you exclusively by FloGrappling.