2X World Champion Tainan Dalpra takes on Isaque Bahiense this Friday at the Tezos IBJJF FloGrappling Grand Prix. The match will be 30 minutes in length and will feature new stalling rules that will encourage both athletes to show the depth of their jiu-jitsu games. Tainan Dalpra has not lost a single IBJJF match as a black belt. In 2022, Tainan captured his second World title. The AOJ representative won 18 matches, getting the submission in 14 of them. His latest outing at the 2023 Europeans was a back take masterclass, as Tainan won all three of his matches via choke from the back.
Dream Art leader Isaque Bahiense has won World, Pan, and European titles as a black belt. Last year he took silver at the Worlds in the medium-heavy division and won the IBJJF FloGrappling Medium-Heavy GP, where he put on one of the best performances of his career. Can Isaque use his experience at black belt to put a halt to Tainan’s dominance? Or will Tainan continue to show why he’s the current middleweight king? These questions will be answered this Friday at the Tezos IBJJF FloGrappling Grand Prix.
First Meeting at the 2021 World Championships
Tainan and Isaque first met in the middleweight final of the 2021 World Championships. Isaque came into the match as a 2018 World Champion while Tainan was pursuing his first World title as a black belt.
Isaque - “We fought in 2021. He won the match, but everybody knows, he put me in the 50/50 position and stayed there for the whole match with the lapel. And that’s ok, it’s strategy. It was his first World Championship and I was the only black belt World Champion he competed against. It was a strategy and he won, and that’s ok. But I don’t feel like we were fighting. He has beautiful jiu-jitsu. But when he fought against me I didn’t feel his jiu-jitsu. And I want to see it.”
Tainan - “To be honest it’s hard for me to be happy with the performance I had in the finals. Overall when you look at the competition itself, it was a good run. I fought the top names in my first year as a black belt and my first Worlds as a black belt and I was able to pretty much dominate every match up until the finals. The finals ended up being the match that I wasn’t really hoping for. When you look at the match specifically, it’s not the best performance that I’ve had. But I think it’s important to look back at the entire competition. I stayed composed. I was fighting the top athletes in the middleweight division like I was hoping to and I was able to win my first World title in my first year as a black belt. I felt the match could’ve been more active. But at the same time I’m not going to cry about it. It was what it was. I was able to come out with the win and now March 3rd I have another opportunity to showcase and display my jiu-jitsu against Isaque. I’m looking forward to displaying more of my jiu-jitsu and my technical level against Isaque.”
30 Minute Time Limit
This super fight will have a 30 minute time limit, which will allow both athletes to showcase more of their jiu-jitsu.
Isaque - “I was thinking a lot about thirty minutes. We can’t be in the 50/50 position with the lapel. It will be a war. If he comes to fight, one of us will tap. I don’t think we’ll fight for thirty minutes. When I competed against him in 2021, I looked to my friend before the fight and I told him, me or Tainan will tap. But he surprised me because he put me in the 50/50. Right now he’s much better. I think he has more confidence and I think he will come to beat me and I’m ready for him. I’m really excited to show my jiu-jitsu and my heart. Thirty minutes is a lot about technique. It’s not just physical. It’s a lot about technique and heart. Tainan is a good example for the sport, for the new generation. Just come and let’s fight, really fight. We’re fighting for the public. Let’s really give the public what they want to see.”
Tainan - “The longer the round goes the more it becomes about technique. Whoever has the technique will become the winner. I feel like that’s what people want to see. Sometimes you fight ten minutes in an IBJJF match and you have to play with the rules because it’s a ten minute match. The longer it goes as a super fight it makes sense. Also in a competition it’s part of the rules, you have to know how to play the game and that’s what we’re here for. I think when you look at the aspect of outside of the competition, the work that both of us put in, I feel like that’s what’s going to be the biggest difference. I’m in a great momentum of my life, not just physically but mentally and technically. I’ve been improving so much these past couple of months and few years. I feel like thirty minutes should be enough time for us to display good jiu-jitsu and get the submission before the thirty minute mark for sure.”
New Staling Rules
In addition to the longer match length, this match will also feature new stalling rules. GP athletes will now have less time to achieve positional progression before being given stalling penalties.
Isaque - “It’s really a bad situation when you watch some fights and people put their opponent in 50/50 and stay there for a long time. I think our mission is to put jiu-jitsu where jiu-jitsu deserves to be. If we want to do that, we need to see this change. I think it will be really great and it will force us to fight, to show our jiu-jitsu.”
Tainan - “Whenever you’re fighting something like this, like a super fight, two big names in the sport, I feel like it makes sense to change the rules to make it more fun.”
Tainan Dalpra and Isaque Bahiense will meet on Friday March 3rd in one of the most anticipated gi super fights of all time. Watch the match at the Tezos IBJJF FloGrappling Grand Prix this Friday March 3rd, exclusively on FloGrappling.