The 2022 IBJJF World Championships were one of the most exciting editions of the Worlds in history. With so many epic performances from the new generation and the established veterans, we decided to look back at the top submission artists from the event. All of these competitors had at least a 50% submission rate, an incredible feat at a tournament as tough as the World Championships. They put their submission skills on display and showed that today’s top black belts are always pushing forward and hunting for the submission.
Nicholas Meregali - 6 submissions in 8 matches (75%)
Dream Art’s Nicholas Meregali had the most submissions of the event. His 2022 Worlds campaign started in the open class, where he faced Seif-Eddine Houmine of GF Team. Nicholas earned his first submission of the day, getting a loop choke finish 8:27 into the match. He moved on to face another GF Team representative in Wallace Costa, submitting with his second loop choke in as many matches. The semi-final of the open class was against a familiar foe in Fellipe Andrew. A sweep and guard pass led Nicholas to a kimura that he turned into an armbar to get the tap about five and a half minutes in, earning him a spot in the open class final.
Nicholas’s next match would be in the super-heavy division where he faced Davi Silva. He started the match with a sweep and ended in another strong kimura position, again turning it into an armbar with a minute and a half left in the match. The super heavy quarterfinal was against Helton Jose Jr. Helton put the first points on the board with a sweep. Nicholas answered back with a sweep of his own, followed by a back take and bow n’ arrow choke shortly thereafter. Nicholas’s matches on Saturday put his record at 5-0 with five submissions and moved him into the super heavy semi-final and open class final on Sunday June 5th.
His first match on Sunday was the super heavy semi-final against Fellipe Andrew of Alliance, who Nicholas defeated via armbar the day before in the open class. Fellipe pulled guard and swept straight away. Nicholas evened the score with a half guard sweep. Once on top, he used his pace and pressure to pass Fellipe’s guard, moving into the mount just after stabilizing the pass. Fellipe recovered his guard momentarily, but Nicholas went into a back attack and then finished with a bow n’ arrow, securing his 6th submission in six matches. His open class and super heavy finals were both against Erich Munis. Both matches were razor close with Erich taking the gold at super heavy and Nicholas winning the open class, putting a stamp on one of the most impressive performances at the Worlds in recent memory.
Meyram Alves - 3 submissions in 4 matches (75%)
Another Dream Art competitor was also racking up submissions left and right at the 2022 Worlds. Meyram Alves came into the Worlds off a Pans gold medal and looked to add Worlds gold to his 2022 collection. The light featherweight is known for his dynamic, technical, and precise jiu-jitsu, and he put his game together beautifully at the Worlds. His first match was against Alliance’s Wesley Santos, and Meyram went on the attack from start to finish. A guard pass into a back take led to Meyram’s first submission of the day, a bow n’ arrow choke from the back less than two and a half minutes into the match.
In the quarter finals Meyram fought Pedro Dias, a two time Pans silver medalist. Meyram put his dynamic passing skills on full display once again, using a guard pass attempt to get to Pedro’s back where Meyram finished another bow n’ arrow choke just 1:12 into the match. The submission put Meyram in the semi-finals on Sunday June 5th where he faced Hiago George of Cicero Costha International. He started the match with a perfectly timed foot sweep to open up the score. A guard pass and ensuing scramble brought the competitors back to their feet where Meyram hit another foot sweep. He passed the guard again and used an under hook to secure an armbar finish at 2:33 into the match after being up 10-0. Dream Art teammate and 2021 World Champion Diego “Pato” Oliviera awaited Meyram in the finals. The two had a close match that Meyram won via referee’s decision, capping off Meyram’s incredible run at the Worlds. The three submissions he accumulated on his way to the final took less than five and a half minutes total, ultimately culminating in his first black belt World title.
Mayssa Bastos - 2 submissions in 3 matches (67%)
Unity Jiu-Jitsu’s Mayssa Bastos came into the 2022 Worlds looking for her third World title and fifth straight gold at a major tournament. Her dominance in 2022 has been remarkable and she’s shown no signs of slowing her pace. Her first match at the Worlds was against Vicky Hoang of Jiu-Jitsu for Life Team. Mayssa came up from a double guard pull, passed the guard, mounted, and took the back, racking up 14 points less than two minutes into the match. The pair were reset twice and Mayssa was able to play off her back. She locked up an omoplata, followed Vicky’s roll to defend the position, and finished the shoulder lock 4:24 into the match. Mayssa scored 22 points prior to the finish.
Her semi-final match was against European Champion Serena Gabrielli. Mayssa put her top game on display, using her guard to quickly sweep and put pressure on Serena from top. A couple guard passes, mount, and knee on belly led to a 14-0 lead and a rear naked choke finish as Gabrielli turned her back to relieve some of Mayssa’s signature pressure. The two submission victories put Mayssa in the final against Brenda Larissa of Fight Sports, a match she won on points over the Brazilian National Champion.
Andressa Cintra - 2 submissions in 3 matches (67%)
Gracie Barra’s Andressa Cintra won her first World title in 2019 and followed that up with another gold medal in 2021. This year she went for her third straight title in a tough middleweight division. Her first match of the tournament was against Kira Sung. Andressa pulled guard and hit a well timed lumberjack sweep to take a 6-0 lead. Kira turned her back to relieve the mount pressure and Andressa secured the back and another four points. She maintained the back position for several minutes before securing a bow n’ arrow choke 5:25 into the match with the score at 10-0 in her favor.
The semi-final was against Chloe McNally of Unity Jiu-Jitsu in a rematch of the 2022 Brazilian Nationals final. At Brazilian Nationals, Andressa won a close match via points. This time, however, she went on the attack immediately, locking in a tight straight ankle lock that got her the submission 26 seconds into the match. Andressa would move on to the final against Thalyta Lima, a close match she would win via referee’s decision.
Ana Rodrigues - 2 subs in 3 fights (67%)
Dream Art’s Ana Rodrigues started 2022 off with a bang, going up to the featherweight division and winning gold at the European and Pan Championships. Although she was finding plenty of success in her new weight class, Ana decided to drop back down to light-feather for the 2022 Worlds. She won the light-feather division at the 2021 Worlds and was aiming for her second straight World title. Her first round match was against Sophia Amarante. Sophia pulled guard and Ana put her top game on display, using pressure to force Sophia to turtle position. Ana secured the back and the four points but Sophia escaped and got on top. Ana swept and took the back again, this time taking full advantage of the position and securing a match ending bow n’ arrow choke.
Rose-Marie El Sharouni of CheckMat was Ana’s semi-final opponent. Ana controlled the pace of the match, sweeping and mounting Rose-Marie before finishing her with an armbar just a couple seconds before the time expired. Her final was a rematch of the 2021 Worlds final against Tammi Musumeci. Both matches were close with Ana coming away with 4-2 victories in both matches.
Ffion Davies - 2 submissions in 3 fights (67%)
British/Welsh competitor Ffion Davies won her first World title in 2022. Despite winning gold at Europeans and Brazilian Nationals in prior years, she had yet to win gold at the Worlds. 2022 was her year, however, starting the tournament off with a submission victory over Kristen Mikkelson of Brazil 021. Ffion’s pressure from the top position forced Kristen to expose her back. Ffion quickly capitalized, setting her hooks and scoring four points before submitting Kristen with a rear naked choke.
She faced 2022 Brazilian National silver medalist Vitoria Vieira in her next match. Ffion showcased more of her guard in the match, sweeping straight to mount just over two minutes in. She maintained the mount position for most of the match until Vitoria turned away, exposing her back. Ffion capitalized with a bow n’ arrow submission just over halfway through the contest. She’d go on to fight Janaina Maia of Gracie Humaita in the final, coming away with a 2-0 victory and her first World title.
Tainan Dalpra - 2 subs in 4 fights (50%)
The new generation of young jiu-jitsu black belts are taking the competition scene by storm, and one of the best representatives of this movement is AOJ’s Tainan Dalpra. Since receiving his black belt in late 2020, Tainan is undefeated in IBJJF competition. He won his first World title in December 2021 and was on a mission to get his second this year. His first match of the event was against Caio Caetano. Tainan pulled guard, swept, and then dove to a leg drag from the top position. The leg drag led to a back attack, where Tainan finished with a bow n’ arrow two minutes and nine seconds into the match.
Wins in his subsequent matches against Pedro Maia and Ronaldo Junior put Tainan in the middleweight final. His opponent would be Andy Murasaki of Atos Jiu-Jitsu, who had beaten Austin Oranday, Manuel Ribamar, Leo Lara, and Tommy Langaker to get to the final. The match started with a big takedown from Murasaki to give him a 2-0 lead. Tainan, however, was able to sweep and pass the guard shortly thereafter. He began to feed his lapel across the neck from side control and continued to adjust the position until getting the tap 5:18 into the match. It was Tainan’s second World title in as many attempts.
Isaac Doederlein - 2 submissions in 4 matches (50%)
Alliance’s Isaac Doederlein made his first attempt at a black belt World title in 2016, and although he would hit the podium in 2016 and 2019, he had never made it to the top spot. He opened up his 2022 Worlds campaign against Israel Almeida of GF Team. Isaac used one of his most dangerous techniques, the straight footlock, to get the submission just under two minutes into the match. A close win via advantages over Nova Union’s Alex Sodre put Isaac into the semi-finals.
Sam Nagai of CheckMat was on a tear heading into his semi-final match against Isaac. He’d won three matches, including wins over the always tough Gabriel Sousa and 2021 World Champion Fabricio Andrey. He had beaten Isaac at the 2020 Pans and was looking to advance to his first Worlds final as a black belt. Isaac, however, had different plans and again used his straight footlock to great effect. Sam scored a sweep early in the match and it wasn’t until about six minutes in that the tide turned in Isaac’s favor. He locked up Sam’s foot and lifted his hips off the mat to apply more pressure until he got the tap. The win put Isaac in the final against Diego Sodre in a rematch of the 2022 European featherweight final. This time it was Isaac who came out on top, scoring a sweep late in the match to claim gold.