By default, the IBJJF Masters World Championships became the final major event of the BJJ calendar for 2020. This was due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the fact that it forced the cancellation of both the gi and no gi edition of the Adult World Championships. As such, there was a lot more attention on the older grapplers than there would be in normal years, especially considering that the last taste of high-level IBJJF competition that fans would’ve had, would be the no gi Pan-Ams almost a month ago.
As is always the case with IBJJF tournaments, the World Masters Championships started several days ago and the colored belt divisions wrapped up before the black belt divisions had started to reach their final stages. The final of the absolute division saw two legends of competitive BJJ meet on the mats as Gregor Gracie and Rafael Lovato Jr faced off against each other. Gregor Gracie emerged victorious in the end and added to his fantastic year, after he’d already won gold in both his weight and the absolute division at the Pan-Ams earlier.
The match proved slightly less exciting than the last time we saw Lovato Jr compete in the gi, when he and Dimitrius Souza put on a firework display at BJJ Stars 4. This time, he was a little more cautious in his opening and both he and Gracie were fighting for grips for the first few minutes, which led to both men being penalized for stalling. Lovato Jr eventually pulled guard and forced the action, but Gracie stayed on top and stayed active enough to earn a decision victory by advantages as neither man was able to put points on the board during their match.
As always, Rafael Lovato Jr was gracious in defeat and gave full credit to his opponent in a comment on the IBJJF’s official Instagram post announcing Gregor Gracie’s victory.