The Crown is scheduled for November 19th, 2023 and the IBJJF have just announced the full lineup for the featherweight division of their brand new event. The promotion promised some big things when they first announced the tournament earlier this year, and the reveal of the first tournament bracket shows that they’re intent on fulfilling that promise. This is just one of the event’s lineups as there will be four men’s divisions and two women’s divisions, meaning that a total of 24 elite grapplers will be making the journey to The Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California to put on a show for the fans.
The IBJJF has done a fantastic job of matchmaking for the featherweight division of The Crown, as the last three IBJJF World Championship winners in that weight class are all competing. Alongside them, two-time and current light-featherweight world champion Diego ‘Pato’ Oliveira will be stepping up in weight to challenge himself against the best that the featherweight division has to offer. Samuel Nagai is the reigning featherweight champion after winning his first title in 2023 and he’ll be putting his status as the top competitor in his division on the line at The Crown.
The other two challengers are Isaac Doederlein and Fabricio Andrey, both of whom occupied the third spot on the podium last year after standing on top of it in the past. Doederlein was the most recent champion before Nagai, as the American managed to win the division back in 2022 when Nagai earned a bronze medal. Andrey might have gone the longest time since winning an IBJJF World Championship, but his victory wasn’t that long ago either. He won gold at featherweight in 2021 and with him completing The Crown’s featherweight division, it means that this event will be attempting to answer who the current best gi grappler in that weight class is.