The IBJJF Pan Championship 2023 is scheduled to take place from March 22nd to 26th, and the full competitor list is now locked in and available to preview. The week will start with the coloured belt athletes and while there will be plenty of exciting young talent at the green belt and juvenile blue belt levels, most of the attention will focus on the end of the week. That’s when the next generation of top competitor will be competing in the brown belt divisions, followed by the main attraction of the adult black belt athletes battling it out to be crowned the 2023 IBJJF Pan Champion.
IBJJF Pan Championship 2023 Preview
This is going to be a very tightly-contested division and even more so because the reigning Pan champion Carlos ‘Bebeto’ Oliveira is absent. Art of Jiu-Jitsu have a good chance of coming away with the gold medal here as both Thalison Soares and Hiryu Niwa will be competing, but they have plenty of tough opposition from the likes of Estevan Martinez and Jonas Andrade.
Meyram Maquine is the reigning champion here and he’s more than capable of defending his title after a fine run of form recently. It won’t be easy at all though, as his division also includes top contender Diego ‘Pato’ Oliveira and ADCC world champion Diogo Reis. These three men are the most likely winners, but there’s a ton of talent in the division and plenty of them are capable of providing the upset.
Alex Sodre is the reigning champion here, but here Fabricio Andrey has been looking fantastic over the last year or two. It’s likely one of these two men wins the featherweight division, but both Samuel Nagai and Marcio Andre could easily see themselves standing on top of the podium instead.
Johnatha Alves won the last Pan Championship but Andy Murasaki is coming into the event on a high after becoming the IBJJF European Champion at the beginning of the 2023. There’s a lot of exciting young talent in this division but realistically, the winner is probably going to be one of these two men.
This is a surprisingly small division this year with only 13 men signed up to compete, but it really doesn’t matter who turns up at middleweight because there’s one man who stands out as the favourite no matter what. With Tainan Dalpra in the division, there’s nobody that could be picked over him.
This is the biggest adult black belt division of the event, with 31 competitors signed up. With so many athletes entering here, the division will be incredibly unpredictable. Sebastian Rodriguez is the champion from 2022 and Elder Cruz will be tough to beat, but this division really could be anyone’s.
Despite being one of the smaller divisions, heavyweight is stacked with top talent like Devhonte Johnson, Adam Wardzinski, and Roberto Jimenez. There’s quite a few grapplers who could leave here with a gold medal, but Alliance Jiu-Jitsu are the team with the highest chance as they have both Fellipe Andrew and Dimitrius Souza representing them.
Erich Munis prepared very well for the IBJJF Pan Championship 2023 and he’s coming into this division straight off the back of an impressive performance at the Curitiba Open just a few weeks before. While the reigning super-heavyweight champion isn’t competing, Munis is last year’s absolute champion and it’ll be tough for anyone to stop him from claiming gold here.
Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu has been suspended from IBJJF competition as a result of a failed PEDs test, so this division is also without a returning champion. Nicholas Meregali is making his first appearance at the event and it’ll be a big ask to stop him from taking gold, although Roosevelt Sousa may just be able to do so.
Jessa Khan is one of the most impressive young female grapplers in recent memory and she’s moving down in weight after winning gold at light-featherweight last year. She’s the clear favourite to win the division, but Brenda Larissa will be doing everything she can to take her place at the top of the podium.
While Khan has left the division, last year’s roosterweight champion Mayssa Bastos is moving up to take her place. While Amanda ‘Tubby Alequin and Thamires Aquino are probably going to stand on the podium somewhere, Bastos is almost certainly going to be taking the top spot.
There’s some great grapplers here like Alexa Yanes, Margot Ciccarelli, and Patricia Fontes to name just a few. The featherweight division is bound to produce some exciting results, but it’s hard to see any of these women stopping Anna Rodrigues from defending her title.
Ffion Davies has been one of the top female competitors for a few years now but her performance at ADCC 2022 showed that she had stepped it up to a whole new level. Luiza Monteiro is also competing in the division though, and either of these two women could end up taking home the gold medal here.
Elisabeth Clay is coming into the middleweight division fresh off one of the best performances of her career at Polaris 23, but she’s also historically done better in no gi tournaments. Thamara Ferreira is the reigning champion here, so it’ll be interesting to see what the recent move to train under Caio Terra has done for her and if she can retain her title with Clay in her current form.
Melissa Stricker Cueto is moving down from the heavyweight division where she won gold last year, while Maria Malyjasiak will be looking to retain her title. These two are the most likely final match unless they meet earlier in the bracket, but either way one of them is probably going to win the division.
It’s tough to pick a clear winner in the heavyweight division but Ingridd Alves and Amanda Magda both stand out as potential winners. This is another unpredictable division, but the most likely outcome is that one of these two women takes home the gold.
There’s only three women competing in this division and it’s easy to pick the most likely winner. Gabrielli Pessanha was unstoppable throughout the entirety of 2022 and that form led to her winning ‘Female Grappler of the Year (gi)’ at the JitsMagazine BJJ awards. It’s hard to see any of the other women stopping her from winning the IBJJF Pan Championship 2023.