The IBJJF has scheduled The Crown for November 19th, 2023 and we’ve put together a preview of all six of the incredible divisions that have been booked for the event. There are four entrants into each of the divisions and the promotion has managed to attract some of the best competitors on the planet for each bracket. There are both current and former IBJJF World Championship winners in each division and there are bound to be a number of exciting moments on the mats. With that much talent packed into relatively small divisions, it means that even the opening round matchups will be tough, high-level battles.
IBJJF: The Crown Full Preview
By the time that The Crown has come to an end, several grapplers will have made convincing cases for them being the best gi competitor in their weight class. Although they will only have to win two matches in order to win the title and the $15,000 of prize money available in each division, both of their opponents will be among the best there is. This means that each division at The Crown is difficult to predict in this preview, but we’re going to attempt to pick out the favorites for each one.
Men’s Featherweight Division
Diego ‘Pato’ Oliveira is coming in as the lightest person in this division as he would normally be competing at light-featherweight, while the rest of the lineup are all world champions at featherweight. His first opponent is Samuel Nagai and as the reigning world champion, Nagai should be able to win this match and make it into the final. The other side of the bracket will see Fabricio Andrey take on Isaac Doederlein in the first round and this will be a very tough match to call, although we have to give the slightest edge to Andrey. Nagai has had three close matches with Andrey and is leading the series 2-1, but we’re picking Andrey to win this time around and win the division as a result.
Men’s Middleweight Division
The middleweight division might be stacked with top talent, but it’s actually the easiest to predict out of the men’s divisions at The Crown. The clear favorite at middleweight is Tainan Dalpra, as the only two men to beat him in black belt competition are not in the bracket. He has an opening round match against Pedro Maia and because he’s beaten him convincingly three times before, he should be able to do the same again. The other side of the bracket is Andy Murasaki v Mauricio Oliveira and Murasaki is the favorite there, leading to Dalpra v Murasaki as the most likely final. It’ll no doubt be a tough match, but Dalpra should be able to win that too.
Men’s Heavyweight Division
The men’s heavyweight division at The Crown has some of the best IBJJF competitors at that weight, so it’s tough to break it down in this preview. Although his opening round match against Francisco Lo won’t be easy, Fellipe Andrew should be able to win it. Gustavo Batista and Uanderson Ferreira will be meeting in the other opening round match and although we’re pick Ferreira as the winner, it’s unlikely that either one of them could stop Andrew from winning the division.
Men’s Ultra-heavyweight Division
Erich Munis stands out as the early favorite in the ultra-heavyweight division despite how stacked it is, although his first match against Roosevelt Sousa won’t be easy. The other opening round battle will feature a pair of veteran grapplers and it’s tough to predict who will come out on top when Victor Honorio and Joao Gabriel Rocha meet on the mats. Honorio has been almost perfect since returning to competition earlier this year so we’re picking him to get the win over Rocha, but Munis should still win regardless.
Women’s Lightweight Division
The lightest women’s division available at The Crown features some of the best female IBJJF competitors there are, and it’s tough to predict who will in this preview. The first match will see Brianna Ste-Marie coming up against Luiza Monteiro and the two women have already split wins in two matches earlier this year. Monteiro is an incredibly talented veteran but Ste-Marie should come out on top here, setting up a final against either Janaina Lebre or Nathalie Ribeiro. These two also have history and are 2-2 across their matches, but we’re going with Ribeiro to win this before coming in second to Ste-Marie in the final.
Women’s Super-heavyweight Division
The super-heavyweight division at The Crown is impressive but is also the easiest women’s bracket to predict for this preview, because it includes one of the most dominant forces in IBJJF competition right now. it’s impossible to ever pick against Gabrieli Pessanha, even if she does have a tough opening round match with Amy Campo. Waiting for Pessanha in the final will be the winner of Tayane Porfirio v Melissa Stricker, and our money is on Porfirio in that match. That sets up an interesting rematch, as Porfirio is one of the only three women to beat Pessanha but Pessanha has already gotten revenge twice and she should improve to 3-1 here.
The IBJJF: The Crown full event, including all of the divisions in the above preview, will be available to watch live on November 19th, 2023 on FloGrappling, click here to subscribe and watch.