The IBJJF World Championship is always the biggest gi competition on the planet, and here in this preview we’ll break down why the 2023 edition is no exception. It always attracts some of the best competitors from all across the world to try and prove themselves against the toughest opposition imaginable, and every single division is stacked with talent. The tournament is set to take place across June 1st to 4th, 2023 and the final day will see the exciting conclusion of each weight class, along with the absolute division.
IBJJF World Championship 2023 Preview
This division’s winner back at the IBJJF World Championship last year has returned to defend his crown, but he is only one of a few potential winners in this preview. That man is Thalison Soares, and he has some stiff opposition in the division from both Zayed Alkatheeri and Lucas Pinheiro to name just two of the tough competitors at roosterweight.
The entire podium from last year is returning and the thought of all four of these men meeting once again is incredibly exciting. Although Meyram Maquine emerged victorious then, Diogo Reis won the ADCC world championship that year and Diego ‘Pato’ Oliveira won the IBJJF world championship a year earlier. Along with Hiago George, any of these men could walk away with the win here.
Isaac Doederlein hit his stride back at last year’s world championship, as he went on to win the IBJJF Brazilian National Championship earlier this year as well and his been on a great run since then. It’s going to be hard for him to repeat that though, as he will have to get through the deadly trio of Samuel Nagai, Fabricio Andrey, and his old foe Alex Sodre.
There’s no reigning champion in this division after Mica Galvao was stripped of his title last year and suspended, and Lucas Valente is the only man standing on the podium last year who’s returning here. The lightweight division is wide open as a result, and it seems like the timing might be perfect for JT Torres to storm through and win the title that has eluded him throughout his career.
Tainan Dalpra is the reigning king of the middleweight division and it’s usually impossible to bet against him, but this year is undoubtedly the toughest the division has ever been for him. That’s because last year’s lightweight champion by default, Tye Ruotolo, has moved up in weight to challenge him. There’s other tough opponents in the division as well, but the most likely winner here will be one of these two.
Medium-Heavyweight is another division in this preview that could end up going any way at the IBJJF World Championship 2023. There’s no returning champion here after the tragic murder of Leandro Lo, but last year’s silver medallist, Isaque Bahiense, is going to be competing. Bahiense should be the favourite on paper but Francisco Lo has been on fire lately, and he looks like he’s going to ride that wave of success to glory here.
Kaynan Duarte has been the heavyweight king for a while, but he’s moved up in weight this year and his absence can be felt in the division. With no clear favourite present, this could be the year that any number of top competitors like Rider Zuchi, Adam Wardzinski, or Roberto Jimenez finally win the world’s most prestigious gi tournament.
With Kaynan Duarte competing at super-heavyweight this year, he’s instantly one of the favourites to take home the gold medal. He won’t have it easy though, as Erich Munis is the returning champion and he’ll be incredibly hard to stop. There are plenty of other great competitors in the division that could be mentioned in a preview, but these two stand out as the most likely winners at the IBJJF World Championship 2023.
Victor Hugo has won the ultra-heavyweight division at the IBJJF World Championship for the last two years in a row and he’s the clear favourite to repeat that feat in this preview for the 2023 edition. It isn’t going to be easy for him at all, but he should be able to make it three in a row here.
Mayssa Bastos has won the roosterweight division at the IBJJF World Championship for three straight years now and 2023 is her opportunity to win more titles than anyone else in the weight class, so she stands out as the firm favourite in this preview. She has lost to Brenda Larissa in the past though, so it’s not impossible that Larissa manages to upset the balance this year.
There’s a ton of talent in the women’s light-featherweight division and without a reigning champion present, it’s wide open for any one of them to make a name for themselves. This could be the moment that Jessa Khan or Rose El Sharouni reach the top of the mountain, or any of the 16 other competitors could emerge victorious too.
Ana Rodrigues is moving up in weight from light-featherweight and Bianca Basilio is returning, so there are two gold medallists from 2022 in this division. There’s a few other medallists from previous years who could cause an upset too, but these two women are the most likely winners.
The champion from this division at the IBJJF World Championship 2022 was Ffion Davies, and she’s coming back again as one of the top contenders in this preview to win in 2023. It won’t be easy for her and it’s not unreasonable to think that someone like Brianna Ste-Marie or Janaina Lebre could case an upset at lightweight.
Andressa Cintra has won the middleweight division for two years in a row now, and medium-heavyweight the year before that. With Elisabeth Clay, Thamara Ferreira, and Thalyta Silva all in the same division though, anything could happen before Cintra is able to stand on the podium.
Ana Vieira is not used to doing anything but winning at this tournament, and she has five consecutive gold medals to prove it. Amy Campo represents the biggest threat to Vieira’s reign in this preview for the IBJJF World Championship 2023 and if she can’t stop her from winning again, then it’s unlikely that anybody can.
The women’s heavyweight division is notoriously unpredictable and different competitors win it almost ever year. What that does mean though, is that there are three women here who have all won this division at some point in the last three years. Whether its Nathiely de Jesus, Melissa Stricker, or Larissa Dias, the most likely outcome is that a former champion wins again this year.
Gabrieli Pessanha is the undisputed queen of both the super-heavyweight division and the absolute division, as she’s been dominating the competition for what feels like forever already. There’s no way anyone could pick anyone over her for a preview of the IBJJF World Championship 2023.