There’s been a change in the lineup for the men’s lightweight division at the upcoming IBJJF Grand Prix on March 3rd, 2023 as Samuel Nagai steps in to replace Matheus Gabriel. Nagai has actually spent the majority of his competitive career at featherweight, although he has entered a few tournaments at lightweight on occasion. He might have only spent a few years competing at black belt, but Nagai has already managed to win a bronze medal at the IBJJF world championship.
Nagai has already managed to defeat a number of top-tier competitors like Fabricio Andrey, Gianni Grippo, and Gabriel Sousa since being promoted to black belt, and he is a fantastic representative for Checkmat at the Grand Prix event. He has only been submitted twice in competition in dozens of matches and it’s going to be tough for any of his opponents in the tournament to defeat him even if they might have a size advantage. Samuel Nagai wins the majority of his matches by submission as well, so he’s a fantastic addition to the IBJJF Grand Prix as he’ll no doubt provide plenty of excitement once he hits the mats.
It’s no easier to predict a winner than it was before Gabriel was replaced with Nagai, as all four men competing in the men’s lightweight division are truly elite gi competitors. Nagai will have to contend with the reigning IBJJF no gi world champion Andy Murasaki, three-time IBJJF pan champion Johnatha Alves, and brown belt IBJJF world champion Carlos Henrique. There’s plenty more action set for the event as well, with another tournament set for the women’s heavyweight division and several superfights in between.
The news that Samuel Nagai was stepping in to replace Matheus Gabriel in the IBJJF Grand Prix on March 3rd, 2023 was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: