The IBJJF Pan Championship is set for March 22nd to 26th, 2023, and the schedule and brackets for the prestigious tournament have just been released. The competitor list has been available for quite some time, but now that the brackets have been confirmed it’s significantly easier to predict who might be left standing on the podium at the end of the week. There are a number of interesting matches that fans are guaranteed to see in the opening round, while others may yet take place in the medal rounds depending on who makes it through to them.
There’s a lot of talent in the men’s light-featherweight division but because it’s got so many entrants, they’re mostly well spread out. The only exception being Keven Carrasco and Pedro Dias, who will be meeting in the first round. The next time two big names will meet in the opening round of the men’s divisions is all the way up at medium-heavyweight, where Elder Cruz and the reigning champion Sebastian Rodriguez clash immediately. Another top competitor in the division, Matheus Spirandeli, meets top prospect Uanderson Ferreira in the opening round as well.
Then there’s a fantastic matchup in the heavyweight division, as Roberto Jimenez and Adam Wardzinski will no doubt put on a show. There’s a few fun matches in the first round at super-heavyweight too, with Yan Paiva meeting Ricardo Evangelista in a match that determines who faces one of the top contenders. Waiting for the winner there is Guilherme Augusto, who received a bye. On the other side of the bracket, fellow popular choice Roosevelt Sousa will be facing Renato Tagliari in another tough match.
There’s two great matches guaranteed in the women’s light-featherweight division, as four of the top contenders for gold there will meet in the first round. Alexa Yanes takes on Margot Ciccarelli on one side of the bracket, while Sophia Dalpra faces Patricia Fontes on the other side. Other female divisions are not so spread out though, as one half of the middleweight division is stacked. Elisabeth Clay will meet Raquel Canuto in the opening round, with reigning champion Thamara Ferreira waiting for whoever wins after getting a bye into the semi-final.
There’s an excellent match right at the start of the medium-heavyweight division that really wouldn’t have looked out of place as the final, with Melissa Stricker and ADCC world champion Amy Campo facing off against one another. Outside of those matches, most of the biggest names in the women’s divisions at the IBJJF Pan Championship 2023 aren’t going to meet each other until much later in their respective brackets. This isn’t an exhaustive list of the opening round matches that are sure to deliver excitement though, as there are simply too many to count.