Steffen Banta has just stepped in on short notice to replace Joao Gabriel Rocha at the upcoming IBJJF Absolute Grand Prix 2023 on September 1st, 2023. Even though he’s just had a few days to properly prepare for the tournament, Banta has actually been hard at work over the past few weeks anyway. Rocha is actually Banta’s coach and he has been helping him prepare for the IBJJF Grand Prix anyway, so he’s coming into the event in top form regardless of the fact that he’s only had a few day’s notice.
This will be the biggest opportunity of Banta’s career so far, and not just because of the $40,000 grand prize up for grabs in the tournament. Banta has been competing at black belt for less than a year, being promoted by Rocha shortly after he was victorious at the IBJJF no gi World Championship at brown belt. He won both the super-heavyweight and the absolute division at the event, defeating ADCC veteran Luke Griffith in the final of the absolute division.
He’s already competed at black belt on the IBJJF Open circuit and found plenty of success in no gi competition, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares at the IBJJF Grand Prix. Not only is this a gi tournament but it also happens to feature 7 of the best competitors on the planet, including none other than Nicholas Meregali. Steffen Banta will undoubtedly be one of the underdogs competing at the IBJJF Absolute Grand Prix 2023 and he’ll have incredibly tough matches at every stage of the tournament. Regardless, Banta has been one to watch for quite some time and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares against the competition on offer.
The IBJJF announced the news that Steffen Banta was stepping in to replace Joao Gabriel Rocha on short notice at the IBJJF Absolute Grand Prix 2023 in a recent post to their official Instagram account: