Some of the best BJJ athletes in the world will take to the mats this weekend and when the dust settles the 2019 European Champions will be decided. Before the action starts, we took a shot at making some predictions. Check out which competitors we think will climb to the top of the podium this weekend.
BLACK / Adult / Male / Rooster
Final: Tomoyuki Hashimoto vs Koji Shibamoto
Winner: Tomoyuki Hashimoto
These two elite Japanese athletes have met many times before, often an advantage settling the outcome. We gave the nod to Hashimoto but, this one could go either way. The spoiler here is Carlos da Silva, Shibamoto will need to get past Silva in the opening round to make this rematch happen.
BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather
Final: Hiago George vs João Miyao
Teammates representing Cicero Costha closed this division out last year, we will see the same thing happening this year. Silva has super tough Yuta Shimada on his side of the bracket. Miyao will have to beat the winner of Cleber de Sousa Fernandes vs Kennedy Maciel in the Semifinal to make the finals. Maciel has been on a tear since getting his black belt but, has a tough road to the final.
BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather
Final: Paulo Miyao vs Isaac Doederlein
Winner: Paulo Miyao
Marcio Andre dueled Gianni Grippo in the final of Featherweight last year, Andre is out this year and Grippo has moved up to lightweight. That is good news for Doederlein who took 3rd last year but, Miyao is back and in top form. Miyao takes this one.
BLACK / Adult / Male / Light
Final: Lucas Lepri vs Gianni Paul Grippo
Michael Langhi was the winner last year but, did not enter this year. Expect his longtime training partner, friend and 5x world champion to take care of business. Lucas Lepri is one of the best ever and technically sound from every position. Masahiro Iwasaki should meet him in a close match in the semifinal but, Lepri will be in the finals.
On the other side of the bracket, things are harder to predict. Yan Paiva is world medalist and explosive athlete who knows how to submit his opposition. Levi Jones-Leary is a newcomer to black belt who has all the tools to make a run this year. We went with Marcelo Garcia Blackbelt Gianni Grippo to be the man to face Lepri in the final. Grippo has fought everyone and anyone since getting his black belt five years ago. He moves up in weight for this one but, seems to always make the podium. Both Lepri and Grippo represent Alliance so, we projected a closeout in the final.
BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle
Final: Isaque Bahiense vs Tommy Langaker
Winner: Tommy Langaker
In the toughest division of the tournament, deep with young black belts winning everything and veterans of the European BJJ scene. We are going with round 2 of Bahiense and Langaker. These two met in the finals of the 2018 World Championship with Bahiense getting the W. Both of these guys have the stuff to navigate a tough bracket at the start of their sophomore year of the black belt level. We are going with Langaker on home turf with the crowd behind him. Could we see round 3 this year again at Worlds?
BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium-Heavy
Final: Lucas Barbosa vs Horlando Monteiro
Winner: Lucas Barbosa
We project Monteiro falling one match short of making it back to back. Tough match to call keeping in mind how great he looked in his run last year to gold. He will have a tough match in the semifinal (winner of Rudson Mateus vs Claudio Calasans). Barbosa has looked like a man on a mission every since capturing the 2018 World Championship gold. He gets the job done this weekend.
BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy
Final: Adam Wardzinski vs Kaynan Duarte
Winner: Kaynan Duarte
An Andre Galvao black belt and total savage on the mat. Duarte has looked stellar at black belt so far, making the difficult jump from brown belt look easy. He holds a win over the polish ace already and will get the job down again this year. He could face Jackson Sousa in the Semifinal. Duarte will have to play this match smart, Sousa has the experience and talent to put the breaks on Duarte’s drive to the top of the podium.
BLACK / Adult / Male / Super-Heavy
Final: Helton Junior vs Arya Esfandmaz
Winner: Arya Esfandmaz
Both guys took second place last year (Junior at Heavyweight). Esdandmaz pulls out the win in front of home crowd.
BLACK / Adult / Male / Ultra-Heavy
Final: Victor Honório vs Otavio Nalati
Winner: Victor Honório
Honório walks away with the gold medal. This one will be close early but, the explosive movements of Honório will wear down Nalati and be the deciding factor.