It's January and of course that means the start of the Gi season for the IBJJF, and the first of the IBJJF Majors; the IBJJF European Open.
The European Championships always has some of the best competitors throughout the belts travel from all corners of the globe to compete for the title of European Champion! Here at Fighters Market Europe we chose our top 5 European prospects to watch out for in the Purple belt divisions.
Faris Ben Lamkadem – Middleweight – Roger Gracie Academy.
A multiple major medallist at Blue belt, winning medals at the Europeans and UAEJJF world pro, Faris has continued his winning ways at Purple belt, winning Double Gold Medals at IBJJF Opens throughout Europe, even competing in NoGi and winning the IBJJF NoGi Europeans.
He will be looking to complete a double of European titles and win the Gi version this January in the stacked purplebelt middleweight division this is no easy task!
Mohamed Balliot – Middleweight – Mako Team
A rising star from France, Mohamed is a tall and rangy middleweight who competes at an extremely high pace.
A Silver medallist at the IBJJF Pan Ams at blue belt, he also recently took Gold in his weight class at the IBJJF Paris Open at Purple belt in an extremely impressive performance!
Kjetil Lydvo – Ultra Heavyweight – Frontline Academy
Kjetil enters this year’s European Championships as the reigning champion of this exact division and will be looking to retain his title.
He also medalled at the World Championships in 2019 taking bronze. Kjetil would be a safe bet winning his weight and class and also the absolute title!
Richard Raul Bukovscan – Featherweight – ECJJA
Kingz Athlete Richard Bukovscan will be looking to start of his year with a bang and add to his NoGi European bronze with a medal at the IBJJF Europeans 2020.
Richy has medalled at the Europeans at blue belt taking bronze and will be looking to go even further with a Gold Medal to start off 2020 in the 50+ deep featherweight division!
Shay Montague – Roosterweight – ECJJA
Like Faris, Shay is another UK athlete dominating his division throughout Europe in all the IBJJF Opens, including taking Gold at the IBJJF European NoGi Championships!
With his extremely tricky guard and berimbolo game, he is one of our favourites for the Purple belt podium at Rooster!