Monday, June 5, 2017

IBJJF Worlds 2017 Aftermath & Reflections

This is by no means exhaustive, but it covers most of that which I'm aware and the names which I follow with some or considerable consistency throughout the year.

Odds and Ends: tossing a belt onto the competition mat felt tacky and honestly, if some school from the middle of nowhere did this, it would be getting more than just a side eye. The favortism and nepotism and conflict of interest that plagues the sport will have to be addressed eventually. Social media is an open forum and with video now from various angles and access to footage, it's no longer a matter of he said/he said, but rather, examples of behavior tolerated by some and punished by others.

Steroids. I feel like when I was a kid watching baseball and the homerun derby and records being obliterated. We have whole divisions competing which are not tested at all (brown and purple belts I'm looking at you) and the adult divisions, are only tested (well, have the possibility of being tested) on a date known to them nearly a year-ish in advance. As a still largely unpaid sport, it is what it is, but the kinds of feats being seen with guys fighting 11 times in 1-2 days against world class competition and looking literally like cartoon characters when their Gi tops come just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As athletes want to be paid like professionals, and if Jiu-Jitsu with its origins of a weaker man blah blah and technique conquers all blah blah, they'll have to accept out of competition testing.
I'd be curious if you showed up to random high level schools throughout the year and offered out of competition testing to prove they were clean how few well known names would sign up. 

On to the results!

Buchecha beat Erberth by 2 pts and Erberth continues to drive the margin narrower and narrower between him and the the guy who is undeniably the greatest of all time/currently competing that is Buchecha. It remains to be seen if Buchecha moves to MMA sooner rather than later and when Erberth fills the void or if he gets another crack at Buchecha next year. This coming year if Erberth keeps up his competition pace, it will be something as he's beaten or finished a ton of guys within Brazil and abroad having competed in almost everything worth doing this past year. 

Middle: Arges had his day which I had a feeling was coming after the steam he'd been picking up all year. His game is different and he feels comfortable in places other guys don't seem to have as many answers for. Tinoco was the real moral victor in this bracket as he advanced all the way to the final  and took out very game competition along the way. Magid Hage and Oliver Geddes both went out first round, 

Light: Lepri repeated and defended his world tittle. Satoshi got past Langhi which in and of itself is an accomplishment (Lepri didn't have his guard passed in 3 years at one point at black belt). Lepri had some close calls in the earlier rounds but added another tittle to his resume. Brunovskis lost first round and Vinicius moved past Sinistro to then lose to Jhonny Souza of Alliance. It was definitely a day of some interesting upsets and surprises. Mackenzie is another guy who acquitted himself quite well and will definitely be one to watch in the coming year. 

Light Feather: Musumeci beat Joao for the 5th time, becoming only the third (or is it 4th? Are we counting Drysdale?) American to win black belt worlds, and the bracket played out about how I expected. Joao beat Moraes, but Doederline lost to Musumeci, who then beat Ary (technically now reigning world champion due to the PED test for Paulo) and against Joao, Musumeci had the momentum on his side from having beaten Joao several times before. 

Feather: I didn't forsee Saggioro beating Marcio Andre, which blew my bracket. I also expected Moizinho to beat Gianni but that didn't happen and Cobrinha added another title to his resume. The bracket promises a lot of high level showdowns over the next few years. Hard to believe Cobrinha is 37 and still able to hang with the young guys. 

Rooster: Malfacine beat Caio again and the bracket played out about how I expected. 

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