2011 IBJJF Pan Jiu Jistu Championship Preview

2010 Pan Am Championships Brown Belt match by aliciaphotos.com via www.ibjjf.org

> > > Click here for Saturday's LIVE Coverage

Update: UFC Lightweight Cole Miller will be taking part in the men's Brown Belt division, Sunday from 1:15pm PT / 4:15pm ET.

North America's biggest Gi Jiu Jitsu tournament is currently taking place in Irvine, California at the UCI Bren Event Center where Sport Jiu Jitsu players from all over the world are competing. The tournament began on Thursday where the White and Blue Belts took part, while Friday hosted the Blue and Purple belt divisions.

The tournament - often referred to as the Pan Ams - does not require success in trials to qualify and enter, but a registration and entry fee made no later than the 16th of March for this year.

Saturday and Sunday's match ups featuring Brown and Black belt competitors will be covered here at Bloody Elbow by myself and BE poster Patrick Tenney aka AboveThisFire.

The official live video stream of Saturday's action will be available for free at www.budovideos.com while Sunday's stream will be Pay Per View for $9.95. Both days start a 9am PT / 12pm ET / 4pm GMT.

After the jump, a quick explanation of the weight classes, who the IBJJF are and my picks on who to look out for.

What is the IBBJF? The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation is a governing body that oversees some of BJJ's major Gi tournaments and was founded by Master Carlos Gracie Jr as an attempt to officially represent BJJ around the world. Tournaments include the Pan American Championship, the European Championship, Brazilian National Championship, Asian Open Championship and the World Championship (aka The Mundials, Gi Jiu Jitsu's most prestigious tournament). They also host the No Gi Worlds but are not the only BJJ federation to hold Gi and No Gi tournaments though they are recognised as the biggest for Gi. The Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) also runs their own Gi tournament but is largely considered the most prestigious for No Gi Submission Grappling.

Weight classes in IBJJF competition can get a little confusing as they're in Portuguese, include weight of the Gi and differ between Men, Women, Male Juveniles and Female Juveniles, but here's a quick breakdown of what the men's classes are:



Weight (lbs)






















Super Pesado

Super Heavyweight



Ultra Heavyweight

No Maximum Weight


Open Class

Free (Any)


For the weight classes for Women, Juvenile Males and Juvenile Females you can visit the IBJJF's official weight table here (PDF).

Patrick Tenney's Top Tournament Picks

Galo - Felipe Costa, Rafael De Freitas. (Look for this to be the final)

Pluma - Bruno Malfacine, Caio Terra (Look for this to be the final), Sonny Nohara is a huge underdog pick but will definitely put on a show.

Pena - Rafael Mendes, Gui Mendes, Bruno Frazzato, Eduardo Ramos, Ryan Hall (Rafa and Gui are on the same side of the bracket, they'll go to the semis and have to eliminate each other, Frazzato will match up with Hall if Hall beats Ramos and Frazzato most likely wins on points ending the division with a Frazzato vs. Mendes all Atos Team final)

Leve - Michael Langhi, Lucas Lepri, JT Torres (Final will most likely be Langhi vs. Lepri unless JT comes out of the gates hard)

Medio - Claudio Calasans, Lucas Leite, Clark Gracie, Gilbert Durinho Burns (With Abmar out due to injury look for Calasans to take the division, Burns and Clark are the dark horses and Lucas Leite will also be favored to make it to the finals)

Medio Pesado - Andre Galvao, Otavio Souza, Diego Nogueria (Nogueria is the dark horse, Galvao and Souza will make the finals most likely and Souza comes away with it in the end I think)

Pesado - Rodolfo Viera, Bernardo Faria, Ricardo Demente (Demente is a solid pick but Faria most likely takes the gold here)

Super Pesado - Bruno Bastos is the solid favorite

Pesadissimo - Braga Neto vs. Bucheca will be the solid finals matchup here.

Absoluto - Look for Braga Neto to win this as well unless Bastos or Faria can really create some problems for him.


Black Belt brackets can be found here, courtesy of LapelChoke.com

Full brackets for all belts, classes and genders can be found here at the IBJJF official website.

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