UFC Champion Ben Henderson and 4 Other Things For MMA Fans to Watch at the 2013 Pan Ams

With the IBJJF Pan Ams this weekend, Bloody Elbow breaks down what the average MMA fan should watch for on the mats.

In the midst of a busy sports weekend grappling fans have a treat in the NCAA wrestling tournament and IBJJF Pan Ams will be taking place. So if college basketball doesn't really hold your interest and you tune into the Budovideos stream, here are some key things to watch for this weekend.

That's right, the UFC Lightweight Champion will be competing in the brown belt Middleweight (168-181 lbs) division. Henderson is no stranger to the gi jiu jitsu competition, having taken bronze at the 2011 Mundials and competing at the Arizona Open. It is a very difficult bracket, possibly the toughest non-black belt division at the competition. On Henderson's side of the bracket there is some fantastic grappling talent Thomas Oyarzun or Morris Ayala both could meet Henderson in the semi-finals and be favored to win. Should Henderson medal in this field that would be a huge feather in his cap. Henderson's bracket will get under way on Sunday at 12:30 pm PT.

This will be Galvao's return to IBJJF competition since his getting DQ'ed from last year's Mundials while coaching a student. In 2011 Galvao was one of the hottest grapplers in the sport, winning double gold at ADCCs and winning the Pan Ams. His 2012 was a little disappointing with the DQ and the draw with Ryron Gracie, and he will almost certainly be looking to get 2013 started with a bang.

Galvao is has an excellent all around game, but is an especially strong top player. There is the possibility that we get a Galvao vs Romulo Barral final, which would be a fantastic match. Galvao's bracket will be getting started on Sunday at 12:30 pm PT.

Budovideos.com presents Andre Galvao (Atos) Highlight 2012 HD (via Budovideosdotcom)

Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida

You might know Buchecha as the man who almost submitted Roger Gracie at Metamoris, but he is quickly emerging as one of the very best grapplers on the planet. In the last two years, along with nearly breaking Roger's arm, Buchecha has won double golds at Nogi Worlds, Mundials, and the Pan Ams. Buchecha looks like a superstar in the making and in these Pan Ams he will be competing a weightclass up at Ultra Heavyweight which will be getting under way Sunday at 2:30 pm ET.

The Mendes Brothers

Rafael and Guilherme Mendes are on the cutting edge of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They make use of the most modern guards, sweep games, and intensive strength and conditioning programs. The brothers compete at slightly different weight-classes, Rafael at Featherweight (154 lbs) and Guilherme at Light Featherweight (141 lbs), and they are both top level champions in their weight-classes. Rafael has a long standing rivalry with Rubens Charles "Cobrinha" and they are yet again on opposite sides of the brackets.

2011 Mendes Brothers BJJ highlight by Budovideos.com (via Budovideosdotcom)

Brown Belt Prospects

Aside from Ben Henderson there is some serious talent making its way towards black belt. Former Team Llyod Irvin star Keenan Cornelius will be competing in his first major competition since leaving for Atos in the wake of the scandals rocking the Irvin camp. Cornelius is hands down the best prospect in the art right now, having collected an impressive number of major competition golds. He is due for his black belt soon, possibly after this year's Mundials.

The Miyao brothers are some of the most dynamic guard players in the sport, and will be competing at Feather and Light Feather. At Lightweight Gracie Barra up-and-comer and former Ohio State Wrestler AJ Agazarm will be competing, and Gianni Grippo will make his first appearance since leaving Renzo Gracie's academy for Marcelo Garcia.

Live streams are available on Budovideos.com and with their multi-mat set up, Budovideos will have every single match of the event viewable online.

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