While there is a lack of Mixed Martial Arts this weekend there is no lack of action for the grappling fan. The 2013 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships are taking place in Long Beach, California. If you are an MMA fan who enjoys grappling then head over to the IBJJF 2013 Mundials broadcast homepage, which a joint effort by Budovideos and the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation to broadcast every single match of this year's Mundials from white to black belt.
The black belts hit the mats on Saturday and Sunday, so here is a quick rundown of the things an MMA fan should watch for during the 2013 Mundials.
Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida
While has only been a black belt for two years, Buchecha has been so impressive there is already talk of him being the best in the sport right now. He won gold in both his weight-class and openweight last year at the Mundials, repeated the feat at the Pan Jiu Jitsu Championships earlier this year. Buchecha has a very dangerous guard, a rarity for an Ultra-Heavyweight, a dynamic top game, and excellent finishing skills. He is the next BJJ superstar and we very well could be witnessing the beginning of a historic career.
Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida Highlight *Jiu Jitsu World Champion* *Explosive* (via Preston Smith)
Two years ago, all those things said about Buchecha being a phenom and being BJJ's next star were being said about Rodolfo. While a brown belt he would enter in the World BJJ Cup where brown belts could compete with black belts, and Rodolfo earned the nickname "The Black Belt Hunter" for his ability to tap black belts in those competitions. He already has three world championships and is a major threat in Absolutes. Rodolfo is a physical beast and has a monstrous top game, and a rematch with Buchecha in the Absolutes would be a treat for fans.
Rodolfo Vieira Highlight *Jiu Jitsu World Champion* *Pressure* (via Preston Smith)
The most familiar name to MMA fans, Galvao is a former Strikeforce fighter and one of the most successful competitive grapplers in the world. If Buchecha and Rodolfo are battling to replace the hole left in the upper weightclasses by Roger Gracie's departure to MMA, Galvao has come to fill the role in the mid-weight classes once filled by Jacare Souza. Galvao has strong judo, dominating top game, a very good guard, and a deceptive submission attack. He isn't afraid to enter in the open weight, at the Pans he had an excellent match with the much larger Buchecha. Galvao has a spectator friendly style to go with his elite skills and is worth a watch.
Budovideos.com presents Andre Galvao (Atos) Highlight 2012 HD (via Budovideosdotcom)
The Mendes Brothers
At this point it is just assumed that Rafael Mendes will win the Featherweight division and Guiherme Mendes will win the Light-Featherweight division. These two brothers train out of Atos and are on the cutting edge of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The use most modern techniques, play all the exotic guards, and put a real emphasis on physical conditioning. They are must watches if for nothing else because they are so dominant.
2011 Mendes Brothers BJJ highlight by Budovideos.com (via Budovideosdotcom)
The Women's Divisions
The women's divisions are stacked this year. There are more and more quality black belts each year and this year it seems like they all turned out. Beatriz Mesquita, Tracey Goodell, Mackenzie Dern, Penny Thomas, Hannette Staack, Michelle Nicolini, and Gabby Garcia are all in attendance, to just name a few.
Also known as incredibly photogenic jiu jitsu guy, Clark got a lot of press for simply going viral but he is also a legitimate threat to win the Middleweight division. He is an omoplata specialist, he attacks for the submission from just about anywhere and is excellent at finishing the rather rare submission. In the gi Clark also has a lethal follow up choke he used to win the Pans.
Luke Rockhold and Keenan Cornelius at Brown Belt
Looking at the brown belt divisions there is plenty to see for the hardcore grappling nerd. But for the MMA fan who isn't overly familiar, here are two things to look for. First, former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will be competing. He isn't the first major MMA fighter to compete at this level of BJJ, and while he likely will find some success it due to his athleticism, but he will likely be a step behind the professional level grapplers when it comes to grip fighting.
Keenan Cornelius is a weightclass down from Rockhold, and is facing an incredibly deep field. And it is entirely likely that Cornelius will win double gold yet again and then get promoted to black belt. Cornelius' career thus far through the lower belts have been historic as he has dominated every level he has competed at, and to see him very possibly closing the book on this chapter of his career will be interesting.
Keenan Cornelius Highlight *Jiu Jitsu World Champion* *Grand Slam* (via Preston Smith)