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2015 IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championships - Casual Fan Preview with Tom DeBlass

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Bloody Elbow's grappling editor Roy Billington and ADCC veteran Tom DeBlass give you a quick breakdown of what to look out for at the 2015 IBJJF World Championships

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This weekend, the IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championship goes down in Long Beach, California. It features an abundance of elite grapplers, from white belts to black belts, competing for supremacy in their divisions and the coveted world title. The event willl be streamed live at and the black belts will take center stage over the weekend.

Submission grappling has truly began to penetrate the casual MMA fan's psyche. Events like Metamoris and Polaris Pro have pitted mma fighters with grapplers over the last few months, and there has been a notable rise in interest about the grappling world. But if you, like many casual fans out there, find the IBJFF World Championships and it's multiple divisions and belts a bit daunting, fear not as No-Gi world champion and ADCC vet, Tom DeBlass and I shall tell you what to look out for this weekend.

Beyond the Black Belts

Roy Billington: While it may be easy to look past the lower belts and to focus on the black belts who compete on Saturday and Sunday, you would be doing yourself a disservice and missing out on some of the most exciting matches of the weekend. The Brown belt divisions are absolutely jam packed with some of the most ferocious finishers in recent years. The purple belt middle division also plays home to one of the most exciting prospects, a natural finisher, Gordon Ryan who has been on tear as of late submitting his way past vastly more experienced competitors.

Tom DeBlass: I have had the opportunity to train with Gordon as he is my first Black belt, Garry Tonon's student. Anyone that has been training with Gordon the last few years will tell you, he is world class. He has all the physical tools to be a dominating force, and his technical ability matches it. However, it wasn't until recently more and more people are recognizing Gordon as he recently beat two world class black belts in James Brasco and Kyle Griffin. In my opinion, this weekend the world will see what me and others have known for years. Gordon Ryan has arrived and he is here to stay.

Leandro Lo in Search of Records

RB: Leandro Lo is one of the most successful grapplers in recent IBJJF history, having won 3 consecutively at 3 world titles to date. Coming into this weekends tournament, Lo will be competing at a weight class heavier than he did last year and will be looking to win his fourth consecutive title. That's something only 7 people have done before him and to become the first BJJ player to win 3 titles in a row in heavier weight classes. Lo's move up might be foolhardy however as his new division is no walk in the park.

TDB: Lo definitely has the ability to bring this title home. His half guard and passing are some of the best the game has. If he wins this weekend he will make history, and I believe he will. However, remember there is always a face in the line-up that will become known that wasn't before, like Sergio Moraes was when he upset Kron winning the middleweight division years ago.

Lighter Weight Classes are Stacked

RB: As usual, the most talent-rich divisions out there are the lighter weight classes. Packed with the most technical athletes around, beasts like featherweight Rafa Mendes and light featherweight Paulo Miyao are sure to make it to the latter stages of their respective divisions, but it is the lightweight division that is going to be by far the most intriguing. That's where ATOS stars JT Torres and Michael Liera Jr. are set to compete against Alliance standouts Lucas Lepri and Michael Lanhri for supremacy.

Buchecha's Time to Shine

RB: Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida is about as fun and exciting as they come, as he has made a name for himself as a finisher. So far in his young career, he has won ADCC and a world championship. Buchecha also famously caught Rickson Gracie's son, Kron Gracie back in 2012 so you know he has a serious finishing game. Buchecha is in a rather tough line-up, but Tom and I agree that he is set to take gold in spectacular fashion.

TDB: I think it's safe to say Buchecha will take the gold in the finals against Tranz. Tranz always seems to be within grasp of victory against Almeida but Buchecha always finds a way to win. I also expect Leo Nogeuria and Abraham Marte to put on good performances.

The IBJJF World Championship goes down this weekend in Long Beach, California and will be available to stream live from and features a stacked roster of the best grapplers in the world.