The IBJJF No Gi Worlds took place over the weekend in Garland, Texas in the first major No Gi Worlds event allowing heel hooks. Until 2021, the heel hook was an illegal technique in the IBJJF ruleset. Over the past five years heel hooks and other leg attacks have become much more popular. As such, the jiu-jitsu community rallied behind the change in rules. While we did see multiple heel hook submissions, it was clear that the top athletes evolved with the rule change in both their attacking and defensive skills. Below are the results and main takeaways of the tournament.
Light feather – Mayssa Bastos
Feather – Talita Alencar
Light – Ffion Davies
Middle – Raquel Canuto
Middle Heavy – Elisabeth Clay
Heavy – Rafaela Guedes
Super Heavy – Mayara Custodio
Rooster – Estevan Martinez
Light Feather – Carlos Oliveira
Feather – Diego Oliveira
Light – Gianni Grippo
Middle – Hugo Marques
Middle Heavy – Jeferson Guaresi
Heavy – Pedro Marinho
Super Heavy – Devhonte Johnson
Ultra-Heavy – Roberto Abreu
Rafaela Guedes and Mayssa Bastos continue to assert dominance
Rafaela Guedes and Mayssa Bastos came into the 2021 No Gi Worlds fresh off wins at the WNO Championships just two weeks ago. This weekend, Rafaela competed in the female heavyweight division and defeated Elizabeth Mitrovic and Maria Malyjasiak on her way to gold. She also entered the open weight division where she beat Margaret Grindatti and Maria Malyjasiak before meeting Elisabeth Clay in the final. Elisabeth is known for her extremely dangerous and flexible guard. Rafaela managed to string together a series of guard passes and won the match via points.
Mayssa Bastos entered the light feather division for the 2021 No Gi Worlds as there was no one signed up in the lower rooster weight class. In two matches, Mayssa scored two submissions. Her first came via rear naked choke against Lavinia Barbosa of Checkmat. In the final, Mayssa took on Sofia Amarante of Aviv Jiu-Jitsu. Although Sofia held her own early in the match, Mayssa eventually used her passing skills to get Sophia to turn and expose her back. From there Mayssa secured her hooks and sunk in another rear naked choke.
Five new world champions crowned in male divisions
In the adult male divisions at the 2021 No Gi Worlds, five of the eight titles were brought home by first-time champions. Estevan Martinez, Carlos Oliveira, Diego Oliveira, Devhonte Johnson, and Pedro Marinho all won their first No Gi World titles in the black belt division. In the rooster weight division, Estevan “The Giant Slayer” Martinez beat Enrique Rossi, Lee Rosenfeld, and Roiter Lima to capture his first World title.
Carlos Oliveira of GF Team did not have an easy road to his first gold at the No Gi Worlds. He beat Richard Alarcon, Edwin “Junny” Ocasio, and Paulo Miyao to come out on top.
Diego Oliveira of Cicero Costha team came off a third place finish at WNO two weeks ago, losing only to eventual champion Kade Ruotolo. At the No Gi Worlds, “Pato” won three matches before meeting Gabriel Sousa in the final. Gabriel was also coming into the tournament with some momentum, also coming off a stellar WNO performance where he took second place. Diego controlled the tempo of the final and secured the victory via points.
Unity Jiu-Jitsu’s Devhonte Johnson came into the No Gi Worlds as the 2nd seed in a stacked Super Heavyweight bracket. In his first match of the tournament, he took on Fellipe Andrew of Alliance, scoring an anaconda choke finish. In The semis, Devhonte faced Elliot Kelly and narrowly won via penalty. His opponent in the final was Joseph Dierkhising, a leg lock expert who scored a brutal calf crush to advance to the finals. Devhonte ultimately controlled the pace of the final, winning by points after securing a sold back take.
Pedro Marinho takes double gold in rookie black belt season
Guillotine specialist Pedro Marinho of Gracie Barra has surpassed the high expectations that were set for his rookie black belt season. His weight class had highly ranked athletes such as Vagner Rocha, Diego Ramalho, and Adam Wardzinski. His run in the open weight was no easier, with many of the top athletes signing up in search for gold. In the final of the open weight class, Pedro took on multiple time No Gi World champion Roberto “Cybrog” Abreu. Pedro countered Cyborg’s takedowns attempts with his highly refined guillotine choke and ultimately earned a unanimous decision victory.
The next major IBJJF event will be the Master Worlds on November 10-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada.