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2021 IBJJF Worlds Results: Meregali DQ’d, Pessanha takes double gold, Mesquita wins 10th title

Upsets, drama, and dominating performances at IBJJF Worlds in Anaheim

Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Championship Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

The first IBJJF Worlds in two and a half years went down over the weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center and was full of upsets, drama, and dominating performances. The event was announced just a few short months ago and at the opposite end of the year from previous Worlds events that typically happen in May. Many of the best gi competitors signed up, but there were also some notable absences. Despite the various absences, there were many memorable moments that will be discussed for years to come.

Nicholas Meregali disqualified; new champions crowned

Coming into the 2021 Worlds, one of the major storylines was the male absolute division, as Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, the former king, opted not to compete to focus on his MMA career. Many people predicted an absolute final between Nicholas Meregali and Felipe Pena, and that was exactly the match that was set to take place to close out the tournament. Nicholas was also competing in the ultra-heavyweight division, where he met up with Victor Hugo in the semi-finals. Nicholas was up four advantages to one when he started to focus much of his attention on someone in the crowd. After a few moments of this, he held up his middle finger toward the audience and was given a penalty. Nicholas got his hand raised in a hard fought match but was then told afterwards that he was disqualified from both his weight division and the open class for misconduct. Meregali will potentially face a suspension from the IBJJF as well.

Going into the event, there were many black belts making their Worlds debut in their respective divisions. Of the nine male weight divisions, six were won by first time champions. Diego Oliveira, Fabricio Andrey, Renato Canuto, Tainan Dalpra, Erich Munis, and Victor Hugo all won their first World titles as black belts. All but one of these athletes were not black belts at the time of the last Worlds in 2019. While much of this is due to the pandemic, it’s clear that the newer generation of black belts are have reached the pinnacle of the sport shortly after reaching their new ranks.

Gabrieli wins double gold; Beatriz Mesquita wins 10th World title

Another newcomer to the black belt division at the 2021 Worlds was Gabrieli Pessanha. After receiving her black belt in June 2019 at just 18 years old, she had already won the Pans, the World Pro, and the AJP Tour Queen of Mats prior to Worlds. In the open class semi-final, Gabrieli beat Beatriz Mesquita by one advantage. In the final she met Yara Soares, who she would also meet in the super-heavyweight final. In the open class final, Gabrieli won by a score of 8-4 after exchanging sweeps throughout. In the super-heavyweight final, Gabrieli won by two points after securing a sweep from 50-50 about half way through the match.

Gracie Humaita’s Beatriz Mesquita came into the 2021 Worlds in search of her tenth title. Her division was loaded with talent, including Luiza Monteiro, Margot Ciccarelli, and Nathalie Ribeiro. Bia had a bye in the opening round and faced Margot Ciccarelli in the semi-finals. Margot pulled right to the guard position and Bia immediately started to apply pressure from the top eventually stacking her and forcing to the turtle position, earning an advantage and ultimately a win to get to the final. In the final Bia faced a familiar foe in Luiza Monteiro of Atos Jiu-Jitsu. The match started with double guard pulls before Luiza came up on top. Bia swept, taking a 2-0 lead and appeared to be cruising to victory. With about ten seconds left, Luiza came up on top, but with no time left she didn’t have enough time to secure any points. Despite having already won ten world titles, Beatriz has made it clear that she’ll continue to compete in the gi as long as she feels motivated.

Full results can be founds below:

Adult Female Black Belt

Rooster: Mayssa Bastos

Light Feather: Ana Rodrigues

Feather: Gabi McComb

Light: Beatriz Mesquita

Middle: Andressa Cintra

Middle Heavy – Ana Carolina Vieira

Heavy: Melissa Cueto

Super heavy: Gabrieli Pessanha

Absolute: Gabrieli Pessanha

Adult Male Black Belt

Rooster: Mikey Musumeci

Light Feather: Diego Oliveira

Feather: Fabricio Andrey

Light: Renato Canuto

Middle: Tainan Dalpra

Middle Heavy: Gustavo Batista

Heavy: Kaynan Duarte

Super Heavy: Erich Munis

Ultra-Heavy: Victor Hugo

Absolute: Felipe Pena