Congratulations Kingz BJJ World Champions!
Last weekend, athletes from around the world gathered at the Walter Pyramid to participate in one of BJJ’s most prestigious events: the IBJJF World Championships. Not only was this the first time the Worlds had returned to Long Beach since COVID, it was also the first time IBJJF’s new rule was implemented… drumroll, please… close-outs will receive no cash prizes or ranking points! This made for some well-earned BJJ World Champion titles!
If you’ve been an avid – or just a mildly curious – IBJJF fan, you know that teammates closing out in the finals of their division has been a growing issue. As teams get bigger, and the hottest talent in jiu-jitsu have either grown up in or moved to join the biggest teams, there have been more and more of them. Which… makes for boring events. Who wants to see two of the best athletes in the world walk on the mat, just to have one hand raised in a pre-arranged agreement, simply because they’re members of the same team? And especially if they don’t even train at the same academy? No one, that’s who.
Anyway, with the implementation of the new rule, jiu-jitsu spectators were rewarded with one of the most exciting day of black belt finals matches ever.
And more exciting, that meant an astounding SEVEN Kingz athletes coming away with the gold! So, with the utmost pride, here are the Kingz Kimonos 2022 World Champion Black Belts:
Leandro Lo, the legendary black belt, is now an 8x world champion, winning by two points over the young up-and-comer Isaque Bahiense in the Medium-Heavyweight finals! What an action-packed match!
In one of the most anticipated matches of the entire event, Mica Galvao faced off against fellow rookie black belt Tye Ruotolo in the Lightweight finals. Spectators were rewarded by one of the most exciting matches of the entire event! After an intense scramble, Mica was able to secure Tye’s back to become the youngest IBJJF black belt World champion in history!
Kaynan Duarte’s second world championship win at black belt came after a grueling finals match against Dimitrius Souza in the Heavyweight division. Having to overcome injuries during his camp, Kaynan showed tremendous warrior spirit.
Erich Munis has been dominating the Super Heavyweight division, and the World Championships last weekend was just another notch in his belt. His absolutely impassable guard secured him the advantage win over Nicholas Meregali in the finals, after which he proposed to his long-time girlfriend right on the mat.
Third time’s a charm! After finding herself in her third World Championship finals at black belt, Bia Basilio gave it everything she had in the Featherweight finals against Amanda Monteiro. In true Basilio style, she gave the crowd a show, winning by three advantage points to one.
Congratulations again to ALL of our Kingz athletes for going out there and showing off your jiu-jitsu. We are proud to be a part of your jiu-jitsu journey!