2018 No Gi Pans Not to Be Missed
The King Returns to the Land of the IBJJF for No Gi Pans
This year's 2018 IBJJF No Gi Pans on September 15th and 16th is already setting up to be one of the most memorable in recent years. For the first time in nearly 3 years, Team Renzo Gracie superstar Gordon Ryan is set to compete for his second title, and first since he has been a black belt. Over the past few years, Gordon has been highly critical of the IBJJF for a number of reasons, primarily due to the fact that athletes are not compensated for their efforts. In 2015, as a brown belt, Gordon Ryan competed and won the IBJJF No Gi Worlds. Since then, he has gone on to a number of submission only superfights, multiple EBI victories and one of history's greatest ADCC debuts where he defeated Keenan Cornelius to win Gold in his weight and Silver in the Absolute.
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Gordon has said that though his primary focus has been making the transition into the world of Gi jiu jitsu, that he was itching to compete and the Pans were his best choice at the time. His entrance has caused a great deal of buzz in the grappling world, with a number of high profile grapplers making a point to either facetiously or really sign up in the Ultra Heavyweight Division with the hopes of meeting Gordon.
Jesters Seek a Match With the King On the Mats of No Gi Pans
Atos Heavyweight Kaynon Duarte moved up a weight class only a day after Gordon entered. Lightweight Gianni Grippo was reported to have signed up for the ultra heavyweight division, but this has most likely been a facetious gesture calling attention to the fact that he is going for his third title. Perennial BJJ jester AJ Agazarm also seeks his one on one with the King having signed up for the Ultra Heavyweight superstar. Let's hope he holds off on the poems and focuses on getting ready to face the much larger Gordon Ryan.
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Ricardo Almeida Returns Seeking His Third Win
Like his brother, Flavio Almeida who just recently came off an amazing performance at the IBJJF Masters Worlds, Ricardo Almeida, the Team Renzo Gracie legend and MMA Coach looks to come back and secure his third straight victory at the No Gi Pans. As the first man to receive a black belt from Renzo Gracie, Almeida went on to develop a who's who of grappling and MMA superstars, namely Tom DeBlass who with student Garry Tonon are responsible for the rise of Gordon Ryan, it is clear to see the apple does not fall far from the trees in Team Renzo Gracie.