Fighters To Watch At 2018 IBJJF No Gi Worlds: Heavyweight
With IBJJF No-Gi Worlds in one week, let's take a second and look at some of the most high profile competitors who will be trying to become a no-gi champion.
The Numba One Stunna Tim Spriggs is fresh off punching his ticket to next year's ADCC's, and a gold medal at no-gi Worlds would give him a lot of momentum heading into that event. With improved wrestling and a very active passing style, Tim is a hard out for everyone. If he has really leveled up, as his ADCC Trials performance seemed to suggest, then he could really impress at this tournament.
Jackson Sousa is a perennial contender in any bracket, and a former world champion in his own right. Even as a new generation seeps into his brackets, Jackson is still as active and effective as ever with a lot of matches and wins every year. Down at heavyweight, he can use his positionally stingy style to really good effect and will factor heavily into who is champion.
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Maidana is one of the most underrated submission grapplers on the competition scene, with a fighting style that has let him submit great fighters like Patrick Gaudio and Felipe Pena. The scramble-heavy nature of no-gi will make his long limbs and submission locks all the more effective.
Devhonte is a Unity black belt with a good all-around game, and after multiple world championships in the colored belts, he is now in his debut black belt year. He's still finding his place in the division and didn't medal at the ADCC Trials or No-Gi Pans, but recently won the New York Open division so that adjustment may have been made. Once Devonte starts rolling, he's hard for anyone in the world to handle and this tournament represents another big step for the prospect.
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Thiago Sa fought very hard for a no-gi Pan title, but ended up falling short in the finals by advantages. Now, he's made the turn, and since then won no-gi Brasiliero gold, avenging his Pan Am loss in the finals! Thiago has a strong points game, and a really killer toe hold, and can be champion in any bracket he enters.