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IBJJF Pan American 2020 Preview – The Female Black Belt Division

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From tomorrow, October 8th, up until Sunday, the 11th, the 2020 edition of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Pan American tournament will be running, the biggest event in the sport’s international circuit this year, given the current COVID19 pandemic. The Pans have been regarded as the 2nd most important tournament in the sport, behind the World Championship, since the mid-1990s, when it began, this being the first time the event will feature solely residents of the United States, due to the current travel restrictions imposed by most of the industrialized world.

In this piece, we bring you a short preview of what to expect from the Female, Adult Black Belt Division. Sadly, only 3 divisions have gathered over 4 competitors in their brackets. Although fairly normal to have reduced numbers of athletes during a pandemic, most professional female competitors do reside in the US and these lower numbers of competitors are not something new to the division. It is an unfortunate trend that does not appear to go away with each passing year. That said, we have some great matches ahead.


Not a lot of options here, expect Alencar to meet Bastos in the final for one of the best matchups of the year. Very exciting clash ahead.

– Talita Alencar
– Patty Fontes
– Mayssa Bastos
– Ann Kneib


McComb and Alequin should come through to the final in this 4 women bracket, for another exciting match. Both Gabrielle and Amanda are currently among the most exciting grapplers to follow, with and without the gi, and both have come down from the middleweight division to challenge for this weight class.

– Gabi McComb
– Taylor Biagi
– Amanda Alequin
– Lyanne Perez


The second-largest female adult black belt division on the event with a whopping 6 athletes. There is a strong chance teammates Luiza Monteiro and Nichole Sullivan to close the final, with Nathalie Ribeiro being one of the top candidates to ruin the show for the Atos duo. Ribeiro will likely meet Sullivan in the semi-final for a clash between two of the most interesting guard players in our sport, Nichole with the inverted guard and lowe limb attacks and Nathalie with her aggressive open and spider-guard. We will be most hopeful to see that clash come to fruition.

– Natasha Quiza
– Yanelisa Reyes
– Luiza Monteiro
– Nikki Sullivan
– Nathalie Ribeiro
– Talia Vaughan


The most talent dense division of the tournament is right here. The middleweights have at least 5 challengers with very real gold medal aspirations. That will include black belt newcomer Rafaela Guedes of Atos, who might pose a threat to the division’s favorites, Raquel Canuto and Laurah Hallock. 2019 World Championship podium placer Melissa Cueto has also looked sharp and should be a solid challenger here.

– Laurah Hallock
– Brenda Oliveira
– Melissa Cueto
– Claire North
– Raquel Canuto
– Vanessa Griffin
– Jessica Swanson
– Rafaela Guedes


Fun division with the world champion, Andressa Cintra being the favorite here. Cintra will have to fend off a few very strong guard players in Malyjasiak and Toscano to see this through, as well as black belt newcomer Emilly Alves. Emilly was on fire at the European Open earlier this year and should be a great asset to the division here.

– Brenda Heller
– Emilly Alves
– Andressa Cintra
– Maria Malyjasiak
– Vedha Toscano


The only competitor in this weight class, Nathiely should be the favorite to conquer the open weight class. She will be fresher and has more than enough talent to see that division through to gold.

– Nathiely de Jesus


4 athletes in, there is a very strong chance we will see a closeout by Flowers and Reusing here.

– Jessica Flowers
– Michelle Welti
– Talita Nogueira (Treta)
– Kendall Reusing

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