Worlds 2011 men's black belt

BJJ Worlds 2011 is playing out as I type this. It's 11:41am in Long Beach that means we still have blue belts on the mat and purple belts start in about a half hour. You can bet I'll be watching the purple belt featherweights very closely( its my division)once those videos hit youtube later this weekend. However, that's not what this post is about. I'm writing this to cover the adult male black division. So predictions here we go

Rooster: Bruno Malfacine vs Ciao Terra-Winner- Bruno.
Though Ciao did beat him at the Pan I feel Bruno is back on track after Brazilian Nationals and that momentum and flow will make all the difference. Ciao had surgery after the Pan so competition rust could be an issue.
Watch out for Felipe Costa and Rafael De Freitas constant figures at this weight. There's also Brandon Mullins and Joseph Capizzi 2010 No-Gi Gold and Silver Medalist respectively as well as Josef Manuel looking to make waves. Manuel This weight class could steal the show seriously.

Light Feather: Ary Farias vs. Gui Mendes-Close Out
The reigning champ Pablo Silva is there too, but to make it the final he'd have to elimate Ary to make it out of that side out the bracket I don't see that happening.
Bernardo Pitel and Samuel Braga are also in the mix. This final is pending Gui actually making the 141-pound weight limit. If he doesn't then things will definitely be shaken up we'll see Sunday.

Feather: Rafael Mendes vs. Augusto Mendes-Rafael Mendes
Rafael will get revenge for his loss at the World Pro last month. This weight class is home to very interesting dynamics. We have Cobrinha who's still looking for World Title number 5 after losing to Rafael last year. Then, we have Ryan Hall who has lost to Cobrinha(2008), Augusto Mendes(World Pro 2011),and Rafael Mendes(2010 Worlds) so he's definitely looking for some payback. There's also Justin Rader who lost to Gui Mendes back when they where brown belts since the Mendes brothers play games that are nearly mirror images of one another Rader vs Rafael could interesting. And let's not forget Bruno Frazatto. I see classic matches coming from this class on Sunday.

Light: Michael Langhi vs. Gilbert Burns-Michael Langhi
After a couple of losses Langhi is ready to get back on track and Leondro Lo appears to be out of the picture. JT is there as well we'll see if he's able to put his De La Riva to back take combos to work and come home with a medal. There's also Zak Maxwell who put on a show at Pan.

Middle: Marcelo Garcia vs. Shawn Williams-Marcelo Gracia
Shawn Williams is one we're used to seeing in the braodcast booth since he's been there from the beginning of the live BJJ era. He even covered the very first live event(ADCC 2009). Now we'll get see him on the mat again. He's my dark horse pick for the whole tournament simply because no one will see him coming. However, to win he'll have to get past Marcelo Gracia and that man(Marcelo) has the most uncanny understanding of balance and weight I've ever seen, and that I believe is the reason he'll keep winning for a long long time.

Medium Heavy: Romulo Barral vs. Eduardo Telles- Romulo Barral
With Tarsis out this weight class is wide open. Telles took 3rd last year. Couple that with the fact that, Tarsis beat Romulo using Turtle last year, this could be interesting. We also have Octavio Souza looking to add a World Title to his mantle of Pan medals.

Heavy: Rafael Lavoto Jr. vs. Rodolfo Viera-Rodolfo Viera
If this does happen, it'll be a rematch from the World Pro back in May. Where Lavoto beat Viera(NO-GI, Viera won the Gi divison). Bernado Faria is also in the mix both he and Rodolfo are on the same side of the bracket. I expect them to meet in the Semis and we'll get to see what adjustments Faria has made to deal with Viera tight passing gam
Super Heavy: Marcus Vinicius vs. Leonardo Pires- Marcus Vinicius
With Roger out, we're sure to see a new champion. Rodrido Cavaca has said, his student is capable of beating Roger, with Roger out due to a leg injury we won't be able to see if that's true but after his performance at the Pan, Marcus' coach may very well be right. Leonardo Pires is a stalwart competitor in this divison ready to make his way back to the top.

Ultra Heavy: Ricardo Abreu vs. Rodrigo Cavaca-Rodrigo Cavaca
If my super heavy and ultra heavy predictions come true, it'll be another teacher-student win something Lavoto and Rader pulled off last year at No-Gi Worlds. However, he'll have to stave off Abreu arm attacks. With Cavaca's leg attacks becoming more well-known and rightfully feared this one is bound to be one of the best we've seen from the big guys in a long time.

Open: Romulo Barral vs. Rodolfo Viera-Rodolfo Viera
The way the brackets are set up for this class we've got a few "mini-finals" if you will. But these two are definitely the favorites. Rodolfo took the Pan Open weight title but that was against Faria and since Faria and Rodolfo are on the same side of bracket we can't get that final again, having said that, if Faria does somehow overcome Viera we could see Romulo and Faria finish with they started at the Pro Cup in Italy. Either final would be great, but I think Viera has Faria's number.

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