Who’ll be the new king? Who’ll be the biggest dark horse? Who’ll make a startling comeback? Which match in Long Beach will draw the most awe?
The only way to really get a taste of what’s to come, though, is to get in on the action yourself.
The sign-up deadline is but a few short hours away, so head to the IBJJF website and get your name in there.
“My life changed because of a Jiu-Jitsu championship in the United States. I went in as a juvenile blue belt, won the adult division and a light bulb went off in my head; I realized I could actually get good at it,” Kyra Gracie remembers time and again.
A championship like the Worlds is just that. It can be a well-lit tarmac for a lot of careers to take off from. Or it can be a comfortable home for some, like Roger Gracie and Bruno Frazatto, two of the biggest World Championship medal collectors—who won’t be there due to a full-on focus on training for MMA commitments. “I’m out,” Roger told GRACIEMAG.com; “I’m fighting on July 14.”
But the Worlds can be an amusement park, or warfare. What other Jiu-Jitsu tourney can host so many classic matchups, so many clashes of generations and unfathomable encounters?
There are still some names who left signing up till the last minute, like Xande Ribeiro, Caio Terra, Kayron and Kron Gracie. But scanning the sign-up list, so far without the brackets, one can already start reveling in the potential classics, not even including the bouts in the absolute. Or would the fans not rub their hands in glee at getting to see bouts like…?
Marcus Bochecha vs Pé de Pano
Roberto Cyborg vs Léo Leite
Alexander Trans vs Rodrigo Comprido
Cara de Sapato vs Léo Nogueira
Rodolfo Vieira vs Tarsis Humphreys
At medium heavyweight:
Romulo Barral vs Rafael Lovato
André Galvão vs Nivaldo de Oliveira
Marquinhos Souza vs Ian McPherson
Claudio Calasans vs Victor Estima
Otávio Sousa vs Clark Gracie
Leandro Lo vs Roberto Satoshi
Jonathan Torres vs Theodoro Canal
Lucas Lepri vs Renan Borges
Isaque Paiva vs Marcelino Freitas
Rafael Mendes vs Leonardo Cascão
Justin Rader vs Wellington Megaton
At light featherweight:
Ary Farias vs Carlos Esquisito
Bruno Malfacine vs Rafael Barata
In the female contest:
Leticia Ribeiro vs Sofia Amarante
Michelle Nicolini vs Kyra Gracie
Bia Mesquita vs Luiza Monteiro
Luanna Alzuguir vs Shanti Abelha
Polyana Lago vs Penny Thomas
As you can see, there are so many possibilities that we left the rest to our readers to chime in with their favorites.
So will the 2012 Worlds be the most evenly matched World Championship we’ve ever seen?
So what do you say, gentle reader, who’s going to come out on top? Who’ll be the biggest revelation of the 2012 World Championship? Get clued in here on GRACIEMAG.com and on our Facebook page, through videos, photos and results. Always first hand.