IBJJF World NoGi Championship 2018

IBJJF World NoGi Championship 2018

16. 12. 2018

World NoGi BJJ championship was this weekend in Los Angeles, California. The tournament was held in Anaheim Convention Center from 14th December to 16th December. The tournament started the first day with lower belts and then continued to brown and black belts during the weekend.

This is one of the biggest NoGi competitions in the world and is the right place to see the best NoGi grapplers in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This year was especially interesting because of the noise that some of the competitors made. The biggest story was probably connected to the Ultra-Heavy weight division and absolute division. In days leading to the tournament Gordon Ryan made some posts on social media promising free privates to his opponents and claimed that he will win the ultra-heavy and absolute. 

The war continued as he continued with promises on his Instagram stories that he will beat everyone and win the double gold. Of course, his opponents didn’t take it easy and responded to his claims and so did the fans, and the fire started.

The ultra-heavy division and absolute was stacked and full of the biggest names in BJJ like Mahamed Aly, Gordon Ryan, Cyborg, Jackson Sousa, Yuri Simoes, Patrick Gaudio… So, the biggest question was who is going to end up on top and will Gordon back up his words? Will he talk the talk and walk the walk? And to this story there was also some history as Gordon won his category last ADCC and got silver in the absolute. He also fought there against Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and won via inverted heel hook. That’s why most of the fans were skeptic of him winning, because IBJJF rules do not allow heel hooks.

So how did the tournament unfold? Who won? Continue reading and find out! 😉

So, let’s start with the results. But let’s leave the “big story” for the end.


Rooster / Male

Final match was between Nobuhiro Sawada and Livio Ribeiro. In this match Sawada won by split decision (6×6 pts). 

1.     Nobuhiro Sawada

2.     Livio Ribeiro

3.     Kristina Woodmansee

3.  Ronald Henderson


Light feather / Male

Final match was between João Miyao and Tomoyuki Hashimoto and ended by unanimous decision.  A very hard and technical match in which João proved why he and his brother are still one of the best competitors. Once again Joãos leg got attacked and he refused to tap and once again showed his crazy flexibility and strong will.

1. João Miyao

2. Tomoyuki Hashimoto

3. Cleber Sousa

3. Hiago George


Feather / Male

This was also one of very interesting categories to watch as Kennedy Maciel son of Cobrinha competed for the first time as a black belt at World championship.  He managed to win all the fights and met Gilson Nunes in the finals. Kennedy won final 2-0, where he took advantage of Gilsons bad guard pull and did an amazing ankle pick from big distance.

1. Kennedy Maciel

2. Gilson Nunes

3. Ian Sanders

3. Pablo Mantovani


Light / Male

In the light division Gianni Grippo showed why there is a big hype train growing on him. He had an awesome performance again and managed to win the world NoGi championship. He met Marcio Andre in the finals and had a very tough match as Marcio started winning the fight by points, but Gianni stayed focused and took advantage when Marcio was passing his guard, took his back and secured a rear naked choke (RNC) in the last minutes of the fight.

1. Gianni Grippo

2. Márcio André

3. Frederico Silva

3. Rodrigo Freitas


Middle / Male

Final fight was between Hugo Marques and Jaime Canuto and was colored with a bit less action than the previous final until last few minutes where Marques got two points for securing a guillotine and Canuto defending it out of bounds.

1. Hugo Marques

2. Jaime Canuto

3. Dante Leon

3. Manuel Ribamar


Medium-Heavy / Male

Was also one the stacked division with a lot of very tough competitors, what you can also see from the guys that reached podium. Let’s start with third places Matheus Diniz a very good competitor and black belt under Marcelo Garcia and Murilo Santana head coach at Unity Jiu-Jitsu, school of Myiao brothers and a lot of other tough competitors.

The finals were between Josh Hinger from Atos and Marcos Tinoco from Marcelo Garcia. Both finalists had medaled at NoGi worlds before and Hinger was actually chasing his third NoGi black belt gold.

This fight was one of the most intense fights in the tournament and ended with Josh Hingers hand raised for the third time. As Tinoco shoot for a double leg, Hinger defended it with his trade mark “Hingertine” choke, that forced Tinoco to go belly up to defend and Hinger transitioned to side control and sunk in a tight north-south choke.

1. Josh Hinger

2. Marcos Tinoco

3. Matheus Diniz

3. Murilo Santana


Heavy / Male

The final match was between two very good stand-up fighters Tim Spirggs and Jackson Sousa. The match started slowing down because of some penalties for stalling but at last few minutes it changed into a war. Points were equal 4-4 but referees decided in Tim Spriggs favor.

1. Tim Spriggs

2. Jackson Sousa

3. Devhonte Johnson

3. Thiago Sá


Super-Heavy / Male

Another stacked division and with a new name in the black belt scene Kaynan Durate. Kaynan is also one of the newer black belts under Atos and is already making noise. He won the final match against James Pupolo with arm in guillotine.

1. Kaynan Duarte

2. James Puopolo

3. Patrick Gaudio

3. Eliot Kelly


Ultra-Heavy / Male

This was probably one of the most watched categories full of big names and trash talk before the championship. Final match was between Gordon Ryan and Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu. Probably one of the most anticipated matches, especially because of the heat between Cyborg and Ryan. Despite there were no take downs, sweeps or submission the fight was still very intense. Gordon Ryan pulled guard early in the fight and stayed on the ground throughout whole match and Cybor played very defensively keeping the distance and avoiding Gordons guard. For being too much defensive Cyborg earned 3 penalties. Throughout the match Roberto was visibly going too hard with his holds and grips and at the end of the match he visibly attempted to slap Gordon’s face, what awarded him one more penalty – disqualification. As 4 penalties equals DQ by the rules. 

1. Gordon Ryan

2. Roberto Abreu

3. Yuri Simões

3. Max Gimenis


Absolute / Male

Gordon managed to win all of his fights again and met Yuri Simoes in the finals. They already fought in the category where Gordon won the fight via points. And this time he managed to beat him with an advantage and earned his second gold medal.

1. Gordon Ryan

2. Yuri Simões

3. Jackson Sousa

3. Thiago Sá


The whole tournament was very good with a lot of interesting fights but there had to be one bigger incident unfortunately. As we have heard and read on the social media there was a brawl between Ralph Gracie and Flavio Almeida. As Flavio was coaching his students he was attacked by Ralph. The police started an investigation and reported that Flavio lost two of his teeth in the fight. 

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