Six-Time IBJJF World Champion Leandro Lo has accepted an invitation for this year’s IBJJF Heavyweight Grand Prix, an 8-man tournament that carries a $40,000 prize for the winner. The event is already star-studded, with Gordon Ryan, Lucas Barbosa, and Marcus Almeida already confirmed. With four more spots left to fill, this is already becoming one of the toughest looking tournaments of the year.
Leandro hasn’t competed since the 2018 IBJJF World Championships, where he suffered a serious shoulder injury in the finals against Mahamad Aly after a catastrophic takedown sequence. He’s since gotten surgery and rehabbed his injury aggressively, and plans on competing again this year, likely before this event in August.
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With this event only weeks before the 2019 ADCC, but being contested under traditional IBJJF no-gi rules, this will be a good warmup for the competitors, and a possible preview of the battles we will see in the medal rounds of ADCC. No heel hooks, no true reaping, and the differences in scoring may make for some differences in results, but with that much money on the line, it’s easy to see why these athletes want in.
Who else is likely to fill the other 4 spots? There’s plenty of other great heavyweights in BJJ to choose from right now, including past world champions and medalists like Fabricio Werdum, Mahamad Aly, Felipe Pena, Nicolas Meregali, Erbeth Santos, Patrick Gaudio, Fellipe Andrew, Kaynan Duarte, Joao Rocha, and Keenan Cornelius. Even no-gi specialists like Craig Jones or Tim Spriggs could join for extra starpower. We’ll keep you updated as the bracket fills up!
In the span of about 18 months: Gordon Ryan Went From 163 Lbs To 232 Lbs & Back To 194 LBS & Transformed Himself From a Relatively Unknown Grappler To The Best No Gi Grappler On Earth. See How He Did It