While the $4,000 cash prize for black belt divisions at the New York BJJ Pro is set to bring out some of the top names in the sport on Saturday, the lower belts also have a chance to win some money too.
Two open class divisions will run for each belt after the weight categories are finished, one from rooster to lightweight and another from middle to ultra-heavyweight.
Prizes for these open divisions are $800 for brown belt, $600 for purple belt, and $400 for blue belt. Here is a quick look at some of the athletes to keep an eye on in the brown and purple belt absolutes.
Unity BJJ – Brown Belt Heavy
Johnson had an outstanding run at purple belt in 2017 that ended with his instructor, Murilo Santana, promoting him to brown belt. Johnson bulked up after earning the silver medal at the 2016 Worlds in the purple belt medium-heavyweight division, and the added weight translated into a Worlds gold medal in the super-heavyweight division in 2017.
In the 2017 world final, he won a hard-fought match against 2016 purple belt world champ Fabio Alano (Alliance). The world title and gold medals at Europeans and Pans capped off an incredible year for Johnson, and he is no doubt expected to be one of the top brown belts in 2018.
GF Team – Purple Belt Heavy
Mauricio Oliveira put on one of the most brilliant displays at the lower belts during the 2017 Worlds, fighting his way through the purple middleweight division to claim the championship. His road through the bracket was about as difficult as it could have been, with Oliveira defeating Matheus Lutes (Alliance), Levi Jones (Unity), and Jake Watson (Power MMA) before submitting Alex Munis (Nova Unaio) in the final.
This was Oliveira’s second world title in a row, as he won the 2016 Worlds at blue belt.
PSPLB Cicero Costha – Purple Belt Light
Part of a contingent of Cicero Costha purple belts who regularly train out of Unity BJJ in New York, Wilson Moreira is a favorite to win the purple belt light absolute. Moreira, a natural lightweight, bumped all the way up to heavyweight to compete at the 2017 Worlds.
The move paid off as he would go on to win the world championship while competing three divisions higher than his normal weight.
Last modified: November 17, 2017