Now that it is officially 2014, we can finally look ahead to the tournaments and match-ups we look forward to most in the coming year. Every year, we are provided with the ability to see many new match-ups between recently promoted black belts and already well-established black belt champions. This year might provide the most intriguing pairings yet.

In the Sept. 17 edition of The Jiu-Jitsu Movement, we made the determination that this year’s new black belt class was one of the most talented in years. Now, we’ll be able to see how they handle their new challenges at the highest rank.

Here are five potential match-ups many would want to see in the 2014 competition season:

Paulo Miyao vs. Rodolfo Vieira

Even at black belt, it’s hard to imagine that the Miyao brothers will stay away from competing in the absolute categories, so a match-up between Paulo Miyao and Rodolfo Vieira could come to fruition in the near future. Miyao may be known for having possibly the most unpassable guard in jiu-jitsu right now, but Vieira is known as the best guard passer in the world today. What will conquer? Berimbolo or passing pressure? Vieira may be the big favorite due to size difference, but this will be an exciting and intriguing match to watch.

Keenan Cornelius vs. Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida

Keenan Cornelius has already proved himself a legitimate threat to win the Worlds in 2014 after posting wins over CheckMat competitors Lucas Leite and Jackson Souza, as well as Clark Gracie and Dean Lister. With that impressive string of victories, Cornelius looks primed to be on a collision course at some point in 2014 with CheckMat’s most dominant competitor, Buchecha. Besides Rodolfo Vieira, Cornelius may actually be the next biggest threat that could keep Buchecha from obtaining his third absolute World title. Who wins? Cornelius, with his tricky guard, or Almeida, with his explosive attacks?

Joao Miyao vs. Caio Terra

Although Caio Terra competes at roosterweight and Joao Miyao usually mans light-feather, we could still see a bout between the two at the Pans, where Terra goes back and forth in weight classes. This collision between two players with very modern yet different styles of guard play is exciting for any guard lover out there.

Francisco “Sinistro” Iturralde vs. Leandro “Lo” Nascimento

Although Iturralde was criticized for a less-than-spectacular career as a brown belt, Sinistro has come out strong as a black belt so far. After wins over Vitor Oliveira and Phillipe Della Monica, along with a great fight with Oliveira at the Pro League, why should we count out Iturralde? Now training at Cobrinha’s in Los Angeles until the Worlds, he should only be improving over the coming months. However, Leandro Lo looks to be on a mission for his third World title. Who takes the win in this match-up?

AJ Agazarm vs. Jonathan “JT” Torres

Who thinks this would be a crazy fun battle to watch? AJ Agazarm and JT Torres are always gamers who are constantly on the attack, so this one could end up being the most action-packed match of the competition year.

For fun, here are some more interesting match-ups we’d like to see between new and old black belts:

Victor Genovesi vs. Samir Chantre
Travis Stevens vs. Claudio Calasans
Felipe Pena vs. Andre Galvao
Paulo/Joao Miyao vs. Rafael/Guilherme Mendes
Keenan Cornelius vs. Bernardo Faria

What other match-ups would you like to see? Comment below! Osss!

About The Author

Gianni Grippo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Contributor
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Gianni Grippo is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcelo Garcia and trains at the Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City. Besides being a big fan of the sport, Gianni is also an avid competitor and has ranked among the best in the World from blue to brown belt winning 6 IBJJF World titles and 7 Pan Championships. Still at 21, Gianni looks to continue to compete for many years to come as his main goals are to win the World championships at black belt and win the ADCC title.