Already, the first major championship on the IBJJF calendar is here. The European Championship is set to take place in its familiar Lisbon, Portugal, setting starting this Thursday with the white and blue belts. However, as usual, the action with the big boys begins on Saturday when the brown and black belts hit the mats. On Sunday, all the black belt weight categories will be contested.

This championship is shaping up to be an intriguing one in the black belt categories as the up-and-comers we saw last year in Lisbon as brown belts are now at black and set to challenge the old guard. It will be very interesting to see how guys like the Miyao brothers, Francisco Iturralde, AJ Agazarm, Victor Silveiro and Jackson Souza fare on the biggest stage.

Along with the newcomers, this year’s event is sure to be a must watch because of some black belt veterans either making their return to Lisbon or making their first trip there.

Caio Terra is new to this event and should be the favorite in his roosterweight category. With the current World champion in the tournament, there are sure to be some slick submissions.

Rafael Mendes will also be present at the 2014 Euros. The three-time black belt World champion hasn’t competed in the championship since 2011, when he closed out the featherweight category with three of his teammates. This year, he stands alone as the only Atos member in the featherweight category. Mendes is looking to earn his second title.

Michael Langhi was also spotted in the mix in the lightweight category. He should be the clear favorite, as none of the top contenders from last year are in the category. You never know, though, with newcomers like Agazarm, who can really push the pace on the 2009 and 2010 World champion.

Last, there’s Rodrigo Cavaca. He makes his return with his new team, Zenith BJJ. Since leaving CheckMat, Cavaca has been working on developing a strong team with Robert Drysdale, and this will be the first major tournament in which we see the newly formed team at work. As their team continues to grow, it will be interesting to see the impact they have on the team tournaments.

So, there are just a few of the big names set for action at the Europeans. Who are you looking forward to seeing most? Comment below! Osss!

About The Author

Gianni Grippo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Contributor

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.