With the absence of Roger Gracie at the 2011 Mundials, focus shifted from black belt absolutes to a new territory; lower belts and prospects. There were three big standouts this year in the purple belts and one blue belt that caught our eye. These guys are showing the BJJ world what the coming years of the black belt division will look like, and why we will no longer dread the absence of dominators such as Roger Gracie.
Mike Carbullido – Medium Heavy Blue Belt
I first stumbled across Mike on a video a couple of months ago posted by Shoyoroll on Youtube. One of the “Guam Boyz,” Mike definitely represents BJJ Revolution Team and Shoyoroll very well with hard work and always demanding results. Mike tied for third this year in a very heavily competitive weight class as a blue belt. Carbullido is definitely an eye catcher and is sure to continue to bring us great Jiu-Jitsu in the near future.
Gianni Grippo – Featherweight Purple Belt
The Renzo Gracie phenom, Gianni Grippo, has shown us what we can expect from American BJJ practitioners in the future; greatness. The more you watch Grippo, the more you fall in love with Jiu-Jitsu. With his dominance of the featherweight class, we should expect to see more excitement about the lighter weight classes. Expect to see this young mans face in quite a few places over the next few years.
Joao Miyao and Paulo Miyao – Light Featherweight Purple Belt
Wow. The only word that comes to mind when watching these brothers from PSLPB Cicero Costha roll. With their dominance at Abu Dhabi and Pan Ams, it was no surprise to see these brothers finish first and second in their purple belt divison. These Brazilian brothers do nothing but impress, and expect them to do the same in brown belt divisions, and possibly one day being strong competitors for the black. Don’t expect to not hear these names over the next few years, as they truly are the new face of BJJ.