Now that the dust has settled on the 2018 worlds we can look back at the biggest stories from the competition. There was no shortage of drama at the weekend with injuries, upsets, and a few controversial calls seen across the divisions. Here are our top stories from the tournament.
Buchecha concedes open class title to Lo
When this final was set up on the Saturday we were salivating at the idea of a rematch between Buchecha vs Lo. However Lo’s run was ended in devastating fashion when he injured his shoulder in a scramble against Mahamed Aly in the final of the heavy division.
But in an incredible bout of sportsmanship, Buchecha conceded the final to Lo and let him claim the 2018 open class title despite the opportunity to win a record breaking 12th world title.
Musumeci wins his 2nd world title
Michael Musumeci Jnr made history by becoming the only American to win two gold medals at the IBJJF World Championships—and he did it in his first 2 years as black belt.
It is an incredible achievement considering that he is also currently studying for a Law degree.
Bruno gets to 10
Bruno Malfacine completed an amazing feat in Sunday when he won a record breaking 10th world title. He made it look easy as he won all 4 of his matches by submission. At certain stages of the finals he made it look like he was competing against blue belts.
After the final he left his belt on the mat signifying his retirement from competitive Jiu-Jitsu as he now turns his focus towards his MMA career.
Keenan denied by controversial Ref call
Keenan did not compete in Saturdays Open class in what seemed like an attempt to stay fresh for his own division and increase his chance of winning his first IBJJF world title. However that dream was ended in the semi-final when he lost by referees decision to Patrick Gaudio. The call seemed ridiculous considering he had the most significant position of the match and the final advantage awarded to his opponent was fairly dubious.
On Monday he posted a scathing criticism of the IBJJF referees and the system and seemed to suggested that American competitors did not receive a fair shake when it came to referee decisions.
Felipe Pena battles through injury to claim title
Felipe Pena continued on what has been an amazing year by adding a world medal to his collection. What made it even more impressive is that he did so despite badly injuring his knees and ankle in his first fight on Saturday.
Jimenez submits 10 out of 10 to win double purple
Before Friday not many people may have heard of Roberto Jimenez. The young Alliance purple belt went on an incredible run on Friday winning double gold in the Purple division and did so by submitting all 10 of his opponents!
The purple open division is always notoriously difficult to win and the way in which Jimenez did it ensures that he is now definitely one to watch for the future.
Watch out black belt divisions, Kaynan Duarte is here
Kaynan Duarte has been a dominant force in the colored belt divisions for the last few years. The young ATOS competitor claimed the brown belt double gold on Saturday and beat some serious competition along the way. He was awarded his black belt by Andre Galvao on the podium and will now surely be turning his attention to the black belt divisions.
Lucas Barbosas amazing hot streak continues
Lucas Barbosa is one of the most active high level competitors in the game but also tends to fly under the radar when compared to the other top names in the sport.
In 2018 he has been on an incredible run winning gold at Pans, Brasileiros (Absolute), and gold at the European Nogi, and double gold at the Europeans. He completed the grand slam of major IBJJF wins on Sunday when he tiook gold when he closed out the medium heavy division with teammate Gustavo Batista.