- Michael Liera Jr. vs Gianni Grippo
Michael Liera received his black belt recently and shows a lot of promise in the division. He is a student of Andre Galvao and trains with some of the best jiu-jitsu athletes in the competition scene today, namely; JT Torres, Keenan Cornelius and the Mendes Brothers.
Gianni Grippo is a Marcelo Garcia black belt but had spent most of his time until that point training with Renzo Gracie in New York. Gianni has been very active in the last year, fighting to an hour-long draw against Joao Miyao in Copa Podio later in 2014.
These are two of jiu-jitsu’s rising American stars. They are about the same size - Liera is slightly larger - but this match would be, with a doubt, high intensity.
- Felipe Preguica vs Keenan Cornelius
This is a match that will happen soon enough, most likely in the absolute division of the Worlds or Pan-Ams.
Felipe Preguica is the current heavyweight world champion after beating Keenan’s coach, Andre Galvao in the finals. He is about the same age as Keenan and has been on a roll in 2014 with a win at the Copa Podio Heavyweight Grand Prix, beating savvy competitors like Claudio Calasans and Luiz Panza.
Keenan Cornelius is one of today’s most exciting grapplers with one of the weirdest styles and guard. It’s going to be interesting to see how Preguica will match up against the flexible and long-legged Cornelius.
- AJ Agazarm vs Lucas Lepri
AJ Agazarm and Lucas Lepri are two of the top lightweights in the game today. Although, Lucas Lepri is the more experienced athlete, AJ’s speed and energy would make the match very entertaining. It would be a more evenly matched fight in no-gi, so hopefully if this does happen at some point in 2015, it will be in rashguards. Perhaps it would make for a nice superfight at any of the big invitational events like Metamoris, Copa Podio or even the new Polaris.
- Lucas Leite vs Andre Galvao
This would be a match of the legends, but both are still very active. Lucas Leite is world champion in both gi and nogi. Andre Galvao has captured some of the best titles in gi and nogi as well. Since they are both still often competing, it makes sense to have these two face each other before they choose to slow down. This would make for a great superfight and would be interesting to see who would have the better technique and conditioning. Andre Galvao is naturally larger but Leite has competed in the heavier divisions for a while now and would not be really feel the effects of the size difference.
- Yuri Simoes vs Rodolfo Vieira (no-gi)
These two giants have fought before in the gi with Rodolfo coming out on top. However, with Yuri’s recent success in no-gi, it would be interesting to see the two test each other under those conditions. Rodolfo has mentioned in the past that he actually does not enjoy no-gi nearly as much as gi, which would really even the playing field for Yuri. Hopefully this can happen at either a superfight event or even the ADCC.
---------- What matches would you like to see in 2015? ----------