Rooster Weight – Bruno Malfacine
This year was expected to be another tight competition between rivals Caio Terra and Bruno Malfaacine, but with Caio moving up to Light Featherweight, this should leave the Roosterweight scene to be dominated by Bruno, but there's always an opening for an upset.
Light Featherweight – Caio Terra
Although Guilherme Mendes consistently gives stellar performances in his competitions, with Caio Terra coming off his big win at Pan Ams, he'll have the momentum and is primed to take home the gold at this heavier weight division.
Featherweight – Rafael Mendes
Rafa has dominated this division for the last few years now, defeating the other top opponents, Cobrinha and Tanquinho. We can expect Rafa to win again this year, however, with competitors as dangerous as Cobrinha and Tanquinho, it won’t be an easy task.
Lightweight – Leandro Lo
Leandro Lo has been winning all his tournaments the last two years. This year he will have to defend his world championship title possibly against former champions like Michael Langhi and top competitors like Kron Gracie. An upset is always possible, but it does not look like Lo’s momentum will drop.
Middleweight – Claudio Calasans
Last year, Otavio Sousa won this division. However, the Atos team is continually proving itself as one of the fastest growing and developing BJJ teams. That being said, Calasans is also one of the naturally stronger athletes in the division. In the past, he had faced heavyweights in the absolute divisions with little difficulty.
Medium-Heavyweight – Andre Galvao
The contest here is usually tight between Andre Galvao and Romulo Barral. Last year, Andre was booted from the tournament after his outburst during the purple belt finals – defending, what he thought was, a wrongful referee decision. This gave Romulo an easier path to take the gold. However, at the last World Pro, Romulo suffered an injury and it’s possible we will not see him in the division this year, making Galvao the easy favorite.
Heavyweight – Rodolfo Vieira
This is pretty simple to explain; besides his last two meetings with Buchecha, Rodolfo always wins. We can expect Xande Ribeiro to be a close second if he competes this year.
Super-Heavyweight – Bernardo Faria
The super heavyweight division is dominated by the Alliance monsters, Bernardo Faria and Leonardo Nogueira. Last year they closed the division together. These guys have always been so dominant that it’s hard to see either one of them not getting the gold this year. However, it could be more of Faria’s year in 2013.
Ultra-Heavyweight -Marcus Almeida ‘Buchecha’
Buchecha has been on fire – dominating both his division and the absolute, with hard fought battles against smaller runner-up, Rodolfo Vieira. Buchecha is the clear favorite to take the Ultra heavyweight gold and the favorite to take the absolute gold, however, seeing how close his past matches with Rodolfo have been, it can go always go either way.
*Update: Caio Terra is now competing in his original Rooster Weight division.