Rodolfo Vieira vs Keenan Cornelius (gi)
We’ve seen this match before at Copa Podio when Keenan was a brown belt. Rodolfo is known as one of the best guard passers in the game, but it took quite a bit of effort to pass Keenan’s guard to get the win. Now, a few years later, it will be interesting to see how they do against each other. Keenan is not only more experienced now, but he is also stronger and brings a variety of unique guard techniques to the competitive mats.
Surely Rodolfo is training to pass every guard possible, but it’s hard to find partners that can mimic someone like Keenan. Hopefully we can see this match in the absolute division in the world championships, and if not, it would be a great fight for a pro invitational competition.
Gary Tonon vs AJ Agarzarm (no-gi)
Gary Tonon and AJ Agazarm are two of the top Americans in the game today, along with competitors like Rafael Lovato, JT Torres and Keenan Cornelius. What makes this match so great is that both these guys are about the same weight and both have been doing very well in their no-gi divisions. Tonon has been very active, recently fighting in several invitational tournaments in the USA, and AJ Agazarm has already won the world title. They are also very exciting fighters, so we wouldn’t expect a lot of the stalling you would usually see at the heavier weights.
Cobrinha vs Rafael Mendes (no-gi)
One of the biggest rivalries in jiu-jitsu is between these two; Cobrinha, the ageless warrior, versus the phenom, Rafa Mendes. Ever since Rafa was young, he became Cobrinha’s biggest hindrance to enjoying many years of complete dominance in the featherweight division. This rivalry trickled into no-gi as well, but Cobrinha was always able to fare a bit better against Rafa. The matches between these two are so intense, that whether it’s gi or no-gi, there will always be fireworks. Rafa has already sealed his dominance in the gi division with five world titles and armbarring Cobrinha at the Pan Ams. Nothing like this has happened in no-gi just yet, so it would be interesting to see what would happen now, especially with Cobrinha’s recent ADCC gold victory.