The Best Blue Belts in America Today: 2021 IBJJF Pans Day 1 Recap

The Best Blue Belts in America Today: 2021 IBJJF Pans Day 1 Recap

Day one of the 2021 IBJJF Pan Championships was filled with non-stop action as the best blue belts in America showcased their skills. The tournament, which took place later in the year than usual, saw competitors eager to demonstrate their prowess on the mats. For those familiar with the sport, the blue belt division is known for its fast-paced and energetic matches, making it truly exciting to watch. With a large number of participants, competing at the blue belt level becomes both a test of endurance and a contest of skill. From double gold winner Daniel Rook’s impressive submission victories to the intense battles in the lightweight and featherweight divisions, the day was packed with thrilling moments. Stay tuned for more exciting action throughout the weekend on FloGrappling!

Non-stop action continued on day one of the 2021 IBJJF Pan Championships, which took place later than usual this year. The blue belt division, often likened to playing speed checkers compared to the strategic chess moves of the black belts, provided a wealth of entertaining bouts. With the sheer size of the divisions, boasting around 50 to 60 competitors each, the competition was as much of an endurance event as it was a display of skill. Among the standout performances, Lysander Lopez emerged as the winner in the highly competitive lightweight division, while Jordan Butler showcased his submission prowess to claim the heavyweight gold medal. Carlos Already’s impressive journey to the gold medal in the middleweight division and Quinton Dixon’s dominant performance in the roosterweight category added to the excitement of the day. Be sure to catch all the live action on FloGrappling throughout the weekend!

The Best Blue Belts in America Today: 2021 IBJJF Pans Day 1 Recap

Introduction to 2021 IBJJF Pan Championships

The 2021 IBJJF Pan Championships kicked off with a bang on day 1, showcasing the incredible skills and talents of blue belt practitioners. This event, which is the first major gi tournament of the IBJJF calendar, took place later in the year than usual, but that did not dampen the excitement and energy of the competitors. As the video by FloGrappling highlights, if black belts can be compared to chess masters, then blue belts are like players of speed checkers. Their enthusiasm and relentless drive make every match a thrilling spectacle. With a vast number of participants in each division, competing as a blue belt requires not only skill but also endurance. The day was filled with non-stop action, setting the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable championship.

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The Energy and Enthusiasm of Blue Belts

Blue belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are known for their unyielding energy and enthusiasm on the mats. As the video emphasizes, the blue belt division is where the excitement truly lies. These athletes bring a fresh, dynamic approach to the sport, making their bouts incredibly entertaining to watch. Unlike black belts, who strategize their moves like chess players, blue belts engage in quick, fast-paced exchanges reminiscent of a game of speed checkers, where agility and reflexes reign supreme. This vibrant display of passion and enthusiasm makes blue belt matches a fan favorite, as spectators can’t help but be captivated by the relentless drive these athletes exhibit.

Overview of the Blue Belt Divisions

The blue belt divisions at the 2021 IBJJF Pan Championships were teeming with talent and featuring a staggering number of competitors. With divisions that deep, it becomes clear that competing as a blue belt is not only about skill but also about enduring a grueling tournament. In some divisions, there were more than 50 or 60 participants, challenging each competitor to stay focused and disciplined throughout the event. The sheer scale of the divisions speaks to the popularity and growth of BJJ, as more and more practitioners are taking up the art. From lightweight to heavyweight, the blue belt divisions showcased the wealth of talent and dedication within the BJJ community.

Daniel Rook’s Double Gold Performance

One of the standout performances on day 1 of the 2021 IBJJF Pan Championships came from Daniel Rook of Alliance Jiu-Jitsu. Rook’s incredible skills and determination earned him the coveted double gold, as he emerged victorious in both the medium heavyweight division and the absolute category. Rook showcased his submission prowess, finishing his opponents with armbar techniques. In the medium heavyweight final, he dominated Jason Hackett of Six Blades, securing a resounding 22-0 victory. In the absolute final, Rook once again employed an armbar to secure the win. His outstanding performance and double gold achievement set the bar high for the rest of the tournament.

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Lysander Lopez Emerges as Lightweight Champion

In the lightweight division, Lysander Lopez of Unity Jiu-Jitsu emerged as the champion after a grueling journey through six matches. With a staggering 71 competitors in the division, becoming the lightweight champion was no easy feat. Lopez showcased his skills, technique, and endurance as he faced tough opponents throughout the tournament. His hard work paid off, and he stood tall as the victor in the largest division of the day. Lopez’s performance exemplified the talent and dedication that blue belt practitioners bring to the mats.

Jason Calvario Dominates Featherweight Division

Another remarkable performance came from Jason Calvario of Unity Jiu-Jitsu in the featherweight division. Calvario’s dominance was evident as he secured five consecutive wins to claim the gold medal. With precise technique and strategic execution, Calvario proved that he was a force to be reckoned with. His performance displayed the depth of talent in the featherweight division and solidified his status as a blue belt standout.

Jordan Butler’s Impressive Performance in Heavyweight Division

In the heavyweight division, Jordan Butler of Pedigo Submission Fighting left a lasting impression with his remarkable performance. Butler’s journey to the gold medal was characterized by his relentless submission game. He finished all four of his matches by submission, with his first two victories coming in under a minute. In the semifinals, Butler faced a seemingly insurmountable 5-2 deficit but managed to secure a submission victory with only 13 seconds remaining. Butler’s performance showcased his resilience, technique, and determination, making him a standout in the heavyweight division.

Carlos Already Takes Gold in Middleweight Division

The blue belt middleweight division saw intense competition, with 61 competitors vying for the gold medal. Among them, Carlos Already of Team Lloyd Irvin stood out as the champion. Already showcased his skill and determination by submitting two of his opponents on his path to the top. In the final, he earned a close advantage win over Joseph Mora, securing the gold medal. Already’s performance demonstrated his talent and ability to overcome tough opposition, establishing him as a rising star in the middleweight division.

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Quinton Dixon Becomes Roosterweight Champion

The roosterweight division featured fierce competition, and Quinton Dixon of Team Lloyd Irvin emerged as the champion. Dixon showcased his skills with two submissions in his four matches, solidifying his dominance in the division. His performance highlighted his technical prowess and strategic execution, securing him the gold medal and establishing him as a force to be reckoned with in the roosterweight division.


Day 1 of the 2021 IBJJF Pan Championships exhibited the extraordinary skills and determination of blue belt practitioners. The energy and enthusiasm on display were contagious, with each match showcasing the relentless drive and tenacity of these athletes. From double gold performances, like Daniel Rook’s outstanding achievement, to individual triumphs in each division, the blue belt competitors left a lasting impression. The tournament’s deep divisions and talented participants only served to emphasize the growth and popularity of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As the competition continues, the stage is set for more electrifying performances and remarkable displays of skill in the days to come.

Hi there! My name is Jesse Hull and I am the author behind the Jiu-Jitsu FC website. With a passion for Jiu-Jitsu, I've created this platform to share my love for the sport, along with valuable insights and techniques. At Jiu-Jitsu FC, we believe in the power of this martial art to transform lives and foster resilience. Through our blog, we aim to inspire and motivate others to discover their true potential. So join me on this journey of self-discovery and let's unlock the incredible power of Jiu-Jitsu together. Remember, Discover power. Discover resilience. Discover yourself.