By Caoilte de Barra
Brazil will return to action at the 2022 IMMAF Pan American Championships after starting the year in style at the World Championships. An unchanged team of six will make the trip to Monterrey, Mexico, with sights firmly set on gold.
Giuliany Perea will be making her second outing at an IMMAF competition. Her maiden tournament appearance saw her shake up the Flyweight division to take home a silver medal. Her grappling prowess was vital en route to the final. A kneebar win over Eman Khan opened her account for the competition, followed by a rear-naked choke victory over a highly experienced Paulina Wiśniewska.
Unfortunately for Perea, the final did not go her way. However, the back and forth match with Beatriz Consuli was a high-level one. Since the World Championships, Perea has received her BJJ Brown Belt and has been actively grappling, winning a state championship in Brazil. This time she is moving down to strawweight, hoping to better her previous success, and as the most credentialed athlete in her division, she may well be the one to beat.
Another World Championships medalist returning to the IMMAF stage is Josiane Oliveira, who only made her MMA debut at the start of her Bronze medal run. Oliveira comes from a taekwondo background and was a reserve for the Brazilian team that competed at the 2008 Olympics. Her striking credentials shone in all three of her MMA bouts, including wins over World Cup winner Maryna Demchuck and European Championships runner-up Ilaria Norcia.
Super Heavyweight hopeful Caio Sardella will be hoping to improve on the last outing that saw him lose to Rassul Khatayev. The BJJ purple belt has only one other athlete in his division as he aims to secure his first win in MMA.
The full team that will represent Brazil at the 2022 IMMAF Pan American Championships is as follows.
Speaking ahead of the Championships, team coach Vander Valverde is expecting medals. He said:
“First of all, I would like to thank the entire CBMMAD team for once again believing in my work and all the athletes. Our team is well motivated for this Pan American, with the same athletes who participated in the last World Championship, which leads us to think that we will have a great result again.
“The team, after the last World Championships, continued to train hard and perfect the work and were thinking about the Pan American Championships. I look forward to seeing this team compete and come out with many medals.”
Last time around, the Brazil team was accompanied by UFC Hall of Hamer Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira, who will not be in attendance this time. However, UFC Bantamweight contender Ketlen Vieira will join the team in Mexico. She explained how she could not attend the World Championships but is confident in the team sent to compete. She said:
“My expectations for this Pan American Championship are the best. I already had a desire to accompany Team Brazil at the Worlds, but I was on the verge of having a fight scheduled, so I was very focused and could not go. Thank God, now I got it, I just fought, so I will have the opportunity to go with a really good team with Giulliany and Breno Yuri. There is also Josi, who was also a medallist at the Worlds. I believe that Brazil will have great participation in this Pan-American Championships.
“I’ve been following the training sessions with the guys here, and I believe that Brazil is doing very well. We also had good participation in the Worlds. This caught the attention of several amateur athletes, and more people want to participate. Minotauro has also been helping us a lot, chasing tickets and all. He’s been doing a great job with Nelson, with everyone. I have to thank him for everything. We know how difficult it is to provide support here in Brazil, even for professionals. But they are readying themselves, chasing after things, fighting for the athletes, believing in the athletes’ dreams.”
Following their impressive display at the World Championships, there is no doubt that the Brazil team will be one of the strongest in the competition. Despite only six athletes entering, they may be the ones to watch at the 2022 Pan American Championships.