The purple belts are up today at Worlds, and some of the planet’s best up-and-coming female athletes will be taking to the mats to put their hard work to the test. While all of the competitors you’ll see today have earned their spot in one of the most prestigious tournaments in jiu-jitsu, here are a few (in no particular order) that you should really keep an eye out for:
This Unity athlete will be competing in the lightweight division today just over a month after winning her division at the UAEJJF World Pro. She also won gold at this year’s Boston Spring open and had an equally successful 2017, winning gold at the Long Beach International Open, the Asian Open, Euros, and the Pan Pacific Open. Needless to say, she’s been around the IBJJF circuit and is a force to be reckoned with at Worlds.
Coleman trains out of Maryland, but is competing under the BJJ Globetrotters banner in the heavyweight division this year at Worlds. She’s had back-to-back Fight to Win Pro victories in November and April, and she submitted her way to gold at the New York Open this year. 2017 saw her win Pans, and the year before, she earned double gold at the New York Open as a blue belt. She’s established herself as a dominant competitor who goes for submissions, and there’s no doubt that her relentless offensive game will be apparent on the mats today.
Another heavyweight competitor, this medal collector ends up on the podium no matter where she competes. She won gold at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam last year as a blue belt, and after earning her purple belt, she won silver at Pans this year. She recently cleaned up at the Washington DC Spring Open, winning double-gold in both gi and no-gi, and at Worlds, it’ll be no surprise if she takes home even more hardware.
Nikki Lloyd Griffiths
This middleweight Aussie from Immersion MMA has proven her worth as a competitor both in her home country and internationally. She’s a very new purple belt, having graduated at the beginning of May, but her blue belt career saw her spending a lot of time with gold around her neck. After winning No-Gi Pans last year as a blue belt, she went on to also win the Sydney International and double-gold in no-gi at the Victorian State Championships. Winning Worlds as a brand new purple belt would be a massive achievement to add to her resume, but given her track record, it isn’t crazy to think that it could happen.
Faye Lynn Cherrier
Cherrier is a rooster weight competitor out of KnuckleUp, and this isn’t her first time at Worlds — as a blue belt, she took home bronze. She isn’t afraid of a challenge, which she proved when she went up two weight classes at the Atlanta Summer International Open and won silver. She’s already had a successful 2018, having won the Atlanta Winter Open and New York Open and earning silver at Pans. This is an athlete who isn’t afraid to aim high, and she’s going to be giving it everything she has at Worlds this year.
Special thanks to Morgan Menzies and Dan Dwyer for their help in contributing to this article.