I’ve already listed the local North Carolina and surrounding areas competitors to follow, and FloGrappling has their own list of 10 first-round matches to watch. But looking through the brackets, I found a few more first-round clashes that I think are worth seeking out.
Ana Carolina Vieira vs. Ida Floisvik, Mat 12, 8:40 p.m. Eastern Time.: Ana Carolina has a crushing top game and great movement; Ida is the absolute champion at the New York Open for this year (and a former podcast guest). This is a tough first-round match, but that’s to be expected in the stacked women’s black belt middleweight division. And speaking of which …
Monique Elias vs. Leanna Dittrich, Mat 12, 7:52 Eastern Time. Leanna Dittrich is an accomplished Fight Sports black belt under Roberto Cyborg Abreu. Monique Elias is the defending world champion and the favorite to win this division, a division with no soft spots. This won’t be an easy first-round match, and the winner gets the victor of Caitlin Huggins vs. Amanda Loewen.
Tayane Porfirio vs. Venla Luukkonen is also a first-round match worth matching, and not just because it’s the final of the super-heavyweight division. That’s on Mat 2 at 7:08 Eastern Time. If Luiza Monteiro and Tammi Musumeci win their first-round matches, they meet in the second round of the lightweight division, and that should be a fun one, too.