The first competitor for Team Brazil has just been announced as they make their debut in the Polaris Squads format against the reigning no gi champions, Team USA.
Weighing in at under 95kg, Igor Tanabe will be returning to the Polaris mats after he made a successful debut at Polaris 18. He took on Tommy Langaker in a tough matchup but managed to register an impressive finish by locking up a choke after taking his back. Tanabe has won several major IBJJF tournaments at the coloured belt levels throughout the years and his crowning achievement came in 2018 when he won both the gi and no gi world championship at purple belt.
He was eventually promoted to black belt in May 2020 and has struggled to compete frequently at the highest level since then due to restrictions in place to combat the pandemic. He has managed to stay somewhat active locally though and has still won nineteen straight matches at black belt without a single loss. Tanabe might have less competitive experience at this level than some of his opponents, but he’s been one to watch for quite some time and he’ll be eager to make a statement at Polaris 20.