The 16th Eddie Bravo Invitational is going down on Saturday, July 24 in San Diego, California. And trust us, you’re not going to want to miss this one. Some of the world’s top bantamweight competitors will be putting it all on the line for the 135-lb title, and while every contender on the card has earned their invite to this prestigious event, these are the ones we’re most excited to see on the stage (in no particular order):
5. Amanda Leve
Leve is a 21-year-old Ricardo Almeida BJJ brown belt who’s been making her name known on the east coast for a while. She won gold No-Gi Worlds in 2016 and double gold at No-Gi Pans the year before when she was still a purple belt. Recently, Leve has started setting new goals in the MMA world and won her first fight as an amateur. An EBI win would further cement her reputation as one of the top up-and-coming grapplers of her division.
4. Nikki Sullivan
Sullivan, another brown belt, is a very successful regular competitor on the Fight to Win Pro stage. An Atos athlete, she’s achieved big things in many of the world’s most elite grappling competitions — she’s an EBI veteran, a two-time No-Gi Pans champion, an ADCC Trials finalist, and an Abu Dhabi Pro Trials winner. She’s already established herself as a well-known competitor, but becoming an EBI champion would give her the edge needed to reach grappling stardom.
3. Erin Herle
Alliance’s Erin Herle is a Cobrinha black belt who earned an extensive list of achievements as a colored belt. At her current rank, she’s become an IBJJF South American champion and a European Open silver medalist. Herle is also the founder of Submit the Stigma, which is a nonprofit focusing on depression and suicide awareness. Winning EBI 16 would give her already promising black belt career a huge boost.
2. Bianca Basilio
Basilio is heading into EBI 16 backed by a ton of momentum. Just a few weeks ago, she made history by becoming an Abu Dhabi World Pro champion, and she won gold at Worlds four years in a row. She’s only had her black belt for about a year and a half, and her competitive focus centers predominantly on point-based tournaments, but with her impressive skill set, it’ll be interesting to see if she can conquer the EBI stage.
1. Beatriz Mesquita
“Bia” Mesquita, a black belt under Leticia Ribeiro, has won just about everything there is to win, including Pans (five times), Euros (twice), Gi (three times) and No-Gi Worlds, the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, and ADCC. And that’s just the short list. Mesquita is arguably the favorite to win this EBI, and doing so would check off yet another massive accomplishment on her ever-growing list.
Here is the full card for EBI 16: