2021 Olympics Fan Guide: Everything you need to know about judo

ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

Here’s everything you need to know about men’s and women’s Judo in the 2021 Olympics.

Combat sports fans from around the world will be tuning in to see a variety of martial arts including Judo, Karate and boxing in the 2021 Olympics. If you’re interested in learning more about the men and women competing in Judo, the matches to watch and the channel guides/start times, you’re in the right place. Get your kimono ready and let’s get to this.

You’ve probably already heard of gold medalist, Kayla Harrison, who’s moved on to professional MMA and holds multiple titles in the Professional Fighter’s League. But we’ll introduce you to Team USA here now, some might be familiar faces, others may not.

2021 Olympics: Who is on Team USA in judo?

There’s only one man competing for Team USA and that’s Colton Brown. You might be familiar with Brown as he competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Expect Brown to be new and improves and might fair better this time around, it being his Sophomore appearance.

The women’s roster is a bit more robust with three women repping Team USA this year. Those women are Angelica Delgado, Nefeli Papadakis and Nina Cutro-Kelly. Of the three, only Delgado has competed in the Olympics prior. Both Cutro-Kelly and Papadakis will be appearing for the first time.

2021 Olympics: What are the rules for Olympic Judo?

The rules for Judo can be quite complex. It’s similar to wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu but with its own unique ruleset. The short of it is that competitors are awarded points for throws and pin time. There are rules about grips, the Gi, and other safety procedures. Watch a few matches and you’ll catch on pretty quickly.

2021 Olympics: Who is the most famous American Judo Olympian?

There are two women who both hold medals in Olympic Judo for Team USA that you’ve probably heard of. We already mentioned one above — Harrison. But some of you might not have known that former UFC and WWE champion, Ronda Rousey, was also on Team USA. Rousey and Harrison are oftentimes compared.

“To this point [Harrison] has been fantastic, phenomenal, but she’s been in the PFL and she’s not been able to fight the competition she wants to fight which is no knock on her whatsoever,” former UFC champion Miesha Tate said. “It’s just things she hasn’t been able to control. I think she will become a part of the UFC eventually and I think she will prove what, maybe they are saying but at this point, it’s really difficult to make that direct comparison [to Ronda Rousey].

2021 Olympics: Who is Team USA’s biggest competition?

The Japanese Judo team is the one to watch in 2021. Not just because they’ll have home-field advantage but because they have an incredible team. Another team to watch is Team Israel who is quietly kicking butt and taking names. Team USA has its work cut out for them, that’s for sure.

“I usually tell foreign leaders that Israel is a world power in high-tech,” former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2019 (h/t forward.com). “Now I add that we’re a judo superpower, and that’s not self-evident.”

2021 Olympics: How can I watch Team USA Judo?

Judo competitions take place from Day 2 through Day 9 of the Olympics but exact opponents have yet to be established. Check back regularly. Due to the time difference, most events will take place while America is sleeping, so follow Team USA’s Instagram and FanSided for all your highlights from the events.

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