After three days of action in Irvine, California the stage is finally set for the black belt weight divisions. Results have come in fast and furious all week as the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) has played host to the largest competition field in BJJ history: 3,200 competitors.
The black belt open weight division took place yesterday and saw many of the art's top names enter their names in the lists. Bernardo Faria, a world champion and former Pan Am Absolute champion was considered to be a favorite going in but he fell to Antonio Barbosa from Checkmat on points.
On the other-side of the bracket Kron Gracie put on an excellent display of jiu jitsu defeating two larger opponents but sadly his very anticipated match with Victor Estima ended early when Estima was DQ for knee reaping. Kron was then submitted by Marcus Vinicius "Buchecha" in an excellent match. Buchecha was also from Checkmat BJJ, so he and Barbosa did not face each other in the final match. The same happened on the women's side of things as Alliance teammates Gabi Garcia and Luanna Alzuguir cruised to the finals. Something of an anti-climatic finish to an otherwise excellent Open Weight tournament.
Other notable results include Keenan Cornelius of Llyod Irvin BJJ won gold in the Middle and Open weight-classes at Purple belt. Cornelius is considered a top prospect in the grappling world, and this Friday he scored an impressed submission victory locking up an armbar from the 50/50 guard.
Also the Black Belt Masters (30 years+) division took place and it was brother of UFC veteran Ricardo Alemida and one of the leading members of Gracie Barra Flavio Almeida who took home both the Heavyweight division and Open weight gold. Brock Lesnar's BJJ coach Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros won the Ultra-Heavy class for Brasa.
It is still anybody's game in the team standings as Alliance Jiu Jitsu holds a narrow 40 to 38 lead over Team Lloyd Irvin, with Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu in third with 22 points.
And we are off with the black belt rooster-weight and Light Feather weight divisions.
Rooster, Light Feather and Feather Preliminary Rounds:
Brandon Mullins of Gracie Barra won pretty handily sinking a gi choke while being up on points 8-0. Mullins will face Caio Terra in the next round.
Fabbuio Alencar and Takahito Yoshioka are both attempting to play open guard and slowly progressing towards 50/50 guard. The two are still battling with Alencar on top and Yoshioka stopping guard passes. Alencar advances, winner by ref decision.
Rader vs Glrotto is a battle with Rader up 2-0 and Girotto struggling to make his deep half guard get him results. Rader got a nice pass and is now up 4-0. Rader wins with an arm in cross choke.
Phillipe Costa just lost on a last minute sweep.
Terra vs Mullins underway: Mullins shoots in for a single leg and Caio stops it. Mullins drives, but Caio reverses and takes the back. Caio working for a choke while Mullins is going two on one to stop the choke. Caio locks up a body triangle. Mullins escapes into Caio's guard. Current score is 8-0 Caio Terra. Caio working half guard now with a underhook and a tough grip on the pants, Caio gets a nice single leg sweep and is taking the back again, 10-0 Caio. Caio has the mount, Mullins escapes and Caio appears to have hurt his finger. Ciao playing guard now and is working Sean Williams guard. Caio up big is on cruise control now. Caio wins 12-0.
Gullherme Mendes has his first match against Franciello Cosata. Mendes is in a strong half guard and moves to side control. Mendes applying big pressure and up 6-0. Mendes eventually sinks a baseball choke from north-south.
Wellington "Megaton" Dias is also on the mat. Megaton playing an open guard against Sandro Santiago, being very aggressive while Santiago unable to pass.
Rafa Mendes about to take the mat against Andre Monteiro. Mendes pulls guard, no shock there, and gets a sweep. Mendes passes and is up 5-0. Mendes playing excellent sidemount, feeding the lapel around the back, looking for a choke. Mendes locks on an armbar and wins.
Michael Fowler rocking a leopard hair cut is facing Renan Borges, who cut a huge amount of weight for this tournament. Fowler pulls guard and gets a sweep he looked like he was about to get passed. Fowler is now on bottom, I did not see how he got reversed, and is playing a very shallow half. Borges is attempting a knee slide. Folwer working hard for a sweep, going to deep half guard. Borges passes guard momentarily, but only gets Advantage as Fowler puts him back quickly. Score is 2-2, that advantage puts Borges up. Fowler going to an omoplata sweep earning Fowler two points. Fowler wins by brabo choke.
Bruno Malfacine won in seconds with a footlock.
Caio Terra vs Favvio Alencar of Alliance is under way. Caio playing half guard and gets a nice sweep. Alencar looking for kneebar but Caio escapes. Alencar goes for single and Caio is back to halfguard. Caio has lokced up a triangle and is looking to finish. Terra won via Triangle.
Rafa Mendes vs Justin Rader underway, Mendes pulls guard and sweeps. Mendes takes the back with a quick jump, Rader spins into an armlock. Mendes goes belly down and Rader spins out. Mendes has a triangle and is working a wrist lock and triangle at the same time. Rader forced to tap to a triangle armbar.
Megaton vs Fowler getting started, Fowler getting the closed guard. Just so we are all aware Megaton could compete in the Masters or Senior I divisions, but chooses to compete in Adult. Megaton is working a strong half guard pass right now and has Fowler smashed down. Megaton is slowly advancing towards mount. Fowler regained half guard and is looking for a triangle. Fowler sweeps to mount! Getting a huge 6 point swing, now up 6-3 with time running out for Megaton. Megaton looking for a omoplata with 1:30 left. Fowler working for a brabo choke now as time expires. Fowler wins 6-3.
Shibamoto is trading footlocks with Barata in 50/50 guard. Barata is up by 2 advantages right now. Barata wins.
Renzo Gracie wiz kid Gianni Grippo competing at brown belt. Grippo playing inverted guard right now, but almost gives up kneebar is scramble. Grippo escapes to back and locks up quick choke.
Cobrinha starting his second match against David Lemes of Atos. Lemes pulls guard and is now looking for a leg lock, now switching to 50/50 guard. Cobrinha escapes out to back and the two fall into the camera man. Cobrinha playing guard now, Lemes drops back for a footlock, Cobrinha spins out back door and sweeps. Cobrinha is up 4-0 at the half-way point. Cobrinha on the back now, looking for a choke and forces a tap with a collar choke. Cobrinha vs Mike Fowler is next.
G Mendes in a quarterfinal and is quickly on top. Mendes turns a deep half guard attempt into a reverse mount, to side control and then begins working to the back of Henrique Silva. Mendes wins to advance to the finals.
Featherweight Semi-Final: Rafa Mendes vs Mario Ries
50/50 guard battle underway. Mario might have a leg lock under way but Rafa is sneaking out. Rafa turns a toe hold attempt by Mario into the crucifix position. Mendes working on a triangle from the side crucifix position. Mendes finishes with a wrist lock.
Featherweight Semi-Final: Cobrinha vs Mike Fowler
Fowler pulls gauard and Cobrinha is working a smashing half guard, and passes getting up 3-0. Fowler looking to regain guard. Cobrinha looking for a baseball choke, Fowler looks to escape and Cobrinha takes back. Cobrinha working a collar choke from the back. Fowler is in a lot of trouble, down 6-0 and Cobrinha has great control. Now going for a bow and arrow choke and switching back to a standard collar choke. Another bow and arrow choke forces a tap. Cobrinha to take on Rafa Mendes in final.
Roosterweight Final: Caio Terra vs Rafael Freiats
Featherweight Final: Cobrinha vs Rafa Mendes
Lightweight, Middleweight Prelims:
Ohio State wrestler AJ Agazarm is competing at brown belt for Gracie Barra is working strong top position.
Rafael Rosendo vs Peter Runez of Nova Uniao underway as Runez pulls guard. Rosendo, representing Alliance Jiu Jitsu, makes an athletic leaping attempt for the back and has Runez in turtle. Rosendo looking to put in hooks, Renez playing it very tight. Rosendo getting aggressive and Runez is able to stand up. Runez now on top while Rosendo is going for a standing closed guard sweep. Bell rung as Rosendo was working for an armbar, but Rosendo wins 12-0.
Marcos Souza from Atos and Marcelo Mafra starting off Middleweight. With 3:20 left Mafra is up by an advantage. Mafra has been playing an X-guard game that has slowed Souza down to a crawl. Huge throw by Mafra to win with match with just seconds left! Mafra takes the match.
Brown belts Jordon Schultz and Sinitstro are in a back and forth match. Schultz going for a toe hold as time expires. Sinistro wins on points.
Breaking News Romulo Barral has withdrawn due to a knee injury
Clark Gracie vs Abmar Barbosa has just started. Barbosa pulls guard and Gracie goes for a footlock right away. Straight ankle lock finishes Barbosa, who appears to be hurt afterwards. Gracie is making sure he is alright as medic attends to him. UPDATE: Barbosa suffered a knee injury.
Zak Maxwell vs Jason Palaclos started. Zak pulls guard and starts working an omoplata right away. Zak finishes the submission in under a minute.
Victor Estima is up 6-0 in under a minute and gets a choke against Jeston Pages.
Kron Gracie against Carlos Ribeiro. Kron gets a trip, after short guard play Carlos stands. Carlos goes for flying armbar, nothing to it, Kron drops for footlock switches to single and takes Carlos down and takes the back. Kron now working hard for a gi choke. Carlos goes belly down, Kron switches from back to omplata and then returns to the back to finish a choke in about three seconds.
Ohio State wrestler AJ Agazarm in brown belt is working a strong sprawl and headlock, looking for a rolling choke, which he finishes.
Jake Mackenzie vs Murillo Santana, winner to face Kron Gracie. Jake Mackenzie takes the back from gaurd and Murillo is now working out of an early 4-0 hole. Murillo is back on top in closed guard, struggling to break the guard and pass, Mackenzie is disrupting his balance well. Mackenzie wins on points.
Otavio Souza advances for Gracie Barra.
Claudio Cardoso also advanced for Gracie Barra to the quarterfinals.
Zak Maxwell vs last year's brown belt world champion Bruno Amorim from Gracie Barra. Maxwell again locks up an omoplata and Bruno stands to prevent the lock. Maxwell is hanging off Bruno's arm right now as Bruno tries to shake him off. Bruno falls, and now Maxwell smells blood looking for finish the shoulder lock. Maxwell gets in the proper position and finishes the omoplata.
Phillipe Della Monica, another Gracie Barra black belt taking on Tiago Rocha of Alliance. Della Monica playing butterfly guard right now, switching to half-guard. Monica wins by submission.
Kron Gracie and Jacob Mackenzie also getting started! Mackenzie pulls deep half guard, a gutsy move against Kron, who is known for punishing top position. Kron showing good balance in the deep half as Mackenzie maintains very strong grips. Mackenzie came very close to a sweep, but Kron exploded out, got the back and locked a very quick bow and arrow choke to finish the match.
Clark Gracie vs Octavio Souza, and Clark leaps in and pulls guard maybe looking for another footlock. Clark now playing guard. Souza goes for a footlock and in scramble Clark ends up on top in guard. Grip fighting in the guard. Clark doesn't seem to be able to work inside Souza's guard on the knees, so he is trying to stand. Clark is up on points 2-0 and Souza is working to create space, pushing his left foot into Clark's face. In a sweep attempt, Clark scrambles to mount but does not hold it long enough for points, still 2-0. With seconds left Souza working hard for an omoplata sweep, very hard but Clark just holds him off to win.
Phillipe Della Monica is back on the mats against Rodrigo Benedito Caproal of Atos. Della Monica is playing guard, working hard to prevent a pass. Rolling to turtle and back to guard. Monica inverts his guard, butterfly hooks, rolls and is pulling out all the stops to prevent a pass. Caproal gets half guard and working on a knee slide and switches to a head-and-arm half guard. Monica sweeps and almost gets to side control, but Caproal is back on top work from half guard. Leg tangling action going on as Monica works to keep Caproal from getting side control. Phillipe Della Monica advances on points.
Ohio State wrestler and Gracie Barra brown belt AJ Agazarm defeats Alliance brown belt Sinitstro.
Vitor Estima vs Marcelo Mafra starting up. Vitor playing De La Riva guard and being careful not to get DQ again for knee reaping. Vitor sneaking towards a footlock from De La Riva. Vitor is on top after a footlock attempt. Vitor again working for a footlock, and is up 2-0 on points. Vitor now taking the back. Vitor working a choke from the back and gets the tap.
Zak Maxwell is taking on Leandro and again Maxwell locks on an omoplata. Leandro escapes and is on top of Maxwell sprawlling. Maxwell now working hard to keep from getting put into side control. They start against standing and Leandro pulls guard quickly. Maxwell working for toe hold, ref checking on possible knee reap. Lenadro escapes, gets knee on belly points and goes to mount, Maxwell bump and rolls into guard. Maxwell again goes for leg lock but is forced to give up for fear of leg reaping DQ. Leandro playing a masterful spider guard right now. Maxwell is fending off sweeps with nothing but amazing sense of balance and Leandro is using his long legs to elevate. Finally Maxwell is force on his back, and Lenandro is in a strong half guard with a gift-wrapped arm. Zak gets a sweep an is finally on the board but loses 11-2.
Middleweight Semifinal: Clark Gracie vs Claduio Calasans
Clark again jumps in, pulls guard and starts working on a footlock. Clark trying to roll to a calf slicer and Claduio is having none of it. Clark switches to a knee compression lock, really working his leg lock game today. Clark is trying to finish for about a minute, Claduio finally escapes and attempts a pass. Clark tries to roll back to guard and Claduio takes his back and is now looking for choke. They roll out of bounds and will be reset. Claduio never got his hooks in so no points thus far. Claduio gets his hooks in for the points quickly and now is looking for a choke, Clark defending well. Still on Clark's back, things are getting desperate for Clark as Claduio takes the mount. Clark escapes to guard but not enough. Claduio Calasans advances.
Lightweight Semifinal: Vinicius Marinho vs Lucas Lepri
Lepri is on top while Marinho is working for an omoplata. Lepri still in Marinho's open guard. Marinho almost gets a sweep but Lepri rolls with in and ends up back on top with a knee on belly. Marinho slips out of a pass attempt to try to take the back, and is now looking for a take down. Lucas Lepri wins by submission.
Lightweight Semifinal: Phillipe Della Monica vs Leandro
Excited to see this after Leandro just steamrolled Zak Maxwell. Monica pulls guard and Leandro starts a knee slide through half guard. Leandro working a nasty cross face to X-choke from half, Monica defends, almost gives up back but gets back to half guard. Monica has been playing with fire all day and Lenandro finally gets to side control. Leandro gets to mount. Monica gets back to half guard, Leandro looks for a choke. Monica fighting back from half guard, but Leandro creeping towards mount. Leandro takes side control again and back to half guard and back to side control. Leandro wins with a score of 16-0.
Middleweight Semifinal: Victor Estima vs Kron Gracie
Kron pulls guard and sweeps to get an early lead in this much anticipated re-match from yesterday's DQ Open weight match. Vitor going for and ankle lock, but gives it up and goes back to closed guard. Vitor almost gets closed guard sweep. Kron inside the closed guard still, Vitor hooks a leg and sweeps to mount. Vitor is up 6-2. Kron gets back to Vitor's closed guard and both fighters look for leg locks, rolling trying to get ankle locks. Vitor has come really close to getting DQed again for leg reaping today but is staying very aggressive on Kron's legs. Time running out, Kron's activity increasing, he is known for dramatic come backs, let see if he turns it on. More footlock attacks from Vitor. Vitor wins the match on points, Kron's quest for a major tournament gold continues.
Middleweight Final: Victor Estima vs Claduio Calasans
Lightweight Final: Leandro Lo vs Lucas Lepri
Medium-Heavy, Heavy, Super-Heavy and Ultra-Heavy Prelims:
Yuri Silva of Checkmat wins his black belt debut.
Team Lloyd Irvin's Jonathan Torres lost his first match 2-0.
ok back from a quick snack and bathroom break. Big man jitsu is in the house with the heavies getting under way.
Bernardo Faria of Alliance is facing off with super heavyweight Vitor Scholsser, and right now Bernardo appears to be in a footlock. Bernardo is out of footlock, goes for a triangle and Bernardo is going for a toe hold as Scholsser is using his legs to stretch out of the triangle. Warning for a reaping. Scholsser restarts action by pulling guard and Barnardo is passing guard with an underhooked leg pass, and got the side control points. Bernardo moves on narrowly on points.
Lovato Jr is tied with Souza from Alliance 4-4, Lovato has Souza's back. Now they are standing apart and Lovato now in a commanding half guard top position. Lovato working for the back, Souza tries to roll for a kneeba, but Lovato keeps on the back but only has one hook. Lovato takes the back and gets a sub.
Kayron Gracie is taking the mat and in a battle with Diogo Silva. Kayron is on his back playing guard but is up narrowly on points. Silva tries for a footlock, nothing for it, Kayron is still up 2-0. Kayron finishes the match with a choke.
Antonio Carlos Jr just won by submission to advance to the finals for Super-Heavyweight.
Brown Belt final Ohio State wrestler and Gracie Barra brown belt AJ Agazarm looking for Pan Am gold. Agazarm with impressive showing.
Yuri vs Lavato Jr coming up very soon. They are underway and Lavto is on top of Yuri looking to pass guard. Yuri locking up 50/50 guard looking to attack a leg and Lovato is looking to defend. Lovato is looking to the ref for stalling call and gets it . Yuri is warned for using 50/50 to stall. Yuri's activity way up now and gets a 50/50 sweep, up 2-0. Lavato sweeps him back and they are in a 50/50 battle right now as Yuri trying to take the back. Lavato comes up into the guard, but is down an advantage. Lavato's time is running out and working for footlock and gets an advantage to tie the match as time expires. A split ref decision for Yuri! An amazing debut run at black belt for Yuri keeps going!
Lucas Leite looking to join Yuri in the final with Renan Vital in his way. Leite looking to take Renan's back while standing. Leite again looks to take the back but Renan shucks him off. Renan now on top of Leite, who is playing deep half guard. Leite again attacks the back and this time gets his hooks in, but Renan gets rid of the hooks fast enough to avoid points. Leite still trying to get hooks in, Renan still defending. Leite is up 4-0 as he finally gets the back to make it 8-0. Leite now working for a choke. Leite is riding this back control to the finals.
Ok guys, black belt action has wrapped up until the finals, just over an hour away. I'm going to take a quick break. Sorry if I didn't get to a match you wanted to hear about, in one hour I will be back on Bloody Elbow with fully updated match ups for the finals.