For the 2012 Mundials, Saturday was the day for climbing partway up the submission grappling ziggurat. Sunday will see who among the men and women that have battled through has the strength, the skill, the tenacity and the luck to make it all the way to the top as a World champion. Many of those that won through Saturday without loss have been champions before, but new faces and old contenders are always hungry to snatch their chances.
And now today those who survived the preliminary rounds now face one another for the chance to be crowned world champion of jiu jitsu. This is the Finals. This is what they have been working for a very long time to achieve.
This play by play is a collaborative effort between T.P. Grant, who was present early on before being forced to depart after Leandro Lo made the finals by real life events and Ben Thapa, who has a free Sunday and can geek out here in full.
Results after the jump...
Roosterweight (57 kg, 126 lbs)
Quarter Final: Milton Carlos vs. Rafael "Barata" Freitas
Barata advanced in a close, slow fight.
Quarter Final: Bruno Malfacine vs. Joao Carlos Hiroshi
Buno Malacine advanced.
Quarter Final: Felipe Costa vs. Koji Shibamoto
Costa won by a controversial referee decision. Shibamoto had a last second sweep taken away and turned into an advantage and Costa won the ref's decision.
Quarter Final: Caio Terra vs. Brandon Mullins
Terra won in dominant fashion, taking the back going for a bow-and-arrow choke and finishing with an armbar.
Semi Final: Bruno Malfacine vs Rafael "Barata" Freitas
Bruno pulls guard and is inverting looking for the back. He takes the back and is working for a collar choke. Bruno is extremely calm as he switches to bow-and-arrow and finishes the choke.
Semi Final: Ciao Terra vs Felipe Costa
Costa forfeits before match starts, Terra advances.
Final: Caio Terra vs Bruno Malfacine
A double guard pull turns into a Bruno stand-up and then he immediately launches into a back take attempt. Nearly gets it, but Caio turns, tries a footlock and then works a 50/50 guard. Bruno has two advantages. Now stands up for a bit, but Caio pulls him back down. They reset in the middle with Bruno in Caio's guard. Some slow, incremental battles for grips, positions and balance result. Bruno trying to stand up to pass the guard, but Caio's guard is too tight. Caio tried to double up on one of Malfacine's arms, while Malfacine trying to pin Caio's upper body down and work a hip grip. Caio trying to break Malfacine's grip on his collar and nearly does, but Bruno resets it. Terra is now trying for a kimura or a Shawn Williams guard. Very high guard now on Malfacine. Malfacine uses the guard open to stand up and Terra goes inverted. Terra trying to work a back take and Malfacine scooping his leg back out of the proper position for Terra. Malfacine's base is compromised and his efforts to stay on top are working. Oh, Caio nearly sweeps. One advantage to him. Bruno leading by one advantage. Caio working a half guard and has the initiative right now. Caio stands up and nearly tosses Bruno down, but Malfacine's incredible balance keeps things in the status quo. 45 seconds are left. Caio is down one advantage. They reset in the middle after a trip out of bounds during the near-toss.
Oh the referee gives a penalty point to both, an advantage to Caio for Malfacine's protest regarding the grips and an advantage to Malfacine for Caio's protest. This referee has seemingly lost control of the match. Wait, now the referee has given Caio another advantage point. The match is tied. This is ridiculous. The side judges convene. They start from standing. Caio dives in and pulls half guard. Malfacine trying to knee cut through, but it's not going. Caio has Malfacine in a dangerous situation! Oh, my! Malfacine is holding on and barely manages to avoid a sweep! The match is now tied and it will go to referee's decision. Bruno Malfacine wins by referee's decision! Terra is heartbroken and Malfacine celebrates for a bit before looking over at the visibly ticked off Terra.
Bruno Malfacine repeats as champion.
Light Featherweight (64 kg, 141 lbs)
Quarter Final: Ary Farias vs. Carlos "Esquisito" Holanda
Farias advances by points victory.
Quarter Final: Laercio Fernandes vs. Samuel Braga
Laerico won a very narrow match.
Quarter Final: Gabriel Wilcox vs. Pablo Santos
Quarter Final: Guilherme "Gui" Mendes vs. Henrique Costa
Mendes advances in very dominant fashion after taking the back and getting a choke.
Semi Final: Ary Farias vs Laercio Fernandes
Farias is out in front by two points with four minutes left. Fernandes had an omoplata, but Faries escape is now working on a toe hold. Fernandes escapes and is now in Faries' guard and gets two points for the sweep. Fernandes wins by an advantage.
Semi Final: Guilhereme Mendes vs Palbo Santos
Mendes pulls guard and is working towards 50/50 guard and Santos is looking for a footlock. Mendes scores a sweep and is now working from the half guard. Santos is trying to go deep and Mendes is stuffing him. Santos escapes to the feet but gets caught is caught in a standing barbo choke and taps, Mendes advances.
Final: Guilhereme Mendes vs Laercio Fernandes
Gui pulls guard. Laercio trying to stuff the de la riva guard. Gui has Laercio's balance a bit off, but it's not quite turning into a sweep. Gui into an x-guard. Gui pulls the berimbolo! Laercio drops his back to the mat and is trying to bring the leg of Gui over into a footlock. Gui is not reacting at all and is looking towards the referee. Laercio is working a slow ankle lock and Gui isn't doing much to escape it. At the 3:45 mark, we're not seeing much activity from both here. Gui breaks free of the footlock and sits up. He gets 2 points for the sweep. Laercio is kind of behind Gui in a 50/50 situation and Gui stands to try shaking Laercio loose. He drops back down and starts turning into Laercio. Now Gui has a grip on one of Laercio's hands and Laercio is maybe looking to turn it into a kneebar. No significant movement from either. 7:15 mark and Gui appears to have stopped doing anything beyond holding the position. Laercio opening up his figure-four'd legs and is trying to get up into Gui. Mendes works a toe hold and Laercio comes up for the sweep points! We hit the 9 minute mark and Gui is working a knee bar on Laercio. The referee gave Gui an advantage for the kneebar. Gui has reversed the positions from just a moment ago. Now Laercio is where Gui was. Gui in danger of a toe hold and an advantage is awarded to Laercio! Time runs out! A referee's decision is made for Gui Mendes!
Gui Mendes repeats as champion.
Featherweight (70 kg, 154 lbs)
Quarter Final: Rafael Mendes vs. Takayuki Koyama
Quarter Final: Osvaldo Augusto vs. Leonardo Saggloro
Leonardo Saggloro wins by rear naked choke.
Quarter Final: Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles vs. Eduardo da Silva
Corbinha dominanted this match, didn't finish but piled up the points.
Quarter Final: Marcelino Freitas vs. Mario Reis
Semi Final: Rafael Mendes vs Mario Reis
A slow match, Rafeal spent much of it working to pass Reis' guard. Rafael wins on points.
Semi Final: Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles vs Leonardo Saggloro
Saggloro scores quickly with a guard pull into a sweep. Cobrinha is playing spider guard and Saggioro stands up, Cobrinha works a de la riva into a standing back take attempt to a mat-based back take. Cobrinha takes the back and locks on a choke to win.
Final: Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles vs Rafael Mendes
Cobrinha gets warning for sitting down. Double guard pull sees Cobrinha come up for the score. Rafa turns for a berimbolo and Cobrinha defends. Rafa has Cobrinha's leg stretched out, but nobody is going anywhere. This is looking a ton like the Pans match which Rafa won, as Rafa is in an x-guard position that led to the fateful sweep and armbar in that match for Rafa's win. Cobrinha has inched his way backwards a bunch and drops back as Rafa comes up for the sweep score. Cobrinha has the 50/50 guard secured. Rafa goes for a toe hold on Cobrinha's figure-four'd leg. Cobrinha reaches across for his corresponding toe hold, but does not get it. Rafa gives up, sits up and then drops back again for the toe hold. Cobrinha wants to go upside down, but Rafa is resisting it. The 50/50 of Cobrinha has opened up a little bit. Remember that they are tied at this point (2-2). Cobrinha is trying to get a spider guard hook and Rafa cranks hard on a toe hold. Cobrinha does not react and is digging for his own grips. The toe hold is still being worked on, but it's not really going anywhere. Cobrinha seems to be waiting for his opportunity to come up to the top and score, but has to work free first. Less than a minute remaining. Cobrinha is talking to himself and looking up at the referee saying he is okay. Waiting for a last burst of energy as the seconds tick off. Both guys celebrate. I have no idea how Cobrinha thinks he's won this if he spent that long chilling in the toe hold. The referee's decision goes to Rafa.
Rafael Mendes wins yet another decision over Cobrinha in a major tournament. To be fair though, Cobrinha kinda blew that by not escaping the toehold.
Lightweight (76 kg, 168 lbs)
Quarter Final: Renan Borges vs. Lucas Lepri
Lucas Lepri won a very dominant 10-0 decision.
Quarter Final: Vinicius Marinho vs. Phillipe Della Monica
Marinho wins on points.
Quarter Final: Rodrigo Caporal vs. Leandro Lo
Lo earns two points with a sweep and Lo has passed guard. Now Lo is working for the back and has both hooks. Caporal tries to escape but Lo uses knee on belly to stop him. Lo is now up 13-0. Lo is controlling from side control, time is up and Lo has advanced with a 21-0 win.
Quarter Final: JT Torres vs. Roberto Satoshi
Satoshi pulls deep half after some motion standing from both. JT stuffing it, but falls to his side and Satoshi is looking to get up. JT bases and comes back. JT works a headlock and tries to sprawl out, and Satoshi uses that to sweep. JT in closed/open guard. Working de la riva, but Satoshi grips his way out, trying to pass. JT threatens a back take! Satoshi stands and back down. JT sweeps to top! Satoshi attacking from open guard for sweeps. JT in combat base. Satoshi has some strange grips and foot placement going. JT appears to be slowing down his activity. JT has points taken away for stalling. That penalty ends up costing JT the match as Satoshi advances.
Semi Final: Lucas Lepri vs Vinicius Marinho
Lepri is playing from the top of deep half guard. Lepri is putting his shin in Marinho's face to control him. Lepri is working very hard to escape the half guard. Much of the match has been a stalemate in the this half guard. Lepri wins a grinding decision.
Semi Final: Lenardo Lo vs Roberto Satoshi
Satoshi pulls guard and Lo is trying to pass, Satohi scrambles out of one pass attempt and gets back to guard. Lo working towards a knee slide, Satoshi looking for a sweep, Lo escape and tries to pass but Satoshi gets a reversal, he does not get sweep points. Satoshi is currently up two advantages. Lo is working his spider guard. Lo gets a sweep and Satoshi gets into 50/50 guard, Lo opens his guard and gets a bullfight pass. Lo goes for an armlock and Satoshi gets back on top, Lo playing open guard with a 5-0 lead. Lo goes for same sweep as before and Satoshi defends deftly, but Lo chains another sweep and scores another two points.
Final: Leandro Lo vs. Lucas Lepri
Lo gets an advantage point early on with his guard work. Lucas spends nearly the entire match trying to pass that impenetrable guard and just doesn't get it. Lo is the Mundials champion by one advantage point in a scoreless match. Lepri tried and tried and tried, but just couldn't get past the constricting legs of Leandro Lo. Good year for him and very good year for PSLPB Cicero Costha.
Mediumweight (82 kg, 181 lbs)
Quarter Final: Lucas Leite vs. Daniel Garcia
Leite gets an early sweep and is now almost in mount. Lots of slow work from the quarter mount for Leite, who has 2 points and no advantages. They stand and Leite pulls guard to get to half guard. Same sweep that worked in the beginning works again for Leite. 4-0 Leite. Daniel goes for a toe hold after they stand once more. Leite gets 2 points for another sweep. Moves on 6-0.
Quarter Final: Otavio Souza vs. Kron Gracie
Kron is out with a knee injury, so Souza moves on.
Quarter Final: Claudio Calasans vs. Alan "Finfou" Nascimento
Calasans pulls guard and nearly flips Finfou. After some back and forth, Finfou goes for a leglock, but no dice. They're stuck in an open guard with neither guy really moving. Calasans comes up and gets the 2 points for a sweep. Finfou backs up and out to the feet. Calasans attacking more, but being cautious. Calasans shoots and bonks Finfou on the jaw with his head. Calasans pulls guard again and goes into a kneebar. Finfou defends, now in the 50/50. Calasans has to go off the mats to do something the ref tells him. Missed it - might be a cleanup of something. They start from standing. Finfou and Calasans double guard pull. 50/50 action. Calsans works an omoplata sweep. Finfou defending, but not getting out. They roll over and over, but Finfou not getting out. They roll out of bounds, score shows 4-2 Calasans with a few advantages each. After some guard work, Calasans goes for a toehold and Finfou keeps spinning and spinning. Time runs out.
Quarter Final: Victor Estima vs. Diego Borges
Estima pulls guard. Works his way back to the feet and then pulls guard again, gets an advantage for a near sweep. Estima gets a sweep from open guard and stands up. Borges pulls guard. Victor works a slow guard pass into an inverted triangle. No, I do not know how that works, but he's doing it. Gets the tap!
Semi Final: Victor Estima vs. Claudio Calasans
Double guard pull. Calasans scrabbles more to take the initiative, but it slows down to an open guard battle for both. Footlocks are possible. Calasans appears to be hunting the footlock more, but neither is in danger yet. Victor gets a sleeve grip and sits up, but not enough to get points. Still going back and forth with neither giving up much to the other. Calasans trying to sit up and does just enough to get 2 points. Calasans standing and Victor hunting the toe hold. Victor has a toe hold position, but Calasans seems unconcerned and tries to roll out. Victor tries to do something and Calasans jumps forwards and pulls guard. Not sure how that's not points for Victor, but hey... Calasans working an omoplata sweep, but Victor jams a foot in there to defend. Victor now a passable position for a footlock and Calasans comes back out. Victor is upside down clinging onto Calasans' waist with his legs in a body lock and hunting a toe hold. Odd position, but neither guy appears able to advance. Victor cranking a foot, but it's not serious. Calasans tries getting his own toe hold and the two are now dueling with toe holds. They break free and Calasans is on top in guard. The score appears to be 4-0-1 and 4-0-0. Victor is getting medical attention for what appears to be a streak of blood coming from his face. They reset with 20 seconds to go and Calasans grabs a foot. Victor trying frantically to get a sweep, but getting stuffed. Time runs out and Calasans wins.
Semi Final: Lucas Leite vs. Otavio Sousa
50/50 guard battle early. Sousa comes up and gets 2 points. Some stalling points were handed out, but Sousa has 2 points and an advantage to Leite's one advantage. Leite sweeps. Tie game. Sousa comes up on top and Leite moves to the half guard/footlock. Leite on top. 4-1-1 for both guys right now. The match is tied. I don't mean to slight this match, but it's not as awesome a display of skill as the Barral/Lovato match. Leite trying to pass and looks like he's not quite got it. Loses a 4-6 points match to the more rested Otavio Sousa. Leite doesn't agree with the scoring.
Final: Otavio Sousa vs. Claudio Calasans
Calasans goes down in such a way that causes the referee to order Otavio into the guard of Claudio. Otavio is slowly swept for 2 points. But sweeps right back for a tie ball game. The crowd seems much more surprised at the quickness of Otavio's sweep than the gradual way Calasans came to the top. Otavio is dealing with the 50/50 by pushing his foot very firmly into the balls of Calasans. Since cups are illegal in the IBJJF, Calasans has to be feeling pretty pissed off at this point. No visible reaction though. He soon relents a little bit and lets Otavio up (no score though). Otavio drops back for a straight ankle lock while keeping a very, very firm grip on Calasans' sleeve. Calasans tries to go invert. Otavio will have none of that, pushes Calasans off and frees himself from all grips. A back and forth battle of sweeps goes until the very end. It was a rollercoaster ride until Otavio drives off Calasans in such a way that gives him a penalty for fleeing at the very last moment.
Thus, Otavio Sousa is the 2012 champion.
Medium-Heavyweight (88 kg, 194 lbs)
Quarter Final: Ian McPherson vs. Rodrigo Pinheiro
McPherson shoots for a single, tries to finish and then jumps into guard. Going for an x-guard position. McPherson somehow stands and goes for a back take, gets dumped and nearly takes a guard pass. Is now turtled up as Pinheiro tries to control him. Ian back to guard. Rodrigo trying to pass the half guard by pinning a knee. They reset in the middle. Pinheiro gets past the legs, but not enough to get points. Ian back to z-guard/open guard. They stand. Ian shoots a futile double, clinches up and then pulls half guard. Still in the open guard of McPherson. Rodrigo gets an advantage for making Ian turtle up, and they go back to guard. Reset in the middle. Scoreboard shows 5 advantages for Rodrigo to 1 for Ian. More guard work from McPherson, but Rodrigo is keeping his base solidly.
Rodrigo moves on.
Quarter Final: Diogo Araujo vs. Eduardo "Portugues" Santoro
Araujo pulls guard. Aggressive passing attempts from Santoro, but the guard stays intact. Lots of side switching and different angles of attack from Santoro, but the guard is not breaking. This match is boring. Araujo sweeps from 50/50 to standing. Santoro has closed guard. Working a standing guard break and pass. This match stinks. Araujo apparently moves on as time runs out.
Quarter Final: Romulo Barral vs. Diego Herzog
Herzog shoots in, Barral drops to pull guard and Herzog gets 2 points. Romulo working the spider guard/x-guard/open guard. Triangle threat from Romulo. Herzog getting posture and stands up. Barral gives it up as Herzog comes back down and starts working spider. Sits up. Gets the sweep. Top of half guard. Romulo working pretty hard to pass the guard, and gets a kimura, but loses it. Decides to shift to a strange back take. Herzog working a footlock/50/50 guard now. Herzog kinda on top, may have got points for that. Romulo back on top firmly in 50/50. Scoreboard shows 4-2 Barral with 2 advantages for Herzog. Barral in the half guard of Herzog, trying to back out into side control. Herzog eventually lets go a bit, then reestablishes it. Barral trying to pressure himself loose with a knee cut pass. Still in the half guard, but Barral is now in quartermount. Time ends.
Barral on points.
Quarter Final: Rafael Lovato Jr vs. Dimitrius Souza
Souza pulls guard and Lovato establishes dominant base. They stay in the half guard for a while and Lovato moves to stand and wiggle free. Souza gets a sweep and Lovato working for a sweep back from x-guard. Souza staying on top. Souza trying to pass, Lovato working de la riva guard/open guard and being very active to defend Souza's pass attempts. Lovato getting the tempo back and working sweep attempts. Souza defending. Rubber guard to omoplata for Lovato! Sweep! Lovato in the half guard of Souza. Souza and Lovato appear to trade sweeps and Lovato has the better position now. Working to pass guard and appears to win on points.
Semi Final: Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Romulo Barral
Romulo on top early looking to pass the half guard of Lovato. Lots and lots of pressure from Romulo combined with a collar grip is starting to flatten out Lovato. They reset to the center of the mat in Lovato's half guard. Barral still bringing tons of pressure and Lovato still clinging to the half guard and leg grip. Scoreboard shows 2-2 with 3 advantages to Barral. More pressure from Barral in half guard. Lovato not mounting any offense right now and Barral moves to side control. Lovato reclaims half guard, but cannot buck Barral off. Barral tries a mount move, but Lovato bucks him off and shifts to upside down guard to open guard. Barral gets the points win over a visibly disappointed Lovato Jr. Terrific match from Romulo.
Semi Final: Rodrigo Pinheiro vs. Claudio Araujo
Still holding a grudge against Araujo for the boredom he inflicted earlier. They circle standing. Araujo pulls guard and Pinheiro launches into a guard pass onslaught. Araujo has a loop choke, but Pinheiro rides it out and gets free. Pinheiro still trying to get past the guard and Araujo still holding onto the guard. This is so boring. Araujo wins a borefest with one advantage to one stalling point for Pinheiro.
Final: Romulo Barral vs. Diogo Araujo
Diogo pulls guard after some distracting tactics. Romulo allows him to grip the collar, then breaks free to try and start bringing the pressure standing. Diogo scrambles back and out. They return to standing. Romulo coming forwards and Diogo resists a sacrifice foot sweep attempt. Romulo in guard and working the spider as usual. Diogo not doing a ton beyond denying Braulio a certain grip. Diogo comes in a bit more and Barral switches to closed guard for a brief moment before going back to spider. Barral nearly gets an overhead sweep with his very active feet, but Diogo was turning in such a way that let it be shrugged off. Barral starts a single leg takedown and traps the leg between his feet while they stand. Barral tries to drop Diogo down, but he won't stay down and they are still in the leg-trap position. Romulo finally hits a trip to get Diogo down, but it was quite a while that Diogo was standing there on one leg. Romulo in side control. Barral is pushed back to guard, then passes it once more and moves into mount. Piling up the points here. 11-0. He has a deep collar grip on Diogo and gets the second! Diogo is toughing it out, but eventually taps.
Romulo Barral is the Mundials champion. This is his third gold at this category (2007, 2009 and 2012) and he's had a bronze at middleweight and two silvers in the Absolute. He's a legend and looked out and out better than everyone he grappled today. The match with Lovato may have been the "real final" though.
Heavyweight (94 kg, 207 lbs)
Quarter Final: Yuri Simoes vs. Xande Ribeiro
Simoes almost throws Xande! Ribeiro hits the ground and pops right back up to the feet to avoid that. Advantage to Yuri and the fierce start bodes well for him. They circle once more. Simoes pulls guard and goes to the berimbolo. Xande calmly defending. Simoes staying active and goes for a toe hold/kneebar. Xande still defending and looks to try and pull out before going on to top turtle. Xande breaks free and works to take the back. Banana split position for Xande now. Simoes trying to work a toe hold. Dueling straight ankle locks for both. They let go and are in the 50/50. Xande comes up top in the half guard. Xande passes the legs and works from side control. Threatening a kimura, but goes back to side control. Cross choke attempt from Xande in half guard. They stand briefly, but Xande keeps the grip and shoves him back down to the mat.
Xande wins on points.
Quarter Final: Roberto "Tussa" Alencar vs. Tarsis Humphreys
Standing clinch with not a ton of decisive action. They are staying active though and Tarsis pulls guard. Tarsis working a 50/50 on Tussa. Lotta angle changing from both guys. Tussa manages to turn Tarsis over, while still being stuck in the half guard and is looking to work free and get on top turtle. After a while, Tarsis turns back over and now has to figure out a way to deal with the pressure from regular 50/50. Tussa has one advantage due to the turn-over, but it's still anyone's game with 45 seconds left to go. 30 seconds, Tussa goes for a footlock and Tarsis has to defend! No score - and thus Tussa moves on with a 1 advantage win. Wait! Tarsis gets one advantage and it's tied! Whaaaat? Referee's decision now. Tussa wins the decision.
Quarter Final: Fabiano De Souza vs. Rodolfo Vieira
Rodolfo in the white gi. De Souza in the blue. Rodolfo hits a footsweep/open handed shove to get the takedown and De Souza goes for a knee bar! It's not quite centered on the knee, so Vieira appears to be staying patient and waiting until De Souza gets tired. De Souza lets go and stands up, while keeping Vieiera down. 2 points to De Souza! After the ref stops for a reset, Rodolfo gets a sweep. Tie game. Rodolfo gets posture and starts to stand up. De Souza does not want that, so he pulls Rodolfo near. Rodolfo forces De Souza to turtle up and gets a seatbelt grip. No hooks in. One hook now and Rodolfo working for collar chokes, while squishing De Souza. Two hooks and back points. Patience from both grapplers. Rodolfo moves to no hooks while hunting a bow and arrow choke. De Souza escapes. Scoreboard shows Rodolfo up 8-2 with 2 advantages to Vieira and 1 to De Souza. Back to the feet. Rodolfo hits yet another footsweep/shove. Working to pass the half guard. De Souza turtles up. Rodolfo working for back control again to armbar and gets the armbar.
Rodolfo by armbar after dominance.
Quarter Final: Paulo Jardim vs. Alexandro Ceconi
They come raring out of the gates. Near throws for both, but points only go to Ceconi for the sole successful one. They then stand up and clinch nearly endlessly. Stalling being called and called again, but Ceconi keeps his lead 4-2 now. Jardim pulls guard. Boring match. Ceconi moves on.
Semi Final: Rodolfo Vieira vs. Alexandro Ceconi
Rodolfo drives forwards into a trip of sorts and lands into the half guard of Ceconi. They reset to the middle. Rodolfo to side control and then to one hook with seatbelt grip as Ceconi scrambles away. Bow and arrow. We have a Xande vs. Rodolfo final.
Semi Final: Xande Ribeiro vs. Tussa Alencar
They clinch standing. Lots of chops and re-grips from both. Xande tries a throw to single leg, but it goes out of bounds. Reset in the middle standing. Very active grip fighting from both, but nothing concrete developing. Neither wants to pull guard right now. Flying armbar from Xande! It works! RAAAAAAHHH! That was amazing!
Final: Xande Ribeiro vs. Rodolfo Vieira
Chanting by the audience. So good. Xande tries for a single leg, but gets shucked off. They clinch standing. Collar and sleeve grips for both and Xande moves it to a collar and belt grip. Footsweep by Rodolfo doesn't get much. They break, reset in the middle. Rodolfo misses another footsweep. Xande tries a throw and Rodlfo tosses the scrambling Xande twice in a row. No full takedown results, but two advantages for Rodolfo as they reset in the middle. Loooots of gripfighting and small judo-style adjustments result. Another near throw results in an advantage point for Rodolfo and upon the reset in the middle, Rodolfo actually gets the takedown. He spins behind very quickly and looks to break into Xande's turtle. Xande rolls out of the turtle and scoops up a single leg. Rodolfo has good balance, but gets dumped on his back. Nearly sweeps Xande! Xande upas in mid-air to land in a good position to prevent the sweep. Rodolfo still gets the advantage point to be up 4 advantages to none in a 2-2 points tie.
They break and tie their belts for a reset in the middle. Also gives them a rest break too. Xande is on top in Rodolfo's guard. Rodolfo tries the Maracarro sweep, but it doesn't go anywhere. Shifts to de la riva and it's not going anywhere either. Xande keeping good base. Rodolfo playing an unusual cross-butterfly variation at times. Now to half guard. Xande bringing the pressure and Rodolfo reacts by scrambling to make space. Xande working a very determined guard pass as time runs out. Rodolfo wins with the advantages.
Rodolfo repeats as champion.
Super-Heavyweight (100 kg, 221 lbs)
Quarter Final: Bernardo Faria vs. Andre Simoes
Faria has the back really, really quickly. Mount now. Arm triangle. Wow.
Quarter Final: "Cara de Sapato" vs. Andre Alberto Campos
Cara de Sapato is out with a knee injury.
Quarter Final: Leo Nogueira vs. Paulo Vitor Martins
Leo Nogueira pulls guard, but Martins gets points for coming forwards at the same time. Leo works a high one for a brief moment. A very active guard from Martins. Leo sweeps and lands in the half guard of Martins. Tozi pass to the right! Side control for Leo. Leo avoids being put back in half guard. Leo Nogueira gets the sub win to move on.
Quarter Final: Felipe Menezes vs. Gustavo Pires
Pires pulls a triangle on Felipe, but it breaks. Guard work now. Lots of scrambling, but I missed some due to choppy feed. Menenzes up 6-5. Now in side control. Pires has 4 advantages. Felipe gets the points victory 8-6 after some bucking by Pires under side control!
Semi Final: Leo Nogueira vs. Felipe Menezes
Not sure how this happened, but Leo Nogueira moved on from this to the finals. It either wasn't televised or was an agreement.
Semi Final: Campos vs. Faria
Campos pulls guard and Faria slices through it to side control. North south arm triangle for him. Dominance right there.
Final: Leo Nogueira vs. Bernardo Faria (both Alliance)
A gentleman's agreement gives Leo Nogueira the title. Faria gets the gold medal though.
Ultra-Heavyweight (100+ kg, 221+ lbs)
Quarter Final: Igor Silva vs. Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida
Buchecha pulls guard as Silva shoots in. 2 points for Silva. Buchecha working a toe hold very quickly. Now a kneebar on the other leg. Silva is dealing with this onslaught well and Buchecha switches to a toehold on that foot. Silva spins and circles around back while Buchecha re-grabs the foot. Now a sweep to Buchecha. Tie game with two advantages to Buchecha. Silva gets another takedown into the half guard. Buchecha for another toe hold. Gets the tap. Wow. Silva's knee looks jacked up.
Quarter Final: Marcio "Pe de Pano" Cruz vs. Antonio Peinado
PDP pulls deep half and Peinado working to stay up top and with good base. Peinado with a collar grip and trying to butt scoot out of half guard, but PDP staying strongly attached. Peinado stands and PDP gets a sleeve grip. Slow pace. Peinado trying to free his hands, but PDP's grips are too strong. Peinado stands and PDP works spider guard. Still in spider guard at the 7 minute mark. PDP working a triangle! Peinado is trying stack up and spin out, but the long, long legs of PDP are making that difficult. An armbar combo fails, but the triangle gets the tap from Peinado. Wait, Peinado actually went unconscious after he tapped. PDP came back, noticed he was out and got the referee's attention. Medics now attending. Great, great sportsmanship from PDP there.
Quarter Final: Leo Leite vs. Ricardo Evangelista
Okay match, but I was paying more attention to Tarsis/Tussa and now Buchecha/Silva. Scoreless at the 5 minute mark and somewhat fitful pace. 2 points to somebody with the other person having 2 stalling points and the scorer having 1. They stand back up after some guard work. More stalling points assigned. The Alliance guy is penalized. Tie game, but not a good game. Leo Leite, the Alliance guy, wins due to advantages or something. Awful match.
Quarter Final: Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros vs. Alexander Trans
Comprido in the blue pulls guard on Trans in the white. Slow pace. Comprido trying to double up on an arm to break down posture, but Trans isn't moving. Comprido pops up to get a double overhook to pull Trans down and moves to half guard. Trans switches hips, but isn't getting much room. Whoo... Comprido gets the sleeve grip, a butterfly hook and the sweep. A kneebar attempt from Comprido at the same time as a toehold/anke lock from Trans. Comprido in top of half guard now with 2 points and Trans with two advantages. Trans moves to a back take attempt from the half guard and Comprido is literally posing to show his nonchalance. Trans moves for a bow and arrow and Comprido defends. They are head to head on their knees. Comprido drives forwards and then turns to guard. Trans has posture and Comprido trying to pull Trans down. Trans in the half guard and passes! Comprido trying to turn away and turtle up, but Trans has the collar grip. Trans wins by points.
Comprido retires after this match and has left his black belt on the mats. What a legendary career this man has had. Would fight anyone and everyone at any time - even no names in the Chicago tourneys who didn't have an opponent.
Semi Final: Alexander Trans vs. Leo Leite
Trans pulls half guard and they have to reset in the middle. Slow pace. Leite gets free of the half guard, but can't work a north/south position on a turtled up Trans into anything. Trans playing defense and not risking much. Leite still in the same position at the 6 minute mark. Trans briefly tries to pull half guard, but they go back to north/south turtle. The collar grip Leite has seems to be unbreakable for Trans. Leite gets ticked off, tries to pull Trans up, toss him, jump into side control and more, but they end up in north/south turtle. Frustrating, but Leite has 2 advantages. Reset in the middle due to out of bounds. Trans pulls half guard and works something - finally. Leite sprawls out and keeps his base intact as he figures out how to cope. Trans trying to pull Leite across his body, but Leite is not cooperating. Leite now trying to stuff the inside leg and move to half. Trans sweeps, but Leite pops to his feet! Just an advantage for Trans. A guard pull by Trans as he desperately seeks to score points before time runs out. Leo Leite grinning as time runs out and he stalls briefly for the win.
Semi Final: Buchecha vs. PDP
Double guard pull and some footlock hunting from both. Slow pace. Buchecha comes up top. PDP turns it and drives Buchecha into the mats. Exciting match! PDP tries a guillotine, but it does not work. Buchecha looking for coaching advice and is playing the half guard. PDP trying to pass into side contro and nearly does. Buchecha turtles up and yields the advantage. PDP hunting for space and controls Buchecha who tries to stand. Back to the mats and Buchecha looks exhausted. PDP counters a roll and stays on top. Buchecha wins.
Final: Leo Leite vs. Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida
Buchecha shoots for a low single, Leo runs away, only to be hobbled by the small grip Buchecha has on the leg. Buchecha ends up in guard and goes invert on Leo Leite. Back to more conventional guard. Buchecha gets real aggressive, lunges forwards, grabs Leite, stands up and dumps him to the ground. Buchecha on top in half guard. Leite works his way free, stands up and Buchecha chooses not to follow him. Buchecha turtled up and Leite gets on top of north/south. Leite tries to switch sides, but Buchecha grabs him and dumps him to the ground. Almeida in side control, but chooses to go straight into mount instead. Leite defending the collar choke. Almeida stays patient and in the mount. After quite a long time of grip fighting, Buchecha works a wristlock attempt into a very good armbar attempt that stays tight throughout a roll by Leite. Buchecha wins the Ultraheavyweight championship.
Super-featherweight (53.5 kg, 118 lbs):
Letícia Ribeiro vs. Miriam Cerqueira
Standing and gripfighting. Leticia tries a headlock to single and Miriam jumps guard. Leticia stays standing and tries to shuck Miriam off. Back to standing for both. Leticia pulls guard and then grabs a leg, stands up and dumps Miriam on her back. Top half guard for Leticia. Back take attempt for Leticia. Miriam shunts her back to open guard. Leticia squats to break grips and start working the pass. Miriam sits up and clutches a leg tightly. Tough battle to pass for Leticia, but she appears to be keeping base quite well. Leticia is past the feet and Miriam turns away. Not quite a back take, not quite a scramble. Miriam working a footlock, but Leticia is choking her. Miriam is somehow holding out and releases the footlock to go up top and defend the rear naked choke. Full back take. Unhooked. Now they stand. Miriam being aggressive and goes for a telegraphed flying armbar. Easily defended and a kneebar attempt from Leticia turns into a toe hold. Miriam figure fours and works to defend as time runs out. Leticia wins big on points.
Featherweight (58.5 kg, 129 lbs):
Marina Soares vs. Michelle Nicolini
The two friends hug before the match starts. Double guard pull sees Soares being a bit more proactive in the beginning. However, Nicolini is not losing by any means. They reset to the middle. Toe hold for Nicolini is broken up and Soares nearly gets a back take. Nicolini turns it into an elevated sweep attempt and tries for Soares' back. Soares now working from top of guard and settles for a moment. This is one fun, fun match to watch. After some active guard work, Nicolini gets a sweep from a stand-up position, but loses it as Soares sweeps right back. A pass attempt does not work and Nicolini's guard remains intact. Nicolini hits a sweep. Soares backs out and shoves Nicolini back down. I have no idea what the score is here, but we are all winning. Scoreboard says 4 advantages to 1 for Nicolini, I guess the sweeps haven't held position long enough to count for actual points. Nicolini working a high guard at times. Soares throwing the kitchen sink at her to get free and work a pass. Soares threatens one, but Nicolini recovers.
Awww, as time runs out, the two hug in half guard and stand, hug some more and compose themselves. Nicolini is your champion and the two Checkmat teammates have given us a very fun match to watch, instead of one bowing out to the other.
Lightweight (64 kg, 141 lbs):
Bia Mesquita vs. Luiza Monteiro
Bia up on advantages after some guard work from Luiza and gets mount on Luiza. Finish for Bia and she is the lightweight world champion! A very solid grapple from Bia today.
Mediumweight (69 kg, 152 lbs):
Vanessa Oliveira Nascimento vs. Luanna Alzuguir
Luanna pulls half guard. Good pressure from Vanessa, but Luanna is dealing with it. Open guard now. Wardrobe reset demanded by the referee on Vanessa. Luanna is working a very strange open half guard while Vanessa stands and smashes downwards. A triangle attempt is nipped almost before it really begins by Vanessa. At five minutes there is no score, penalty or advantage. Luanna still working open guard on a standing Vanessa.
Alright, I confess. I quit watching this to go get some food. Just wasn't holding my attention at all. Alzuguir won, but I'm more pumped that I got some food in my belly.
Medium-Heavyweight (74 kg, 163 lbs):
Penny Thomas vs. Fernanda Mazelli
Penny gets swept after being on top of guard for a bit. Fernanda takes her back too. Penny works spider guard into a sweep and looks very animated right now. Mazelli is just one step ahead of Penny each time a motion occurs. Penny loses position again and again despite her best efforts. Ends up taking a 2-10 loss to Fernanda Mazelli, who is now the 2012 Mundials champion.
Heavyweight (74+ kg, 163+ lbs):
Gabrielle Garcia vs. Tammy Grieco
Tammy tries a takedown, Gabi sprawls and goes behind. Takes the back with a seatbelt grip. Working a bow and arrow. Tammy breaks free, but is still under Gabi who is sprawling on top of her. Very much a wrestling-style control to s-mount for Gabi. Tammy looking to curl up and get her knee up to half guard. Does so and Gabi switches her hips. Tammy working the deep half guard and Gabi is up on her knees keeping her base. Gabi pressure passes her way into side control very nicely, tiptoeing her feet back and through. Tammy getting cross-faced hard. Gabi up on her feet hunting the collar choke. Tammy spins away and Gabi doesn't react in time to prevent a guard recompose. Gabi working a standing guard break, does break it and dives forwards into half guard. Quarter-guard for Tammy to half guard. Lots of pressure from Gabi, but it's not cracking the half guard. Gabi uses the same pressure pass to get into side control. Cross-facing with lots of pressure. Gabi purposely goes back into half guard. Tammy trying to create space, but not getting much. Gabi to quarter-guard while working a strong collar grip. Half guard. A protracted battle. Mount for Gabi.
Gabi Garcia wins 19-0.
Women's Absolute Final: Gabi Garcia vs. Luiza Monteiro
Gabi in the blue gi. Luiza in the white. There's a sort of fall/takedown hybrid and I'm not sure how it's scored. Gabi passes to side quickly and briefly tries for an americana. No dice. After a collar choke attempt, she does get the americana finish. That was about... 45 seconds max. Ok, official time is 54 seconds.
Men's Absolute Finals: Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida vs. Leo Nogueira
Leo drops down for a single leg and kinda freezes there. Almeida just pushes him down and stands in it. There's no push, no drive. Leo is now turtling up a bit. Stall warning issued by Tanquinho. Leo tries to stand up and drag him down. Does it. Buchecha tries an overhead roll, no dice, but turns it into a back take attempt. Leo goes into tornado guard and nearly gets a spectacular flip. Buchecha keeps his balance and ends up in top of deep half guard with a kimura grip locked on. Leo nearly gets a sweep and gets an advantage after escaping the kimura grip. Buchecha in top of deep half. Buchecha still down 0-2 on points. Roughly four minutes left to go in the match. Leo gets the sweep! But Buchecha gets a triangle! Leo escapes it! and may be able to work something. Back to closed guard. Leo on top and Buchecha is trying his best to get something going with a half guard sweep. Buchecha is turtled and Leo backs off a bit knowing Buchecha wants a toe hold or a kneebar. Buchecha in inverted guard, wants to roll into a triangle, but Leo's not cooperating. Tozi pass beginning. Omoplata attempt to toe hold! Leo rolling to protect his legs and Buchecha should get points for a sweep. 4-2 now. Leo going for a toe hold of his own. Buchecha rolls his way out of it, but not out of the 50/50. Dueling straight ankle locks as time ticks down. 15 seconds left and they reset to the middle. Tanquinho gives two points to each guy.
Oh my word! Buchecha gets a takedown! Tie! And passes to mount in the last second! Woooooow!
That was crazy. That was flat out crazy. Buchecha is a born entertainer. The crowd is chanting his name. He jumps into the Checkmat crowd and is basically doing the Jose Aldo celebration now.
Wow. That was an Absolute for the ages after a slow start.