The Pan Ams is the largest Brazilian jiu jitsu tournament in the world with something like 1700 or 1800 competitors in total. Even the world championships don't have as many competitors and as a result, the Pan Ams have been spread out to a five day long event with each day having something like 10 or 12 hours of active mats. It started on Wednesday and will finish up on Sunday.
Today is Sunday and the marquee stars and higher belts are now poised to compete today for gold in their respective weight classes. There is no prize money, yet significant prestige is attached to a Pans medal because the best of the best do tend to turn out for this competition in Long Beach, California. And they have turned out in platoons for this 2013 edition.
T.P. Grant already told us a few things for the casual fan to watch, so I'm here to tell you a few things for the more advanced grappling fans to keep an eye on, and Ben Thapa gave us a more in depth preview of the action yesterday.
Join the action on Budovideos.com, the stream for all of today's action is $10. So throw down a spare Alexander Hamilton and join the discussion.
Below several members of the Bloody Elbow staff will post updates on the action and who is advancing as best they can, and we will have play-by-play coverage of all finals matches on a separate post.
Noon ET Black Adult Female, Brown Adult Male - Rooster and Light Feather, Brown Adult Female
João Miyao won his first match with a berimbolo sweep followed up with a head and arm ezekiel choke.
Sijara Eubanks of Team Llyod Irvin just advanced in Women's Medium Heavy.
Miriam Cerqueira defeated Carla Franco at Women's Light-Feather black belt by a very large point margin.
João Miyao pulled guard into an omoplata, into a gi choke and then to a reverse triangle to win his second match very quickly.
Melissa Haueter beat Juliana Nogueira in a narrow match.
Jen Flannery of Ryan Hall's 50/50 lost her first match at brown belt
Ana Lebre of Gracie Humaita defeated Tracey Goodell, wife of Atos star Mike Fowler on points in the black belt Women's Lightweight division.
Current Women's Lightweight world champ Beatriz Mesquita getting started with match against Fabiana Borges. For some reason Borges has been given a penalty, reason unknown so she is down with a -1 advantage as they battle from something between a double guard pull and a half guard. Borges has come up and they are now in closed guard, very slow match so far, tied with advantages. Mesquita working on an armdrag, looking for a back take or an armbar but Borges clears out back to good guard posture. Borges stands and Mesquita spins for kneebar, but does get the sumbission, she does get advantage though and is now up. Mesquita gets another advantage for a near sweep with time running out, Borges attempts last ditch footlock but doesn't get it and time expires.
1pm ET Brown Adult Male - Feather and Light, Black Adult Male - Rooster to Light
Caio Silva is up on Luis Minechelli in a Lightweight match, and advances.
Koji Shibamoto wins his first match
Brown belt, Paulao Miyao is in for his first match and works his berimbolo attack, and wins a good match on points.
Oliver Geddes gets a quick win at black belt.
Darson Hemmings wins brown belt roosterweight division with a nasty footlock.
Choi Won Choi of Atos Jiu-Jitsu is matched with Rodrigo Lamounier de Freitas of Gracie Barra. Freitas escapes both an armbar and a kneebar to get postion on Choi and begins working for choke. Choi has now been forced to turtle up and Freitas works to side control, countering a roll by Choi. Freitas wins.
Paulo Fernando Ferreira Melo of Gracie Barra wins his first match on points.
Fernando Spessoto wins by triangle over Gustavo Ernesto Carpio Caceres
AJ Agazarm is in and I will now, in a totally unprofessional fashion, root for my fellow Buckeye. Aj is showing strong base, but is struggling to pass guard. AJ does finally pass guard and gets his three points. AJ wins on points is a tough match.
Rubens Charles Cobrinha was all over his Gracie Academy opponent, got up big on points and eventually got an omoplata finish.
Lucas Lepri is starting his day with some slick top position attack. He takes the back and gets the choke.
Oliver Geddes is back in action, pulling guard on Marcel Gonçalves. Geddes appears to be in trouble and then Goncalves finishes an awesome flying arm lock.
Bruno Malfacine is on the mat and already locked in an energetic match, and is up 7-0 on Takahito Yoshioka. Bruno wins with a lighting quick armbar that pops the arm before any chance of a tap.
I believe Langhi won, as did Felipe Costa. JT Torres gets on the back of an opponent and finishes with a nasty bow and arrow. Koji Shibamoto and Fabio Passos are in a 50/50 and inverted battle.
Cobrinha contorted his opponent, Samir Chantre, by baiting a kneebar and then applying so much pressure from half guard that Chantre had to tap. Wow.
Langhi is styling from the top right now and comfortably cruises to a points victory. Tanquinho and Isaque Paiva right now. Tanquinho and Paiva doing a very energetic match. Tanq passes after some scrambles into side and chills out. Then moves to a crucifix from the top position. Paiva seems lost now.
Zak Maxwell loses a grinding attrition war of 50/50 by an advantage. Gianni Grippo wins by choke from back with 15 seconds left. JT Torres wins on points, easily. Gui Mendes slowly dominating as well. Has a triangle that's tight on right now.
Rafa Mendes armbared his opponent after about a minute of pretty close action, seriously amazing finish.
Paolo Miyao quickly sweeps Pedro Torres, takes the back and gets a choke.
Two big matches going on with Tanquinho going against Cobrinha and tanq pulls guard to start. Lepri working from guard as well. Cobrinha sliding a knee up and perhaps looking to step out and pass. Yep. Tanq fends it off but nearly ends up in leg drag position. Cobrinha advantage. Tanq trying to get under Cobrinha, but not happening. Tanq stands. Cobrinha jumps guard. Cobrinha in spider guard. Lepri hunting a collar choke now, but doesn't have both hooks in. Tanquinho defending Cobrinha's foot placement choices. Tanquinho goes to the bottom and gets baited into a kneebar again. Cobrinha steps out and is now in the 50/50. Cobrinha still working from top of 50/50. Tanquinho gets 2 points when Cobrinha sits down, but is still down 3 advantages. Cobrinha comes back up to the top to regain his 2 point lead. Tanquinho trying to get out of 50/50 and it's not working. Langhi is on top in half guard. Tanq goes for a toe hold, but Cobrinha never taps to toe holds, so Cobrinha will probably win due to the lack of time left.
Lepri wins with a choke from back control.
Brown belt action as AJ Agazarm and Grippo both on the mats, not against each other. Agazarm, the former Ohio State wreslter just got slammed after giving up a rear waist lock. Grippo is playing guard in his match, fighting off a stack pass. Grippo takes back as opponent goes for footlock, locks in bow-and-arrow choke for the win. Back with AJ it appears his opponent injured himself in the slam, but hey are back in some scramble heavy action. AJ now playing guard. AJ goes to turtle and now is working on a single. This is a wrestling battle as AJ is working very hard for takedown. AJ is never able to get takedown and is able to get a very close ref's decision, both fighters embrace after match.
Malfacine vs. Felipe Costa. Malfa pulls guard. Tanquinho came up for 2 points again, and Cobrinha eventually comes back up. Seesaw jiu jitsu, yo. Felipe trying to pass. Malfacine wins by submission, armbar from butterfly guard.
Rafa Mendes back on the mat, and a double guard pull against Mario Reis and Rafa comes up on top. Rafa putting down intense pressure and gets a grinding win.
Caio Terra is passing Fabio resisting mightily. Score tied with only a few seconds left, ref's decision coming and it is in favor of Terra.
Langhi beats JT Torres on points.
Grippo back out on the mats, working his guard game. Stuck in 50/50, now Grippo is fighting off a leg lock. Grippo gets a narrow win.
Gui Mendes is up again and has taken the back. Spends the rest of the match there and gets the win.
3:30 pm ET Black Adult Female - Finals, Black Adult Male - Middle and Medium Heavy, Brown Adult Male - Middle and Medium Heavy
Sean Roberts wins his black belt debut with a choke.
Keenan Cornelius is up and hits a great sweep right into mount. Reversed out of mount, but Keenan up on points. Another great spider guard sweep by Keenan, both escape to standing, no points. Keenan gets taken down but transitions right to kneebar for a finish.
Keenan back out on the match quickly against a Marcelo Garcia brown belt. Tough match so far, Keenan getting a fight, ends up winning on points.
Lenadro Lo is taking on Sean Roberts, Lo fighting at middleweight despite being defending Lightweight World Champion. Lo is up 10-0 on Roberts right now, looking like a true master. Lo is up 22-0, looking for a choke. Lo wins 39-0...
Ben Henderson getting ready to come out.
Women's Final result: Miriam Cerqueira defeats Sofia Amarante for Women's Light Featherweight Pan Am Championship
Andre Galvao on top as opponent pulled guard. Looking to set up leg drag. Now fully standing and spinning around. Galvao having no trouble bending his opponent double, but still isn't past the guard. Now Galvao gets past the legs and is looking to take the back. Galvao gets the kimura grip and sets up an armbar. This looks really bad for his opponent, who is flat on his back in an armbar. Galvao gets tap and the win.
Octavio Souza gets a sweep right out of the gate, into mount and then goes for cross choke. Octavio ends up on the back off an escape from the choke, and Octavio gets a choke from the back.
Kayron Gracie in against Romulo Melo and looking for a sweep. Kayron on top and looking to pass. Karon gets reversed, and is now working from his guard. Kayron wins by submission.
Clark Gracie already has an omoplata working and is slowly working his way into position to finish. His opponent has stepped over and they appeared stalemated for now. Clark clears the leg and comes up and gets the omoplata collar choke for the finish.
Mackenzie Dern loses a tough battle to Ana Carolina Vidal for the FW title.
Benson Henderson does a very good job stuffing triangle attempts and working to pass the guard. He moves on through to the next round on a points victory.
Vanessa Oliveira sweeps her way to the top and pressures her way to a win in the LW title over Thaysa Ramos.
Vitor Henrique of GF Team and Leandro Lo are grappling now. It is an absolute barnburner of a match and should be in the conversation for best match of the tourney or year. Vitor Henrique wins a narrow points victory.
Luiza Fernandes having serious trouble keeping Talita Nogueira from choking her. Nogueira looks exhausted after the chokes get escaped and hangs on to swipe the win and title.
AJ Azagarm loses a squeaker in the finals of his brown belt division. Keeping an eye out for Benson still.
Otavio Sousa and Clark Gracie matching up now. Kayron Gracie and Marcelo Mafra too. Mafra submits Kayron with an arm in guillotine from guard. Then goes on to submit Vitor Henrique with the fastest applied armbar today. Super quick and insta-tap.
Benson was down early due to an omoplata sweep, then stood up and got a sweep for a tie. Passed the guard to side control and then defended omoplatas again and again until the final whistle. Benson moves on once more.
Abmar Barbosa vs. Ian McPherson now. Abmar up on points and advantages thanks to a sweep and triangle attempt. Abmar tries a clock choke, but McPherson gets back to half guard. After some more work, Abmar finishes a nice armbar on McPherson.
Clark Gracie vs. DJ Jackson now. Clark wins a referee's decision for his constant omoplata attempts, as DJ sought to pass to the left the entire time.
Benson Henderson loses his semi-finals match (I think it was the semi-finals). He was aggressive as usual, but left his arm out for the omoplatas and triangles too often, which led to him being down something like 8-0. That points gap caused him to go for broke on a guard pass and he got armlocked during it. Fun match and I hope he learns from it and enjoyed the experience.
Orlando Sanchez took Gustavo Dias to the limit and lost a nailbiter. That's a good tourney for the Cuban Cannonball.
Darragh O'Connaill lost in the semi-finals to a very strong opponent on points. That might have been the semi-finals or finals for his weight division. I'm a bit hazy on the exact bracket positioning due to hopping around to 5 or 6 different mats in sequence. Things are a bit jumbled right now.
Romulo Barral choked Abmar Barbosa with a lapel arrangement after passing Abmar's guard in the middle of the match and then applying crushing pressure. It looked like Abmar borrowed Ian McPherson's gi for some reason.
Tussa Alencar ripped a sub after some time dealing with the guard of a Checkmat opponent and moved on.
Cyborg Abreu looked like he was having fun out there playing de la Riva guard and then magicked himself to the opponent's back for a bow and arrow choke. Nasty as heck.
James Puopolo DQ'ed for knee reaping, seemed like a ticky tacky call
Guilherme Domingos dos Santos and Nivaldo de Oliveira Lima are mixing it up in half guard, Lima on top and has gotten to the mount. Something happened while I was looking away and both are standing again. Lima again is working towards the mount after some tough scramble work. Guil escaped, Limas pulls guard. Nivaldo wins on points.
Romulo Barral is working his guard passing against Gustavo Campos. Campos uses the 50/50 to get a sweep and Barral sweeps him back. Campos gets to his knees, but Barral is using his legendary grips to control Campos. Again Campos uses 50/50 to get Barral down and then stand up for the sweep. Barral instantly sweeps Campos back. Then in a scramble Campos is able to get on top and end up in side control, ref awards three points to Campos. Barral regains guard and then sweeps almost instantly, but Campos reverses before giving up points. Campos is them able to pass guard again. Campos gets knee on belly points. Campos has been given a warning for stalling. Barral escapes and goes on the attack, just under 2 minutes for him to come back from 8 points down. Campos goes for deep half guard, Barral cross facing. Barral working very hard for a pass but Campos is holding on, looking at clock. Barral looking for a cross choke, Campos is fending it off as time expires. Campos wins on points.
Cyborg Abreu is down on points currently. Sounds like Cyborg may have lost.
Lucas Leite now in against Diego Herzog and is working his half guard game. It took a bit of work but Leite hit a sweep and right into side control. Leite now on the back, work for a choke. Leite finishes the choke and is in the semi-finals.
Nivaldo de Oliveira Lima is in a battle with Max Freitas. Nivaldo gets the win.
Paulo Jardim wins his match to advance.
Time for the finals! Hit the link below!
As things are winding down be sure to head over to our full, live play-by-play coverage of the finals.