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 tonight with the Male Black belt finals.
The marquee stars and higher belts are now poised to collide in Long Beach, California.Join the action on Budovideos.com, the stream for all of today's action is $10, there is still time to join in the action.
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.
Below several members of the Bloody Elbow staff will be providing play-by-play coverage of the finals.
Brown belt absolute: Keenan Corneilus vs. Paolo Miyao
Double guard pull. Lots of foot wrangling and grip fighting. Keenan seems to want to force Paolo's head to the left, while the Miyao mostly wants to go the other way. Paolo starts trying to invert more frequently. Keenan follows a bit, but chooses to chill out for a bit. Paolo inverts and goes all the way over. Keenan keeps his butt on the ground and eventually they disengage.
Break for pants-fixing. Paolo has pulled Keenan's pants down a bit too far during the invert guard work.
Time in. They re-engage with the grip fighting and footsy. Keenan seems hungry to come up and start pressuring, but he has to bide his time carefully. Paolo is working the back take in which he starts the berimbolo motion and then folds up like a contortionist and slides up to the back, instead of the usual spinning continuation.
Keenan seems to be refusing to let Paolo get both legs within his own. Double footlock attempts for quite a while.
45 seconds left and Keenan is coming up top. No advantage or points awarded. Paolo swinging crazily with his free leg to try and rock a sweep. Keenan pressuring and gets an advantage for the pressure. Keenan very narrowly gets the double gold here at the 2013 Pan Ams at brown belt.
Roosterweight Final: Caio Terra vs Bruno Malfacine
Bruno attempts to pull guard before touching Terra and gets a penalty. Double guard pull and Terra is already working on a footlock. Bruno gets his foot to the floor and appears safe for the moment. Terra looks like he could be setting up a sweep from an open half guard position. Terra shoots up for a triangle and Bruno is able to posture up. Terra switches to a footlock, but again Bruno is able to defend and Terra is now defending a knee slide pass.
Terra inverts and Bruno goes for a straight armlock, looked dangerous and Bruno gets an advantage. Bruno now working a cradle style half guard top position. Grapplers are re-positioned to the center of the mat. Bruno looking to step over back into a knee slide pass and Terra is trying to turn and invert for a footlock or sweep. Grip fighting.
Terra now has Bruno's foot in an awkward position, looking for a sweep but Bruno is basing well. Terra goes for a kneebar, little too shallow but gets an advantage as Bruno escapes to 50/50. Terra going after knee again and is now trying to stand, but Terra breaks him back down. They are locked in a 50/50 battle, now Bruno going to a toe hold, now both are attacking toe holds. Terra then comes up on top and gets two points for a sweep.
Bruno now breaks Terra's posture with 50/50 and they are rotating looking for grips. Terra looking for a calf slicer possibly now, gets the position and Bruno is in danger. Terra is either going to get the tap or be able to run out the clock. Terra now looking to get on top, Bruno goes for last second knee bar but doesn't have anything.
Time expires, Caio Terra defeats Bruno Malfacine by points.
Light Featherweight Final: Guilherme Mendes vs. Laercio Fernandes
They come out and kinda squat there looking at each other. Gui pulls guard and Laercio stabilizes his positioning. Gui tries to work to his right in closed guard.
The gym is basically silent.
Gui doing an over the back grip. Laercio drives in again and again. Not much happening. Gui opens his guard some and Laercio trying to back out a bit to work the angles for a guard pass. Gui keeps his grips tight and looks to start de la Riva on Laercio's right leg. Laercio drops to one knee with the other angled up in between Gui's legs.
After a long bit of slow maneuvering, Gui ends up in an inverted spiral guard-ish type position. Gui flops Laercio over, but has not yet come up top. After securing his grips, he does come up for the 2 points and starts grabbing the back of the pants for a flip-over back take if he can get it. Laercio muscles his way into a sweep right back.
Gui decides to go with it and enter in 50/50 with Laercio. 2 minutes left and Gui picks up an advantage for an attempt to sit up. Gui sits up fully and gets another 2 points. Laercio is trying to do something, but it's not effective and Gui holds on for a points win, 4-2.
Featherweight Final: Rafael Mendes vs. Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles
Cobrinha vs Rafa, possibly the biggest rivalry in the sport right now. Rafa charges in a pulls guard to De La Riva and the refs re-center them on the mat. On the restart, Cobrinha counters the berimbolo sweep with a foot attack, scramble and Cobrinha comes up on top. Rafa rolls and working hard for a sweep and Cobrinha is doing a great job always coming up on top.
Another break for re-centering and belt fixing, and the action is restarted as Rafa tries to create space to go under. Cobrinha switches to full 50/50 guard and is still stopping the sweep. Rafa gets out of 50/50, rolls to berimbolo but again Cobrinha rolls and defends very well. Back in 50/50 after refs move the competitors.
No score yet, Cobrinha showing great balance, but Rafa finally swings a 50/50 sweep and gets the two points for the sweep. Cobrinha using his legs to push Rafa away, and is getting grips on Rafa's arms, trying to stretch Rafa out. Rafa steps out of 50/50 guard and Cobrinha is working a spider guard. Rafa looks to pass, sits down, stands back up and frees one hand. Now both grips are broken and Rafa is looking to leg drag, but Cobrinha re-establishments his spider guard.
Cobrinha is having a hard time moving Rafa, but he manages to sit up, grab Rafa's leg and force the Atos grappler over. After some intense scrambling Cobrinha comes out on top and gets the two points to tie the match. Back in the 50/50 guard, Rafa looking to sweep.
Less than two minutes less, match tied at two. Cobrinha threatens a 50/50 armbar, but is mostly working to stop any sweep by Rafa, who is swinging his free leg trying to create momentum to sweep. Mendes inverts with seconds left, but time expires. No advantages, ref decision as Cobrinha shows a lot of emotion.
The winner is... Rafa Mendes, Cobrinha is in shock.
Lightweight Final: Lucas Lepri vs. Michael Langhi
Two teammates, so another gentleman's agreement to close out. No match.
Middleweight Final: Clark Gracie vs. Marcelo Mafra
Mafra launches himself at Clark, who dances away. They re-engage in the middle of the mat. Mafra pulls guard at the edge of the mat space and tries to slap a triangle on right away, but Clark ducks out and the referee stops the action for a restart in the middle.
Clark stands up and they tentatively engage. Mafra gets Clark to come in and off-balances him for the two sweep points. Mafra crunching down on Clark's leg from half guard in an attempt to back step pass (and also to shut down Clark's omnipresent omoplata). Mafra looking to get by, but Clark's grips are too well placed and tight to break through. Mafra changes tactics and starts trying to go right for a bit. Now back to the left. Gracie tracked him throughout and is still working from the guard. Clark starts some action, but neither man gains enough to be awarded an advantage.
6 minutes left in the match. Mafra going low and tight to the left again. Clark has his grips very tight, which prevent the pass. Clark is starting to set up the omoplata on Mafra's right arm (by rolling inverted to get the opposite arm omoplata). Mafra shuts that down at the cost of losing his leg placements.
Clark goes inverted and is trying again to omoplata, but this time on the left arm. Mafra jerks upright and keeps pulling away despite mighty attempts to climb up by Clark. They edge out of bounds and reset in the middle in guard. Mafra chooses to go low and left again. Clark has his grips again.
4 minutes. Clark inverts and looks for an omoplata or back take. Mafra backs out and Clark starts working leg lasso half guard on the right arm. Mafra backs out a bit to remove the leg hook and goes low and to the left again.
3 minutes left. The referee stops the action for a bit so the competitors can reset for some weird reason. Clark goes to the closed guard and tries to get to the back on the right side - it's a fake, he wants an omoplata on the left side and grabs it. Mafra defending slowly and carefully. Mafra standing upright as Clark hooks the leg. Mafra gets out and loses his balance. Clark comes up! Potential sweep! But Mafra stands up and they edge out of bounds. It's an advantage to Clark for all that work.
Mafra pulls guard in a strategic attempt to force Clark out of his guard-based game. Clark works to pass, but they edge out of bounds. Reset in the middle with knee grips. Clark dives in and works a backstep pass! He is past the guard, but he cannot stabilize! He grabs an omoplata instead!
Mafra defends and Clark Gracie switches to a collar choke! This is nuts! Mafra tries to tough it out, but taps. Clark doesn't notice the tap and holds it an extra moment. Mafra slides into unconsciousness as Clark lets go.
In celebration, Clark leaves the mats and takes a penalty 2 points. Still has the win.
Medium Heavyweight Final: Gustavo Campos vs Andre Galvao
They are teammates and have chosen to do a gentleman's agreement match. Galvao was declared winner.
Heavyweight Final: Nivaldo Oliveira vs. "Tussa" Alencar
They grip-fight on the feet. Very upright postures. Oliveira pulls guard. Tussa Dives right in and Oliveira gets to closed guard. Tussa allows Oliveira to put an omoplata on and stands up straight. Oliveira hanging on completely upside down with his head just on the mats for 15 to 20 seconds.
Oliveira pulls down enough to reset the position to a de la Riva position. Tussa trying to leg drag his way past and Nivaldo recovers. Nivaldo goes underneath Tussa for a leglock, but there's nothing there. Nivaldo pulls 50/50 and Tussa stands.
7 minutes left. Tussa shifts between standing and kneeling to force Nivaldo's legs down and down and down his own leg to the mats. Nivaldo is crunched up in a seriously uncomfortable looking position. Tussa has to be enjoying this.
Nivaldo straightens out after 30 seconds of that and Tussa uses that to leg drag his way past. Nivaldo turtles up and Tussa works a choke from the front. Nivaldo grip fights to defend and is still turtled up. Tussa still holding onto the grips and seems like he's adjusting it tighter and tighter to really try and choke Nivaldo. Oliveira is being passive and not moving much. Probably stuck.
4:30 left. Tussa working the grips still. Nivaldo pops the collar loose and they stand. Reset, belt tying.
Tussa launches into a double leg that lands out of bounds and somehow only gets an advantage for that. Not my favorite call, but Tussa doesn't care. Nivaldo sits guard on the reset.
3:00 left. Tussa preventing Nivaldo from setting his inside hook in the de la Riva guard. Tussa is preventing sleeve grips and looking to pop his right leg free of Nivaldo's grip.
2:00 left. Tussa shifting gripping tactics to free his sleeve, rather than prevent the hook. Tussa settles down and Nivaldo explodes up to the feet for a single leg attempt. Tussa fends it off easily and they reset on the feet in the middle. Nivaldo launches into a single leg and Tussa scrambles his way out. Advantage to Nivaldo there.
53 seconds left. Tussa chases Nivaldo out and they reset in the middle. Nivaldo sits down. Tussa comes in slowly in and prevents the hooks. Tussa sits down and looks to crossface the heck out of Nivaldo. Oliveira spins upside down to try for a toehold. Tussa cradles Nivaldo to wait time out and wins two advantages to one.
Super Heavyweight Final: Gaberiel Vella vs Leo Nogueira
Leo pulls closed guard, Vella postures up with on leg posted. Leo is relaxing and biding his time. Vella stands all the way up to open guard and then steps over to half guard. Leo gets in for deep half, controlling the foot with his hands, looking for an old school Gordo-style sweep.
Leo gets the sweep and is on top in half guard, not where Vella wants to be, Leo is a beast on top. Leo has the under hook and is slowly working his way up on Vella. Leo is now working a knee slide from near perfect position, the pass is going to happen.
Leo gets credit for pass, Vella explodes into a bridge and manages to get back to guard. Leo gets back into knee slide position, Vella frees an arm and re-locks half guard.
Two minutes left and it is 5-0 in favor of Leo. Again the knee slide pass seems to be Leo's goal as he locks up a gi grip to control Vella's head. Vella slips away but is still stuck in half guard. Leo slides out to side control to seal this match, Leo Nogueira wins 8-0.
Ultra Heavyweight Final: Alexander Trans vs. Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida:
Trans pulls guard after some careful circling. Trans going to his right for half guard. They both rep CheckMat, but train in very different locations, so we get a finals match. Buchecha trying to work his right leg out of the deep half guard with an underhook. Buchecha goes from far lapel to near lapel grip and flattens Trans out. Buchecha now preventing Trans from rolling out and turtling up. Buchecha moves right to mount. 7-0 with 1 advantage to Buchecha now. He's working a fist in neck choke briefly before Trans defends it. Still in mount and working the collar choke. Trans not letting Almeida get the choke and is looking to get out, but Almeida isn't moving. A lapel-based collar choke nearly gets there and Trans gets out and to deep half.
After some more foofing around, Buchecha chills out and the time elapses. Buchecha is the ultraheavyweight Pan Ams champion.
Openweight Final: Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida vs Andre Galvao
It is finally time for this match. Buchecha the much larger man, and shoots in for a double leg. Galvao defends some excellent wrestling follows, and it is Buchecha that gets the top position and takedown. Buchecha tries a pass, Galvao explodes to the feet and they go out of bounds. Galvao fakes a hip toss and goes for tip, Buchecha defends deftly. They lock up standing both with collar and sleeve grips, low postures. Galvao pulls guard into a sweep but Buchecha manages to base out. Galvao turtles and tries a sit out, but Buchecha grabs a foot and stops it nicely.
After some belt fixing the action starts again, both are looking for grips on the feet. Buchecha shoots from too far out, Galvao stops, they grip up and Galvao leaps into a triangle attempt. Buchecha keeps his posture and Galvao is now working X-guard. Buchecha kicks his leg out of X-guard and now has an omoplata crucifix position on Galvao.
Buchecha has both of Galvao's arms in danger, and Galvao is able to roll and escape the position. Four minutes left and despite all the action Buchecha is only up 2-0. Galvao warned for an illegal grip in 50/50 guard, he lets go and now looking to invert, Buchecha falls to one side to stop him. Very athletic pass attempt, but Galvao stopped it with a de la riva hook.
Break to fix belts, Buchecha gets a penalty for taking took long. Action restarts in de la riva guard, Galvao working very hard for a sweep. Buchecha clears the leg and Galvao tries a berimbolo sweep, switches to knebar, forced to give it up when Buchecha threatens toe hold. They stand back up, Galvao collar drags to armbar attempt. Buchecha escapes, Galvao stands with a body lock and gets a huge inside trip takedown. Match is tied up on points but Buchecha is up with two advantages.
Galvao goes to work in the guard, trying to pass but Buchecha gets an omoplata sweep to seal the match, and wins 4-2. Buchecha gets double gold at this Pan Ams.
Light Featherweight Final: Miriam Cardoso Cerqueira points victory over Sofia Amarante
Featherweight Final: Luiza Monteiro points victory over Mackenzie Dern
Lightweight Final: Ana Carolina Vidal points victory over Bea Mesquita
Middleweight Final: Vanessa Oliveira points victory over Thaysa Ramos
Medium Heavyweight Final: Talita Nogueira points victory over Luisa Fernandes.
Heavyweight Final: Gabi Garcia wins a ladie's agreement.
Openweight Final: Gabi Garcia vs. Bia Mesquita - Gabi wins on points.