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2018 IBJJF Pan Jiu Jitsu Championships: Leandro Lo takes double gold

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Lo, Grippo, Matuda and Mesquita all victorious in California

Leandro Lo left 2018 Pans with two more gold medals in hand.
Blanca Garcia

Irvine, California was the battle ground for the 2018 edition of the IBJJF Pan Jiu Jitsu Championships. As expected, there were a number of matches that kept spectators and competitors alike excited through the weekend. The black belts were the featured competitors, and now with the event over there are first-time champions and those that defended their crown and secured another gold medal to defend their crown.

Leandro Lo is once again one of the big winners as he took home double-gold; winning the heavyweight and absolute divisions. He defeated Tanner Rice in the finals of the heavyweight group in a close match that ended 2-0 for the Brazilian athlete. That would be the same score to occur in the finals of the absolute division where he defeated Gutemberg Pereira.

Cornelius took home another gold medal to go along with the other Pan titles he won during his colored belt days. He and Mahamed Aly had an excellent match in the finals, where Cornelius escaped victorious due to having a 1-0 score in advantages. Many were hoping for a superfight between Cornelius and Lo in the absolute division, but that would not occur as the American failed to make it to the finals.

Gianni Grippo and Jamil Hill also had an uber-competitive match in the featherweight final. The two men were tied 2-2 and Grippo found a way to score the deciding points in the final 30 seconds of regulation. This would be Grippo’s second title at this event, in a very deep division that featured names such as AJ Agazarm and Marco Andre.

JT Torres is yet another competitor that walked out of California with another gold medal around his neck. The 2015 champion won the lightweight division via a closeout with his teammate Michael Liera Jr.

The women brought just as much excitement in their matches across the black belt divisions.

Gezary Matuda continued her winning ways as she secured her fourth Pans title. To do so, she had to defeat the defending light featherweight champion, Talita Alencar. They went back and forth but neither was able to put any points on the scoreboard. It came down to a referee’s decision where Matuda took the title to go along with her gold medals from 2011, 2015 and 2016.

Beatriz Mesquita proved that her dominance as she finished Jena Bishop with a choke from the back to take home the lightweight gold medal. Mesquita has won titles all across the sport including the ADCC and this is her seventh Pan-Am championship.

The 2018 IBJJF Pan Jiu Jitsu Championships featured big winners across multiple weight classes and belt rankings. Matches are available for replay on

2018 Black Belt Gold Medalists


Light Featherweight: Gezary Matuda

Featherweight: Karen Antunes

Lightweight: Beatriz Mesquita

Middleweight: Angelica Galvao

Middle Heavyweight: Nathiely de Jesus

Heavyweight: Maria Malyjasiak

Super Heavyweight: Claudia Doval

Absolute: Luiza Monteiro and Bianca Basilio close out


Roosterweight: Tomoyuki Hashimoto

Light Featherweight: Joao Miyao

Featherweight: Gianni Grippo

Lightweight: JT Torres

Middleweight: Lucas Barbosa

Heavyweight: Leandro Lo

Super Heavyweight: Keenan Cornelius

Ultra Heavyweight: Joao Gabriel Rocha

Absolute: Leandro Lo