One of the biggest professional jiu-jitsu shows in Brazil returned on Saturday night with a star-studded lineup. The main attraction of BJJ Stars was the middleweight grand prix. The lineup included Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa, Roberto Jimenez, Mica Galvao, Leonardo Lara, Wallisson Oliveira, Leandro Lo, Pedro Machado, and Mauricio Oliveira.
Demian Maia, Felipe Pena, Fabricio Andrey, and Bia Mesquita also competed on the card in super fight matches.
Mica Galvao defeats World champions on his way to victory
Mica Galvao is undoubtedly one of the fastest rising stars in jiu-jitsu today. Despite receiving his black belt in July 2021, Mica has already beaten some of the sports top competitors including Tainan Dalpra, Pedro Marinho, William Tackett, Levi Jones-Leary, and Dante Leon. The BJJ Stars 8 middleweight grand prix was supposed to be one of his toughest tests to date, with World champions Leandro Lo and Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa in the mix as well as Mauricio Oliveira, who holds a win over Mica in a no-gi match.
In his first match, Mica took on multiple time black belt World champion Leandro Lo. Not only has Leandro won the Worlds multiple times, he’s also done so across five different weight divisions. Mica started the match by pulling to closed guard and spent the majority of the time trying to off balance Leandro to setup sweeps and submissions. An armbar attempt from Mica’s guard earned him an advantage, a lead he would hold onto until the time expired.
The semi-final match was against Mauricio Oliveira of Alliance. The pair fought in a no-gi match on a BJJ Bet card in August 2021, a close match where Mauricio came out the victor. Mauricio started the match strong, pulling to his guard and scoring two points with a sweep. While on top Mauricio grimaced and appeared to injure his knee. The doctor came onto the mat and Mauricio was unable to continue.
Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa of Atos defeated Roberto Jimenez and Leonardo Lara on his way to the final. The final match started with Mica and Hulk exchanging takedown attempts. While both competitors were working to take each other down, neither got very close until about a minute left in the match. Hulk initiated a seoi nage that Mica countered with a single leg and subsequent trip. Hulk turned away from Mica, exposing his back, a move that Mica capitalized on immediately. He put his hooks in and started attacking the choke, finishing Hulk with a bow n’ arrow strangle. The win was likely Mica’s biggest to date and will be a big boost to his confidence heading into IBJJF Worlds and ADCC.
Demian Maia returns to grappling with submission victory over Cowboy
Despite not competing in a grappling match since 2007, 44 year old Demian Maia looked like he hadn’t skipped a beat. His opponent was UFC welterweight Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira. Maia showed a well-rounded game. He pulled guard and worked to sweep Cowboy, eventually earning the top position and working to the mount. Although Cowboy escaped, Maia went back to the guard position and this time elected to attack a submission, locking a triangle that he slowly adjusted until he got the tap. Maia’s last fight with the UFC was a unanimous decision loss against Belal Muhammed in June 2021.
Replays for all matches can be found on flograppling.com
Full results can be found below:
Grand Prix Quarter-Finals:
Lucas Barbosa def. Roberto Jimenez via points (2-0)
Leonardo Lara def. Wallisson Oliveira via points (5-2)
Mica Galvao def. Leandro Lo via advantage (1-0)
Mauricio Oliveira def. Pedro Machada via decision
Grand Prix Semi-finals:
Lucas Barbosa def. Leonardo Lara via submission (armbar)
Mica Galvao def. Mauricio Oliveira via injury (knee)
Grand Prix Final:
Mica Galvao def. Lucas Barbosa via submission (choke from the back)
Demian Maia def. Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira via submission (triangle choke)
Felipe Pena def. Henrique Cardoso via penalties (2-0)
Gutemberg Pereira def. Fellipe Andrew via submission (guillotine)
Fabricio Andrey def. Alex Sodre via decision
Beatriz Mesquita def. Julia Boscher via submission (armbar)
Marcos Petcho def. Lucas Protasio via submission (guillotine)
Mariana Rolszt def. Thais Loureiro via submission (armbar)