OCTOBER 10, 2021, TEXAS, USA, advances on as the capital of the jiu-jitsu world with another epic event taking place in the Lone Star State. This time it was the all-important International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s (IBJJ) World No-Gi Championships, one of the most important tournaments in the sport’s international schedule.
This event marked a historic moment in the life of jiu-jitsu as a sport, given that it was the first time heel-hooks and twisting leg-locks were included on the ruleset of a World Championships organized by the IBJJF (the most prestigious governing body of BJJ). This was also the first “No-Gi Worlds” since 2019, a hiatus forced by the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the globe at the start of 2020.
The new additions to the IBJJF ruleset brought forth a few new names to the IBJJF circuit, names more commonly associated with the submission-only movement and its buzzing tournament scene. Among the more well-known sub-only athletes on the mats at the adult black belt level were Oliver Taza, PJ Barch, Reynaldo de Leon, Marcelo Cohen, to name a few. To find out more about the tournament, check our description and the results below.
Hard to talk about this tournament without referencing Lucas “Lukete” Silva (Gracie Barra), Joe Dierkhising (BJJ Revolution), and Bridget Grace as not many would have picked any of these three names on the final matches at the start of the tournament.
Although revered during his time in the colored belt divisions, Lucas Silva’s career as a black belt had turned towards coaching from early on and he never truly took off as a competitor. That changed this weekend with a historic performance for the Cássio Francis representative as he went on to submit his way to the final with ease. In the final he did lose by submission to the veteran Marcelo Garcia student, Gianni Grippo, nevertheless, his mark in the tournament was set.
Even more surprising than Silva was Joe Dierkhising. Joe made himself noticed to us, for the first time, at this year’s No-Gi Pan American Championships, particularly after his war with 4x IBJJF World No-Gi Champion Lucas Barbosa in the absolute division. Now competing in the 97-kilogram weight class, the BJJ Revolution representative (who, according to his social media is currently training with the B-Team) took out three big names of the sport, including one of GF Team’s rising stars (Davi Cabral) and two veterans in Arnaldo Maidana and Vinicius “Trator” Ferreira, submitting them both. In a very impressive performance, Dierkhising showed speed, athleticism, technique, and composure, all the attributes required to go far in this sport.
Last but not least on our breakthrough list is Bridget Grace McEliece, who is an instructor at the Renzo Gracie Academy. Although we had seen her compete at this year’s IBJJF Pan American No-Gi Championships, this was a much better performance for Bridget. Particularly in the open-weight division, where she took out the heavier (and highly accomplished) Alison Trembley, showing fantastic composure and skill.
Hard not to point out a few grapplers on the adult black belt division who managed to mix both high-level entertainment and performance. Without a doubt, ZR Team’s Estevan Martinez did both to perfection, possibly his most impressive performance yet! The Giant Slayer finished all his opponents in the rooster-weight division, showing a balanced mix of wrestling and jiu-jitsu with heavy scrambles and a never-ending gas tank, be it playing from the top or the bottom. A true pleasure to watch this young man compete.
Another athlete very worthy of note in this department was Gabriel Sousa who, coincidently, is a training partner of the aforementioned Martinez. Always with the pedal to the metal, Sousa outperformed big names of the division, including Brandon Walenski (who he took out with a high amplitude double leg takedown that knocked out the American athlete), Richar Nogueira, and Damion Oranday.
DOUBLE GOLD CHAMPIONS IN MALE AND FEMALE DIVISIONS
Arguably the most proficient female grappler in the world right now, Atos’ Rafaela Guedes proved her worth once again with another double gold medal performance, her first double gold at the black belt division in this World tournament. Guedes had 5 tough matches, submitting two of her opponents on her way to the two podiums, and dominating the rest on points.
Another young athlete on fire at tonight’s tournament was Gracie Barra’s Pedro Marinho. The Brazilian competitor is still on his 6th month in the black belt division and has already conquered his space as one of the foremost grapplers on the planet, a rampant start to his career in the pro-category of the sport. 8 matches, 8 wins, and 2 submissions was what it took for Marinho to be crowned double gold world champion.
LEG LOCKS WORK!
The first IBJJF No-Gi Worlds with heel-hooks came as a breath of fresh air for the sport and for the federation’s ruleset. In one single event, we saw the use of the dreaded and perpetual 50-50 sweep practically removed from the competitors’ menu (more data on this soon). The position was also one of the most successful in reaching the finish, taking a good portion of the submissions seen over the past couple of days and the vast majority of lower limb taps.
Interestingly, out of all the leg-lock hunters on the mat this weekend, the most successful with the heel finish were two athletes linked with traditional teams, namely Damion Oranday (Lucas Lepri / Alliance) and Lucas Silva (Cassio Francis / Gracie Barra) with two heel-hooks each.
55KG Estevan Martinez (ZR Team)
61KG Bebeto Oliveira (GF Team)
67KG Diego “Pato” Oliveira (Unity / Cicero Costha)
73KG Gianni Grippo (Alliance)
79KG Hugo Marques (Ares)
85KG Jeferson Guaresi (Unity)
91KG Pedro Marinho (Gracie Barra)
97KG Devhonte Johnson (Unity)
+97KG Roberto Abreu (Fight Sports)
OPEN Pedro Marinho (Gracie Barra)
51KG Mayssa Bastos (Unity)
56KG Talita Alencar (American combat Gym)
61KG Ffion Davies (East Coast JJ)
66KG Raquel Canuto (Checkmat)
71KG Elisabeth Clay (Ares)
76KG Rafaela Guedes (Atos)
+76KG Mayara Custódio (Checkmat)
OPEN Rafaela Guedes (Atos)
ADULT / MALE / ROOSTER-WEIGHT
ADULT / MALE / LIGHT-FEATHERWEIGHT
– Paulo Miyao def. Joao Soeiro via 6×0 pts
– Junny Ocasio def. Marcus Beddor via Inside heel hook
– Bebeto Oliveira def. Richard Alarcon via Advantages (2×1), 0x0 pts
– Willis Nunes def. Reynaldo Leon via 8×0 pts
– Bebeto Oliveira def. Paulo Miyao via split decision, 0x0 pts
ADULT / MALE / FEATHERWEIGHT
– Daniel Maira def. Danilo Moreira via Advantages (2×1), 4×4 pts
– Diego “Pato” Oliveira def. Adam Benayoun via Advantages (3×1), 0x0 pts
– Damion Oranday def. Winson Ramos via inside heel hook
– Gabriel Sousa def. Richar Nogueira via 4×2 pts
ADULT / MALE / LIGHTWEIGHT
– Fabio Caloi def. Josh Bacallao via Advantages (2×0), 0x0 pts
– Gianni Grippo def. Deandre Corbe via Katagatame
– Rodrigo Francioni def. Kieran Kuchuk via decision, 0x0 pts
– Lucas Silva def. Zach Lecates via Inside heel hook
ADULT / MALE / MIDDLEWEIGHT
– Alexandre Jesus def. Johnathan Satava via decision, 0x0 pts
– Dante Leon def. PJ Barch via Advantages (1×0), 2×2 pts
– Hugo Marques def. Mathias Luna via Advantages (1×0), 0x0 pts
– Paulo Gabriel def. JZ Cavalcante via Advantages (3×0), 0x0 pts
ADULT / MALE / MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHT
– Jeferson Guaresi def. Joseph Watson via North south choke
– Hunter Newton def. Matheus Luna via Advantages (1×0), 0x0 pts
– Rodrigo Lopes def. Gregory Paulino Footlock
– Pedro Rocha def. Mike Perez via Guillotine
ADULT / MALE / HEAVYWEIGHT
– Vagner Rocha def. André Porfirio via gentlemen’s agreement.
– Pedro Marinho def. Yuri Santos via RNC
– Adam Wardzinski def. Joao Costa via decision, 0x0 pts
– Diego Ramalho def. Bruno Matias via Inside heel hook
ADULT / MALE / SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT
– Vinicius Trator def. Rida Haisam via 7×0 pts
– Eliot Kelly def. Helton Jose via Advantages (1×0), 0x0 pts
– Devhonte Johnson def. Fellipe Andrew via Anaconda choke
– Joe Dierkhising def. Arnaldo Maidana via RNC
– Devhonte Johnson def. Joe Dierkhising via 4×2 pts
ADULT / MALE / ULTRA-HEAVYWEIGHT
– Max Gimenis def. AJ Agazarm via 11×0 pts
– John Hansen def. Anthony Zuazo via 8×0 pts
– Roberto Abreu def. Austin Baker via Advantages (5×1), 0x0 pts
– Victor Hugo def. Brian Giorgio via Katagatame
ADULT / MALE / OPEN WEIGHT
– Gabriel Almeida def. André Porfirio via inside heel hook
– Pedro Marinho def. Victor Hugo via advantage, 0x0 pts
– Adam Wardzinski def. Eliot Kelly via inside heel hook
– Roberto Abreu def. Max Gimenis via 3×0 pts
ADULT / FEMALE / LIGHT-FEATHERWEIGHT
– Mayssa Bastos def. Sofia Amarante via 9×0 pts
ADULT / FEMALE / FEATHERWEIGHT
– Talita Alencar def. Gabrielle McComb via 4×0 pts
#1 Talita Alencar
#2 Gabrielle McComb
#3 Taylor Sausser
#3 Jessica Nieves
ADULT / FEMALE / LIGHTWEIGHT
– Ffion Davies def. Hannah Sharp via points
ADULT / FEMALE / MIDDLEWEIGHT
– Raquel Canuto closed the division with Nathalie Ribeiro*.
#1 Raquel Canuto
#2 Nathalie Ribeiro
#3 Erin Johnson
* Nathalie Ribeiro had zero matches for the silver medal as her only opponent was a no-show.
ADULT / FEMALE / MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHT
– Elisabeth Clay def. Bridget Grace via Guillotine
#1 Elisabeth Clay
#2 Bridget Grace
#3 Jordan Patrick
#3 Fernanda Figueira
ADULT / FEMALE / HEAVYWEIGHT
– Rafaela Guedes def. Maria Malyjasiak via decision, 0x0 pts
ADULT / FEMALE / SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT
– Mayara Custódio def. Alison Tremblay via advantages, 0x0 pts
#1 Mayara Custódio
#2 Alison Tremblay
#3 Fernanda Mazelli
ADULT / FEMALE / OPEN WEIGHT
– Rafaela Guedes def. Elisabeth Clay via 10×0 pts