FEBRUARY 5, 2018 São Paulo – Brazil was jiu jitsu’s capital for a weekend, long enough for the very best grapplers in South America to compete for the ACB title.
ACB – formerly Berkut was launched two years ago having two very distinct modules. A professional league where the top athletes in the world compete under a very specific set of rules, and the ACB JJ amateur circuit which rivals that of the IBJJF and UAEJJF.
ACBJJ’s amateur competitions include World and South American Championships as well as other smaller tournaments with and without the gi. This past weekend the promotion launched their first South American tournament and the response was overwhelmingly positive with most divisions being packed to the brim with high level talent. This across all belt colors.
The cherry on top was certainly the black belt division which gathered the top athletes in Brazil as well as many Brazilians currently residing abroad.
THE RETURN OF YAGO SOUZA
Many were hoping to see the return of one of the sport’s most promising competitors. Yago de Souza looked unbeatable back in 2016, though an injury stopped him on his tracks and left him behind for most of 2017. Unfortunately for the Ns Brotherhood black belt, the start of 2018 brought more of the same as misfortune knocked on Yago’s door yet again.
After a tremendous first round in the 85 kilogram division, Yago was faced with fellow rising star in Isaque Bahiense. The match was highly disputed and after 0x0 on the scoreboard at the end of the match the two grapplers went to overtime. There during a scramble Yago injured his knee again. The competitor was carried out and seemed to be in absolute agony, we wish him a speedy recovery.
HIGH LEVEL DEBUTS
Two very interesting black belt debuts took place at the ACB South American Championship this weekend. Those of Fellipe Andrew and Eduardo Tinoco. Both athletes had tremendous runs as brown belts last year and this was the big test for the Zenith and Almeida JJ standouts (respectively).
The tournament handed different results to each. While Andrew looked unstoppable, defeating world class grapplers such as Dimitrius Souza and Guilherme Augusto in a total of 5 matches for gold at 95 kilograms, Tinoco fell short of his medal placement. He lost to the experienced Renato Cardoso by two points (for standing up after a double guard pull), a lead he fought hard to get back but could not break through the very defensive game of Cardoso.
Regardless of the disparity in the results, both athletes showed tremendous potential. Keep an eye on these boys, they will make an impact soon.
ABSOLUTE: DAVID vs GOLIATH
After a spectacular run in the 85 kilogram division where Isaque Bahiense defeated an array of high level competition to finish 3rd (conceding the semi final to teammate Renato Cardoso), the Alliance standout took it to the absolute division.
Isaque continued is rampant success at absolute, defeating much larger man on his way to the final against the mighty Otavio Nalati, a man who will likely weigh close to 150kg. Using a tactic of stick and run, with lots of movement and double leg attempts, Bahiense was able to take the judges decision for the open weight gold medal. Below are the final standings.
ACB JJ RESULTS
1. João Miyao
2. Thales Nakasu
3. Wallace Nunes
1. Hugo Marques
2. Eduardo Vieira
3. Pedro Fernandes
1. Rodrigo Ribeiro
2. Igor Schneider
3. Otavio Nalati