SEPTEMBER 17, 2023, marked the return of the AJP Tour to Miami, Florida, for another edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam on American ground. The event has accustomed fans to watching an array of grappling stars compete for the ADGS strap, and this tournament was even more stacked than usual, with IBJJF, ADCC, & AJP World champions all over the pro division.
Below are the results of the major matches in the adult black belt division (pro-division) and a short report on each category.
MIAMI ADGS CHAMPIONS
(56KG) Kalel Santos (Cicero Costha)
(62KG) Andrew Soares (Vision)
(69KG) Joao Mendes (Atos)
(77KG) Natan Chueng (Fratres)
(85KG) Jose Jurema (Checkmat)
(94KG) Fellipe Andrew (Alliance)
(120KG) Roosevelt Sousa (Fight Sports)
(49KG) Duda Tozoni (Commando Group)
(55KG) Beatriz Gutierrez (Dream Art)
(62KG) Julia Alves (GFTeam)
(70KG) Ingridd Alves (Dream Art)
(95KG) Giovanna Jara (Fratres)
56 KILOS / MEN
A very balanced 56-kilogram division (123 lbs), but with none of its bigger stars on deck. This factor left the Miami Grand Slam throne available for a new star to emerge, that star was Kalel Santos of Cicero Costha. Santos beat one of the division’s favorites, Rodrigo Otavio in the semi-finals with a tight margin and went on to steal the gold medal from Welison Fernandes via the last point scored rule.
– Welison Fernandes def. Italo Frota via 3×2
– Kalel Santos def. Rodrigo Otavio via 3×2
– Kalel Santos def. Welison Fernandes via 2×2
– Rodrigo Otavio def. Italo Frota via 1×0
62 KILOS / MEN
The Cicero Costha team is widely recognized as one of the strongest lightweight squads in the sport. On paper, the Sao Paulo based team had everything it needed to close the final between teammates, but one athlete managed to stand in their way, black belt rookie Andrew Soares of Vision, a student of Paulao Rezende.
Soares beat two of Cicero’s biggest names in Jefferson Fagundes (former World Pro champion) and South American champion Yuri Hendrex (who had beaten IBJJF World silver medal Malachi Edmon in the previous round), taking home the gold medal and setting his name as one of the foremost light-featherweights in the world.
Another 62-kg athlete who came out of the ADGS Miami with his stock running high is Marcos Froede, a competitor who had a brilliant career as a colored belt but struggled to impose his game in the pro division as a rookie. Froede only lost two matches this weekend, both in friendly clashes with senior teammates which were likely pre-arranged. In his run through the repechage rounds Marcos beat World No-Gi champion Roiter Lima.
– Andrew Soares def. Jefferson Fagundes via 1×0
– Yuri Hendrex advanced over teammate Marcos Froede in Friendly match
– Andrew Soares def. Yuri Hendrex via 2×1
– Marcos Froede won bronze in friendly match with teammate Jefferson Fagundes
69 KILOS / MEN
Together with the 77-kg weight class, this was the most stacked division of the tournament. World-class athletes across the board and an array of exciting matches paved the way for the dominance of Atos’ Joao Bisnaga and the team’s recent acquisition, Israel Sousa (formerly with GFT).
Both Bisnaga and Sousa had clashes worth revisiting, but Israel appeared to be in a league of his own out there this weekend with all his wins coming by submission (3), including two subs over the highly-rated Artur Oliveira & Ademir Barreto.
– Joao Mendes won gold in friendly match with teammate Israel Sousa
– Artur Oliveira def. Pablo Mantovani via 1×0
77 KILOS / MEN
Another world-class line-up in the 170 lbs division in Miami saw Natan Chueng return to the winning column in style. The former Checkmat, CTA, and Cicero Costha representative, currently running with the Fratres flag, had a particularly strong bracket but pierced through it one by one. Elijah Dorsey, Felipe Schiavon, Daniel Sathler, and Vinicius Paoli were the names taken out by the gi’s Wrestle Up sweeping master.
Also very worthy of note was the performance of rookie, Vinicius Paoli of Vision. Vision was particularly strong in Miami this weekend and much of that success was found through the performances of top talent like Paoli who looked like an experienced veteran out there in his laborious & strategic wins over highly rated names like Wesley Possamai and Alexandre Jesus.
– Natan Chueng def. Vinicius Paoli via 2×2
– Alexandre Jesus def. Lucas Garcia via armbar
85 KILOS / MEN
Arguably the most fun category to follow given the array of submissions accomplished (the most finishes in the tournament), the 185 lb’ers were on fire, but none looked better than Checkmat’s rookie black belt, Jose Jurema. Jose had 4 matches in total, all against top-shelf talent, taking home two submission wins and a gold medal.
– Luiz Paulo def. Wallisson Oliveira via 3×3
– Jose Jurema def. Lucas Brito via choke from the back
– Jose Jurema def. Luiz Paulo via 1×0
– Wallisson Oliveira def. Jhonathan Marques via kneebar
94 KILOS / MEN
A small division dominated by the AJP’s #1 & #2 seeds, Fellipe Andrew & Adam Wardzinski. Andrew won, but Adam scored the most subs and looked tremendous in his wins. This was Andrew’s second consecutive win in this tournament.
– Fellipe Andrew def. Luccas Lira via 8×1
– Adam Wardzinski def. Luiz Silva via pressure/verbal tap
– Fellipe Andrew def. Adam Wardzinski via 3×1
120 KILOS / MEN
Another weight with World Championship level of talent in its brackets, Ricardo Evangelista, Roosevelt Sousa, Pedro Alex, Roberto Abreu, Wallace Costa, Roosevelt Sousa, Salenco Coutinho, Marcos Carrozzino, Yatan Bueno, Guilherme Cordiviola, all participated in an epic Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
E pluribus unum – “Out of many, one”. That was Roosevelt Sousa’s motto as he repeated last year’s feat, taking home a gold medal in this stacked tournament. In the process, “Roos” removed 3 GF Team powerhouses from the tournament as well as a former Brazilian National Squad judo player, Felipe Bezerra. A spectacular performance by the Fight Sports representative.
– Pedro Alex def. Roberto Abreu via 2×1
– Roosevelt Sousa def. Wallace Costa via 2×1
– Felipe Bezerra def. Yatan Bueno via submission
49 KILOS / WOMEN
We’ve been praising Maria Eduarda (Duda) Tozoni for quite some time as one of the most talented rooster weights on the planet, but up to this point the South of Brazil native had run hot and cold in her very short career as a black belt. Well, it seems as though she is proving us right as Mrs. Tozoni finally set herself apart from the rest of the roosterweight division with a masterful performance in Miami. Duda took out Flavia Soares and Yasmyn Castro before beating her arch-rival Brenda Larissa of Alliance in the final.
– Duda Tozoni def. Yasmyn Castro via 2×0
– Brenda Larissa def. Diana Teixeira via decision
– Duda Tozoni def. Brenda Larissa via 4×4
– Diana Teixeira def. Yasmyn Castro via 3×2
55 KILOS / WOMEN
Brown belts Beatriz Gutierrez and Thaynara Victoria won a division with a fair amount of seasoned black belts, an excellent performance for the Dream Art duo.
– Thaynara Victoria def. Alexa Yanes via 2×1
– Beatriz Gutierrez def. Gabriela Pereira via 9×2
– Beatriz Gutierrez took gold in friendly match with teammate Thaynara Victoria
– Gabriela Pereira def. Alexa Yanes via 2×1
62 KILOS / WOMEN
The female lightweight division had in Beatriz Mesquita an armbar master that dominated the weight class for years. With Mesquita slowly but surely stepping aside from the tournament scene, it seems as though the weight class is setting itself up for another reign dominated by an armbar specialist in the form of Julia Alves who had won the ADGS in 2022 and returned to victory. All wins by armbar, what a performance by GF Team’s talent.
– Julia Alves advanced in a friendly match with teammate Maria Delahaye
– Larissa Martins def. Vitoria Vieira via 1×1
– Julia Alves def. Larissa Martins via armbar
– Vitoria Vieira def. Randryely Silva via 10×0
70 KILOS / WOMEN
Maybe not as well-known in the US, Ingridd Alves is one of the top performers in the world jiu-jitsu circuit, and she proved it again this weekend.
Another competitor that turned a few heads her way was Leticia Cardozo. The talented Alliance player recently completed one year as a black belt and celebrated the achievement with a bronze medal and 3 wins over some tough opponents.
– Ingridd Alves def. Ana Brandao via toe hold
– Izadora Cristina def. Thamara Ferreira via 3×0
– Ingridd Alves took gold after a friendly match with teammate Izadora Cristina
– Leticia Cardozo def. Gio Carneiro via botinha lock
95 KILOS / WOMEN
The black belt debut of Giovanna Jara (Fratres) couldn’t have gone better. 3 matches, 3 submissions proved her recent knee surgery has not stopped her progression.
Also impressive was 2023’s IBJJF brown belt world champion Kauane Silva, who was making her second tournament as a black belt. Kauane had 3 matches and two wins, one over the tournament favorite, Yara Soares. An athlete many regarded as the #2 in the world in this weight class.
– Giovanna Jara def. Kauane Silva via choke from the back
– Isabely Lemos won bronze as Yara Soares could not continue to 3rd place match after suffering an injury in her repechage match