SEPTEMBER 28, 2020, Miami Airport Convention Center, Miami, USA, was home for the first edition of the United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s Grand Slam Tour in Miami, an event that has traditionally been set in Los Angeles. This most recent change taking place due to the current COVID19 restrictions in California.
The event brought forth a legion of elite grapplers, and with it, top-notch entertainment. The most recent rules innovations set by the UAEJJF/ AJP Tour have truly been a breath of fresh air in the sport’s current point systems, helping keep the matches at a fast pace. Those rule changes being the removal of the advantages, which have been replaced by a single point awarded to the scoreboard (instead of being accounted for as a separate, less relevant, part of the points). Also, another interesting addition has been tie scoring. In the case of a draw, the last athlete to score will be the victor, which forces the first scorer to chase after the scoreboard.
MICHAEL LIERA CONTROLS STACKED 77KG DIV
Arguably, the performance of the day was that of Michael Liera Junior. The Lōgōs Jiu-Jitsu team leader was on fire, going through 4 of the toughest lightweights in the world today, namely Mathias Luna (9×1), Márcio André (4×4 pts, 0x1 pen), Johnny Tama (1×0), and Johnatha Alves (1×0). All incredible, tough matches where the slightest mistake could have cost him the match. Luckily for Liera, no mistakes were made. Crisp jiu-jitsu at its finest.
GUTHIERRY PUTS MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHTS ON HOLD
As a brown belt, Guthierry Barbosa made headlines as one of the most promising lightweights in the world, though, throughout his career, Barbosa has toyed with the middleweight division, often entering in middleweight challenges with equal success.
Yesterday, the super-talented Juan Lopes black belt entered a talent-dense 85-kilogram division. A weight class filled by some of the top medium-heavyweights in the world. Names such as Ronaldo Junior, Gabriel Almeida, Nisar Loynab, Felipe César, and more. Playing from both the bottom and top, Guthierry edged off his opponents, one-by-one, in a list that included Gracie Barra’s Carlos Souza (submitted by Guthierry with a beautiful back-choke), Lucas Lepri’s star pupil, André Góis (via points), and Atos’ Ronaldo Junior by the narrowest of margins, 1×0. Very apt performance by this rising grappling star.
GF TEAM AND ATOS DOMINATE FEMALE DIVISION
In the women’s divisions, it mostly came down to two teams. GF Team ruled the lighter weights with Mayssa Bastos taking control of the rooster division against the rising AOJ brown belt Jessa Khan (6×4 win).
With an equally dominant performance was Thamires Aquino. The light-featherweight star struggled with injuries over the past couple of years, after which she gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter. The Grand Slam was her post-maternity debut and what a performance she put on! Two matches, two easy wins for the former Brazilian National champion.
Also on fire was Rafaela Guedes, the only brown belt to come out of these combined female brown and black belt divisions with a gold medal. Guedes was extremely dominant throughout the tournament and looked very comfortable going up against top-shelf black belts such as Melissa Cueto (who placed 3rd). Outstanding performance.
MIAMI GRAND SLAM RESULTS
Male Gi / Black / Adult / Light Featherweight (Under 56kg)
1 Jonas Andrade (PSLPB)
2 Estevan Martinez (Zr Team)
Male Gi / Black / Adult / Featherweight (Under 62kg)
1 Lucas Pinheiro (Atos)
2 Suraj Budhram (Fight Sports)
3 Carlos Alberto Oliveira (GFT)
Male Gi / Black / Adult / Super Heavyweight (Under 120kg)
1 Max Gimenis (GFT)
2 Klidson Abreu (Gracie Barra Boca Raton)
Female Gi / Brown / Black / Adult / Roosterweight (Under 49kg)
1 Mayssa Bastos (GFT)
2 Jessa Khan (AOJ)
3 Sarah Takushi (Att Gwinnett)
Female Gi / Brown / Black / Adult / Light Featherweight (Under 55kg)
1 Thamires Aquino (GFT)
2 Eliana Carauni (Positive JJ)
3 Alexa Yanes (Rodrigo Pinheiro JJ)
Female Gi / Brown / Black / Adult / Lightweight (Under 62kg)
1 Nikki Sullivan (Atos)
2 Woods Heather (Atos)
3 Alexandria Enriquez (Atos)
Female Gi / Brown / Black / Adult / Middleweight (Under 70kg)
1 Rafaela Guedes (Atos)
2 Emilly Silva (Atos)
3 Melissa Cueto (Gracie Humaita San Diego)