AUGUST 30, 2022, marked the return of the AJP Tour to Miami, Florida, for another edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam on American soil. As per usual, the event gathered many big names in the sport, nevertheless, there was lower numbers of big stars this year, possibly due to the tournament’s proximity to the ADCC World Championships and other, well-known no-gi events. Below are the results of the major matches in the adult black belt division (pro division) and a short report on each of the divisions.
MIAMI ADGS CHAMPIONS
(56KG) Zayed Alkatheeri (Al Wahda Club)
(62KG) Hiago George (Cicero Costha)
(69KG) Israel Sousa (GFTeam)
(77KG) Johnatha Alves (AOJ)
(85KG) Ronaldo Junior (Atos)
(94KG) Fellipe Andrew (Alliance)
(120KG) Roosevelt Sousa (Fight Sports)
(49KG) Brenda Larissa (Melqui Galvão / FS)
(55KG) Anna Rodrigues (Dream Art)
(62KG) Julia Alves (GFTeam)
(70KG) Izadora Cristina (Dream Art)
(95KG) Gabrieli Pessanha (InFight)
56 KILO DIVISION
What a day for Zayed Alkatheeri who has been on fire lately. Improving on his tremendous performance at the AJP Rio de Janeiro Grand Slam a few weeks ago – where he earned a silver medal – the UAE athlete came to the US ready to steal the show and steal the show he did. A gold medal and impressive performances against two of America’s top athletes making him the only non-Brazilian champion in this year’s ADGS.
– Zayed Alkatheeri def. Dustin Ordinario via 7×4
– Frank Cespedes def. Italo Frota via violin armlock
– Zayed Alkatheeri def. Frank Cespedes via 5×5
– Italo Frota def. Dustin Ordinario via 5×2
62 KILO DIVISION (MALE)
Possibly one of the most underappreciated athletes in the sport, Hiago George has been riding the jiu-jitsu wave masterfully since he joined the pro-division back in 2015. With over 200 black belt matches under his gi, George continues on his path of destruction, this weekend with another important gold medal at the AJP Grand Slam Miami.
– Bebeto Oliveira def. Omar Alfadhli via 4×2
– Hiago George def. Shoya Ishiguro via 2×0
– Hiago George def. Bebeto Oliveira via 1×0
– Sebastian Serpa def. Omar Alfadhli via 10×3
69 KILO DIVISION (MALE)
An absolutely stacked 69-kilogram weight class with talent spread across all sides of the bracket saw very interesting matches from start to finish. Among the most fun athletes to follow was, unsurprisingly, Mr. Meyram Maquiné of Dream Art. The São Paulo based athlete had two of the most jaw-dropping/flamboyant back takes of his entire career this weekend against the top-tier opposition of Danilo Moreira and Alex Sodré, truly Matrix-movie-type maneuvers.
Equally impressive was GFTeam’s Israel Sousa, who is another regular in the “exciting performer” status. Sousa submitted one of the toughest featherweights in the world this weekend, Thiago Macedo, going on to take a gold medal over Meyram in the final.
– Alex Sodré def. Ademir Araujo via 6×5
77 KILO DIVISION (MALE)
As surgical as ever was 2x Pan American Champion Johnatha Alves, in this venture into Miami territory. The AOJ competitor breezed past the tournament without conceding one single point.
– Johnatha Alves def. Lucas Brito via 4×0
– Sebastian Guevara def. Vinicius Barbosa via DQ
85 KILO DIVISION (MALE)
Another fun weight class to follow with a wide variety of styles and exciting names on the roster, names such as Ronaldo Junior, Manuel Ribamar, Marcos Tinoco, Guthierry Barbosa, Fausto Godoy, Enderson Dias, Enrique March, Pedro Cadete, and more. Given how closely matched these clashes were, this division saw merely one submission across all its clashes (Manuel Ribamar‘s clock choke), with Ronaldo Junior of Atos HQ taking home the gold medal.
– Enderson Dias def. Carlos Neto via 3×1
94 KILO DIVISION (MALE)
Much like we saw in the 69 and 85-kilogram divisions, the heavyweights had many recognizable faces on their brackets with European, World, Pan, and ADCC Trials champions and medalists. Out of the many interesting matches on the card, two of the most submission-oriented athletes made it through to the final. Namely, Davi Cabral – who submitted everyone on his way to the last match – and Fellipe Andrew who amassed two finishes. The final was very balanced and saw Fellipe Andrew‘s hand being raised after a rampant start from the Alliance athlete but a slower ending.
– André Porfirio def. Italo Costa via 5×2
120 KILO DIVISION (MALE)
Another fun division saw ADCC hopeful, Roosevelt Sousa, try his luck with the gi just 18 days shy from competing for the sport’s biggest no-gi title. The submission-wrestling rounds appeared to have no effect on Sousa’s gi proficiency as the Fight Sports powerhouse pulled through another gold medal in a tough weight class. 3 matches and two submissions over very tough veterans such as Ricardo Evangelista and Herico Hesley. Sousa came in bigger and stronger than ever, a great insight into what he could bring to Las Vegas in three weeks’ time.
– Herico Hesley def. Ricardo Evangelista via 4×0
49 KILO DIVISION (FEMALE)
Welcome to the Brenda Larissa show! The Melqui Galvão black belt continues to make waves in the AJP tour with another top-tier performance. This roosterweight division was, indeed, one of the most fun to watch in the tournament, and one of the most submission-oriented brackets of the event with a 50% submission rate, a number that fell heavily on Duda Tozoni, the TMC athlete that had a 100% finish ratio in Miami.
– Duda Tozoni def. Rawanna Dasilva via triangle-armlock
55 KILO DIVISION (FEMALE)
A very game Anna Rodrigues arrived in Miami ready to take home the gold medal. Despite having just two matches, the Dream Art athlete came in much more aggressive than she had in past ventures, “leveling up” and dominating two very tough and seasoned competitors.
– Anna Rodrigues def. Amanda Monteiro via 10×0
– Gabriela Pereira def. Rose Sharouni via 11×0
62 KILO DIVISION (FEMALE)
GFTeam continues to be a problem for any athlete who crosses its path in this division. In the past through Julia Alves and Vitoria Veira, now with the addition of Suelen Souza, it is hard to see who will be able to remove this trio from future podiums.
– Suelen Souza def. Larissa Martins via botinha (lapel grip straight ankle lock)
– Julia Alves def. Luiara Rochael via 3×1
* Final between team mates saw a friendly match where Julia Alves defeated Suelen via submission.
– Larissa Martins def. Maria Silva via 4×2
70 KILO DIVISION (FEMALE)
Another very fun weight class to follow, particularly thanks to the excellent performances by Elisabeth Clay, Thamara Ferreira, Ingridd Alves, and Amanda Hening.
– Elisabeth Clay def. Amanda Hening via straight ankle lock
– Izadora Cristina def. Thamara Ferreira via 2×2
– Izadora Cristina def. Elisabeth Clay via 5×2
– Ingridd Alves def. Amanda Hening via 4×2
95 KILO DIVISION (FEMALE)
A tremendous performance by Gabrieli Pessanha who, for the first time in a long time, was pushed to the limit in competition. A push actioned by brown belt newcomer Giovanna Jara of Dream Arts. The young competitor is still dipping her toes into brown belt waters after earning her IBJJF World title as a purple belt, recently, but came in ready to challenge the top of the super-heavyweight food chain, taking it to one of the most dominant female competitors since Gabi Garcia ruled the sport, Pessanha. Jara started the match like a bat out of hell, steamrolling Pessanha and adding 7 points on the scoreboard but Gabrieli was able to reverse the result before the end in a race with the clock. Spectacular match.
– Gabrieli Pessanha def. Giovanna Jara via 11×9
– Larissa Dias via WO