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American Nationals, Moreira And Lavaselli Conquer Tough Divisions and Aaron Tiegs Shines Through

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JULY 04, 2022, LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER, LAS VEGAS, USA, saw another edition of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s (IBJJF) American National Championship, commonly named The American Nationals. As always, the tournament gathered some of the finest grapplers in the nation, in a 3-day event split between gi and no-gi rules championships. Below is our report on the gi tournament, in the adult black belt division.

MALE ROOSTERWEIGHT

A small division but a very dynamic one with plenty of action. The winner here was Alliance’s Frank Cespedes, one of the rising stars of the rooster weight class. Cespedes had a dominant performance over the highly-rated Nobohiro Sawada and a war against Atos’ “Oss” Almarwai.

Semi-Finals:
– Frank Cespedes def. Nobuhiro Sawada via 7×0
Osamah Almarwai advanced over Roiter Lima via WO

Final:
Frank Cespedes def. Osamah Almarwai via advantages (12×12 pts)

MALE LIGHT-FEATHERWEIGHT

A very solid showing by Rene Lopez of Jiu-Jitsu methods who placed 2nd after some very solid wins over João Soeiro and Aiden Collins.

Semi-Finals:
– Bebeto Oliveira def. Keven Carrasco via decision
– Rene Lopez def. Aiden Collins via decision

Final:
– Bebeto Oliveira def. Rene Lopez via 1 advantage (0x0 pts)

MALE FEATHERWEIGHT

One of the most exciting featherweights in the world, Danilo Moreira had the perfect day at the American Nationals after two disappointing performances at the IBJJF Worlds (gi) and Worlds No-Gi (last year).

Although a dynamic “wrestle-up” style player, and a solid guard-passer, Moreira opted to play the lapel game at the Nationals, a strategy that proved to be a winning formula for the young Ares talent as he took out 3 top players in the division.

Semi-Finals:
Danilo Moreira def. Kennedy Maciel via decision
– Matheus Onda def. Juan London via 18×0

Final:
Danilo Moreira def. Matheus Onda via 4×0

MALE LIGHTWEIGHT

What a day for the veteran Michael Liera! Although more focused on his coaching career as of late, the Colorado-based athlete proved he can still hang with the top competitors of his division and do so in style. In the final, however, Liera was stopped by Argentina’s Pablo Lavaselli who was equally inspired after his dominant wins over top talents Nick Salles and Chance Anthony.

The lightweight division was teeming with talent and was, arguably, the toughest weight class to overcome with names like Fabricio Barbarotti, AJ Agazarm, Israel Sousa, Osvaldo “Queixinho” to name a few.

Semi-Finals:
Pablo Lavaselli def. Nick Salles via 8×0
Michael Liera def. Osvaldo Moizinho via advantages

Final:
Pablo Lavaselli def. Michael Liera via 4×2

MALE MIDDLEWEIGHT

Competing two divisions above his traditional weight class, Marcio Andre showed he is still a very dangerous man in any division. 3 matches and 2 submissions on his path to gold.

Semi-Finals:
Marcio Andre def. Alexandre Molinaro via choke from the back
– Lucas Garcia def. Rehan Muttalib via advantage

Final:
Marcio Andre def. Lucas Garcia via RNC

MALE MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHT

A small division with big names delivered a close-out for team Atos with both Ronaldo Junior and Jonnatas Gracie reaching the top steps of the podium.

Semi-Finals:
Ronaldo Junior def. Rafael Anjos via straight ankle lock
Jonnatas Gracie def. Guthierry Barbosa via decision

Final:
– Closeout for team Atos

MALE HEAVYWEIGHT

Another very interesting weight class was the heavyweight, which featured 2021 IBJJF World silver medalist Luan Azevedo and rising names of the sport Enderson Dias, Thiago Andrade, Filipe Pimentel, Rodrigo “Tatu” Martins, and others. Despite being away from the competitive arena for nearly 7 months, Azevedo proved why he is at the top of the division once again with a very strong performance in Las Vegas. In the final, health issues prevented Enderson from challenging the #1 spot, making way for Azevedo’s first American Nationals title.

Semi-Finals:
Luan Azevedo def. Filipe Pimentel via choke
Enderson Dias def. Marcos Lopes via 4×2

Final:
Luan Azevedo won via WO

MALE SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT

Another dominant showing by Fellipe Andrew as the Alliance star cruised through his opposition at lightning speed.

Semi-Finals:
Fellipe Andrew def. Paulo Lanzillotti via 10×0
Jackson Douglas def. Joshua Guerra via 2×0

Final:
Fellipe Andrew def. Jackson Douglas via triangle choke

MALE ULTRA-HEAVYWEIGHT

After the success of Victor Honório with the Cachecol Choke a few years back, in comes Gabriel “Biel” de Oliveira with the revival of the efficient submission. 5 matches and 3 chokes were what Biel was able to achieve, alongside his first black belt American Nationals title.

Semi-Finals:
– Gabriel Oliveira def. Austin Baker via decision
– Levi Moura def. Renato Tagliari via points

Final:
– Gabriel Oliveira def. Levi Moura via cachecol choke

MALE OPEN WEIGHT

One could easily make a case for Aaron Tiegs being the revelation of the American Nationals. Tiegs came into the tournament ready to make a statement, and a statement he did make both in the gi and in the no-gi competitions. After an early exit in his weight class against Rafael dos Anjos of Cobrinha (a tight battle lost by decision), Tiegs submitted Rodrigo Martins, Marcos Lopes, and Renato Tagliari before losing the final match to Andrew. Tiegs would also medal in the heavyweight division and win the absolute no-gi title. A busy and fruitful weekend for the young athlete and recent black belt.

Semi-Finals:
– Aaron Tiegs def. Renato Tagliari via triangle choke
Fellipe Andrew def. Gabriel Oliveira via 2×0

Final:
Fellipe Andrew def. Aaron Tiegs via reverse triangle

FEMALE ADULT BLACK BELT TOURNAMENT

Smaller divisions in the female adult black belt divisions, but still a fair few interesting matches on display.

The roosterweight was the tightest division on offer where all 3 athletes were very evenly matched and all matches were decided by the smallest of margins.

Equally interesting was the open weight division, which saw two very interesting matches, namely Elisabeth Clay vs rising star Luciana Mota (decided on advantages for Clay) and Clay vs Amy Campo (also decided by advantages, but this time in Campo’s favor).

FEMALE ROOSTER
#1. Jhenifer Aquino Gonzaga
#2. Mariana Rolszt
#3. Giulia Guimaraes Gregorut

FEMALE LIGHT-FEATHER
#1. Lavinia Barbosa
#2. Andreza Costa

FEMALE FEATHER
#1. Tammi Musumeci
#2. Larissa Campos
#3. Patrícia Fontes

FEMALE LIGHT
#1. Janaina Maia
#2. Luciane Silva
#3. Tracey Goodell

FEMALE MIDDLE
#1. Elisabeth Clay
#2. Raquel Paaluhi Canuto
#3. Gloria Ruiz Armas

FEMALE MEDIUM-HEAVY
#1. Silvia Silva

FEMALE HEAVY
#1. Luciana Mota

FEMALE SUPER-HEAVY
#1. Larissa Dias
#2. Mayara Custódio
#3. Jessica Guedry

FEMALE OPEN CLASS
#1. Amy Campo
#2. Elisabeth Clay
#3. Jessica Guedry
#3. Luciana Mota

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