DECEMBER 06, 2022, TX, USA, witnessed the first-ever edition of the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) Open in the well-known Texas city, Waco. This event marked the final installment of the federation’s open circuit before the IBJJF World No-Gi Championships. It was also the last gi event for the IBJJF this year, an element that brought out a few big players of the jiu-jitsu circuit onto the Waco mats.
The gi portion of the Waco Open was very entertaining with 59% submission ratio, despite the fair few high-brow names on the roster, and the no-gi tournament produced a 41% finish rate. Below is a report on the action seen this weekend and the big winners of the event.
CARLOS HENRIQUE BLACK BELT DEBUT
Arguably the biggest breakthrough of the tournament was Carlos Henrique of Dream Art. After a brilliant career in the brown belt division, recently promoted Henrique made his black belt debut at the Waco Open, taking a gold medal in the lightweight division, after beating two world-class veterans in Leonardo Silva (armbar) and Pablo Lavaselli (4×2).
Henrique attempted to go for double gold, signing up for the open weight, but ended up being stopped in the quarter-finals b y the larger Filipe Pimentel, in the final 5 seconds of the match with a sweep. A clash he was winning up to that point on advantages. Unlucky.
In the no-gi portion of the event, Carlos did make it through to the final once again, losing that one to Lukete Silva of Gracie barra via inside heel-hook (Silva’s specialty).
TEXAS AFFAIR WITH AN ARGENTINIAN FLAVOR
Lavaselli competed in the gi and no-gi events, taking gold in the absolute after 3 hard matches against very strong opponents, and silver in the lightweight. Going on to also win the middleweight division in the no-gi ruleset. Overall, 7 matches, 2 submissions, and 6 wins against big names such as Filipe Pimentel, Leonardo Silva, and Matheus Galvão marked another big performance for the Art Of Jiu-Jitsu athlete.
Middleweight, Francisco Cuneo (Unity JJ) competed solely on the no-gi portion of the event, taking a gold medal with a dominant performance in the medium-heavyweight division, and a silver in the open weight, being stopped only by the IBJJF World No-Gi open-weight champion, Pedro Marinho. A brilliant showing for the former Argentina National Judo Team member, and a great insight into what he might be capable of achieving at this week’s World tournament. Don’t sleep on this competitor, he’s proven to be one of the toughest guys to beat under this ruleset.
SUBMISSION ARTIST AUSTIN ORANDAY SHINES IN BOTH RULESETS
Another fun athlete to follow at Waco was Austin Oranday. The submission-oriented grappler snatched a few more limbs in Texas on his way to a gold medal in the gi and another in the no-gi. Oranday was particularly impressive in the gi where he submitted the highly-rated Fabricio Barbarotti of team Cicero Costha with a toe hold.
WACO OPEN GI CHAMPIONS
(Adult Black Belt)
64KG: Justin Ordinario (Pablo Silva BJJ)
70KG: Jordan Vaisman (AOJ)
76KG: Eduardo Roque (R1NG)
82KG: Carlos Henrique (Dream Art)
88KG: Austin Oranday (Alliance / Oranday Bros)
ABS (M): Pablo Lavaselli (AOJ)
ABS (F): Emily Fernandez
WACO OPEN NO-GI CHAMPIONS
(Adult Black Belt)
67KG: Jean Pierre Santos (Gracie Barra)
73KG: Lucas “Lukete” Silva (Gracie Barra)
79KG: Pablo Lavaselli (AOJ)
85KG: Francisco Cuneo (Unity)
97KG: Austin Oranday (Alliance / Oranday Bros)
+97KG: Davi Cabral (GF Team)
ABS: Pedro Marinho (Gracie Barra)