MAY 6, 2017 – Warsaw, Poland where the latest edition of the ACBJJ Grand Prix – commonly known as the Berkut GP just took place. This edition featured the promotion’s top heavyweights (95 kilograms) and ultra heavyweights (above 95 kilograms) in a card that gathered some of the very best athletes currently competing.
The high level of the event led to very even brackets, with closely matched athletes. This ultimately didn’t leave room for too many exciting moments, particularly given the traditionally slower pace imposed in the heavier weight classes. The exceptions to this rule were 3 athletes: Felipe Pena, Adam Wardzinski and Luiz Panza.
Constantly pushing the pace with very interesting and diverse styles of grappling that put them ahead in the scoreboard, 2 of the three took home the ACBJJ belt – Panza and Pena, who were also the most submission orientated of all participants in the event. The Checkmat athlete (Panza) went through his opponents on the first two matches with precise and well studied leg attacks, reaching the final with less than 1 minute of mat time.
Pena, on the other hand, had 3 incredible matches against Igor Silva, Wardzinski and Erberth Santos. Fast paced and with plenty of scrambles, a style with which Pena made most of his career.
ERBERTH’S WARRIOR SPIRIT
Big props to Erberth Santos who toughed out a footlock in the semi-finals against Russian athlete Abdurakhman Bilarov, returning for the 95kg final against Felipe Pena in visible pain and limping. Santos managed to mentally overcome his injury as time went by, giving Preguica a very competitive first round – which was spent mostly inside the 50/50 guard.
In the second round Santos tried to take the match standing, but had a tough time playing his usual snap-down style of throws due to his injured foot. This game plan did not work out as planned, as Erberth ended up losing the back in a stand-up exchange, from which Pena took the win.
PANZA’S NEVER SAY DIE ATTITUDE
Incredible final seconds in the over 95 kilogram division. The history of the match was greatly dictated by Alexander Trans’ first 2 points scored early on the match. The Danish athlete proceeded to hold to that advantage throughout the remaining rounds, being solely defensive (the ACBJJ rules allow for this as they give no negative points for stalling), while Panza continuously tried to push for the submission.
In the very final 4 seconds of the 5th round Panza went for a sweep after a footlock attack, conquering the two points required to draw the match. Once the decision was placed on the hands of the judges, the result was a unanimous nod for the Brazilian for his constant aggression throughout the match.
UNDER 95KG DIV.
Abdurakhman Bilarov defeated Rodrigo Cavaca by referees decision
Erberth Santos defeated Abdurakhman Bilarov by referee decision (R1 2×2, R2 0x0, R3 0x0)
OVER 95KG DIV.
Joao Gabriel Rocha defeated Marcos Oliveira by referees decision (R1 0x0, R2 0x0, R3 0x0)
Alexander Tráns defeated “Pancho” Feliciano by dogbar/kneebar (R1)
Luiz Panza defeated Moku Kahawai by botinha/straight ankle lock (R1)
Ricardo Evangelista defeated Muhammad Kerimov by referee decision (R1 2×2, R2 2×0, R3 4×2)
M. Maciejewski defeated Max Wisnievski by points (R1 3×0, R1 2×0, R3 0x0)
Jedrzej Loska defeated Jakub Witkowski by arm in ezekiel on R2 (R1 0X0)