JULY 28, 2019, Tokyo Japan has been praised as one of the best locations on the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation Grand Slam Tour, and once again the iconic city proved to be the perfect host for this incredible gathering of talent that was the UAEJJF Grand Slam – Tokyo. A tournament packed with the new breed of jiu-jitsu players, and quite a few upsets.
The first big upset of the day was caused by Hope Douglas, the Australian representative of the PSLPB – Cicero Costha team. Only recently promoted to black belt (June), the talented guard player managed to go through two of the top female athletes in the world today, namely Larissa Paes (submission) and Amal Amjahid (advantages), in dominant fashion. Always dangerous with submissions, always pressing on the offense, this young lady proved that she has a long and bright future ahead in this sport/martial art.
In the men’s divisions, there were a few further upsets ready to happen. The first came from Nobuhiro Sawada, the well known Japanese competitor, and IBJJF World NoGi Champion has been on a bit of a downward spiral as of late, in competition. We had him as the favorite to win the tournament at 56 kilograms, but a disappointing loss to fellow countryman Masaaki Todokoro on the semi-final, by 1 advantage, took him out of the game early. On the weight class above, it was the time for the recently promoted black belt, Jonas Andrade to shine. The outstanding young competitor defeated none other than the 2019 ‘Player Of The Year’ award winner, Gabriel Sousa in the final of the division to take gold.
Another surprising result came from the Korean representative at 69 kilograms, Jun Yong Cho. Mr. Cho put on a very tough challenge against BJJ veteran Thiago Macedo, losing by 1 advantage, then going on to beat the current IBJJF Pans and Brazilian Nationals champ by two points on the repechage rounds. Truly impressive performance from Jun Yong, we hope to see more of this gentleman in the future.
At 77 kilograms, Diego Ramalho, AKA Sem Noção, looked unstoppable. Diego has invested a lot of time on this ruleset over the past year, and it showed against two of the best grapplers in the world right now: Max Lindblad and Levi Jones-Leary. Ramalho beat these two gentlemen by two points. Cleaver gamesmanship by the ZR Team representative.
Nathan Mendelsohn looked on point at 85 kg as did Adam Wardzinski at 94. No upsets here as both were seen as the favorites to steal the show, but strong performances nonetheless. At 120 kg, however, we saw another big upset by way of Polish lapel guard expert Gerard Labinski. The exquisite guard player had a tough task at hand when he met Victor Hugo in the final of the event. Hugo is widely regarded as the future of the ultra-heavyweight division, and a very offense based player. None of these factors intimidated the Leandro Lo student, who set his gold medal with a sweep over the Gracie Humaita standout. Full adult black belt results below.
Male 56 kg, black belts
Final: Masaaki Todokoro def. Kei Ito – decision
#1. Masaaki Todokoro (JPN)
#2. Kei Ito (JPN)
#3. Nabuhiro Sawada (JPN)
Male 62 kg, black belts
Final: Jonas Andrade def. Gabriel Sousa – decision
Male 69 kg, black belts
Final: Kennedy Maciel def. Thiago Macedo by – 0x0 pts, 2×0 adv
Male 85 kg, black belts
Final: Nathan Mendelsohn def. Thomas Mietz – 0x0 pts, 1×0 adv
#1. Nathan Mendelsohn (USA)
#2. Thomas Mietz (FRA)
#3. Akihiro Kawakami (BRA)
#1. Gerard Labinski (POL)
#2. Victor Hugo (BRA)
#3. Daewong Lee (KOR)
Female 62 kg, brown / black belts (mixed)
Final: Hope Douglas (AUS) def. Amal Amjahid (BEL) – 2×2 pts, 3×0 adv.
Female 70 kg, brown / black belts (mixed)
Final: Martina Gramenius (SWE) def. Buyandelger Battsogt (MNG) – 0x0 pts, 2×1 adv
Female 95 kg, brown / black belts (mixed)
Final: Gabrieli Pessanha (BRA) def. Marcela Caiafa (BRA)