AUGUST 2, 2021, SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL. Another edition of BJJ Bet, one of the biggest and most professional platforms in the sport of jiu-jitsu. Last night the promotion brought forth a show filled with big stars, including multiple-time world champions such as Leandro Lo, Lucas Hulk, and Tayane Porfirio, while showcasing also the biggest rising star in the middleweight division, Fight Sports’ teenage phenom Micael Galvão. But this elite group was not alone, check in on the action below.
The big draw of the event was its 194 lb Grand Prix, which featured the aforementioned Lo, Hulk, and Galvão. The trio was joined on the mat with plenty more high-end talent. A very popular William Tackett was also on the tournament brackets, as was leg-locking machine, Rousimar Palhares. Lesser known but equally capable were Alliance’s Rafael Paganini and Dream Art’s Maurício Oliveira.
OLIVEIRA UPSETS MICA GALVÃO
The first upset of the night was that of Mauricio Oliveira over Mica Galvão. The young prodigy arrived with a lot of (well earned) hype to the tournament, but Maurício was not phased by this. Calm and composed, the former GFT athlete, now with Dream Art, imposed his own strategy by scoring an early sweep and letting the less experienced Mica despair while chasing the scoreboard. Experience definitely paid off here.
Many fans may be unaware of Maurício as he had a long layoff some time ago for personal reasons and/or saw him as a gi player only, but nothing could be further from the truth. Once seen as one of the rising stars of the sport, Oliveira moved to the USA after earning his black belt, where he competed extensively in the no-gi circuit, particularly in submission-only. He has since returned to his home country where he competed almost exclusively with the gi, but he is well versed in defending leg-locks and heel-hooks, therefore, this was not a disastrous loss for Galvão in the slightest.
Maybe not on the “upsets” folder, but impressive nevertheless, was William Tackett’s performance over Toquinho. The Brazilian Fight Factory dismantled Palhares’ heel hook attacks with a calm and composed posture, pealing off Rousimar’s offensive maneuvers and dominating the positional battle. This while managing a bad rib injury. In the semi-final match, against Leandro Lo, the injury got substantially worst in the early seconds of the action and the American was forced to quit the match verbally while playing guard.
HULK SMASHES THROUGH OPPOSITION
The most impressive performance of the night was, undoubtedly, that of Lucas Barbosa. The Atos standout dominated all three of his matches but was particularly impressive against 7x world champion Leandro Lo. It appears as though The Hulk really has Leandro’s number as he is currently 3 wins out of 3 matches against the legendary grappler.
Hulk came in hot against Lo with heavy collar ties and fast double leg attempts, never allowing Leandro to start his traditional tactics of playing close to the edge to force a restart on a takedown. Barbosa pressed the pedal and pushed the action back to the center continuously until he got what he wanted – a high amplitude takedown which stunned Leandro. From there Lucas took the back and finished. Beautiful work.
TAYANE PORFIRIO RETURNS WITH BIG WIN
Once seen as the best female grappler on the planet, Tayane Porfirio has been through a lot since her IBJJF ban of 2019 for alleged PED use. Unable to compete in the IBJJF and AJP (the latter due to the 90kg weight limit category), Porfirio had nowhere to shine.
During this period, Porfirio opted to spend time abroad and now, more recently, returning to Brazil. The time spent has not been easy, as the athlete admitted to in her post-fight interview at BJJ Bet. She’s been through a lot of gyms and teams, and not without turmoil. Currently, the champ is representing the Double Five academy.
With very few professional jiu-jitsu matches on offer, we hadn’t seen Tayane compete since June 2020, which made last night’s match against Gabrieli Pessanha, a really big deal. Gabrieli is one of the very best super-heavyweights in the world right now, who went 32 matches unbeaten, recently. She posed a lot of threats to the former 2x IBJJF World Champion and it showed. Both athletes were forced to play strategically, but, in that strategy, Porfirio prevailed with a 2 point lead. Not a particularly exciting match, but a very important win for the Rio native.
NICHOLAS MEREGALI RETURNS TO THE WINNING COLUMN
Another athlete whose had a tough time since 2019 is Meregali. The two-time world champion ended that year with a loss and hadn’t been able to win a match ever since. Disappointing loss after disappointing loss, Nicholas’ confidence appeared to have been shaken and last night’s match did bring that sentiment back. Meregali could have done more against Rider Zuchi, but, then again, so could Rider. There was very little action between these two, but hopefully, with this win, we can see Nicholas gain back some of his unshakable confidence and return to the good form of the pre-covid era.
– Pedro Machado def. Caio BBG with an armbar
– Leonardo Lara def. Jean Michelin with an RNC
– Samuel Nagai def. Matheus Onda with a Choke from the back