SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2023, POLIDESPORTIVO JOSE CORREA – SAO PAULO, BRAZIL, marked the final day of the CBJJ/IBJJF Brazilian Nationals. Arguably, the biggest jiu-jitsu event in the world, given the sheer number of competitors, which this year surpassed the 8000 athlete mark.
The first day of adult black belt action (May 6th) was dominated by the refereeing blunder in the clash between Thata Silva and Elisabeth Clay, where the American was declared the winner on the mats and had the victory overturned, minutes later, off the mats, by the referee table (more on that here). But the second day of the adult black belts ran much smoother with regard to ref errors. The action itself dictated the headlines. Below is the BJJ Heroes’ account of what transpired on the mats today.
Although he had to overcome some adversity in the semi-finals by escaping a fully locked triangle, Lucas Pinheiro looked outstanding on the way to the final, both mentally and technically. There he met Brazil’s rising talent, Welerson Goncalves (Nova Uniao) whom he proceeded to outwork, the same way he did all his opponents. His relentless pace earned him another gold medal with a 100% submission rate.
– Bebeto Oliveira def. Andrew Soares via decision (0x0 pts)
– Lucas Pinheiro def. Welison Nascimento via choke from the back
– Rodrigo Otavio def. Oziel Santos via 2×0
– Welerson Goncalves def. Andre Vitor via 2×0
– Lucas Pinheiro def. Welerson Goncalves via choke from the back
The artist formerly known as Baby Shark, now rebranded to Megalodon, Diogo Reis, dominated his way through to the final. On the other side of the bracket was veteran Almeida Jiu-Jitsu player, Cleber “Clandestino” Sousa who was very evenly matched with Reis. The two put on a great show for those in the stands, a fast-paced match fought “tooth & nail” until the very end.
– Diogo Reis def. Jhonatha Angelim via arm in Ezekiel
– Wesley Santos def. Rommel Fernandes via DQ
– Cleber Sousa def. Anderson Delfino via 4×2
– Fernando Favari def. Rodrigo Sousa via decision
– Diogo Reis def. Cleber Sousa via 6×2
Outstanding performance by Doederlein, whose use of the straight ankle lock remains a real problem in the featherweight division. Isaac beat none other than another Botinha specialist, Julio Arantes (Vision) in the quarter-finals and Matheus Onda (B9) with the same move, making quick work of two very capable athletes. On the other side was Nova Uniao’s Alex Sodre, the 50-5o armlock specialist, who, unlike Isaac, had grinding matches to reach the final.
The clash between Doederlein and Sodre was as uneventful of a match as we have seen and, if it were not a final, chances are both competitors would have been DQ’ed for non-combativeness.
– Isaac Doederlein def. Julio Arantes via straight ankle lock
– Matheus Onda def. Iago Siqueira via 2×0
– Fabricio Andrey def. Sebastian Serpa via decision (2×2 pts)
– Alex Sodre def. Joao “Bisnaga” Mendes via 2×0
– Isaac Doederlein def. Alex Sodre via decision (0x0 pts)
Outstanding matches in the lightweight division, arguably, the most even of weight classes at the event with nearly every clash being extremely competitive.
Although known as being a tactical player, Lucas Valente shines brightest when pressed. That is exactly what we saw in the final where Chueng came in strong right off the gates, pressing the Gracie Barra athlete, and Valente countered with an exquisite closed-guard game that saw him hit a lumberjack sweep to mount, followed by a back take, and match-ending submission.
– Lucas Valente def. Lucas Maquine via 2×1, 0x0 pts
– Luiz Paulo def. Luis Ribas via 6×4
– Natan Chueng def. Guilherme Jonas via 3×0
– Ademir Barreto def. Vinicius Pereira via 1×0 adv, 4×4 pts
– Lucas Valente def. Natan Chueng via choke from the back
The AOJ superstar, Tainan Dalpra oozed superior technique and movement on the Sao Paulo mats. Mind-blowing performance by the Santa Catarina native who faced, in the final, one of Brazil’s toughest middleweights right now in Pedro Maia. Despite Maia’s solid submission defense in the final, this was still a dominant performance by Tainan.
– Pedro Maia def. Vinicius Martins via cachecol choke
– Alexandre Jesus def. Wallisson Oliveira via 3×0
– Yuri Rodrigues def. Vital Neto via decision (0x0 pts)
– Tainan Dalpra def. Pedro Henrik via armbar
– Tainan Dalpra def. Pedro Maia via 6×2
Gustavo Batista came to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to fold clothes with people still in them. Pressure passing at its finest in Baraueri by the Atos 88-kilo representative as he overcame two of the toughest opponents in the brackets on his way to the final.
Veteran Matheus Spirandeli proved he is still at the top of this weight class by taking out three very worthy opponents in Lucas Alves (Dream Art), Reyson Neves (Fratres), and Wellington Luis (Fratres), earning two submissions before facing the division’s “Final Boss”, Gustavo Batista.
Spirandeli started the match very well, sweeping Batista and maintaining his lead for 8 minutes. Braguinha never gave up and his work rate was finally rewarded with a scissor sweep to the back, ending with a submission to top it off.
– Matheus Spirandeli def. Reyson Neves via 2×0
– Wellington “Alemao” Luis def. Rafael Paganini via 1×0 adv, 2×2 pts
– Gustavo Batista def. Gabriel Costa via choke from the back
– Leon Brito def. Lucas Gualberto via armlock
– Gustavo Batista def. Matheus Spirandeli via bow and arrow choke
Always one of the most fun divisions to follow in the sport, the heavyweights and super-heavyweights have the perfect combination of power, athleticism, and stamina, and this tournament was another great example of what peak performance can bring to the sport in terms of entertainment.
Alliance’s Fellipe Andrew was certainly at the forefront of entertainment value and a spectacular finalist. On the other side of the bracket was his teammate (of a different affiliate), who is widely regarded as one of the top performers in the nation.
– Rider Zuchi def. Gabriel Volante via 4×2
– Gabriel Henrique Oliveira def. Marcus Ruiz via choke from the back
– Fellipe Andrew def. Javier Barter via 14×0
– Harryson Pereira def. Leandro Carlos via injury (the match was 2×0)
– Fellipe Andrew def. Gabriel Henrique via 11×0
Arguably the surprise of the tournament was Pedro Lucas of Companhia Jiu-Jitsu, an athlete who cross-trains at a variety of gyms in the Rio de Janeiro area and who has only just received his black belt. We have been saying for some time that Lucas will be a force in the super-heavyweight division due to his past performances in the purple & brown belt divisions, and he proved his fans correct again by taking out the two favorites in this weight class on his way to the final. Namely, Devhonte Johnson and Luis “Cantareira” Oliveira, two hard-fought battles.
The last clash between Elionai and Pedro was similar to the aforementioned Doederlein x Sodre, uneventful, with one exception. A John Wayne sweep attempt by Lucas that earned him the match-winning advantage.
– Luis “Cantareira” Oliveira def. Davi Souza
– Pedro Lucas def. Devhonte Johnson via 3×2
– Elionai Braz advanced due to Erich Munis no show
– Wildemar Souza def. Vinicius Lessa via decision
– Elionai Braz def. Wildemar Souza via 11×0
– Pedro Lucas def. Luis Cantareira via 4×2 adv, 2×2 pts
– Pedro Lucas def. Elionai Braz via 1×0 adv, 0x0 pts
Traditionally speaking, ultra-heavyweight matches are the antithesis of what the heavy and super-heavyweight classes bring to the sport (where athletes are strong, technical, and have the stamina and athleticism to push the pace of their matches). Nevertheless, big boys like Victor Hugo and Pedro “Bombom” Alex proved that big men can be entertaining as both were very successful at raising the crowd from their seats on several occasions.
Meeting Hugo in the final was one of the surprises of the tournament, Cleyton Flores. The Team Cruz standout spent all his matches on the lead-up to the final on his feet, engaging in stand-up battles with his opponents, the complete opposite of what Hugo showed throughout the tournament. This style difference was equally apparent in the weight class’s final, where, Victor’s well-rounded game was able to earn a submission with relative ease. Victor Hugo had 7 matches in Sao Paulo this weekend, and only one of them ended via points, the ultra-heavy semi-final vs Victor Honorio.
– Victor Honorio def. Helton Jose via 2×1 adv, 0x0 pts
– Victor Hugo def. Jacson Ferreira via short choke
– Pedro Alex def. Antonio Braga Neto via DQ
– Cleyton Flores def. Antonio Asef via 2×0 adv, 0x0 pts
– Victor Hugo def. Cleyton Flores via short choke
– Victor Honorio def. Harryson Pereira via decision
– Luis “Cantareira” Oliveira def. Otavio Nalati via choke from the back
– Victor Hugo def. Wellington “Alemao” Luis via Americana
– Pedro Alex def. Servio Tulio via clock choke
– Victor Honorio def. Luis Cantareira via decision (2×2 pts)
– Victor Hugo def. Pedro Alex via kneebar
– Victor Hugo def. Victor Honorio via choke from the back
In the female division, the breakthrough athlete of the 2023 edition of the Brazilian Nationals was the Aussie grappler, Adele Fornarino, who is mostly known for her no-gi accolades as a brown belt at IBJJF Worlds and ADCC Trials, nevertheless, the talented competitor came to Sao Paulo with a mission to dethrone the top pajama athletes in the sport and she did (with the exception of one). Amazing armbars from the guard got Adele through to the final of the light-featherweight division where she faced one of the most dominant competitors in the sport, Mayssa Bastos. The Australian showed great fortitude, starting the match by leading the world champion by 4 points. The team Dominance representative (who did her camp at AOJ) ended up losing the final by advantages, but a loss that most definitely raised her stock among the fans of the sport.
Although with a couple of good matches, overall, the female division finals were hard to follow given the slow pace and defensive tactics deployed by the athletes on the mats. The top performer of the weekend was the inevitable Gabrieli Pessanha, arguably the most dominant gi athlete in the sport right now, P4P. Pessanha cruised through her weight class and the open. The only athletes who managed to survive the Pessanha onslaught of submissions were Roberta Ribeiro (12×2) and Maria Barboza, of Nova Uniao, who lost to the Cidade de Deus native by 2×0.
– Jessica Caroline def. Amber Freitas via 2×0
– Brenda Larissa def. Giulia Gregorut via 1×0 advantages, 0x0 pts
– Brenda Larissa def. Jessica Caroline via 3×0 adv, 0x0 pts
– Mayssa Bastos def. Eliana Carauni via mounted cross choke
– Adele Fornarino def. Andreza Costa via armbar
– Mayssa Bastos def. Adele Fornanino via 4×1 adv, 6×6 pts
– Bianca Basilio def. Andreia Cavalcante via choke from the back
– Gabriela Pereira def. Jaine Fragoso via 2×0 adv, 0x0 pts
– Bianca Basilio def. Gabriela Pereira via 6×0
– Sabrina Ataide def. Juliana Teixeira
– Luiza Monteiro def. Maria Claudia via 16×2
– Luiza Monteiro def. Sabrina Ataide via decision (0x0 pts)
– Andresa Cintra def. Thata Silva via 1×0 adv, 0x0 pts
– Sabatha Lais def. Welma Santos via 2×0 adv, 0x0 pts
– Maria Malyjasiak def. Leticia Cardozo via 10×2
– Maria Malyjasiak def. Sabatha Lais via 2×1 adv, 0x0 pts
– Tamiris Silva def. Thaynara Aparecida via clock choke
– Roberta Ribeiro def. Kauany Ramos via 4×2 pts
– Gabrieli Pessanha def. Juliana Araujo via wristlock
– Gabrieli Pessanha def. Roberta Ribeiro via 13×2
– Gabrieli Pessanha def. Raiane Santos via straight ankle lock
– Amanda Magda forefeit to teammate Sabatha Lais
– Thalyta Silva def. Vannessa Griffin via 1×0 adv, 0x0 pts
– Elisabeth Clay def. Maria Malyjasiak via toe hold
– Gabrieli Pessanha def. Thalyta Silva via RNC/cross-face