DECEMBER 12, 2022, Anaheim Convention Center, California, USA. The final big tournament of the year is now over, in it, the sport crowned its International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) world champions in the no-gi variant of jiu-jitsu. As expected, the tournament gathered some of the very best grapplers in the sport and below is our report on the action that took place this weekend in the adult black belt category.
A brilliant campaign by Osamah Almarwai who submitted Cicero Costha’s Henrique Rossi and defeated AOJ’s Coco Izzy on his way to the final match, where he became the first-ever IBJJF adult black belt world champion from the country of Yemen. On the opposite side of the bracket, Brazil’s Roiter Lima beat one of the biggest stars of the division, Estevan Martinez, in a very close clash. In the division’s decider match Gracie Barra’s Lima played well against “Osa” of team Atos, going footlock for footlock, but ended up short on the advantages.
– Coco Izutsu def. Nobuhiro Sawada via 2×2 pts, 4×1 adv
– Estevan Martinez def. Tadiyah Danforth via decision
– Roiter Lima def. Denis Beenen via kneebar
– Osamah Almarwai def. Henrique Rossi via straight ankle lock
– Osamah Almarwai def. Roiter Lima via 0x0 pts, 3×2 adv
MALE LIGHT FEATHERWEIGHT
A flawless performance by Lucas Pinheiro this weekend, despite having, arguably, the toughest run to the final. Tactical but not defensive, Pinheiro opted to pull guard against the masterful bottom player Tomoyuki Hashimoto, taking that win with a well-timed wrestle-up sweep, going on to dominate leg-locker extraordinaire, Junny Ocasio. In the final, a more measured performance, but a worthy winner nonetheless versus GF Team’s Oliveira.
– Lucas Pinheiro def. Bebeto Oliveira via 0x0 pts, 2×0 adv
A superb run to the finals by both Corbe and Grippo, who had nothing but wars all weekend. Gavin, in particular, had a very interesting match against veteran Adam Benayoun with exciting leg attacks exchanged between both players in one of the most fun clashes of the weekend.
Veteran Grippo was able to go toe-to-toe against the leg-attacking specialist, Corbe in the final. Fighting the Standard JJ team rookie in the pocket, exchanging 50/50 and saddle positions in a high IQ match won by Grippo.
– Gianni Grippo def. Gavin Corbe via 8×6
A world-class effort by Dante Leon, who submitted 3 on his way to the final without breaking a sweat. In the final, Leon met rookie Dream Art black belt, Carlos Henrique, whom BJJ Heroes wrote about earlier as one of the main debuts in the division at the No-Gi Worlds (check article here) who had a very promising tournament, beating solid names of the division.
Despite Henrique’s incredible resilience and courage in the closing lightweight match, Canada’s Dante was in the driver’s seat throughout the clash, taking out the newcomer with a well-timed sweep off of an attack from Carlos from the top position.
– Dante Leon def. Carlos Henrique via 2×0
Very similar game planning throughout the tournament for both Andy Murasaki (Atos) and Igor Feliz (R1NG), two stocky and explosive grapplers who played well from top and bottom and were seldomly in any danger, both cruising through their side of the brackets without suffering one single point all the way to the closing clash.
For the final, Murasaki opted to play bottom where he – despite being a lifelong gi player – applied a beautiful heel-hook submission off of a 50-50/false reap entry that caught most people off guard, including Feliz.
Two very different paths toward the final from Seba Rodriguez (Unity) and Jonnatas Gracie (Atos). Sebastian with tons of flair and an aggressive and more mobile game versus Gracie’s ungodly top pressure, Jonnatas who was, undoubtedly, one of the strongest men in the tournament, despite the evident knee injury he nursed through the event.
The final installment of the medium-heavyweight division saw very much of what the fans expected. Jonnatas applying his top pressure game and Sebastian working from the bottom, looking for openings to get underneath the solid frame of Gracie.
– Bruno Matias def. David Garmo via arm-in guillotine
– Sebastian Rodriguez def. Miha Perhavec via armbar
– Felipe Cesar def. Thiago Luiz via decision
– Jonnatas Gracie def. Francisco Lo via 9×0
Another gritty performance by veteran Vagner Rocha and another submission-oriented one for Andre Porfirio, two opposed styles of competing that appear to reap excellent benefits for team Fight Sports.
– Andre Porfirio def. Pedro Rocha via DQ
– Santeri Lilius def. Alejandro Tolmos via 4×0
– Vagner Rocha def. Bryan Peterson via toe hold
– Charles Negromonte def. Devhonte Johnson via decision
Team mates Rocha and Porfirio closed the final for Fight Sports.
MALE SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT
Among the tournament’s top performers were, undoubtedly, Fellipe Trovo and Henrique “Ceconi” Cardoso. Trovo (Atos) had 3 matches to reach the final, submitting every opponent with an aggressive and crowd-pleasing style with which he took out two of the biggest names on the international circuit in Diego Ramalho (ZRT) and Adam Wardzinski (Checkmat).
On the other side of the bracket was Henrique “Ceconi”, a powerful and scrambly competitor with one of the best wrestling outputs in the tournament. On Saturday, Ceconi was on fire in the open weight division, but still showed plenty of gas in the tank for his weight class.
The final was an even affair won by Henrique due to an illegal escape off of a takedown by Henrique, which granted a 2-point penalty for the KMKZ team member.
MALE ULTRA HEAVYWEIGHT
Roosevelt Sousa proved to be one of the most entertaining athletes in the tournament but ended up being stopped by the supreme technician, Victor Hugo of team Six Blades, who worked mainly from his back throughout the tournament.
Hugo’s fellow finalist, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu put an incredible pace on his opponents, obliterating their guards from a passing stance and achieving very high numbers on the scoreboard. Against Victor, however, Roberto came out with a very different game plan. Vastly more tactical/defensive in this posture, a gamesmanship which many would place well over the stalling line. The referees did award 2 penalties throughout the 10 minutes but failed to award a third (match-defining) stalling call.
MALE OPEN WEIGHT
A glorious day for Henrique “Ceconi” Cardoso who dominated both the super-heavy and the open weight class with a fun, and aggressive grappling game, heavily reliant on solid takedowns from standing and a dangerous wrestle-up game from the bottom. Although a tough final against Roberto Cyborg was expected, the veteran black belt, leader of Fight Sports was forced to forfeit his claim to the open weight title after he suffered an injury in the final of the ultra-heavyweight final, thus making Henrique Cardoso the 2022 undisputed IBJJF World No-Gi Champion.
– Henrique Cardoso def. Roosevelt Sousa via decision
– Roberto Abreu def. Victor Hugo via 0x0 pts, 1×0 adv
– Henrique Cardoso wins via WO as Roberto Abreu was unable to compete.
Once rivals in the colored belt divisions, Aquino and Gregorut are now, officially, rivals again. Giulia’s debut at a major event was, as expected, very entertaining despite the loss to Atos’ Jhenifer, who was equally ferocious in her performance this weekend.
– Jhenifer Aquino def. Mariana Rolszt via kimura
– Giulia Gregorut def. Amber Freitas via power-guillotine
– Jhenifer Aquino def. Giulia Gregorut via 2×2 pts, 2×1 adv
Alex Nguyen cements her status as the #1 light-featherweight athlete in the sport after her second no-gi title at a major IBJJF tournament. Alex, of Standard Jiu-Jitsu, dominated her opponents from post to post this weekend. We hope to see this young athlete compete often next year.
– Andreza Morais def. Elizabeth Cornejo via toe hold
– Other semi-finalists advanced via WO
– Alex Nguyen def. Andreza Morais via inside heel hook
– Jessica Crane def. Nina Navid via 4×2
– Alex Nguyen def. Jessica Crane via RNC
Another brilliant performance by veteran Tammi Musumeci, who conquered yet again an important medal for her vast curriculum, cementing her name as one of the best female featherweights of all time in our sport.
– Alex Enriquez def. Amanda Alequin via 0x0 pts, 2×0 adv
– Jasmine Rocha def. Juliana Gassaway via triangle
– Tammi Musumeci def. Sheliah Lindsey via advantages
– Ashley Bendle advanced via WO
– Jasmine Rocha def. Alex Enriquez via straight ankle lock
– Tammi Musumeci def. Ashley Bendle via RNC
– Tammi Musumeci def. Jasmine Rocha via RNC
Brianna Ste-Marie won the first gold medal of the day for Canada, competing just a couple of hours before her countryman, Dante Leon earned his own lightweight gold medal in the female division. Much like Dante, Ste-Marie dominated her division with all out submissions, playing mostly from top half guard.
– Claire North def. Margot Ciccarelli via inside heel hook
– Brianna Ste-Marie def. Erin Johnson via Darce choke
– Janine Mutton def. Morgan Black via 4×2
– Nikki Sullivan advanced via WO
– Brianna Ste-Marie def. Claire North via guillotine
– Nikki Sullivan def. Janine Mutton via kneebar
– Brianna Ste-Marie def. Nikki Sullivan via katagatame
There aren’t enough adjectives to describe Elisabeth Clay’s double gold performance this weekend. Absolutely flawless. An onslaught of forward-moving jiu-jitsu with beautiful submissions to boot.
– Elisabeth Clay def. Fernanda Figueiredo via outside heel hook
– Rachel Ranschau def. Joanna Dineva via 7×0
– Julia Maele advanced via WO
– Vannessa Griffin advanced via WO
– Elisabeth Clay def. Rachel Ranschau via inside heel hook
– Vannessa Griffin def. Julia Maele via kimura
– Elisabeth Clay def. Vannessa Griffin via RNC
FEMALE MEDIUM HEAVYWEIGHT
Zenith’s Amy Campo was the big favorite in the division for good reason. A dominant performance by the young black belt who also reached the final of the open-weight.
– Melissa Cueto def. Bridget McEliece via RNC
– Amy Campo def. Elizabeth Mitrovic via 7×0
– Ane Svendsen advanced via WO
– Márcia Ramos advanced via WO
– Melissa Cueto def. Márcia Ramos via RNC
– Amy Campo def. Ane Svendsen via RNC
– Amy Campo def. Melissa Cueto via RNC
Submission Hunter Andressa Cintra proved she is equally as capable of finishing her opponents without the gi. Two matches in a small division, but very worth opponents in Eleftheria and “Tata” Silva.
– Andressa Cintra def. Eleftheria Christodoulou via inside heel hook
– Thalyta Silva def. Tara White via 5×0
– Andressa Cintra def. Thalyta Silva via kneebar
FEMALE SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT
– Luciana Mota def. Graciele del Fava via 5×0
– Leticia Cardozo def. Fernanda Mazzelli via decision
– Leticia Cardozo and Luciana Mota closed the division.
FEMALE OPEN WEIGHT
The two most dominant athletes – Elisabeth Clay (Ares) and Amy Campo (Zenith) – in the tournament earned their way through to the final with exciting clashes, making it look easy against top-tier competition. In the final, and despite the favoritism held by Campo, it was Clay who started stronger, entangling the Utah native in a leg attack and using that to come on top and attack Campo’s back.
An Attack followed by another attack, Clay attempted to submit Campo via RNC, short choke, and armbar (the armbar being the closest) in the first 5 minutes of the clash. Amy survived the onslaught and was able to turn the tide a little bit in her favor, but could not recover the scoreboard deficit.
This was, without a doubt, one of the – if not the – best performances we have seen of Elisabeth Clay, who has continues to grow as a grappler, despite being at the upper echelon of this sport for some time.
– Fernanda Mazzelli def. Elizabeth Mitrovic via decision
– Amy Campo def. Julia Maele via armbar
– Luciana Mota def. Joanna Dineva via Ezekiel choke
– Elisabeth Clay def. Ane Svendsen via armbar