JANUARY 25, 2020, Pavilhão Multiusos de Odivelas, Lisbon – Portugal. On the 6th day of work at the IBJJF European Open Championship, we had the privilege of watching the prime division of the tournament, the adult black belts. Below is a short description of today’s action in that category.
Much of today’s match buzz laid on the back of Mikey Musumeci, the world’s top roosterweight, who decided to challenge the big boys in the open class. Mikey started the tournament well by submitting the Italian hopeful Jacopo Pasquini by choke, before meeting the very large Seif Houmine of Morocco. Likely over double the weight of the American player, Seif made good use of his size advantage, pressing Musumeci to give him the guard pass. Mikey resisted for 10 minutes and ended up snatching the win by 1 advantage with no points on the scoreboard.
Musumeci’s quarter-finals match was against the former super-heavyweight world champ, Mahamed Aly. A very tight and entertaining battle between these two competitors. The victory falling on Mahamed by 2 advantages to 1.
On the opposite side of this same bracket, Keenan Cornelius stacked dominant performances on top of each other before facing Aly in the semi-final. The result of that was also a dominant showing by the young Legion AJJ founder/head-coach.
Fellipe Andrew was equally exciting in his run to the open weight final, going through Santeri Lilius (submission), Patrick Gaudio (DQ) and Fellipe Trovo (submission). All very difficult matches which Andrew overcame with an abundance of flair. Fellipe’s beautiful jiu-jitsu was met by an equally aesthetic grappling style in the semi-final, that of Fellipe Trovo, who looked outstanding today, submitting Jackson Sousa and also going through Manuel Ribamar as well as Igor Schneider.
– Mahamed Aly def. Mikey Musumeci by 2×2 pts, 2×1 adv
– Keenan Cornelius def. Mathias Luna by RNC
– Fellipe Trovo def. Igor Schneider by crucifix choke
– Fellipe Andrew def. Patrick Gaudio by DQ
Bianca Basílio started the tournament on fire, as it’s been a trademark of hers since entering the black belt circuit. The Almeida JJ representative looked set for the final but stumbled on Larissa Campos, being DQed while attempting a footlock. The DQ of Basílio meant we did not have the much-anticipated rematch between herself and Ffion Davies. Davies looked equally impressive on her way to the final, stacking submission wins with her traditionally offensive game.
On the other side of the bracket, and even though Jessica Flowers looked fantastic on her way to the final, the athlete who most impressed us was Vedha Toscano. The young New Yorker only just earned her black belt rank but has continuously impressed us by piling on impressive performances. Flexible, technical, submission oriented and with tons of flair, Vedha was a pleasure to watch compete today.
– Ffion Davies def. Charlotte Baumgarten
– Larissa Campos def. Bianca Basilio by DQ
– Vedha Toscano def. Venla Luukkonen by toe hold
– Jessica Flowers def. Amal Amjahid by 4×0 pts
– Jessica Flowers def. Vedha Toscano 3×2 pts
– Ffion Davies def. Larissa Campos by 1 advantage
Today also set forth the quarter-finals for the standard weight classes, with the elimination rounds taking place after the open weight tournament. With no major upsets thus far, we would like to make a special reference for a few competitors who most impressed us today.
The first mention will go to Ariel Tabak (Ari). We had seen this young player at a couple of UAEJJF Grand Slam events in the past, but he still exceeded our expectations, going through a very, very tough Brian Mahecha by submission and later giving one of the featherweight division’s top seeds, Alex Sodré a real hard match, which he lost by one advantage. Fantastic performance.
ZR Team’s Gabriel Sousa was another name who we know has a ton of potential, but being a former roosterweight and having made his black belt career as a light-feather, we did not expect such a brilliant performance over one of the featherweight division’s favorites — Gianni Grippo. Gianni played a conservative gameplan against Sousa, but the strategy backfired as Gabriel bounced back in the final moments of the match, leaving the Marcelo Garcia pupil with no time to recover. Brilliant performance by the Lucas Rocha representative who had beat Max deBeen by submission in the first round.
MATCH OF THE DAY
If there was a “Match Of The Day” by the IBJJF, that would have to go to the monumental war between Tommy Langaker (NOR) and England’s Oliver Lovell. What a barn-burner! These two threw everything at each other at a relentless pace, with the final score ending in 17×10 points — victory going to Langaker. Beautiful jiu-jitsu, now on to the quarter-finals all the way to the finals, tomorrow.