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Henrique Cardoso Takes Double Gold At South American Championships, Alvarenga Debuts!

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Submission Back Attacks Instructional by John Danaher

APRIL 25, 2021, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL was home to the South American No-Gi Championships, the most significant tournament organized by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) in the South American Continent this year, this year, thus far.

The tournament captured the interest of some of jiu-jitsu’s top male athletes, including veterans such as former ADCC gold medalist Rani Yahya, IBJJF Pan American Champion Cleber “Clandestino” Sousa, and 2x Brazilian Champ – Luan Carvalho, as well as the new generation of jiu-jitsu, in Brazil: Ruan Alvarenga, Jonata Gomes, and Guilherme Lambertucci.

ALVARENGA DEBUTS

In Brazil, the gi is king, therefore, pure no-gi athletes are few and far between. There are, however, a handful of elite athletes in the jiu-jitsu community (non-luta-livre base) who specialize in the no-gi facet of our sport. One of those competitors is Ruan Alvarenga.

As a brown belt, Alvarenga started breaking out as a no-gi specialist, a time when he reached the 2019 ADCC World Championship, after winning the tournament’s Brazilian Trials. This after winning the World No-Gi Championships also. Since then, Ruan earned his black belt and his debut at the South American Championships was looked at with great anticipation.

There were no easy matches for Alvarenga as he faced the mega-talent that is Dream Art’s Fabricio Andrey in the very first round. A match that could have been reserved for the final of the tournament. Ruan had a dominant performance over the phenom, which ended via submission. In fact, the Alliance / Marcelo Garcia Academy prospect went on to submit all his opponents (Jonas Lisboa, Iago Santos, and Yago Rodrigues) on his way to his first black belt gold medal.

JONATA GOMES STOPS FORMER ADCC CHAMP YAHYA IN HIS TRACKS

Another athlete whom we were excited to see return to the mats was former ADCC Champion – Rani Yahya. The Brasília native has spent his past few years focusing on his mixed martial arts career in the UFC but opted to make a comeback to grappling this weekend, the sport in which he specialized for many years.

The experienced 36-year-old athlete showed great composure throughout the tournament, beating all his opponents via 2×0, including the highly-rated João Oliveira, a former brown belt world and pans medalist who earned his black belt earlier this year.

In the final, Yahya met one of Ricardo Vieira‘s top students, Jonata Gomes “Bê” of Checkmat. Gomes earned his black belt late last year, and conquered the South American Championship with the gi in his debut then. He was able to repeat the deed – this time in no-gi – by beating Rani in final.

Gomes had some all-out wars to reach the last match, beating Breno Nascimento, Cristian Polnov, and Rodrigo Francioni, before facing Yahya and taking home the W with a 2 point lead.

HENRIQUE “CECONI” TAKES DOUBLE GOLD

Henrique Cardoso – often labeled Henrique Ceconi – was on fire yesterday. One of the most under-rated grapplers in our sport, Henrique always pushes the pace and hunts for the submission. This weekend, Ceconi proved that he could bring together both entertainment and podiums at the highest level, a jiu-jitsu promoter’s dream.

8 matches, 8 victories, 3 submissions, and two gold medals were the outcomes of Cardoso’s South American Championship campaign. In the process, Henrique beat some of Brazil’s top black belts, including Rafael Paganini, Victor Bomfim, Marcelo Gomide, Pedro Agrizzi, and Guilherme Lambertucci. A flawless performance by the Alexandro Ceconi pupil.

LUAN CARVALHO MAINTAINS 2021 UNBEATEN STREAK

Another athlete who doesn’t get quite as much recognition as he deserves is Luan Carvalho. The Macaé athlete is one of Brazil’s foremost black belts, with two national titles to his credit and wins over jiu-jitsu royalty such as Michael Langhi, Lucas Lepri, Patrick Gaudio, Celso Vinicius, to name a few.

A veteran with nearly 7 years of black belt action, Carvalho continues to press on, currently on an 8 match winning streak in 2021. Yesterday he conquered another important title, one he hadn’t achieved yet in his lengthy career, taking out his 3 opponents on points.

MALE ADULT BLACK BELT RESULTS

ROOSTER
#1 Pablo Amaro (GFT)
#2 Diego Barbosa dos Santos (Alliance)
#3 N/A
#3 N/A

LIGHT FEATHER
#1 Cleber Sousa (Almeida JJ)
#2 Welerson da Silva (Nova União)
#3 Fernando Fávari (Feu BJJ)
#3 Felipe Nacib Santos (Alliance)

FEATHER
#1 Ruan Alvarenga (Alliance)
#2 Yago Rodrigues (CTMR)
#3 Anilton César Souza (Ares)
#3 Iago dos Santos (GFT)

LIGHT
#1 Jonata Gomes (Alliance)
#2 Rani Yahya (RYBJJ)
#3 Rodrigo francioni (Fight Sports)
#3 Samuel Rocha (Pantera Negra)

MIDDLE
#1 Ygor Rodrigues (CTMR)
#2 Lucas Alves (Alliance)
#3 Diogo Oliveira (TAM)
#3 Douglas Saravia (Prâmide)

MEDIUM-HEAVY
#1 Luan Carvalho (Nova União)
#2 Romualdo de Andrade (GB)
#3 Gabriel Lima (Charlie Brown Team)
#3 Marco Aurellio Queiroz (Pirâmide)

HEAVY
#1 Henrique Cardoso (Ceconi KMKZ)
#2 Victor Bomfim (GFT)
#3 Gustavo Borges (GFT)
#3 José Neto (GFT)

SUPER HEAVY
#1 Guilherme Lambertucci (Felipe Pena)
#2 Rafael Dutra (Barbosa JJ)
#3 Hygor Brito (Cicero Costha)
#3 Anderson dos Santos (Feu BJJ)

ULTRA HEAVY
#1 Davi Cabral (GFT)
#2 Pedro Agrizzi (Striker JJ)
#3 Eduardo Norbim (Striker JJ)
#3 Antônio Asseff (GFT)

ABSOLUTE
#1 Henrique Cardoso (Ceconi KMKZ)
#2 Guilherme Lambertucci (Felipe Pena)
#3 Antônio Asseff (GFT)
#3 Anderson dos Santos (Feu BJJ)

FEMALE ADULT BLACK BELT RESULTS

FEATHER
#1 Gabriela Fechter (Checkmat)
#2 Andreza de Sousa (Ares JJ)
#3 N/A
#3 N/A

LIGHT
#1 Natália Zumba de Souza (Alliance)
#2 Izabel Seki (Checkmat)
#3 N/A
#3 N/A

SUPER HEAVY
#1 Fernanda Mazzelli (Striker JJ)
#2 Karla Albuquerque (Top Brother)
#3 N/A
#3 N/A

ABSOLUTE
#1 Fernanda Mazzelli (Striker JJ)
#2 Natália Zumba de Souza (Alliance)
#3 Graciele Carvalho (Guigo JJ)
#3 Gabriela Fechter (Checkmat)

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