OCTOBER 20, 2019. The city of Rome, Italy was once again the host of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) European No-Gi Open, the second biggest event organized by the federation on European soil.
The tournament has gradually gathered the interest of the black belt international circuit’s main figures, and this year proved that the event continues to do so in strides. The black belt divisions had plenty of talent on deck, a mix of Brazilian and European athletes with a few other nationalities sprinkled – particularly North Americans from the Unity JJ Academy in NYC. This happened in the male professional category as the female group continued to show disappointing numbers of black belt athletes. In a time when so much effort is spent on pushing for equality, it would be equally important for the competitors to show up and prove to the sport’s promoters and investors that there is indeed a level playing field on the mats, a market in which to invest. Shortcomings aside, we bring you the highlights of the tournament below.
Fantastic day for newly promoted black belt Jonas Andrade of Unity-PSLPB. Andrade has been on a European tour as of late, competing in England, Spain, and Italy, with this last performance being the cherry on top of a fantastic month, competitively. 3 matches, two submissions.
– Jonas Andrade def. Rodnei Barbosa by 2 points
If we were to sum up what happened at featherweight in one word, the word would be “Wow”. Arguably the best performance of ZR Team’s Gabriel Sousa since earning his black belt, truly outstanding. Sousa beat 4 very game opponents, including the division’s favorite – Paulo Miyao (4×2 pts) and the always tough Thiago Abud in the first round by submission, going on to dominate the semi-final and final.
The American Cole Franson was equally impressive amassing 6 matches this weekend, in which he got 3 submissions. The featherweight division was indeed on fire.
A fantastic weekend for the Alliance team, particularly for these two former training partners at the team’s Sao Paulo headquarters. The lightweight division was very well balanced with tough competitors from end to end, but the experience and talent of this dynamic duo were enough to steal the podium.
– Fabio Caloi closed out the division with teammate Ali Monfaradi
Unity’s Jeferson Guaresi is killing it on the IBJJF No-Gi circuit right now. After winning the league’s Pan Championship, Jeferson now steals the European title as well, both wins without being scored on. Guaresi went through 4 competitors yesterday, taking out Jack Cronin from ZR Team (UK) by submission on round 1, then heavy scores on both Burak Sarman, Sean McDonagh and Diego Ramalho for gold. Very impressive.
– Jeferson Guaresi def. Diego Ramalho by 8×0 pts
Recently promoted to black belt, Alliance’s Lucas Alves has been revered by his teammates as one of the sport’s rising stars for a while. He proved that in Italy this weekend with 3 dominant performances, after his wins in Belo Horizonte and São Paulo (Opens).
– Lucas Alves def. Mikhail Shishuk
– Juan Viana def. Louis Glismann
– Lucas Alves def.Juan Viana
Checkmat brought 2 big names to Rome, and the plan worked like a charm as Swiss black belt Philippe Pomaski and Poland’s ace Adam Wardzinski made it through in a pretty tough division. Wardzinski would go on to compete in the absolute with two very strong wins over Italo Moura and Helton Jose, being stopped by the champion – Marcelo Gomide on points.
– Team mates Wardzinski and Pomaski closed the division
Outstanding performance by New York’s Devhonte “Bones” Johnson, who had a fantastic weekend in a very tough division. Special reference to the German competitor Vosgrone, who beat one of the division’s favorites, Thiago Sá, on the very first round.
– Devhonte Johnson def. Helton Jose by 1 penalty
– Thomas Loubersanes def. Uros Culic
– Fernando Ribas def. Eldar Rafigaev
– Thomas Loubersanes def. Fernando Ribas
Marcelo Gomilde had a tough loss in his weight class against Devhonte Johnson (quarter-finals), but came back very strong for the open weight, taking 5 big names, including Eliot Kelly, Adam Wardzinski and his nemesis, Devhonte. Gomilde had a brilliant career at brown belt, with this being just the start of Marcelo at black belt, after his gold medal at the Brazilian NoGi Nationals. Bright future ahead for the big man of Gracie Barra.
– Marcelo Gomilde def. Devhonte Johnson by decision
Charlotte Von Baumgarten continues to prove why she is regarded as one of the finest black belts in Europe right now, with two medals, gold in her weight class and silver in the absolute, two of the toughest divisions on the tournament. Equally in good form was the always exciting Talita Alencar, who took double gold this weekend.
1 – Ana Talita de Oliveira Alencar – Alliance
2 – Serena Gabrielli – Flow
3 – Georgina Contel Gallego – Atos Jiu-Jitsu
1 – Charlotte von Baumgarten – Mathias Ribeiro Team
2 – Kristin Mikkelson – Brazil 021 International
3 – Michelle Zonato Nicolini – CheckMat
1 – Julia Mæle – OXY
2 – Leoni Munslow – New School BJJ
1 – Claudia Fernanda Onofre Valim Doval – Soul Fighters BJJ
1 – Samantha Lea Cook – CheckMat
2 – Claire-France Thevenon – Mako Team Paris
3 – Tereza Cordeiro de Souza – ZR Team Association
1 – Ana Talita de Oliveira Alencar – Alliance
2 – Charlotte von Baumgarten – Mathias Ribeiro Team
3 – Leoni Munslow – New School BJJ
3 – Samantha Lea Cook – CheckMat