The European Open Jiu Jitsu Championship, organized by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) as it has since 2004, kicked-off the federation’s yearly calendar. The 2016 edition of the tournament showcased just how far the sport has grown in the Old Continent, since the competition’s inception 12 years ago.
With a record breaking 3517 competitors, the European Open saw some of the top competitors from all corners of the earth go to battle in Lisbon, Portugal. All belt levels had killer athletes with the bigger teams being represented in great numbers.
The tournament also marked the first time Leandro Lo’s New School Brotherhood was represented in an IBJJF tournament, since the team started back on October 2015. As for the results, the adult black belt divisions when as follows:
ROOSTER WEIGHT CHAMP.: Caio Terra
The most decorated athlete in all the divisions got the job done in great fashion. To get to the final he defeated Gabriel Rosenberg and Mendes Brothers black belt Vincent Nguyen, before meeting Koji Shibamoto in the final for a repeat of last year’s final. In a very similar stylistic match Caio took the win on advantages.
- Gabriel Rosenberg (1/4 final)
- Vincent Nguyen (semi final)
- Koji Shibamoto (final)
LIGHT-FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMP.: Joao Miyao/Hiago George
The two Cícero Costha black belts were the favorites to win the tournament, and they fulfilled the expectations with eye-catching performances throughout the tournament.
Champion’s run (Miyao):
- Tsuyoshi Tamaki (1/4 final)
- Gabriel Willcox (semi final)
Champion’s run (George):
- Luis Filipe Lopes (1/4 final)
- Luis Filipe Pinto (semi final)
FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMP.: Márcio André
One of the most stacked divisions in the tournament, the European Open featherweight king was Márcio André. The champion had a long hard road to conquer his crown, going through some real steep competition in Isaac Doederlin and Italo Lins, meeting Paulo Miyao in the final, winning by a minimal advantage (referee decision).
- Isaac Doederlein (1/4 final)
- Italo Lins (semi final)
- Paulo Miyao (final)
LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMP.: Michael Liera Junior
Michael Liera Jr. has been pointed out as one of the biggest up and comers in the sport and he just cemented his status in the sport with an amazing performance. Liera met Claudio Calasans black belt, Alex Cabanes in the final, whom he defeated in a battle of 50/50 guard. Cabanes was the first Spaniard to reach the final of the European Open at black belt.
- Ross Nicholls (elimination round)
- Vitor Genovesi (1/4 final)
- Sam Gibson (semi final)
- Alex Cabanes (final)
MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMP.: Yago de Souza
Epic performance by Yago in the biggest division in the competition. This was de Souza’s toughest test since receiving his black belt late last year. The New School Brootherhood athlete was regarded as one of the toughest up and comers in the middleweight division, and he proved just that with solid performances over Lucas Barbosa (1/4 final), Eduardo Rios (semi final), and Alan Finfou (final).
- Arturo Espies (elimination round)
- Lucas “Hulk” (1/4 final)
- Eduardo “Teta” Rios (semi final)
- Alain Finfou (final)
MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP.: Romulo Barral/Gabriel Arges
Coach and student closed out the division with incredible matches, through and through. While Barral managed to submit all his opponents, his pupil Arges had some wars, particularly in his semi final match against Patrick Gaudio, a game that went to the referee decision after a 10×10 point draw on the scoreboard.
Champion’s run (Barral):
- Martin Aedma (elimination round)
- Josh Hinger (1/4 final)
- Diogo “Moreno” Sampaio (semi final)
Champion’s run (Arges):
- Jurandir Vieira (elimination round)
- Tero Pyylampi (1/4 final)
- Patrick Gaudio (semi final)
HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP.: Jackson Souza
“Jack” was one of the favorites to win the division, particularly after Felipe Pena dropped out due to injury. Jackson cruised through the division, stacking points in epic performances.
- Juha Leppänen (1/4 final)
- “Max” Wisniewski (semi final)
- Felipe Bueno (final)
SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP.: Erberth Santos
Going on to his second year as a black belt, Erberth Santos wins his 2nd European title as a black belt. Santos, who was the favorite going in after last year’s performances, beat some tough opponents to reach the final against Lúcio “Lagarto”, whom he beat by 8×2.
- Cássio Francis (1/4 final)
- Alexandro Ceconi (semi final)
- Lúcio “Lagarto” (final)
ULTRA-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP.: Pedro Moura
“Pedrinho” beat the second European finalist of the day, Luke Costello. Costello showed great technique and willingness to engage, though he succumbed to the more tactical Moura, who patiently waited to capitalize on Costello’s mistakes to stack points on the score board.
- Attila Bánfi (1/4 final)
- Gilma Oliveira (semi final)
- Luke Costello (final)
ABSOLUTE CHAMP: Romulo Barral/Felipe Pena
Tremendous performances by both athletes who had some epic performances. Barral submitted his way to the final, while Felipe dominated his side of the brackets with one of the most epic matches ever in the event against Erberth Santos. Though his match versus Santos cost him his place in the brackets (Preguica injured himself escaping an armbar attempt by Erberth), he valiantly pulled through in time to return the favor, submitting the Ryan Gracie representative with a choke from the back.
Champion’s run (Barral):
- Andreas Perales (elimination round 1)
- Daniel Cobb (elimination round 2)
- Patrick Gaudio (1/4 final)
- Jackson Sousa (semi final)
Champion’s run (Pena):
- Josh Hinger (elimination round 1)
- Manoel Oliveira (elimination round 2)
- Alan “Finfou” (1/4 final)
- Erberth Santos (semi final)