DECEMBER 15, 2019, Anaheim Convention Center – Anaheim, California set the scene for the first day of the adult black belt division, widely regarded as the pro-division of the sport. The event has gathered the interest of the world’s biggest stars in the past, particularly over the past 4 years, though that enthusiasm has somewhat died down when assessing the list of champs missing from the brackets this year: No Josh Hinger, no Gordon Ryan or Keenan Cornelius, Yuri Simões (injured), Lucas Lepri, Paulo Miyao, Kennedy Maciel, Gianni Grippo, Hugo Marques, Kaynan Duarte, etc. Basically ALL of the current IBJJF black belt world nogi champions have vacated their titles as none came down to defend them.
Nonetheless, and maybe due to the absence of the big names, others had the opportunity to shine. That was very much the case of Jeferson Guaresi, Gabriel Almeida and Marcos Martins (AKA Petcho) who looked tremendous in their opening rounds of their respective weight classes, defeating some very big names of the sport and cementing their claims to the nogi crown. Martins’ success is particularly well-received since this is the first time the São Paulo based grappler is competing in the USA, as his visa had been denied for the past 5 years. Marcos Petcho beat Ronaldo Junior of the Atos Academy on points in a very solid performance.
Equally impressive was Gracie Barra’s Kendall Reusing in the open weight class. Reusing beat two huge names of the sport in her rise to the absolute final, namely Julia Boscher and Gabi McComb, two very tough matches for the promising athlete, who will face Jessica Flowers tomorrow – a possible close out for team GB. Below are the current standings for today’s medal race.
MALE ROOSTER WEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
MALE LIGHT-FEATHERWEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
MALE FEATHERWEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
Strong performances in the elimination rounds, particularly by Thiago Abud, who beat one of the division’s favorites (Thiago Macedo) by advantages. Irishman Thomas Alpin looked superb with his leg entanglements in his first match beating the tough Emilio Hernandez by kneebar.
MALE LIGHTWEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
Many had their eyes on the newest Australian grappling sensation Lachlan Warne, who did do extremely well in the first elimination round by beating his opponent with a beautiful tarikoplata. In his second match, Warne would be stopped by one of the division’s toughest athletes, Mr. Fabio Caloi by armbar. Nathan Chueng had one of the upsets of the day by beating Rodrigo Freitas and Johnny Tama looked as exciting and dynamic as he’s ever looked.
MALE MIDDLEWEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
A Lot of talent here, and a lot of fun matches. One of the comebacks of the year, however, completely stole the show. We are referencing the Scandinavian grappling veteran’s Sebastian Brosche victory in R1, he who turned the tables against Marco Aurelio after being 8 points behind, winning his match by 10×8. What a performance!
MALE MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
This division had the most up and coming talent and proved to have some of the most exciting matches of the year. Servio Tulio vs Sergio Rios is a candidate for match of the year, and then there were the outstanding debuts of Mathias Luna, Rafael Paganini, Marcos Petcho and Jonnatas Gracie at the NoGi Worlds. A fantastic weight class to follow this year.
MALE HEAVYWEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
MALE SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
Big upset yesterday with the German athlete Freddy Vosgrone taking our the former world champ Arnaldo Maidana by 9 points in the opening round. Fantastic performance. Expect some very interesting matches later on today.
MALE ULTRA-HEAVYWEIGHT DIV ¼ FINALS
MALE ABSOLUTE FINALS
Solid division with plenty of solid performances, one that stood out was newcomer Marcelo Gomide, who looked very dominant up until his semi finals match against Victor Hugo. A match he was winning up until the very last seconds when he was reversed. Cyborg looked very solid yesterday also, submitting Jackson Sousa with a tight one-handed guillotine and Fernando Ribas by armbar before meeting Devhonte Johnson in the semis, beating the Unity representative by decision.
FEMALE ROOSTER WEIGHT FINALS
– Amber Freitas vs Mayssa Bastos
FEMALE LIGHT-FEATHERWEIGHT FINALS
– Amanda Monteiro vs Patricia Machado
FEMALE FEATHERWEIGHT FINALS
– Talita Alencar vs Heather Raftery
FEMALE LIGHTWEIGHT FINALS
– Nathalie Ribeiro vs Jena Bishop
FEMALE MIDDLEWEIGHT FINALS
– Raquel Canuto vs Jaqueline Amorim
FEMALE MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHT FINALS
– Vedha Toscano vs Julia Boscher
FEMALE HEAVYWEIGHT FINALS
– Talita Nogueira vs Elizabeth Catherine
FEMALE SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT FINALS
– Jessica Flowers vs Kendall Reusing
FEMALE ABSOLUTE FINALS
– Jessica Flowers vs Kendall Reusing