JUNE 4, 2017 @Walter Pyramid – Long Beach, California (USA), the last day of the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World BJJ Championships (for details of yesterday’s events, please check here).
The best and biggest jiu jitsu tournament of the year was nothing short of spectacular. Miraculous escapes, huge upsets and an array of submissions were put on for the audience, who responded with the usual loud cheering and screaming that is now known as the norm in big Brazilian jiu jitsu events. Overall the tournament transpired a very clear sentiment that showed the changing of the guard with the new generation of grapplers cementing their place in this sport/martial art.
Three of the biggest surprises in the competition this year were Patrick Gaudio, Marcos Tinoco and Nicholas Meregali. Marcelo Garcia black belt, Tinoco took out Oliver Geddes and Javier Yamuni before facing Leandro Lo’s star pupil, Matheus Spirandeli (1/4 finals). He would later beat last year’s middleweight champion Otávio Sousa in the semi-final before facing another young athlete – Gabriel Arges in the final (more on that below). A tough path for Marcos, who proved today why he is regarded as one of the bigger talents in the sport.
On the medium-heavyweight division, GF Team’s Patrick Gaudio was on a roll, taking out two former champions and legends of this sport such as Tarsis Humphreys and Romulo Barral, whom Gaudio beat by referee decision after dislocating Barral’s foot with a toe-hold in the final seconds of their match (to which the Gracie Barra athlete did not tap). Gaudio also beat Lucas Rocha the day before. A student of Theodoro Canal, Gaudio has been one of the revelations of 2017, having won the IBJJF Pans and the CBJJ Brasileiro. Patrick met Galvao in the final, more details on that below.
Heavyweight newcomer, Nicholas Meregali of Alliance shocked the world this year by doing the unthinkable: Beating Leandro Lo. After being defeated yesterday in the second round of the open weight division by Joao Gabriel Rocha, Meregali returned to the mats with unprecedented intensity. The Mario Reis black belt proceeded to quickly submit every opponent on his way to the final. This included PSLPB Helton José, the legendary Lucas Leite and current Brazilian national champion Dimitrius Souza before facing Leandro Lo for the final.
In a very fruitful year in terms of important landmarks, Mikey Musumeci became the 4th American male athlete to conquer an IBJJF world title at black belt. The Caio Terra Association competitor had a tough day battling the world’s very best under 64kg grapplers, including Isaac Doederlein, Washington Lima and Ary Farias before meeting Joao Miyao in the final. Incredible achievement for Musumeci, who has now come full circle with titles at the World Pro, Pan American Championships, European Open and Worlds.
Another important presence this year was Marcus Almeida (Buchecha) who cemented his legacy even further by becoming 5x absolute world champion, and demolishing Roger Gracie’s previously set record (3). Buchecha had an amazing tournament, conquering the double gold yet again, and earning his 10th world title overall. What a career!
On the female black belt division, Ana Carolina Vieira stood out as one of the most dominant female grapplers in the scene today by conquering the middleweight crown over 2016’s champion Monique Elias. The younger sister of BJJ superstar Rodolfo Vieira, Ana Carolina followed her sibling’s footsteps of forward moving pressure, while earning her first black belt world title. Vieira went through Ida Fløisvik and Nívia Moura to get to the final.
Rubens Charles defeated Leo Saggioro via 1×0 advantages, 0x0 pts.
Shane Jamil Taylor-Hill
Joao Gabriel Rocha
Rikaku Yuasa defeated Rayanne Santos with a choke from the back
Ana Carolina Schmitt closed out the division with Emilie Thylin for Gracie Humaitá.
(3 person bracket)
Jessica dos Santos
Nathiely Jesus defeated Andresa Correa via choke.
Leah Roseanne Taylor
(3 person bracket)
(2 person bracket)