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Keenan Cornelius Redeems Himself With Absolute Gold at NoGi Pans

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SEPTEMBER 14 – NEW YORK, USA. As referenced in our previous post, the Nat Holman Gym (CCNY) laid the scenery for yet another International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) No-Gi Pan American Championship, one of the more important tournaments on the international circuit, with particular interest this year given its proximity to 2019’s most important NoGi tournament, the ADCC World Championship, which will take place in a couple of weeks. In this piece, we will address the black belt absolute division. For the other divisions, please check here.

In this black belt open weight class there was finally some redemption for Keenan Cornelius, whose slow performances in his weight class has left some questions as to his current form ahead of the ADCC World Championship. The more focussed version of Cornelius cruised through the absolute weight class, coming back with offensive wrestling and creative guard passing work with which he submitted all his opponents with a multitude of submission variations.

Meeting Keenan in the final was a very game Felipe Cesar of the Barbosa JJ / Unity JJ coalition. The middleweight looked fantastic throughout the tournament as he had in his weight class (where he reached the semis and allowed his training partner Jeferson Guaresi to go through). Cesar submitted all his opponents tonight with the exception of Cornelius.

In the final, Felipe ended DQed for, allegedly, running from the mat with a locked submission. Looking from the outside we were unsure if Felipe was trying to flee the mat or just trying to defend a choke close to the edge. Be that as it may, Keenan was 5×2 ahead on the scoreboard and did look to have most of the momentum of the match. Great final.

The female open weight class also had a sprinkle of redemption, this time being Laurah Hallock of GF Team who had underperformed in her weight class, but returned strongly to take gold against Amanda Alequin. Alequin (formerly Santana) was outstanding throughout the tournament and also deserves praise here, undeniably one of the most entertaining grapplers to watch compete.

Men's Black Belt Absolute Division


– Frederik Vosgrone def. Khalil Fadlallah via Katagatame
– Italo Moura def. Kalil Muriel via RNC
– Brian Beaury def. Athos Miranda via Submission
– Devhonte Johnson def. Jonnatas Gracie via 0x0 (decision)


– Lucas Wilhan def. Sean McDonagh via 8×0
Italo Moura def. Jake Watson via 6×4
Keenan Cornelius def. Vitor Cervantes via Kimura
– Frederik Vosgrone def. Kenji Sette
Aaron Johnson def. Briean Beaury via Submission
– Todd Mueckenheim def. Francisco Cueno
Felipe Cesar def. Ryan Roach via Submission
Devhonte Johnson def. Vinicius Trator via 2×0


– Aaron Johnson def. Todd Mueckenheim via Kimura
Keenan Cornelius def. Italo Moura via Guillotine
Devhonte Johnson def. Frederik Vosgrone 2 via 0
Felipe Cesar def. Lucas Wilhan via RNC


Keenan Cornelius def. Devhonte Johnson via Armlock
Aaron (Tex) Johnson forfeit to Felipe Cesar (Team Mates)


Keenan Cornelius def. Felipe Cesar by DQ

Women's Black Belt Absolute Division


– Laurah Hallock def. Jessica Cristina Santos
Maria Malyjasiak def. Jessica Swanson
– Amanda (Tubby) Alequin def. Vedha Toscano


– Laurah Hallock def. Talita Alencar
– Amanda (Tubby) Alequin def. Maria Malyjasiak


– Laurah Hallock def. Amanda Alequin

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