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NoGi Pans, Taza Bulldozes At Middleweight, Junny Breaks Through, And Dante Leon Shocks The World

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OCTOBER 01, 2023, Fort Worth Convention Center, Houston, Texas, USA, was the location set for the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Pan No-Gi Championship, one of the main tournaments without the gi, held by the sport’s main promotion.

Although a big event for the IBJJF, traditionally speaking, the Pan American Championship in the No-Gi ruleset is not regarded as highly as the Worlds or the ADCC, therefore, many of the very top-ranked athletes often skip this tournament, leaving some space for the younger generations to build their name. This was evident this weekend, particularly in the female division, where none of the current big names made it through to Texas.

With room to shine the newcomers started taking over the tournament. The first to do so impressively was Adele Fornarino of Team Dominance. The Australian is quickly gaining a reputation as the Armbar Queen of Jiu-Jitsu thanks to performances like tonight’s. Another 100% submission ratio at the Pans, both subs via armbar. Also on the rise and currently challenging that Armbar throne is Deise Leonanjo of Double Fight. Deise has been an arm hunter since the colored belt divisions and is mimicking that success now at black belt. Three matches and three subs from the same set-up.

Leonanjo’s teammate, Roberta Ribeiro has impressed in her rookie year in the black belt division, consistently medaling in the main events of the IBJJF circuit, this, however, was her finest hour so far. Double gold and some very tough-fought matches against Maggie Grindatti, Samantha Hall, and Elizabeth Mitrovic, to name a few.

The third time was the charm for Junny Ocasio of Unity, one of the most fun athletes to watch in the male category, overall, and particularly in the finals, where he stole the show in his duel with the always-dynamic Emilio Hernandez – who himself also had an outstanding tournament. These two had a footlock battle well worth revisiting. This was Junny’s third attempt at Pan American gold after 2019 being stopped short in the quarter-finals, 2021 being stopped short in the semis, and now, making it all the way through with a flawless performance.

Speaking of talented East Coast veterans, Gianni Grippo was another athlete with a flawless performance this weekend, strategic when he had to, against newcomer Marco Mendes, aggressive when he had to, but always a supreme technician, was the path paved by Gianni on his 4th IBJJF Pan No-Gi title in the adult black belt division.

If there was a Bravest Performer Of The Day award, it would go to Canada’s Dante Leon. The Pedigo Submission Fighting 2x IBJJF World No-Gi Champion traditionally competes between the middle and the lightweight division but decided to test the waters at super-heavy (!) despite him clearly not weighing more than 190 lb on the mats, giving up at least 25 lbs to his opponents. Dante had a BYE in his first match and won the following two by points, meeting Devhonte Johnson in the final, an IBJJF World and Pan No-Gi Champion and an ADCC Trials finalist, undoubtedly one of the foremost super-heavyweights in the world right now. Dante started the match quickly, with a sweep from a leg entanglement, two points Johnson was never able to recover from. A true Rocky Balboa moment for Leon.

It would be impossible to report this event without mentioning Oliver Taza of New Wave, another Canadian who stood out in a sea of awesome performances. Taza had a tough middleweight division, one of the biggest weight classes in number of contestants, and cut through his opponents like a hot knife through butter. 4 matches, 4 subs, of which were 3 inside heel hooks. Incredible numbers from a memorable performance. A similar “hot knife through butter” performance was that of Roosevelt Sousa at Ultra-Heavy. The Florida-based competitor had 3 matches with two quick submissions and a 9-point lead win over Breylor Grout in the quarter-finals. Below are the main match results.

(122 lb) Chris Tran, GFT
(135 lb) Junny Ocasio, Unity
(148 lb) Gianni Grippo, Alliance
(162 lb) Carlos Henrique, Dream Art
(175 lb) Oliver Taza, New Wave
(188 lb) Francisco Lo, PSLPB
(201 lb) Adam Wardzinski, Checkmat
(215 lb) Dante Leon, PSF
(+215 lb) Roosevelt Sousa, Fight Sports
OPEN WEIGHT Rocha Brothers, Alliance
(102 lb) Lavinia Barbosa, Checkmat
(113 lb) Dorothy Dao, AOJ
(124 lb) Adele Fornarino, Team Dominance
(135 lb) Jaine Fragoso, Atos RJ
(146 lb) Deise Leonanjo, Double Five
(168 lb) Maria Ruffatto, BTT
(+168 lb) Roberta Ribeiro, Double Five
OPEN WEIGHT Roberta Ribeiro, Double Five


Quarter Finals:
Estevan Martinez advanced over Salman Al-Thani via WO
– Chris Tran def. Italo Bonfim via Inside heel hook
– John Stapleton def. Denis Beenen via Lateral kneebar
– Henrique Rossi def. David Zennario via 7×0

Semi Final:
– Chris Tran def. Estevan Martinez via 2×0 adv, 4×4 pts
– John Stapleton def. Henrique Rossi via Darce choke

– John Stapleton def. Chris Tran via Decision (0x0)


Quarter Finals:
– Bebeto Oliveira def. Eduardo Farfan via 4×4 pts, 1×0 adv
Emilio Hernandez def. Leonardo Souza via Toe hold
Roiter Lima def. Valor Boyer via 6×2
Junny Ocasio def. Lucas Bosshard via Inside heel hook

Semi Final:
Junny Ocasio def. Roiter Lima via 1×0 adv, 2×2 pts
Emilio Hernandez def. Bebeto Oliveira via Inside heel hook

Junny Ocasio def. Emilio Hernandez via 3×1 adv, 2×2 pts


Quarter Finals:
Marco Mendes def. Chad Myers via RNC
– Damion Oranday def. Rodrigo Goncales via Kneebar
– Jose Espinosa def. Charles Murdock via Straight ankle lock
Gianni Grippo def. Marcelo Perialdo via RNC

Semi Final:
– Jose Espinosa def. Damion Oranday via Inside heel hook
Gianni Grippo def. Marco Mendes via 2×0

Gianni Grippo def. Jose Espinosa via 6×2


Quarter Finals:
Daniel Sathler def. Lukete Silva via 2×2 pts, 6×2 adv
– Joao Oliveira def. Rodrigo Francioni via Decision
Richar Nogueira def. Juan Londono via 13×0
Carlos Henrique def. Maximilian Hanson via 6×4

Semi Final:
Daniel Sathler def. Joao Victor Oliveira via 2×0
Carlos Henrique def. Richar Nogueira via 4×1 adv, 2×2 pts

Carlos Henrique def. Daniel Sathler via 2×0


Quarter Finals:
Mathias Luna def. Heitor Senra via 2×0
Kieran Kichuk def. Johnny Tama via Decision
– Matheus Galvao def. Francisco Cuneo via 1×0 adv, 0x0 pts
Oliver Taza def. Eduardo Avelar via Inside heel hook

Semi Finals:
Oliver Taza def. Matheus Galvao via RNC
Kieran Kichuk def. Mathias Luna via 6×4

Oliver Taza def. Kieran Kichuk via Inside heel hook


Quarter Finals:
Felipe Cesar def. Anthony Robinson via 2×0
– Clay Mayfield def. Enrique March via Katagatame
Francisco Lo def. Shane Fishman via Leglock
Jacob Couch def. Bruno Matias via 2×0

Semi Finals:
Francisco Lo def. Jacob Couch via Estima lock
– Clay Mayfield def. Felipe Cesar via 4×0

Francisco Lo def. Clay Mayfield via Decision (0x0)


Quarter Finals:
Elder Cruz def. Andrew Marrero via Anaconda choke
– Hunter Colvin def. Alejandro Tolmos via 6×4
Joao Costa def. Freddy Vosgrone via 2×0
Adam Wardzinski def. Calon Sabino via 9×0

Semi Finals:
Elder Cruz def. Hunter Colvin via 9×0
Adam Wardzinski def. Joao Costa via Outside heel hook

– Teammates Closed The Final


Quarter Finals:
Dante Leon def. Eliot Kelly via 4×0
Luccas Lira def. Fellipe Trovo via 28×2
– Thiago Andrade def. Felipe Costa via Outside heel hook
Devhonte Johnson def. Jackson Douglas via 0x0 pts, 6×0 adv

Semi Finals:
Devhonte Johnson def. Thiago Andrade via Katagatame
Dante Leon def. Luccas Lira via 3×2 adv, 0x0 pts

Dante Leon def. Devhonte Johnson via 2×0


Quarter Finals:
Roosevelt Sousa def. Breylor Grout via 9×0
– Igor Schneider advanced over Joao Gabriel Rocha via WO
Guilherme Augusto def. Austin Baker via 2×0
– Jose Inacio def. Pedro Alex via Decision

Semi Finals:
Roosevelt Sousa def. Igor Schneider via Kneebar
– Jose Inacio def. Guilherme Augusto via Points


Quarter Finals:
– Luccas Lira def. Dante Leon via 2×0
– Pedro Rocha def. Francisco Lo via Advantage
– Luccas Lira def. Jose Inacio via Decision
– Joao Rocha def. Hunter Colvin via Wristlock

Semi Finals:
– Pedro Rocha def. Luccas Lira via Guillotine
– Joao Gabriel def. Felipe Costa via 2×0

– Blood brothers Joao Gabriel & Pedro Henrique closed the division for the Rocha family


Semi Finals:
– Amber Freitas def. Faye Cherrier via Decision (0x0)
– Lavinia Barbosa def. Mariana Rolszt via Decision (0x0)

– Lavinia Barbosa def. Amber Freitas via RNC


Semi Finals:
– Dorothy Dao def. Duda Tozoni via Inside heel hook
– Maria Kelly def. Andreza Moraes via Decision (0x0)

– Dorothy Dao def. Maria Kelly via 2×0


Semi Finals:
– Adele Fornarino def. Emily Nicholson via Armbar
– Vitoria Assis def. Amanda Bruse via 2×2 pts, 1×0 adv

Adele Fornarino def. Vitoria Assis via Armbar


Semi Finals:
– Joanna Trindade def. Alejandra Cervantez
– Jaine Fragoso def. Vitoria Vieira via Straight ankle lock

– Jaine Fragoso def. Joanna Trindade via 7×0


Semi Finals:
– Julia Maele def. Thamires Monteiro via Decision (0x0)
– Deise Leonanjo def. Erin Johnson via Armbar

– Deise Leonanjo def. Julia Maele via Armbar


Semi Finals:
– Jordan Patrick def. Raquel Santos via RNC
– Elizabeth Mitrovic def. Maggie Grindatti via 2×0

– Elizabeth Mitrovic def. Jordan Patrick via 2×0

FEMALE / HEAVY (2 person division)

– Maria Ruffato def. Luciana Mota via 3×2 adv, 2×2 pts

FEMALE / SUPER HEAVY (2 person division)

– Roberta Ribeiro def. Samantha Hall via Decision (2×2 pts)


Semi Finals:
– Elizabeth Mitrovic def. Jordan Patrick via Advantages
– Roberta Ribeiro def. Maria Goncalves via 4×2

– Roberta Ribeiro def. Elizabeth Mitrovic via Decision

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