DECEMBER 16, 2018 Marked the last day of this year’s International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World No-Gi Championship, an event that took place at Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim – California.
Yesterday (Saturday) we witnessed the first day for the adult black belts at the IBJJF World No-Gi Championship, a day in which we did not see a big shakeup to the foundations of the sport, as most of the “on paper” favorites advanced to semi-finals, a trend that carried on, on Sunday.
Much of social media’s interest centered around the Gordon Ryan storyline, a submission-only style grappler who became one of the most successful black belts in the no-gi scene, being the first name from this genre of grappling to make it in the biggest stages of BJJ. If there were any doubters of Ryan’s talent – which at this stage, cannot be too many, they were proven wrong once again. Ryan pressed the action with almost every opponent he faced, looking stronger both physically and mentally throughout most of the tournament.
Ryan aside, the No-Gi Worlds was characterized by the absence of many of the sport’s main figures. Athletes such as Paulo Miyao, Renato Canuto, Isaque Bahiense, Luiz Panza, Adam Wardzinski, Keenan Cornelius, Leandro Lo, Felipe Preguiça, Marcus Buchecha, Lucas Barbosa and many others who did not sign up to the tournament.
Regardless of how many big stars were missing from the NoGi Worlds, the event did deliver in high-level jiu-jitsu and one big surprise – that was Ffion Davies of East Coast Jiu-Jitsu, who became the first Welsh competitor to conquer a gold medal in the black belt division of this prestigious event. Ffion was one of 4 female athletes who placed on the podium of the event, the others being Anna Nordeno (Sweden), Leoni Munslow (England) and Maria Malyjasiak (Poland).
Another, very positive surprise for American jiu-jitsu to come from today’s tournament was the successful campaigns of 4 outstanding American competitors: Gianni Grippo (Alliance – Marcelo Garcia), Josh Hinger (Atos HQ), Tim Spriggs (Team Lloyd Irvin) and Gordon Ryan (Renzo Gracie Academy). 4 athletes who conquered 5 gold medals at the male, black belt, adult division – a record for the USA team in the IBJJF Worlds. All athletes had very exciting tournaments in their respective divisions, with Gordon bringing home double gold. More details on their matches below, so without further ado, here are the final results for BJJ’s World No-Gi Championship – adult black belt divisions.
More Details on earlier matches, check our Day 1 IBJJF No-Gi Worlds article.
Nobuhiro Sawada def. Livio Ribeiro by split decision (6×6 pts)
Somewhat of an upset here as Japanese Tri Force star, Sawada defeated the exciting new prospect that is Livio. The match had plenty of technical exchanges, with each athlete sweeping each other and forcing the pace. A very hard match to decide indeed.
João Miyao def. Tomoyuki Hashimoto by unanimous decision
Another hard fought battle, this time fairly more measured than what we saw from the rooster weights. Either athlete knew each other’s strengths and tried to stay away from those with Miyao imposing his will (positionally) a tad more, which may have earned him the nod from the judges.
Kennedy Maciel def. Gilson Nunes by 2×0
Strategic play by Kennedy who scored two points from an ankle pick out of a weak guard pull from Nunes. Maciel was in full control of the match from then on, managing the distance and staying away from Nunes’ dangerous triangle game. A strong showing from the brand new black belt.
Gianni Grippo def. Márcio André by RNC
A huge match here and possible comeback of the tournament. Marcio started out best, pulling guard quicker than Gianni could. Andre’s momentum only grew from then, with a sweep close to the 5-minute mark, and a near back take. In the final minute of the match, however, with everything going against him, Gianni managed to pull off a back take from an attempt of a guard pass, sinking the match ending rear-naked-choke. Outstading!
Hugo Marques def. Jaime Canuto by 2×0
An uneventful match until the last two minutes, when the two athletes sped up the pace. In an exchange from a failed double leg by Jaime, Marques achieved front-headlock control and later a tight guillotine attempt to which Canuto, in defending the submission, went out of bounds. As per IBJJF rules, 2 points awarded to the Soul Fighters athlete, which sealed the deal and awarded Hugo his first world title at black belt.
Josh Hinger def. Marcos Tinoco by north-south choke
The 3rd straight final for Josh Hinger, and 3rd straight title, an unbelievable achievement for an athlete that could be competing in the Masters 2 division, if he so chose. Interestingly, Hinger met Tinoco in the final, who is equally a Masters athlete.
As for the match itself, this was one of the best finals of the day. Both competitors went at each other, standing and on the ground. The final move occurred from Tinoco’s lack of respect for Hinger’s infamous guillotine. Shooting for a tight double leg takedown, mid-match, Tinoco exposed his neck ever-so-slightly, to which Josh capitalized on with his ‘Hingertine’ move. The choke forced Marcos to go belly up to defend, and once on Tinoco’s side control, Josh Hinger sunk in a tight north-south choke.
Tim Spriggs def. Jackson Sousa by decision (4×4 pts)
We expected a stand-up war between these two, and stand-up we got. Both athletes are known for being strategic in their approach, which unfortunately led to plenty of stalling calls and penalties. Spriggs and Sousa were, arguably, on the verge of being disqualified when they decided to turn up the pace. When they did, the duel soon became a war. In the end, the decision went to Spriggs, but could have easily gone Sousa’s way.
Kaynan Duarte def. James Puopolo by arm in guillotine
Solid performance by Kaynan with an effortless style of play which made us very sorry he didn’t choose to challenge the open weight yesterday. Duarte was in control of the match, sinking in the guillotine from an attempt of a double leg by veteran Puopolo, who was down by 2 points at the time.
Gordon Ryan def. Roberto Abreu by DQ
Ryan forced ‘Cyborg’ to play defensively throughout the match, a strategy that earned Abreu the 3 penalties as the match neared its final moments. In the last seconds of the match, in desperation, Roberto visibly attempted to slap Gordon’s face, being awarded one more penalty and subsequent disqualification (4 penalties equals a DQ by the rule-book).
Gordon Ryan def. Yuri Simões by 1 advantage (0x0 pts)
Great match between these two, the 4th of their career and the second of the day. Simões came out very aggressive, pushing Ryan to pull guard after a near takedown attempt, and trying his hardest to pass Gordon’s guard. The DDS athlete had a much more defensive posture on this match than any of his previous performances, possibly playing with the scoreboard, as he was ahead by 1 advantage for most of the match. All of Simões passing attempts ended at the end of Ryan’s long legs and inversions, and that would be enough for the Renzo Gracie Academy standout to take home double gold.
1. Mayssa Bastos
2. Patricia Fontes
3. Miriam Cerqueira
3. Sofia Amarante
ABSOLUTE // FEMALE
Beatriz Mesquita def. Jessica Flowers by 1 advantage (0x0 pts)
Both competitors are known for their dangerous submissions, a factor that may have played a role here as both athletes chose to play a more patient approach, possibly respecting the eminent finishing moves. The initial portion of the match was spent with uneventful standing exchanges until Flowers opted to pull closed guard. Mesquita eventually got an advantage for a back attempt, from an open guard scramble near the end.