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Orlando Open Results, Renato Canuto Turns Up The Heat While Florida’s Prodigal Son Returns

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MARCH 29, 2021, ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA, was the home for another International Open tournament, produced by the IBJJF who took full advantage of the guidelines permitted in the state amidst the current pandemic. The event gathered some of the top grapplers in the nation, particularly in the black belt division, where we had the pleasure of seeing the return to action of a Floridian legend, Mr. AJ Sousa, as well as 2017’s world no-gi champ, Renato Canuto.

AJ SOUSA RETURNS

It was with great pleasure that we saw Sousa back on the mats. Originally a Pablo Popovich student, AJ became a household name after his unforgettable performances in YouTube reality-series/competitions such as Lloyd Irvin’s Kumite and the Ribeiro Brothers’ BJJ Library Challenge.

Making his early career competing as a light and middleweight athlete, AJ beat a few legends of the sport, such as Tarsis Humphreys, Lucas Lepri, Osvaldo Moizinho, Rodrigo Freitas, to name a few. Unfortunately for the fans, Sousa decided to put his grappling career on hold in 2016 – before achieving his prime age – to follow the honorable path of fire-fighting.

This weekend AJ Sousa came out to compete once again, this time in the 88-kilogram division, taking out in his first round, one of the rising talents of the Checkmat team – Matheus Luna, surprising the young athlete and taking him out on points. In the final, Sousa met one of the foremost grapplers of today, Mr. Yago de Sousa. AJ looked good early on, but the pace set by the Brazilian athlete wore him down, with the Floridian taking a loss on points.

RENATO CANUTO CONQUERS OPEN WEIGHT

Well-known as one of the most exciting lightweights in the world, Renato Canuto came to Orlando to challenge the middleweight division, a weight category stacked with some of the top talents in the newer generation of black belts. Athletes such as Tainan Dalpra, Jeferson Guaresi, Caio Caetano, to name a few.

Although Canuto started with the right foot, with a submission win over Vinicius Wong, a slight mishap in the semi-finals saw the Checkmat Las Vegas black belt miss out on the middleweight crown by two points.

Unhappy with his middleweight performance, Canuto returned to challenge the big boys in the open weight category. In the absolute, Renato tore through his opposition, winning all matches by submission up to the final where he met his 2020 Pan American Championship nemesis, Mr. Michael Liera. Canuto looked incredibly sharp against the famous guard player, dominating the match and conquering the gold medal on points. An epic performance for the vegan athlete.

BLACK BELT RESULTS

MALE, ROOSTER WEIGHT
#1 – Lívio Ribeiro (Ares BJJ)
#2 – Lee Rosenfield (Form Jiu Jitsu Academy)
#3 – Rashawn Kershaw (BJJ Globetrotters USA)
#3 – N/A

MALE, LIGHT-FEATHER WEIGHT
#1 – Marcus Beddor (Pedro Sauer Team)
#2 – Max deBeen (Renzo Gracie Academy)
#3 – Suraj Budhram (Fight Sports)
#3 – Igor Mancebo (Renato Tavares Association)

MALE, FEATHERWEIGHT
#1 – Gianni Grippo (Alliance)
#2 – Danilo Moreira (Ares BJJ)
#3 – Luis Granja (Alliance)
#3 – Daniel Aquino (Checkmat)

MALE, LIGHTWEIGHT
#1 – Johnatha Alves (AOJ)
#2 – Michael Liera Jr. (Atos)
#3 – Thiago Abud (Unity)
#3 – Dylan Whyte (Soul Fighters)

MALE, MIDDLEWEIGHT
#1 – Tainan Dalpra (AOJ)
#2 – Jeferson Guaresi (Unity)
#3 – Renato Canuto (Checkmat)
#3 – Caio Caetano (One Jiu-Jitsu)

MALE, MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHT
#1 – Yago de Souza (316 BJJ)
#2 – AJ Sousa (Winners Training Center)
#3 – Matheus Luna (Checkmat)
#3 – Pedro Palhares (Luiz Palhares JJ)

MALE, HEAVYWEIGHT
#1 – Rafael Vasconcelos (Atos)
#2 – Charles McGuire (ATT)
#3 – Giancarlo Bodoni (Alliance)
#3 – N/A

MALE, SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT
#1 – André Porfirio (Fight Sports)
#2 – José Torres (Fight Sports)
#3 – William Shannon (Shannon Arts)
#3 – N/A

MALE, ULTRA-HEAVYWEIGHT
#1 – Vinicius Ferreira “Trator” (Alliance)
#2 – Stuart Maddox (Luiz Palhares JJ)
#3 – Alexandre Bueno (GF Team)
#3 – N/A

MALE, OPEN-WEIGHT
#1 – Renato Canuto (Checkmat)
#2 – Michael Liera Jr. (Atos)
#3 – Thiago Abud (Unity)
#3 – Matheus Luna (Checkmat)

FEMALE, MIDDLEWEIGHT
#1 – Vanessa Griffin (Team Lloyd Irvin)
#2 – Suellen de Sousa (GFT)
#3 – N/A
#3 – N/A

FEMALE, MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHT
#1 – Emilly Alves Vasconcelos (Atos)
#2 – Melissa Cueto (Gracie Humaita)
#3 – Bridget Mceliece (Renzo Gracie)
#3 – N/A

FEMALE, SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT
#1 – Jen Case (Renato Tavares Association)
#2 – Tara White (Fight Sports)
#3 – Mayara Custódio (Checkmat)
#3 – N/A

FEMALE, OPEN-WEIGHT
#1 – Jen Case (Renato Tavares Association)
#2 – Melissa Cueto (Gracie Humaita)
#3 – Vanessa Griffin (Team Lloyd Irvin)
#3 – Lavinia Barbosa (Checkmat)

High Percentage Chokes  Instructional by Lachlan Giles

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