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Pan Ams Black Belt Day 1: Joao Gabriel and Lo in Abs Final after Epic Semi Finals!

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MARCH 18, 2017  was the 1st day in the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation’s Pan American Championship, when the black belts stepped on the mats to showcase the fans a little bit of their grappling magic. Saturday held not only the open weight division lead up to the final (held tomorrow), but also got the preliminary rounds of the bigger weight classes ‘out of the way’ – leaving the quarter finals and beyond for Sunday.


On the elimination rounds, we saw 4 male weight classes sort out their quarter finalists. The feather, light, middle and medium-heavy weights saw some of its bigger names go head to head with many interesting match-ups from the get-go.

Although there weren’t any major upsets, we would point out John Combs‘ submission win over Marcos Tinoco under the surprises category of the event so far. Another head turning match happened between Alliance’s Joao Paulo vs AJ Agazarm. Joao’s abilities matched very well against Agazarm’s half guard game plan, leading the man from Rio de Janeiro to cause the upset by beating the American (2×0).

Unfortunately a match that could very well have been the final of the lightweight div, happened on the second round of the event. that was the match between the talented Mansher Khera and Márcio André, which was won by the Brazilian after ‘Much’ got disqualified late in the bout.


We also witnessed the open weight division unfold with amazing action from the first to the last minute. Incredible upsets and comebacks like only high level BJJ can provide. One of the big surprises of the event so far was Checkmat’s Esdras Barbosa who defeated Yago de Souza of Ns Brothehood in the first round. The recently promoted black belt moved on against the force that is the ultra heavyweight Ricardo Evangelista but was not intimidated. Pushing the pace of the match throughout the 10 minutes, he was eventually stopped by his inexperience, losing the bout by 2×0.

Another athlete who did not make it to the final but fought like the legend that he is was Lucas Lepri. The 32 year old lightweight went up against much larger athletes, losing in the quarter finals to Joao Gabriel Rocha in one of the best matches of the event so far.

The semi finals of this open weight division were absolute barn burners, with Joao Gabriel having the comeback of the year after having his back taken from a missed drop seoi nage throw. After a gruelling match the man from Soul Fighters poured his heart into the match conquering a submission win. On the other side of the bracket we saw Leandro Lo initiate what will most definitely be a classic for years to come, against newcomer Nicholas Meregali. Meregali did very well from his guard, always posing danger to the current medium heavyweight world champion, but in the end the experience of Lo made the difference as he established 3 points and the win.

Below are all the matches in the male open weight division.

WinLossPts WinPts LossOtherRound
Lucas LepriMarcus WilsonChoke from backR1
Arnaldo MaidanaJoshua BowlinKneebarR1
Admilson GobiJared Dopp42R1
Joao Gabriel RochaWellington PerotoChoke from backR1
Erberth SantosRaphael SouzaKneebarR1
Matheus DinizJoseph Moku002x0 advR1
Esdras MendesYago Souza881x0 advR1
Ricardo EvangelistaDiego Ramalho221x1 adv. DecisionR1
Dany GerardAlexandro Ceconi72R1
Alexander TransCarlos Farias90R1
Marcio AndreJoao Alves190R1
Tanner RiceEduardo Inojosa00AdvR1
Lucas RochaEliot Kelly42R1
Lucas LepriArnaldo Maidana120R1
Joao Gabriel RochaAdmilson Gobi112R1
Erberth SantosMatheus Diniz62R1
Ricardo EvangelistaEsdras Mendes201/8F
Dany GerardMarcio AndreArmbar1/8F
Joao Gabriel RochaAdmilson Gobi1121/8F
Nicholas MeregaliOtavio NalatiLoop choke1/8F
Leandro LoLucas RochaCross choke1/8F
Mahamed AlyFelipe BezerraArm in ezekiel1/8F
Alexander TransTanner Rice201/8F
Leandro LoDany Gerard201/4F
Joao Gabriel RochaLucas Lepri301/4F
Nicholas MeregaliMahamed AlyChoke from back1/4F
Ricardo EvangelistaEsdras Barbosa201/4F
Leandro LoNicholas Meregali30SF
Joao Gabriel RochaErberth SantosKatagatameSF

In the female division we will see the favorite Tayane Porfirio go against Jessica Flowers. Two recent black belts who overthrew much more experienced athletes on the build up to the final. Flowers had perhaps the upset of the day with a submission win over world champion Andresa Correa.

WinLossPts WinnerPts LooserOtherRound
Ida FloisvikJaqueline Amorim421/8F
Fabiana BorgesCaitlin HugginsChoke from back1/8F
Andresa CorreiaIda Floisvik501/4F
Jessica FlowersSamela LeiteArmlock1/4F
Bia MesquitaFabiana BorgesChoke from back1/4F
Tayane PorfirioBianca Basilio1101/4F
Jessica FlowersAndreza CorreiaArmlockSF
Tayane PorfirioBia Mesquita20SF


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