NOVEMBER 03, 2019 was the last day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour – Rio de Janeiro (ADGSRJ), arguably the biggest event of the tour and second biggest in the United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), now rebranded to AJP (Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro). Arguably the biggest winners in the black belt division were Cicero Costha’s boys, also known as the PSLPB team. These athletes were on fire today, taking 5 gold medals out of the 11 that were on offer.
A truly remarkable feat. Also of interest was the overwhelming dominance of São Paulo’s new generation of competitors over the tournament, who took the majority of the medals on the black belt division, and plenty more with the colored belts. More on each weight class below.
Men’s 62 Kilograms:
Well, Diego “Pato” Oliveira has been on fire since arriving in the black belt division, and once again the young phenom from Manaus proved why he is already one of the biggest threats of the light-featherweight division. On his way to gold, Pato took out two of the top contenders in the division, Mr. Gabriel Sousa (who only a couple of weeks ago beat Paulo Miyao and a European NoGi title) and Cleber Sousa of Atos/Almeida JJ.
Men’s 69 Kilograms:
The stud student of Rodrigo Feijão is settling in extremely well in his new weight class, being a former light-featherweight. Over the past few months, Sodré conquered the Brazilian National NoGi title and now the Rio de Janeiro Grand Slam Tour, the latter in a super-stacked division where he underwent 5 tough matches for gold.
On the other side of the bracket was Alliance’s brand new hot prospect, Gabriel Figueiró. A natural lightweight, Figueiró made his featherweight debut today and took very good care of himself against a list of very tough individuals. One of those individuals was Australia’s Ariel Tabak, a member of the PSLPB team who trains with Hope Douglass Down Under. Tabak did great, taking bronze in a 3rd place match against the revered Marlus Salgado of SAS.
Men’s 77 Kilograms:
The former Cantagalo Project star, Natan Chueng (now with Cicero Costha) is another grappler who’s been gaining plenty of traction on the lightweight scene. After a very positive European tour, where he conquered a few important Opens of the IBJJF circuit, Chueng returned to his former home, focussed on the task at hand and it showed. Chueng displayed tremendous heart in his performances, taking out 5 athletes, including the highly praised Caio Caetano and Yan Lucas.
Also impressive was the performance of the rising Argentinian star, Pablo Lavaselli of Nova União. Pablo showed tremendous skill and a fantastic future in the division. An athlete to keep your eyes on in the future.
Men’s 85 Kilograms:
An epic performance for the Roger Gracie training partner, Charles Negromonte. This middleweight division was teeming with talent from every side of this 23 men bracket, with all the young guns and plenty of veterans on the list, most of those hailing from the São Paulo state: Matheus Spirandelli, Marcos Petcho, Rafael Paganini, Leon Brito, Henrique Cardoso, etc. All were on deck and all came ready to fight, and indeed some of the top performances of the night came from the 85-kilogram weight class. Out of those, Negromonte came on top.
Men’s 94 Kilograms:
In a division with big names such as Fellipe Trovo, Adam Wardzinski, Fernando Andrade Reis, Pedro Elias and Adam Wardzinski, it was black belt newcomer – Luan Azevedo, who shined brightest. Another perfect day for a student of Cicero Costha, Luan Azevedo.
Men’s 120 Kilograms:
Traditionally a 94KG athlete, Gaudio decided to try his luck with the big boys and came out on top, with ease we might add.
Women’s 49 Kilograms:
Small division, but special mention to Bastos who avenged her loss in Los Angeles earlier this year to Brenda Larissa.
#1 Mayssa Bastos
#2 Brenda Larissa
#3 Eliana Carauni
Women’s 55 Kilograms:
Anna Rodrigues is quickly becoming the division’s frontrunner after performances like this. We saw Rodrigues rise to the occasion at the Queen Of Mats event earlier on in the weekend, only to return even stronger and on time to take her gold medal at the Grand Slam.
Women’s 62 Kilograms:
One of the shocks of the day was Basílio’s submission win over Luiza Monteiro, a tight straight ankle lock, one of her trademarks. Bianca had a sub-par performance at the aforementioned Queen Of Mats earlier on but came back for a superb display of technique and gamesmanship in one of the most packed female divisions we have seen in a long time. 17 athletes in total.
Women’s 70 Kilograms:
São Paulo’s black belt newcomer Thamara Ferreira of Cicero Costha continued her good form in Rio de Janeiro.
Women’s 95 Kilograms:
At the Grand Slam we witnessed a duel we are sure to see for many years to come in the female super-heavyweight division, that of Gabrieli Pessanha and Guigo JJ athlete Yara Soares. As brown belts, the two met multiple times, this time it was Pessanha who took the win by 2 points.
#1 Gabrieli Pessanha
#2 Izadora Silva
#3 Yara Soares