1. Michael Langhi vs Nathan Mendelsohn
A star of Alliance and a lightweight vice-champion, Langhi had no easy time as early as his first bout. “Tanquinho had alerted me that this kid was good, but I had no idea how. I only managed one sweep and then held onto my grips as if my mother were falling off a cliff,” he joked, then added: “This Claudio França pupil has a great future ahead.”
2. André Galvão vs Abraham Messina
The surprising ultra-heavyweight Abraham, bronze in his class, started out hot in the open with wins over Max de Freitas and Renato Cardoso. Then he crossed paths with Galvão and felt the pressure of his knee bar in the round of eight.
3. Marcus Buchecha vs Bruno Bastos
Bruno Bastos retired from the BJJ Worlds this year and fought the open with unwavering will. He won two fights before reaching the round of eight, where he met Buchecha. The eventual champion displayed versatility as he caught Bruno in a triangle choke.
4. Leandro Lo vs Orlando Sanchez
Also in that round of eight, lightweight Leandro Lo was no soft hurdle to ultra-heavyweight Sanchez. Lo used his guard to reach the big guy’s back, thus showing he was at his best and gunning for his second gold in his division.
5. Ary Farias vs Carlos Esquisito
Light featherweight Aryzinho took on veteran Carlos Esquisito in the round of eight and won by a single advantage. Former teammates and hailing from the state of Amazonas, they took the opportunity to catch up afterwards.
6. Christian Xaropinho vs Diogo Almeida
Bellator fighter Christian subbed Diogo in both of their first fight at middleweight, with a gorgeous reversed omoplata.
7. Davi Ramos vs Eduardo “Português”
Eduardo Santoro went to the BJJ Worlds with blue-belt wife and singer Syang to compete together. The couple came short of getting any medals. Português was stopped by Davi Ramos in the round of eight, the victim of a tight knee bar by the Atos black-belt.
8. Otavio Sousa vs Vitor Henrique
Vitor is one of the toughest middleweights in Brazil today, and he proved as much when he knocked out DJ Jackson and Murilo Santana in succession. The GFTeam athlete wasn’t expecting Otavio Sousa’s sudden attack, however, as Otavio put his foot on Vitor’s groin, gyrated and caught his arm in the semi.
9. Claudio Caloquinha vs Roberto Satoshi
The Bonsai-trained, Japan-dwelling Satoshi was going strong until he met Claudio “Caloquinha” Cardoso. The Gracie Barra guard specialist swept in the end and dispatched the current Abu Dhabi champ as he moved on to the quarterfinals.
10. Marcus Buchecha vs Igor Silva
Igor Silva had the complicated mission of stopping Buchecha in the ultra-heavy quarterfinals – or at least tiring him a bit for his upcoming open final versus Igor’s teammate Rodolfo Vieira. Up until midfight he was succeeding, posing some serious problems to the CheckMat phenom. It took only a second of hesitation, however, to lose his grips, and Buchecha pounced like a lion. The champion caught Silva’s arm and tapped him out.
How about you? Did you see any great fights that were overlooked? Talk about it here.