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Team Lloyd Irvin stars close out brown and black belt opens at Atlanta Open

Tim Spriggs mounts his opponent in black belt debut. Photo: Preston Smith
Tim Spriggs mounts his opponent in black belt debut. Photo: Preston Smith

The 2014 IBJJF Atlanta Open on Saturday, August 30 at the Georgia International Convention Center was a day for the browns and blacks of Team Lloyd Irvin. Traveling from Maryland and Florida, there were four stand-outs who made their way to the podium twice each.

Newly promoted black-belts Tim Spriggs and Roberto Torralbas conquered the black belt open and their divisions. Tim came from Crazy 88 in Baltimore to try out his new belt and Roberto from Third Law in Naples.

In the heavyweight division where both black belts entered, they each had one match before closing out. Tim won his match against Nicholas Albin by 14-0 points.

Tim charges for the takedown. Photo: Preston Smith
Tim charges for the takedown. Photo: Preston Smith

Tim describes the match: “I pushed the pace from beginning to end. The guy had a good half guard game which forced me to knee cut and pass his guard a few times. This was my toughest match because I hadn’t competed since worlds and the 10 minutes were an adjustment. I was pretty amped up so it caused me to feel less energetic than usual during the match.”

Roberto’s first match was against Paul Elezaj. He won the match 7-0 points. He says he “passed to side, got knee on belly and hit an ankle pick for a 7-0 win. Paul was my hardest match because I had not competed the whole summer due to running a summer camp at the school. I was a bit overexcited to fight at black belt the first time, and my time management was completely off from 8-10 minutes [the difference between brown belt time limit and black belt time limit]. The last two minutes he got a good spider guard and I was starting to get tired. Also Paul is very good and I allowed him to get to a good position he likes to play.”

Tim took the gold in the weight class close-out.

The open weight was a similar situation but Roberto had two matches and Tim had one.

Roberto Torralbas fighting as a new black belt. Photo: Preston Smith
Roberto Torralbas fighting as a new black belt. Photo: Preston Smith

Roberto’s first match in the open was against Greg Walker. “Greg is very athletic and he countered my first two attacks but on the third one I was able to sweep and get to a tight half guard position. There I was able to pass and as time ran out I got a wrist lock right before they blew the whistle. Last match was against Wellington Megaton Dias. That was really good because he is a guy I have always admired for having the grit to compete with the adults and in the absolute division year after year regardless of his age. Now a days a lot of 30+ year olds are happy to be fighting master instead of adult divisions, and I am not in favor of this. He was very technical with his judo gripping so I pulled guard and was able to sweep . He felt very squirmy so I took no chances and proceeded to pass half guard carefully. I was able to pass. He had spent a lot of energy keeping me off and I was able to get the armbar. Greg and Megaton are very good grapplers as well as Paul and I look forward to competing with them.”

Tim’s match was against Walnon Constantino. This is how his match went: “My other match was in the open and it went by a lot quicker than the other. He tried to fake hand shake double leg me. It didn’t work lol. So I stuffed it and threw him then landed in side control. On the restart he tried to start from turtle for some weird reason, but I ended up getting reset in side control after he stopped complaining to the referee and got two penalties. As soon as the referee said go I went right for the bow and arrow and got the finish.”

So far the black belt competition has been a seamless transition for the two. “The big difference with black belts is that it takes me a little bit longer to break them,” says Tim.

Tye works the leg drag. Photo: Preston Smith
Tye works the leg drag. Photo: Preston Smith

The brown belts also had a big day. Admilson Gobi Junior and Tye Ryan Murphy competed in different divisions but closed out the open class. Since there were no opponents for Admilson in the ultra-heavyweight division, he defaulted gold. Tye had matches in the medium-heavyweight division. His first match ended with quickly with a DQ for knee reap and his second match was against Higor Diniz of Alliance where he finished with a bow and arrow choke near the end of the match.

The open weight division was fun for Tye. Here’s his recap: “The open was fun. I fought another alliance guy in the round of 16. He fought very hard. I finished him with an ezekiel from the back. Second round was against a light feather. I went total opposite of competition game and jumped closed guard. Finished with a triangle that I thought was going to kill him. He had heart. In the semis I fought Jeffrey Cummings from Alliance. He was fighting very well in the open and I was pumped. We slapped hands and he did not pull but kept circling and circling so I surprised him and jumped guard. I hip bumped him when he stood for the first advantage and had him in a brabo grip cross choke and inverted arm lock multiple times throughout the match scoring another advantage. He was very tough but had a tough time opening the closed guard. I won the semis match 2-0 in advantages.”

Admilson with the takedown. Photo: Preston Smith
Admilson with the takedown. Photo: Preston Smith

For Admilson, his first match did not show so he advanced to the semis. His one match was against Aaron Tex Johnson of Alliance. The round was determined by points with multiple suplex takedowns.

The gold for the open went to the winner of the coin toss done by Lloyd Irvin.

The coin toss. Photo: Preston Smith
The coin toss. Photo: Preston Smith

Check out a highlight of Tye Ryan Murphy’s finishes below:

 

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