The US National Pro was held on Sunday, Jan. 11 at Santa Barbara City College on the coast of California. The one-day event held a tournament matches for kids, adults and masters from white to black but most importantly offered some victorious athletes a travel package to compete at the 2015 Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in April.
For the black belts, there were only two weight categories that held matches. The -85kg division was the most stacked with six competitors.
To start off, Clark Gracie of Clark Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy faced Tanner Rice of Rice Bros BJJ. Clark pulled and Tanner was able to sweep but Clark swept closer to the end of the six-minute match, also attempting a knee bar. Clark moved on with a referee decision.
Matthew Magana of Paragon went up against Eric Harvey Johnson of Cia Paulista. Matt earned a takedown in the beginning of the match and maintained top pressure until he got a pass. Eric recovered guard but was not able to secure the points to take the lead and Matt moved on in the division with a 5-0 point win.
Dang Khoa Tat of Checkmat Canada had a bye and entered the division against Clark Gracie. The match was largely controlled by Clark who used a kimura grip on Dang’s arm in a crucifix position. What ended the match was what Clark called an inverted omoplata, a move he’s been developing. The win moved Clark to the final.
Magid Hage IV had a bye and stepped in to face Matthew Magana. Magid pulled and while Matt attempted to pass from the knee slice position, Magid secured a triangle and submitted Matt with a straight armbar from there.
The final was a sweep battle between Clark and Magid. Clark led with the first sweep when Magid secured an underhook to pass. Magid swept back making the score even once more. Both reversed the other from what seemed like disadvantageous positions from half guard or other locked down positions making it a clinic of sorts. Clark was able to secure the last sweep, his base and the lead for a 8-6 win and the travel package.
In the +95kg division, the only two out of three who showed were Eliot Kelly of Yemaso BJJ and Arthur Rivas of Paragon. Both men stood for most of the match but Eliot was able to drag Arthur down to the mat and secure him for two points. He remained on top as Arthur turtled. Eliot nearly mounted at the end of the match and earned the gold and travel package by a 2-0 point, 4-0 advantage lead over Arthur.
Wellington Megaton Dias made a great run within the brown/black belt master division and also earned a ticket. After coming up short in the weight division against new black belt Ram Ananda losing 3-0, he was able to edge Ram out with a tomenagi in the final of the open weight division and secure the travel package.
Daughter of Megaton, Mackenzie Dern only had one match in her brown/black belt division where she faced brown belt Nicole Inacio of Gracie Barra. Both pulled guard and Nicole came up. Not long after Mackenzie swept from sit-up guard and worked a folder pass, pushing Nicole’s knees to one side but switching to a knee slice and stabilizing side control. Nicole turtled, Mackenzie sunk her hooks and as Nicole worked to come out the back, Mackenzie snatched the arm for the submission.
The open weight for the adult male black belt offered $1000 cash for the winner. Here is how it panned out:
Clark Gracie submitted Arthur Rivas with a choke from the back after an omoplata attempt.
Magid Hage submitted Matthew Magana with his infamous baseball bat choke.
Clark outscored Eliot Kelly by 2-0 points with a sweep.
In the final, Magid caught Clark in a crucifix and finished the match with a lapel choke.
Eliot outscored Matthew by 6-0 by takedown and mount to earn the bronze medal.
Check out the full photo gallery of the black belts below:
If you missed this US National Pro you can catch the second chance in Tampa, Florida on Feb. 28. You can register until Feb. 25 at www.usprojj.com