Every year, the IBJJF works to bring tournaments to new countries or cities and give new audiences a chance to compete in the federation’s tournament circuit. This time it was Moscow that would see its first IBJJF competition. A strong group of fighters turned out in force in the lower belts, with several local academies fighting it out for the team championships and the prestige that came with it. The black belt divisions were slightly less busy, partly due to the still-growing nature of the sport in Russia, and partly due to the visa requirements for entry. But despite that, there were still enough black belts to put on some thrilling matches. The black belt results were as follows:
Samuel Herzog of UAE Jiu-Jitsu was one of several fighters from the middle eastern outpost of Jiu-Jitsu who made their way over to Russia for the championship, but the only one to take part in the no-gi event on the first day. He took gold in the lightweight division by defeating Robson Maia of Alliance by 8 points to 2, in a match where the points all came from sweeps.
The middleweight division saw Russia’s first black belt, Leonid Gatovskiy, becoming champion in the IBJJF’s first competition in Russia. He began his path to the championship by defeating Ryan Durbin of Gracie Barra Texas, probably the man who had travelled the furthest of all the competitors present, by north-south choke. This sent Ryan across to the other side of the bracket to face Oliver Geddes of Roger Gracie Academy. After some initial exchanges from the half-guard, Oliver was able to secure an omoplata-armlock to take his place in the final. The final lasted the full ten minutes, with Oliver going ahead midway through the fight with a sweep and near back take, but Leonid came back strongly to score a guard pass later in the match and take the win by 3 points to 2.
Middle-heavyweight was a rather eclectic division, populated by 60-something kilogram Jorge Elias from Alliance, Valecio Senna of Stone Fight team, fighting down four age categories, and Roger Gracie student Lorenzo Fraquelli. Jorge first defeated Lorenzo with a seamless combination of butterfly guard and X-guard sweeps combined with a smooth top game. After 10 minutes, the score was 12 to 0 in favor of Jorge. This being a three man bracket, Lorenzo’s next opponent would be Valecio. Valecio, also a black belt in Judo, managed to score two takedowns in a match where both men left nothing in the tank, with the final score being 4-2 in Valecio’s favor. In the final match, Jorge against used his dangerous guard to sweep and pass, and this time he managed to secure his veteran opponent’s back and finish with a choke, to become middle-heavyweight champion, at least three weight classes above his actual weight.
Renato Tavares of Frontline Academy was alone in his division and with no available option to satisfy his urge to fight, claimed his gold medal unopposed.
The absolute was a relatively sparse affair, lacking the customary collection of huge beasts who normally populate the division, making the division and title anyone’s to take. The final came down to two of the smallest competitors present: Jorge Elias, already middle-heavyweight champion fighting above his weight, and lightweight champion Samuel Hertzog. Jorge had submitted Renato with a toehold midway through his match to earn his spot, whilst Samuel had defeated Robson Maia in a gruelling contest where a strong but precarious lead of 6 advantages was sealed with a late takedown. The final wasn’t any less gruelling, with much of it spent with Jorge playing from the butterfly and seated guard that had stood him in good stead throughout the day. Samuel remained patient, working from the top and waiting for his opportunity. When it came, he was able to briefly pass to side control, earning him the three points that would give him the match and with it, the title of absolute champion to add to his lightweight gold.
See full results here: http://static.ibjjfdb.com/Campeonato/000324/en-US/Results.pdf