Fifity six men registered for a shot at the $30k big prize while 44 women tried their luck in search of the $10k destined for them.
In the end, Felipe Pena had a performance that matched the expectations and made his way to the final.
Pena’s path to the final was made easier after Marcus Buchecha decided to pull out of the open class following orders from Checkmat’s leader Leo Vieira.
Even so, Pena had to first beat Marcio Andre 4-0, then Claudio Calasans Jr. 4-2 and Alex Trans 2-0.
“I’m so happy with my performance. This was such a tough bracket,” said Pena after the semifinal.
Jose Junior teaches Jiu-Jitsu in Abu Dhabi. He has had other good showings at the WPJJC in previous years.
This time, he was on point to go all the way to the final.
His first big challenge was in the round of 16, when he beat Luiz Panza 4-0. His next challenge was against Jackson Sousa and one advantage after a 2-2 tie earned Junior the win.
Then, in the quarterfinals, he beat Ricardo Evangelista 2-0 with another sweep.
Junior did not have to fight in the semifinal as both Erberth Santos and Victor Honório were disqualified during the quarterfinal match for lack of combativeness.
“I know we had a lot of tough guys in this division, but I trained very hard to achieve this very important goal,” said Junior about his campaign.
In the female division, the final will be between a upcoming powerhouse in Tayane Porfirio and a very well accomplished star in Beatriz Mesquita.
Tayane proved once again that she’s not only strong and owner of a huge amount of pressure, but also tremendously skilled.
The quarterfinal match against Mackenzie Dern was the perfect example of how many weapons Tayane has.
She swept and then passed the guard to win 5-2 in a thrilling match.
The semifinal was against Jessica Trindade and the win came in the form of a toe hold at the very end.
Bia Mesquita seemed on point throughout the entire day.
She had nothing but tough matches in Ana Carol Vieira (2-0), Luiza Monteiro (4-0) and Bianca Basilio (ref. decision after 2-2).
This Friday the black belts fight in their weight classes until all finals are set.
The finals go down this Saturday, April 23.
Follow the complete coverage of the 2016 WPJJC on GRACIEMAG’s social media channels.