Just like in the Worlds 2016, the final match wasn’t the most entertaining match ever.
Just like in the Worlds 2016, that didn’t prevent Marcus Buchecha from impressing everyone and prove once again he’s the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor in the world.
The IBJJF Pro League GP 2016, held on June 9th, was the climax of the UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas. Well, we are talking about BJJ, of course.
The week was thrilling for the UFC, as it put together events for three days in a row, culminating with UFC 200, the last one before the organization was sold to Chinese group WME-IMG for a reported 4B USD.
But we are here to talk about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and about Marcus Buchecha. He won his three matches last Saturday, and pocket 40,000 USD as the winner of the IBJJ Pro League 2016.
One could say Buchecha cruised towards this important title, as he submitted Bruno Bastos quickly in the first match, beat Joao Gabriel by 7-0 in the semi, and led the final from the start, scoring two advantages over Leo Nogueira very early in the match, a lead he would keep until the end.
But it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Joao Gabriel was game on, and was reacting when the time expired, only a foot trapped preventing him to achieve a mount and even the score.
Nogueira was always dangerous, setting up a half-guard sweep he’s so great at, but that he never accomplished.
There’s the saying that the difference between a champion and his competition sometimes is a matter of inches or seconds. And Buchecha, who’s now more experienced and harder to score on, had those inches/timing again on his favor and was all smiles celebrating his victory at a Brazilian barbecue restaurant afterwards.
“I can’t say it wasn’t impossible [for him to get the mount],” he says about Joao Gabriel’s late attempt. “But I feel really good in that position at the academy, so I was pretty confident I was going to win.”
Well, perhaps the difference is not only inches or seconds; it is confidence. Plus 40,000 dollars.
Xande Ribeiro upset by Mahamed Aly
The other top seed disputing the IBJJF Pro League GP 2016 was Xande Ribeiro. The script was written so we could clash two different generations in the final, putting eight black belt world titles on each side. But Mahamed Aly had a different plan, and sent Xande home right in the first match.
Xande started well, combining a triangle with an omoplata to score an advantage and fight from the top thenceforth. Ribeiro pushed the pace and tried to pass at all cost, but Ali was good and clever enough not to let him. Until a scramble ended with a scissor sweep that would define the match in Ali’s favor.
Joao Gabriel beat Felipe Preguiça in a great fashion, and Leo Nogueira submitted Alex Cecconi. Then Aly tasted the same poison in the semis. He was the aggressor against Nog but one of his sweep attempts ended in a takedown that issued Nog the ticket to the final.
It was a happy day for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a day that a winner cashed 40,000 USD in Las Vegas with lady luck having very little to do with it.