Two-time absolute champion of the world Xande Ribeiro was the big standout at the World Professional Championship Trials this Sunday in San Diego, when the weight class finals and the entire course of the absolute division played out. At 31 years of age, Xande proved he’s still got plenty to show in the gentle art, an adversary on par with the likes of Rodolfo Vieira and Roger Gracie. At Point Loma high school gymnasium, Xande won at weight and open weight and looks to be a force to be reckoned with at the main event, in Abu Dhabi. All the following information comes from real-time Twitter postings by Deb Blyth.
In the under-92 kg division, Ribeiro outpointed Rômulo Barral by two points in a match that had the crowd on its feet. In the final of the absolute, Xande came up against André Galvão. Ribeiro took his back, but Galvão drew even at 4-4. Ultimately, three advantage points would hand the win and paid travel to the finals in Abu Dhabi to Xande, who was rewarded with a standing applause.
Galvão was the star of another barn burner, as well. When the Atos ace faced Clark Gracie at the same event last year, André needed a judges’ decision to get the nod. This time, however, a guard pass secured him an unquestionable victory.
In the over-92 kg division, Marcel Fortuna earned his airfare to Abu Dhabi upon defeating Gustavo Elias by 6 to 0. Now in the under-74 kg division, Zack Maxwell took Kron Gracie’s back and managed the advantage that would see him win gold in the weight class. Guilherme Mendes had the stalwart guard of Laércio Fernandes to contend with in the under-65 kg final. Gui ended up winning the lively encounter by 4-2.
In the female light absolute, purple belt Angélica Galvão, André Galvão’s wife, took top spot, with Tracey Goodell in second. Now in the heavy absolute, Emily Wetzel scored 6-2 over Maia Matalon.