Spring is in full bloom in the Northeast Coast, which means that there is so much pollen in the air that you feel like there is sand in your eyes all day long. It also means that it is time for IBJJF’s NY Open. Held deep of the bowels of this dry dust-fogged town at Nat Holman Gymnasium in the basement of New York City College. There was no pollen there, just cheers, a gentle breeze flowing in from the outside and a whirlwind called “Otavio Sousa”.
Otavio not only went on to win the middleweight title, beating Clark Gracie, but he also took the absolute through an exciting two-minute match against last year’s winner Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa. The black belt absolute was a really interesting bracket, as there was no heavyweight presence, which made the middleweights the heaviest in the bracket.
This year there was a really strong brown belt class and the finals from the absolute were pretty intense. In the end Thomas Anthony McMahon and Francisco “Sinistro” Iturralde, both from Alliance, closed out the bracket on a gentlemen’s agreement. Both were so excited that they forgot to come back to the ref to officialize the result on the mats. Speaking of officials, these guys are really observing the new rules, so make sure to get acquainted with them. One fighter got disqualified and lost his win after he decided to dance samba on the mats to celebrate his win, and another, in the black belt absolutes, got disqualified for stalling. Check out the picture gallery for samples of the action.
1 – Alliance – 270
2 – Team Lloyd Irvin – 159
3 – Renzo Gracie Academy – 113
Black Belt Open:
1. Otavio Ferreira de Sousa (Gracie Barra)
2. Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa (Soul Fighters BJJ Connecticut)
3. Gabriel Rodrigues A. Goulart (Alliance)
3. Rafael Rosendo dos Santos (Alliance)
Brown Belt Open:
1. Thomas Anthony McMahon (Alliance)
2. Francisco Iturralde (Alliance)
3. Victor Silverio Santos (GF Team)
3. Diogo “Tutuba” de Almeida (Gracie Barra)