US Open 17: absolute champ Tanquinho and other pictures

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The day in San Jose started with the female blue belts, who took to mat 1 promptly at 9 AM in the morning. In a few minutes the calm that preceded that day was broken with cheers and instructions in many different tongues but universally everyone spoke Jiu Jitsu.

The blues were leaving it all on the mats. Around lunchtime the black belts started to show up on the mats. First with master and seniors, trickling into the adult division, which saw a couple of great matches. First, Marcus Antelante from Soul Fighters took an arm from Sergio Costa of Serao Academy to get the medium heavy gold. Sparks flew in the most heavily anticipated bout of the day, where the lightweight Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes of Soul Fighters outpointed the heavyweight Diego “Nosferatu” Herzog of Ralph Gracie in the open class.

It was a crowded day with some great battles in the mats. And it was worth sticking around till the very end of the day – as the mats were being laid to rest in a truck outside, the last fight of the day, the brown belt open category was being called to order. It was a close, back-and-forth tussle but Tanner Rice from Amazonas BJJ ended up taking the open over Manuel Diaz of Caio Terra BJJ.

Overall, it was Team Ralph Gracie that ended up with the Adult Male Trophy, with Coalition95 second. Coalition95 also managed top spot in the Master/Seniors and Juvenile categories. Gracie Humaita took the trophy for the female team, followed by Alliance as a close second. Full results and more info at

Another highlight of the day was the raffle for one lucky competitor to go compete in NY, all expenses paid. The raffle was picked by none other than Red Belt Gran Master Francisco Mansor. The lucky winner was Danny Bohigian from Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu, who heard his name being called in astonishment as he was just on the sideline warming up for his upcoming brown belt fight.

Check out the day’s gallery below.

[flickr set=72157631722247174]

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