The tryouts for the Abu Dhabi WPJJC, with their shorter match durations, tend to be a perfect stage for the new generation to shine and upset a lot of favorites.
At the tryouts held this Saturday at Queens College in Flushing, New York, the latest black belt to confirm this trend was Team Lloyd Irvin-heavyweight DJ Jackson. Also known as “Kimura Kid”, Jackson added another absolute to his CV, having taken on and beaten the potent guard of Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu.
DJ also won the under-83 kg contest, outdoing Gracie Barra’s Rodrigo Breves. Now, Cyborg took the heavyweight, over 92-kg, title.
Another star from the new generation to take the spotlight was Keenan Cornelius, who outdid Roberto Tussa in the under-92 kg final.
In the under-65 kg division, hometown hero Gianni Grippo took top spot and secured his all-expenses-paid travel to Abu Dhabi next year.
In the under-74 kg division, Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes took on Renan Borges in the final and won after passing guard and getting the tapout. Tanquinho also won the lightweight absolute, beating Francisco Sinistro on advantage points.