2013 NY Open: Otavio Sousa and team Alliance rule once again

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Alliance team claims the team trophy at 2013 IBJJF NY Open. Photo: Erin Herle

The 2013 IBJJF New York International Open came to a close Saturday night after a long day of teams battling it out in the Nat Holman Gymnasium of the City College of New York. This year the venue, which holds the only IBJJF tournament that requires security screenings to enter, managed a list of 790 competitors in one day. Overall, the team trophy went to Alliance with Renzo Gracie in second and Gracie Barra in third. The top black belt at the event was Otavio Sousa as he made a repeat performance in earning another double gold. Although he lives in Irvine, CA it seems as though he has made his name on the east coast, too.

This year each team/academy brought many of their competitors out of the woodworks and onto the ten areas of red and blue mats. For the locals, this tournament is somewhat of a proving ground to see who really is the best at competition. With so many gyms in such a small radius, the tournament closed eight days early after it reached its capacity before the IBJJF anticipated and that was a booming indicator that this would be a highly revered tournament. Compared to the west coast, the athletes on the east coast don’t have the ability to compete in the most prestigious tournaments nearly as often due to travel costs and the mere mileage between here and there. The IBJJF provided the perfect place for high-level, organized and recognized competition that brought out the best in what these east coasters and New Yorkers are capable of.

Otavio Sousa after defeating Rafael Formiga Barbosa in the black belt adult middleweight final. Photo: Erin Herle

Otavio Sousa dominated the black belt division as he submitted opponents in all four of his fights. In the middleweight division he submitted with a lapel choke from north south and a quick armbar that can be seen in the video below. In the open weight he had a bye then submitted his first opponent with a brabo choke which he admits was his toughest fight since it lasted the longest. His second fight with a heavyweight ended with a choke from the back and the final was decided by a gentleman’s agreement to which he was granted the gold by teammate Philipe Della Monica who also put up a stellar performance winning his lightweight division by an arm triangle choke in the final.

We asked Otavio Sousa how he felt about winning this tournament in the same way he did in 2012 and he said:

“This year is happening like last year. I lost to Clark Gracie in the Pan Ams last year just like I did this year. Last year I was able to beat Clark in this tournament so I was hoping he would sign up this year but I am very happy about this win. I hope that this is a good indicator for Worlds since last year I went on to win my first black belt world title.”

The overall team points are as follows:


1 – Alliance – 309
2 – Renzo Gracie – 212
3 – Gracie Barra – 105

You can see full results by clicking here.

Check out the video footage and photos below that:

[flickr set=72157633291290916]

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