Text by Oliver Geddes
Last weekend the Rome International Open and its accompanying event, the European No-Gi 2014, returned with a new date in the IBJJF calendar. Still, there was no shortage of tough fighters hunting for titles and glory in the city of the gladiators. Hundreds of competitors from dozens of clubs across Europe and the rest of the world descended upon Rome for three days with the hope of writing their names in the record books.
Gracie Barra’s Paulo Melo triumphed in the Black Belt Light Featherweight division, defeating European competition mainstay Baruc Barrios in the final.
In the Featherweight division, although he was only awarded his Black Belt in August of last year, Victor Genovesi took his first IBJJF Black Belt gold medal. He defeated Italy’s Simone Franceschini in the semi final before closing the bracket with his teammate David Dimopoulos.
At Lightweight, AJ Agazarm of Gracie Barra made it all the way over from California to take the gold with an impressive combination of takedowns, passing and top control. After overcoming a very tough Paulo Alves in the semi-final, he defeated Roger Gracie student Oliver Geddes 11-2 in the final to seal the division.
Middleweight saw a mix of young up and comers and European jiujitsu stalwarts take to the mats, but the final came down to Eduardo ‘Teta’ Rios of Norway and UK-Based Pedro Bessa of 99 Jiujitsu. ‘Teta’ had defeated Luca Anacoreta in the quarter final and Thomas Oyarzun in the semi final. He then took the gold medal with a 2 point victory in the final.
Rivals at almost every competition across Europe, Hungary’s Max Carvalho met Alain ‘Finfou’ Nascimento for yet another battle in the final of the Medium Heavyweight division. This time it was ‘Finfou’ who came away with the victory, winning 8-0 on points.
Ricardo Ramos of Alliance was victorious at Heavyweight, defeating French Black Belt Samuel Monin of Gracie Barra in the final.
The Ultra-Heavyweight division saw Checkmat’s Bruno Matias take the title with a close-fought final against PSLPB Cicero Costha’s Mauricio Cristo Lima. After an active ten minute battle, Bruno was able to seal his victory on points.
Alan ‘Finfou’ continued his run of form in Rome into the Open Class. After winning his first two matches, he entered into the final with Rodrigo Reis of Tanque Academy where he took the win by 5 advantages to 2.
At Brown Belt, the big name was Italy’s own Bruno Tomasetti, who took Gold in both the Heavyweight and Open divisions. He won seven fights over his weight and the Open class, finishing five of those opponents with the same cross footlock that is rapidly becoming his trademark. He defeated Middleweight champion Sebastien Brosche to take the open class title.
In the Purple Belt division, Romania’s Camil Moldoveanu took the Ultra-Heavyweight and Open Class titles, defeating Medium Heavyweight champion Adam Wardzinki in the final to finish his campaign.