Fans present at the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center last Saturday were treated to some great Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour action.
Athletes went after a prize pool totalling 125 thousand dollars, as well as points for the rest of the season and for the main event next year in Abu Dhabi. The next stage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam is set to take place in Rio de Janeiro between Nov. 10 and Nov. 12.
Read on for the champions’ trajectories in L.A.
José Carlos Lima (GF Team) began showing it was his day when Lucas Pinheiro was unable to fight in the semifinals. The other finalist was Rodnei Junior (Quatar BJJF), who beat João Carlos Kuraoka 9-0 in the semis. In the fight for gold, Zé Carlos and Rodnei drew 2-2, and the GFTeamer took the decision win.
João Miyao (PSLBP Cicero Costha) fought three times to secure the gold medal. First he beat Jorge Nakamura 8-4. In the semifinals he got past Alex Alducin (Renzo Gracie México) by taking his back and finishing in just 37 seconds. In the final, Miyao took on his training partner Hiago George, who had beaten Nobuo Yagai 12-0 in the other semifinal. Miyao took the gold by one advantage.
Thiago Macedo (Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ) had a tough field ahead. First he beat Alexandre Vieira (BTT) 4-0 in a quarterfinal match. Then he defeated Victor Otoniel (Cicero Costha) 6-4 in a close fight. His final adversary was the American Brian Mahecha (ATT), who had gotten past Brandon Walensky. The title was decided through a neat sweep that made it a 2-0 score in Thiago’s favor.
Renato Canuto (Zenith BJJ) became champion after four bouts. First he outscored Bret Russell (Tinguinha BJJ) 11-2, then John Combs (Easton BJJ) by 2-0, which put him in a semifinal match opposite Jaime Canuto (GFTeam); Canuto managed to pull ahead 4-2 on advantages on top of a 2-2 tie on points. The final pitted Canuto against Ecuador’s Francisco Iturralde (Del Mar JJ Club), with Canuto scoring 8 points to his opponent’s 2.
Victor Silvério (Gracie Barra) started out by beating Manuel Filho (NS Brotherhood), then Dante Leon (GFTeam), and finally Diego Ramalho (ZR Team), who had knocked out the favorite, Otavio Sousa, by one advantage. Silvério nearly swept Ramalho toward the end — enough to score a decisive advantage.
Having taken bronze in the Tokyo leg, Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa (Atos JJ) came in hot. He beat Fernando Tsushida, finished Patrick Gaudio in 36 seconds, and faced Adam Wardzinski (Checkmat) in the final. From the top, Hulk scored 2 advantages to secure the win.
A familiar face in the Grand Slam, Igor Silva put his talent on display once more, beating Felipe Matos (Alliance) on advantages and then Max Gimenis (GFTeam), a former teammate who wound up outscored 8-6.
WOMEN — Black- and brown-belts
No one seems able to touch Mayssa Bastos (GFTeam) in this division. This time around she reached the back of Rita Reis (Checkmat) to sink her usual choke.
Amanda Nogueira (GFTeam) bagged the gold medal after defeating Patricia Fontes (Checkmat) via decision, Victoria Tome (Bruno Bastos) by submission, and finally Gabrielle McComb (Gracie Humaitá) by a score of 2-0.
Luiza Monteiro had quite a campaign. First the NS Brotherhood star had to beat Maxine Thylin (Gracie Southbay). Then she swept Tammi Musumeci. The final was against Nathalie Ribeiro (Checkmat) — a close affair decided by Luiza’s one advantage to Nathalie’s zero.
Ana Carolina Vieira (GF Team) extended her winning streak. The world champion sister of Rodolfo Vieira subbed Raquel Canuto (Zenith BJJ) from the back, later beating Jessica dos Santos (Gracie Miquinho) 6-0 in the final.
Another queen of the Abu Dhabi mats was hard at work. Nathiely de Jesus (Cicero Costha) fought twice to retain her crown. First she finished Fabiana Santos (Cavaca JJ), which meant she would square off against her rival Claudia do Val (De la Riva) for the title. Trailing until very close to the end, Nathi poured her heart into sinking a heroic leg lock just in time. Whew!