Lana Stefanac, Raul Castillo and Clark Gracie head to Abu Dhabi

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Organized by Claudio França, Renato Tavares and  Marcos Vinicius, and refereeing headed by Alvaro Mansur, the first of two North American qualifiers for the World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Cup went down this Sunday, with more than 200 competitors fighting in the gi for an all-expenses-paid trip to Abu Dhabi to compete.

And one who’ll head into the main event in Abu Dhabi, in April, in high spirits is Clark Gracie (BJJ Revolution), who had one of the greatest matches of the day, in the under 83kg purple, brown and black belt division.

Son of Carley, Clark entered the final against his cousin Reylan, son of Rorion, and wasted no time: he pulled guard, swept two minutes into the match and mounted, taking a 6 to 0 lead. From there he just controlled the action until time was up.

In the female division, Saulo Ribeiro purple belt Kiri Liao took everyone by surprise by winning the absolute lightweight division, where white to black belt fighters face off.

“But it’s not over,” remarked Renato Tavares. “Next weekend there’ll be the second US tryouts, this time in Boca Raton, Florida. Together with Helio Moreira, we’ll be holding it for the seond time, and we expect a full house.”

Roberto Traven, Hillary Williams and Marcello Salazar are among the names in the dispute for tickets to the World Pro, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of April.

For greater information: www.nafafighters.com

Qualified at West Coast Trials, in Santa Cruz:

Purple/Brown/Black: John Ramirez (65kg), Marcos “Yemaso” Torregrosa (74kg), Clark Gracie (83kg), Raul Castillo (92kg), John Devine (+92kg)

White/;Blue: Issa Able (lightweight), Orlando Sanches (heavyweight)

Female: Kiri Liao (lightweight), Lana Stefanac (heavyweight)

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