Abi-Rihan wins in competition return

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Abi Rihan against André Marola. Photo: flashsport.com.br

Sunday in Rio de Janeiro offered up plenty of Jiu-Jitsu black belt action with the Troféu Rio de Jiu-Jitsu tournament. Renan Vital, for example, won the ticket to the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship in California that was raffled off, and Soul Fighters took top spot in the team dispute.

Back on the mats after suffering a serious knee injury, Raphael Abi-Rihan (Carlson Gracie) ventured into the masters division. The black belt put on a show and won the medium heavyweight and absolute divisions. He overcame André Marola in the open class final.

“It was awesome and exciting to compete again, with the whole crowd that was there. At weight I first won by armbar and the with a choke to shut out the bracket with my teammate Gustavo Granha. In the absolute, in a bracket of three, first I beat André Marola (Nova União) in a tough 0-0 match. He beat his opponent, so we met again in the final. Again it was a tough match and I managed a throw in the last minute. It was a great honor to fight Marola, one of Jiu-Jitsu’s icons,” remarks Abi.

But the party continued with the black belt adult division. In the absolute, Marcio Romão (Soul Fighters) came out the winner. At heavyweight, Gordo-Evolve rep Renan Vital was the winner. Luiz Fernando “Pimpolho” (Nova União took gold at medium heavyweight, while José Varella (GFTeam) and Leandro “Tatu” Escobar (Soul Fighters) won at featherweight and light featherweight, respectively.

At brown belt, GFTeam duo José Carlos and Marcus Vinícius “Morcego” had a great showing. The former won the middleweight division and the latter, the lightweight. Then, the two shut out the absolute. Osvaldo Augusto “Queixinho” (Soul Fighters) did well for himself in winning the featherweight contest.

At purple belt, Kauê Damasceno (Nova União) won the heavyweight and open weight divisions. At blue, absolute gold went to Peixinho (Nova União).

As this was the final leg in the FJJD-Rio ranking, the winners of the tickets to the IBJJF events were determined. José Carlos “Polenguinho” (Nova União) will go to the European Jiu-Jitsu Championship, as he scored the greatest number of points of the blue and purple belts. Of the brown and black belts, the winner has yet to be announced.

The organization’s next competition is set for November 28, when the No-Gi State Championship and Kids Festival, for child and juvenile competitors, will take place.

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