All is settled in Gramado, after another set of tryouts for the World Pro Cup. Sunday’s competition determined the next bevvy of athletes to get all-expenses-paid trips to the main event, in Abu Dhabi.
Igor triumphs in “group of death”
The over-92 kg division was dubbed as such for the number of big-name Jiu-Jitsu athletes in it. On the first day of action beasts like Pé de Pano, Charles Cachoeira and Antonio Peinado fell by the wayside, demonstrating how tall a task making it in the division was. In the semifinal, Igor Silva swept Tiago Pereira twice and made it to mount (8 to 2). At the other end of the bracket Luiz Big Mac beat Alexandre de Souza by referee’s decision following a draw. The final saw Igor pull to guard, a position he has mastered like few others. First he swept Big Mac and then got back mount (6 to 0), securing his way to the World Pro.
The Eagle’s absolute
For team Alliance to be able to close out the absolute all Léo Nogueira had to do was get past the game Alexandre de Souza. On the previous day Sérgio Moraes and Dimitrius Souza had already cinched one half of the bracket. In the other, Nogueira had an all-sweep affair. He started out the sweep swap, with the Gracie Floripa rep reciprocating, but Léo landed a final sweep to take it 4 to 0. The fighter took top spot, followed by Sérgio in second and Dimitrius and Alexandre in third. With the prize money Léo plans to pay his way to the Jiu-Jitsu Pan. The black belt was signed up but didn’t have the plane ticket.
Nivaldo Oliveira’s day
The hard-nosed CheckMat rep deserved the big result. In the under-92 kg semifinal Nivaldo had a galling bout with Léo Nogueira, which he won by two advantage points. At the other end was Sul Jiu-Jitsu whiz Giovane Guedes, who made it past Tarcísio Jardim. Guedes forged ahead firmly in the final, escaping a snug triangle, but Nivaldo set the pace and, in the waning moments, swept and mounted (6 to 0) to make it to the top of the winners’ stand.
Eduardo “Português” Santoro is already in the master category but insists on making life hard on the young bucks. In the semifinal used his powerful guard to sweep (2 to 0) Rodrigo “Pimpolho” Fajardo, while Sérgio Moraes took Vinícius Dornelles down and passed his guard (5 to 0). The match against Moraes – now a classic pairing – was tooth-and-nail. After ending in a 2-2-advantage-point draw, Santoro got the nod from the judges. Before heading to Abu Dhabi Português plans to make a drive at the Pan title.
Leandro in the mix
Leandro Pereira is one more stalwart in the already-stacked lightweight division. The Cícero Costha student came out on top at the tryouts, beating some of the favorites. The semifinal against CheckMat’s Thiago Gaia saw him rack up an expressive score of 23 to 2. His opponent in the final, judoka Moacir Mendes, went through to the final after beating Marquinhos Cunha with a choke from half-guard. The under-74 kg final was no walk in the park, but Leandro managed four advantage points and earned his trip to Abu Dhabi. However, before the World Pro, he will be looking to turn some heads at the Pan.
Half-pint among the big guys
Three-time roosterweight world champion of Jiu-Jitsu Bruno Malfacine tried his hand against the heavier guys. In the under-65 kg division, Malfacine first got past Maximiliano Campos in the semifinal. His opponent in the decider was Thiago Rocha, who put away Isaque Paiva in making it to the final. The gold-medal dispute wasn’t easy. Bad Boy got two sweeps to win by 4 to 2 and pay his way to Abu Dhabi.
Some of the female division’s big names were in the mix in Gramado. Marina Ribeiro, on fire with the European title as a recent accomplishment, first overcame Ariane Pereira with a sweep this Sunday. In the decider Ana Carolina was her victim, tapping out to a triangle. In the over-632 kg absolute Talita “Treta” came up spades. The Ryan Gracie rep got past Fernanda Mazelli in the semifinal and Luiza Monteiro in the final, by a score of 12 to 0.
In the no-gi absolute, which paid out a ticket to Abu Dhabi too, Nilson Ricardo Capoeira won three matches and closed out with Nova União teammate André Bastos. Nilson took top honors and now heads to the main event in the United Arab Emirates.