The 2012 Pan will have no finals at the absolute black belt.
Both male and female open class divisions saw teammates in the finals.
Among men, Marcus Vinicius “Bochecha” and Antônio “Cara de Sapato” Barbosa, from Check Mat, are the finalists.
Among women, for the third time, Gabi Garcia and Luanna Alzuguir are in the final.
The path to the final was intense as both Bochecha Cara de Sapato.
The first submitted three out of four opponents, including Kron Gracie in the semifinal.
In the best fight of the day, Bochecha sank a nice leg lock that secured the victory when he was behind in the scoreboard.
Rickson’s son, however, has no reason to leave sad as it was brilliant display, always playing ofense and aiming submissions.
From Bochecha, a compliment to Kron: “I never imagined that he was so strong.”
A good example was the match against Ricardo Evangelista, when losing by 6 x 0, Kron was able to win with a ankle lock.
Antonio Barbosa also had a great performance.
He submitted Leandro Lo with a triangle, then secured his advance with the knee ijury sustained by Wanclair Oliveira.
The semifinal opponent would be the favorite Bernardo Faria, world champion and Pan American absolute champion.
Barbosa started behind, victim of Faria’s half-guard sweep, but recovered and won 4-2, with a last minute takedown that caused Alliance to protest.
Antonio noted that he had nothing of an underdog: “This was our third fight and I won two with this. Last year, in Abu Dhabi, I managed to finish him,” celebrated.
Then the two finalists explained why they will not fight: “We close out the categories since blue belt! We have always trained together.”
And who gets the gold? More mystery: “We are soldiers! Those in charge will decide that,” laughed.
At the female division, the same story again.
For the third consecutive year, Gabi Garcia and Luanna Alzuguir dominated the category.
The weights of the black belt happen this Sunday.
Check out an exclusive photo gallery of the action this Saturday at the 2012 Pan.
Photos: Ivan Trindade