Worlds No-Gi: the path to the black belt finals

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Tanquinho eliminou Leandro Lo no peso leve. Foto:Ivan Trindade/GRACIEMAG

Tanquinho eliminated Leandro Lo from the lightweight contest by targetting a foot and then mounting the phenomenon from São Paulo. Photo by Ivan Trindade/GRACIEMAG.

The first black belt finals have materialized this Sunday in Long Beach. Check out who’ll be squaring off for the gold at the 2012 Worlds No-Gi:

ROOSTERWEIGHT

FINAL: Caio Terra vs Fabbio Passos

Caio Terra and Fabbio only had one match apiece in making it to the final. Caio tapped out Levy Oliveira from back mount, and Fabbio had a closely contested match with Brazilian national No-Gi champion Raul Marcello (Gracie Humaitá).

LIGHT FEATHERWEIGHT

FINAL: Rafael Barata vs Henrique Costa e Silva

Rafael Freitas, known as “Barata” around Gracie Barra, had to overcome Laércio Fernandes (Lotus) to make it through to the final with Henrique Costa e Silva. The Alliance black belt came up with a splendid finish from the back in the semifinal against Gabriel Moraes (CheckMat).

FEATHERWEIGHT

FINAL: Justin Rader vs Rubens Cobrinha

Justin Rader eliminated Ed Ramos and Samir Chantre in two excellent matches. At the other end of the bracket, Rubens Cobrinha overcame Mayco Girotto (CheckMat) with his characteristic moves. Cobra took the back and snagged an arm in style.

LIGHTWEIGHT

FINAL: Augusto Tanquinho vs JT Torres

Leandro Lo kicked off his venture into the lightweight division by scoring 45 to nil on Raymond Ayala, but that wasn’t enough to impress Augusto Tanquinho. The gentle-art professor at Soul Fighters turned the tables in the waning moments to make it 6-2 by latching on to Lo’s foot and then passing and mounting. Hopefully, Lo won’t be in any pain for the absolute final later on, when he takes on Xande Ribeiro. Now, JT Torres got the tapout in both his matches and is in fine shape for the final. Lucas Lepri, one of the favorites in the division, didn’t compete, losing his match by WO.

MIDDLEWEIGHT

FINAL: DJ Jackson vs. Clark Gracie

The two American black belts had dazzling campaigns. Clark Gracie showed his Kimura’s are up to speed, but will he have what it takes to deal with a bulldozer like DJ?

MEDIUM HEAVYWEIGHT

FINAL: Rômulo Barral vs Pablo Popovitch

Rômulo tapped out Filipe Meirelles from back-control in the semifinal, and now he will be entering a heavily anticipated match with Pablo Popovitch, who outpointed Ezra Lenon, who had beaten the Brazilian at the Pan No-Gi.

HEAVYWEIGHT

Final: Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Roberto Tussa

A guaranteed barnburner. Tussa showed his armdrags are up to speed, beating Eduardo Telles and Diego Nosferatu. Now, Lovato was rampant in tapping out Nivaldo Oliveira with an arm-and-neck choke and Mixmiliano Freitas via Kimura.

SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT

FINAL: Xande Ribeiro vs. João Assis

Xande secured a spot in a final yet again, and against an old acquaintance of his, João Assis, a CheckMat black belt who outduelled Xande in a riveting match at ADCC 2011. Xande tapped out Alberto Villanova and outpointed Paulo Tarcísio, while João eliminated Bernardo Faria in the semifinal.

ULTRAHEAVYWEIGHT

FINAL: Roberto Cyborg vs. Gustavo Elias

Cyborg warmed up with a rear-naked choke and is now ready to take on another big fellow with slick Jiu-Jitsu: the game Gustavo Elias.

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