Houston Open Sunday Brings in Lovato, Mendes, Bastos

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Photo by Erin Herle

Sunday of the 2013 IBJJF Houston Open marked the second and final day for the Texas event that left many tough athletes fulfilled. Purple belts took the mats starting at 9 a.m. while brown and black belts were led onto the mat within the following hours.

Rick Slomba and his first opponent, German Salas of Fifty/50 / Photo by Erin Herle

The male purple belts showed quick and feisty moves in all weight categories. Matches in the 50/50 were successful for athletes Emmanuel Martinez and Rick Slomba, Manny from Galvao’s and Rick from the Mendes Bros. The two worked their way to meet in the finals where Rick was able to edge Manny out to take the gold. Jared Dopp placed first in his super-heavy division after beating his one opponent then closed out the absolute with his teammate Dallas Niles from Lovato Jiu-Jitsu. Jared also recently came off of a win at the WPJJC San Antonio Trials where he placed first in his open class gaining the ticket to Abu Dhabi in April.

Female purple belts were all joined together in the light division. Combined athletes from masters, light-feather, feather and light were put into the same category to ensure a good number of matches. Lots of submissions in both the division and the open weight from lapel chokes to triangles to armbars and triangle-armbars. Ultimately, Maria Magana placed first in the division and Laurah Hallock got the gold in the open.

Brown belts lacked huge divisions but fought hard for what was available. Super-heavy Bruno Bastos brown belt Kauê Vitorino Damasceno fought his way to win his division with two fights and take out all of his opponents in the open class for gold. The last match of the night was exciting due to Kauê’s takedown and smash-pass game versus Samuel Snow’s flexible guard. Samuel from Alliance won his fight in the lightweight division to gain his way to the open.

Rafael Lovato, Jr. embraces Bruno Bastos after a hard-fought final in the super-heavy division at 2013 BJJF Houston Open / Photo by Erin Herle

Black belts were mostly represented by all-stars and hometown heroes. In a last minute addition, Rafael and Guilherme Mendes traveled from Orange County, CA to compete in the feather division where they closed it out like their blue belt light-feather students did the day before. Rafael Lovato Jr came down for his students and competed in the super-heavy division. He was able to fend off both Bastos brothers, Bruno and Ricardo, by points and achieve first place. Ricardo set forth in the open division to finalize his first place, gaining his redemption.

Stephen Hall was able to achieve gold in his black belt senior 2 division as well as the open weight. On the podium he carried a sign that read, “RIP Mr. Jim.” That would be Jim McPherson, a black belt under Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti,

Stephen Hall dedicates his win to Mr. Jim McPherson, an Alliance black belt, who recently passed away from colon cancer. RIP / Photo by Erin Herle

who recently passed away after a long and arduous fight with colon cancer. His son, Ian McPherson, is also a black belt under Jacare and together the two trained, worked and competed, often collecting medals on the same day. Stephen relates to Mr. Jim not only because of Jim’s extreme and famous generosity but because he too has undergone chemo-therapy for a pituitary gland tumor. While not malignant, the tumor affected his eyesight and required removal. He is now free of his ailment and even growing his hair back but for those less fortunate like Mr. Jim, he shows his utmost respect. He said, “They ripped off my Mr. Jim patch when they checked my gi but I wanted to make sure I can always represent him when I compete.” We think he was well represented with two gold medels and two podium shots in one day.

For full results click here.

Pictures of day two can be seen below in a showcase. What do you think of the Houston turn out? Let us know in the comments below.

If you missed the live coverage you can still see all that went on during the weekend at our google plus page here.

Don’t forget to add us to your circles for future coverage. Our next event will be covered on Feb. 24 at the IBJJF San Francisco Open. See you then!

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