The first day of the 2013 World Championship came to a close after a long day of white and blue belt brackets. The numbers in the sport are growing and to be claimed the victor in these brackets, usually going well over 100 competitors, you must be on your game. The victors here today at the Long Beach Walter Pyramid knew this and came prepared to face sometimes seven opponents before receiving the gold.
In the blue belt light feather division, Brazilian Hiago Gama Sousa won the the bracket and secured his place as a grand slam achiever. The grand slam is when you win the four major tournaments of the year: Europeans, Pan Ams, Brazilian Nationals and the Worlds. With the help of his Alliance team and the coaching of Alexandre Gigi Paiva, he submitted his way to the top of the podium. Because of his success, he was promoted to purple belt.
A match that brought two teams to rival was the final of the blue belt featherweight division. Alliance had its crowd to support Egidio Ribeiro Lima Neto and Soul Fighters gathered for Hugo Doerzapff Marques. The match was a back-and-forth game of sweeps leaving the score mostly even with Egidio repeating the moves of Hugo, but within the last minute Edigio made some risky moves and came up for a sweep, got out of the 50/50 position they had been in for some time and jumped on the back of Hugo. Meanwhile the crowds were simultaneously cheering for their student, teammate and friend to literally come out on top. After time ran out the referee had given points to Hugo for a sweep and advantage but before determining the winner the referee added the sweep points and advantage to Edigio’s total leaving it an even score between the two. Hugo Doersapff Marques gained the gold by a referee’s decision.
Rolando Samson is another who got promoted to purple belt today. After seven fights and four submissions, one being in the final which lasted only 14 seconds, he completed his goal. Last year he missed the Worlds because he was graduating from high school. This year he trained a lot with his Atos team under Andre Galvao in San Diego, CA while attending college full time. His first match was against a teammate from Mendes Bros, Zach Neminsky. About the match-up he said, “We fought the first match at No-Gi Worlds last year but he wasn’t a good friend like he is now. When I saw we were going to fight first I was bummed, but then I missed my first time to win it last year and this time I wanted to win. But even though we’re friends, when it’s time to train we try to kill each other.”
To see the results so far, click here.
Tomorrow begins the purple belts male and female and the female blue belts. If you have yet to purchase the live stream you can go to www.ibjjftv.com and follow our live coverage on our Google+ page all weekend.
More photos from today: