The first IBJJF competition in France was always going to be an action-packed event, with competitors both foreign and local fighting for the opportunity to win that historic first gold and the black belt divisions on the first day definitely bore that out. Amongst all of the action on day one of the competition, the GFTeam duo of Igor Silva and Vinicius Marinho were the standouts of the black belt class, with both claiming gold in their divisions and closing out the absolute final.
Fighting up in the medium-heavyweight division (from his customary middleweight or lightweight) seemed to cause Vinicius Marinho little difficulty as he defeated Julien Da Silva 31-0 on points and submitted Braulio Estima student Chris Rees with an overhook armlock to set up a final with Poland’s Maksimilian Wisniewski. Wisniewski had defeated France’s Julien Cazier on his side of the bracket to reach the final. Marinho completed his dominant run, finishing with an ezekiel choke from the mount to take medium-heavyweight gold.
Igor Silva’s ultra-heavyweight category consisted only of him and his GFTeam teammate Leandro Vilar, with the two electing not to fight and giving Silva a chance to save his energy for the absolute division.
In the absolute, Silva didn’t look as if the lack of a warm-up division had hindered him at all, submitting France’s Julien Gaillard with a choke from the mount and finishing Marcelo Bernardo with a quick armbar from guard to reach the final.
Marinho defeated Chris Rees on points in their second match of the day and then due to an ankle injury from a previous match was able to pass by Filipe Bobrick to set up the all-GFTeam final. Silva took the top spot for the record books.
In other black belt divisions, the UK’s Oliver Geddes took gold in the lightweight division, submitting French local Douglas Barcelos with a kneebar and brand new Swiss black belt Ilke Bulut with an ankle lock. Bulut had submitted another local, Julien Gaillard, with a choke from the back to reach the final.
At middleweight, Diego Ferreira defeated the UK’s Gareth Neale and Cleiton Pinheiro to book his final spot against Switzerland’s Thomas Oyarzun, who had himself beaten Swiss-based Felipe Broa in the semifinal on his side of the bracket. Unfortunately, due to an illness coming into the tournament, Oyarzun had to forfeit the final after the strain of his previous match, giving Ferreira the championship.
Finally, the heavyweight division saw Checkmat’s Chico Mendes top the podium, defeating first Marcelo Bernado of Brazilian Power Team and then Filipe Bobrick of Alliance. Both fights came down to a referee decision, with Mendes taking the decisions with his relentless top game.
The women had their own share of action on the day too. An intensely competitive three-woman medium-heavyweight bracket saw Andrea Endy of the UAE defeat Sweden’s Ida Hansson on advantages in the first match, sending her across the bracket to face Laurence Cousin, the first European to win black belt world gold. That match was decided by a single advantage, with Hansson victorious and setting up a rematch in the final. Another frenetic match ensued, but at the final bell the scores were even and the referee decision gave Hansson her revenge and the championship.
See full results here: http://static.ibjjfdb.com/Campeonato/000289/en-US/Results.pdf
And see full photo album from day one here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.907137335968266.1073742019.192240324124641
See full photo album from day two here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.907805519234781.1073742020.192240324124641