Felipe Pena and Matheus Diniz will fight for the gold medal in the male division while Mackenzie Dern and Andresa Correa will battle for the top of the podium in the female bracket.
All four finalists more than deserved to get the shot at the ultimate glory.
Male Open Class
Felipe Pena fought 5 times this Saturday and finished all his opponents, four in the open class and one in the heavyweight division.
In the absolute, he first caught Wilson Reis with a guillotine, then he stretched the arm of Patrick Gaudi.
The opponent on the quarterfinals was Arnaldo Maidana, beat with a foot lock.
The semifinal put Felipe face to face with DJ Jackson, who had beat Eliot Kelly, Guybson Sá and Caio Terra on his way to the match that was worth a spot in the final.
Pena didn’t waste too much time playing DJ’s favorite stand up style, and soon pulled guard.
After some scramble, Pena was able to catch DJ’s back and finish with a rear naked choke.
On the other side of the bracket, Matheus Diniz was also brilliant from beginning to end.
First he choked Nicholas Liaskos from the back, then he beat the always dangerous Garry Tonon by points.
The quarterfinal match was against Steven Patterson, also caught win a RNC.
Mahamed Aly would be Diniz’ opponent in the semifinal.
The newest black belt on Team Lloyd Irvin was also brilliant in his open class campaign, having defeated Gabriel Kitober with a kimura lock, Charles Negromonte with a leg lock and finally Jackson Sousa by referee decision after a hail Mary sweep that tied the match.
Unfortunately for Mahamed, he would taste his own poison against Diniz.
Ahead 2-0 in the scoreboard after a takedown, Aly allowed Diniz to hold him from behind an ended on the ground, where Matheus quickly took his back and got the choke in place to get the tap with 8s to go on the clock.
It was the most thrilling moment of the day.
Here’s a photo gallery of the male black belt open class.
Female Open Class
Mackenzie Dern keeps her impressive record this year.
In two matches in the open class division, she caught Josephine Masiello’s arm and then twisted Emile Maxine’s foot to reach the final.
With last year’s absolute champion Gabi Garcia on the stands, Alliance’s Andresa XCorrea also fought twice to be in the final.
First she beat Amanda Loewen and then caught Tammi Musumeci with a leg lock.
Here’s a photo gallery of the female black belt open class.
Each of the male adult black belt weight divisions had their semifinal matches defined. All matches will happen this Sunday. Here are the semifinals.
Yusuke Honma vs. Leandro Escobar
Caio Terra vs. Jorge Santistevan
João Miyao vs. Thomas Lisboa
Rafael Freitas vs. Samir Chantre
Augusto Tanquinho vs. Gianni Grippo
Paulo Miyao vs. Osvaldo Moizinho
Michael Langhi vs. Thiago Abreu
Thiago Gaia vs. Mansher Khera
Marcelo Mafra vs. Jonathan Satava
Otavio Sousa vs. DJ Jackson
Thiago Sá vs. Charles Negromonte
Lucas Barbosa vs. Matheus Diniz
Jackson Sousa vs. Felipe Bueno
Felipe Pena vs. Arnaldo Maidana
João Assis vs. James Puopolo
Roberto Alencar vs. Guybson Sá
Roberto Cyborg vs. Mahamed Aly
Gabriel Lucas vs. Gustavo Elias
Female black belt finals
Chelsea Donner vs. Patricia Santos
Mackenzie Dern vs. Tammi Musumeci
Karen Antunes vs. Kiri Liao
Angelica Galvão vs. Amanda Loewen
Andresa Correa vs. Leanna Dittrich
Fights kick off this Sunday, 9:30AM (PT).
Click here for the complete coverage of day 1 and to follow day 2.