This Friday, Absolute Berkut Championship Jiu-Jitsu 10 took place, with a card covered in IBJJF world champions and other top athletes.
Aside from the win by João Gabriel Rocha, who claimed Luiz Panza’s belt, and the win of Paulo Miyao over UFC fighter Augusto Tanquinho for the 65kg belt, some behind-the-scenes details caught the attention of our reporter.
Fabio Gurgel’s keen eye next to the fight area, next to Monique Elias. Gabriel Fedor’s hug on Marcus Buchecha and Panza after he beat Ricardo Evangelista in a rematch of their 2016 Worlds encounter. And Rodolfo Vieira, a new addition to the organization, eating numerous bowls of açaí.
As he arrived at the gymnasium of Hebraica Club in São Paulo and saw the line of people going almost around the block, Caio Terra said to Mikey Musumeci, a world champion student of his: “There are so many people outside that it’ll be easy to sell out the gymnasium.” Musumeci closed his ears to try not to hear the rest, but Terra went on: “I want you to get nervous to give it your best.” We can’t tell whether it was the pressure, but Musumeci went on to finish Rafael Barata on the foot in under one minute.
As for Yuri Simões, some miscommunication almost put an early end to his duel with Abdurakhman Bilarov. After getting in a scramble with Bilarov, he fell with his elbow on the ground and pressed his shoulder. The fall made him worryingly numb, and in round three the doctor was called and told the referee Samir Chantre that the match could be interrupted. “I’m all better!” Simões said quickly, before going back and winning on points.
Some athletes had their parents’ support at the gymnasium. Nicollas Welker was followed closely by his dad, who did not miss a second of the younger Welker’s fight thanks to the livestream playing on his phone. “It’s been three years since I last saw him,” said Dad. “He lives abroad and came back to fight. My son!” But alas, it was Nicollas’s opponent, Osvaldo Queixinho, who wound up with the win, by omoplata.
Mr. Cleiton, a frequent presence in tournaments — mostly watching, but sometimes competing, — watched his son Marcus Buchecha’s ACBJJ debut, a tough fight against Mahamed Aly. They went the whole three rounds of takedowns, sweeps and sensational scrambles, leaving the decision up to the refs, who deemed Buchecha the winner.
But the best moment was Romulo Barral’s homage. After sweeping, controlling on top and choking Arnaldo Maidana from the mount, the Gracie Barra teacher asked for the mike and thanked the presence of Claudionor Barral, who was watching him fight for the second time ever. “We had nothing, and he believed in me,” he told the audience. “He would take the last money he had in his pocket so I could train. I come from a simple family, but with his help, I managed to get where I got.” Romulo had taken his dad to watch him at ADCC 2015, but lost there. His win at ACBJJ was the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to his hero.
João Gabriel Rocha def. Luiz Panza on points
Paulo Miyao def. Augusto Tanquinho on points
Marcus Buchecha def. Mahamed Aly on points
Leandro Lo def. Otavio Sousa on points
Lucas Lepri def. Marcio André via choke from the back
Adam Wardzinski def. Erberth Santos by walkover
Patrick Gaudio def. Claudio Calasans on points
Romulo Barral def. Arnaldo Maidana via choke from the mount
Yuri Simões def. Abdurakhman Bilarov on points
Rudson Mateus def. Braulio Estima on points
Lucas Rocha def. Rodrigo Caporal on points
Gabriel Lucas def. Ricardo Evangelista on points
Luan Carvalho def. Marcelo Mafra on points
Igor Silva def. Rodrigo Cavaca via choke from the back
Thiago Sá def. Josh Hinger on points
Osvaldo Queixinho def. Nicollas Welker via omoplata
Mikey Musumeci def. Rafael Barata via foot lock