WPJJC Trials: Champions in San Diego; Close-Outs, Cash & Chokes

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Magid Hage puts Clark Gracie to sleep with baseball bat choke / Photo by Erin Herle

The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup Trials in San Diego brought names onto the tongues of mainstream members, cash into the pockets of two black belt open weight champions, tickets into the hands of determined athletes at every belt level and intense cheer into the gloomy San Diego city atmosphere.

As Sunday, January 27 was set for the final matches and absolute divisions, there were also kid divisions that endured turmoil and tenacity. The little competitors started the day for the proud parents, coaches and teammates who made sure to prove that competing is fun even when losses are met for some. Tears were shed by passionate children and many hugs were given from the bystanders and sometimes even referees.

By the time the masters and seniors divisions were underway, the tone became more serious. Black belts entered the mats to fight for the open weight cash prizes and the open weight divisions for belts white through purple began to flourish.

The female divisions combined many belts and gave three opportunities to win the tickets. White and blue belts remained in the same category but because the division was combined completely, it was one of the only times we saw super heavyweights against lightweights.

The brown/black open division slowly narrowed down as all of the brown belts were taken out. One stand-out named Magid Hage from Gracie Barra debuted in his first black belt tournament and submitted multiple opponents with the baseball choke. Two of his most notable wins came from Clark Gracie’s resistance to the choke ending in a nap and Zak Maxwell nearly met the same ending but managed to tap before completely submitting himself to the trance.

The brown/black division finals were fast and ended all by points or referee decisions except for the last match where Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida footlocked James Puopolo in under two minutes.

For results of the open class winners for all belts and brown/black division winners please see below:


White/Blue Absolute
1-  Erica Plummer-Santana; ticket winner

2- Tara White

3- Ila Erickson

3- Natyna Vidaot

Purple/Brown/Black Absolute
1- Kristina Barlaan; ticket winner

2- Sarah Black

3- Amanda Grummon

3- Chelsea Donner



White Absolute
1- Russel Fouts; ticket winner

2-  Max Necochea

3- Russel Delmar

3- Addiweli Buul

Blue Absolute Under 183
1- Rolando Samson; ticket winner

2- Angela Guerrero-Barden

3- Evan Esaki

3- Sebastian Villanueva

Blue Absolute Over 183
1- James Russel; ticket winner

2- Brandon Tucker

3- Lucas Pollard

3- James Harris

Purple Absolute Under 183
1- Michael Liera Jr.; ticket winner

2- Rick Slomba

3-  Dominique Hoskins

3- Daniel Stoulfi

Purple Absolute Over 183
1- Mike Carbullido; ticket winner

2- Nisar Loynab

3- David Morehead

3-  Louis Villarreal

Brown/Black Absolute Under 183
1- Marcel Goncalves; $500 cash winner

2- Magid Hage

3- Zak Maxwell

3- Ryan Beauregard

Brown/Black Absolute Over 183
1- Gustavo Dias

2- James Puopolo

3- Manuel Diaz

3- Luiz Pedro Ribeiro

Brown/Black Under 143
1- Rafael Freitas; ticket winner

2- Baret Yoshida

3- Geoffrey Villarreal

3- Aaron Buck

Brown/Black Under 163
1- Zak Maxwell; ticket winner

2- Rodrigo Freitas

3- Tanner Rice

3- Marcel Goncalves

Brown/Black Under 183
1- Marcelo Mafra; ticket winner

2- Don Ortega

3- Clark Gracie

3- Ryan Beauregard

Brown/Black Under 202
1- Robert Alencar; ticket winner

2- Eliot Kelly

3- Eduardo Telles

3- Manuel Diaz

Brown/Black Over 202
1- Marcus Almeida; ticket winner

2- James Puopolo

3- Luiz Pedro Ribeiro

3- Gustavo Dias

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