The 2018/2019 season of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour landed in Los Angeles this Saturday, September 22. Since 10:00AM, the seven mats set up in the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center were the stage for hundreds of athletes to test their skills in search of the ultimate glory of becoming an Abu Dhabi Grand Slam champion.
As usual, the black belt division was the highlight of the program, featuring some of the biggest names in the sport today. Here’s how each weight class played out this Saturday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour Los Angeles.
ADULT MALE BLACK BELT
56kg – Jorge Nakamura fought twice to conquer the gold medal. He first beat Carlos Alberto da Silva 4-2 in the semifinals to meet José Carlos Lima in the gold medal match. A choke from the back was the weapon of choice for Nakamura to finish Lima and take the title.
62kg – João Gabriel de Sousa stepped on the mats three times on his way to the gold medal. He first beat Alexis Alduncin 4-2, then beat Pedro Clementino by referee decision to meet up with Hiago George in the final. The gold medal match was a close one. With one sweep, Gabriel was able to score the 2-0 lead that gave him the gold medal.
69kg – Gianni Grippo is back. The 2X ADWPJJC returned to compete at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and had no easy path to the title. He first beat Rafael Mansur by penalties and then outscored Thiago Macedo 2-0 on advantages. The final was a reedition of an well-known rivalry with Grippo facing Paulo Miyao. One sweep was enough for Gianni to build the 2-0 lead on points that secured him the title.
77kg – The most crowded division forced the champion to fight no less than four times to secure the gold medal. Caio Soares had no rest during his matches. He debuted with a 4-2 win over Michael Trasso, then beat Leonardo Lara 2-1 on advantages and met up with Alef Brito in the semifinal. A leg lock was responsible for taking Caio to the final. The gold medal match was against Victor Silvério and a tough one. After a 2-2 tie on advantages, the referees decided in favor of Caio in a split decision.
85kg – Manuel Ribamar made his way to the top of the podium in a three-match campaign. He first caught Mateo Tenzera with and armbar, then beat Diego Ramalho 2-1 on advantages. The final was against Rudson Mateus and after a 2-2 tie the referees decided in favor of Ribamar.
94kg – Gustavo Batista fought three times on his way to the gold medal. He first beat Anton Minenko 7-0 to face Adam Wardzinski in the semifinal. A 2-1 lead on advantages put Batista in the gold medal match, where he faced his teammate Kaynan Duarte. A sweep and a 2-0 lead granted Gustavo the title.
110kg – Erberth Santos had three matches to secure the gold medal. He first beat Matheus Felipe by one penalty and then beat Helton Jr 1-0 on advantages. The gold medal match was against Max Gimenes. Erberth found a toehold lock to finish his opponent and take the title.
FEMALE ADULT BROWN/BLACK BELT
49kg – Mayssa Bastos is still unbeatable in her division. In los Angeles, she finished Luna Barea twice with chokes from the back to win another gold medal.
55kg – Nathalie Ribeiro fought once on her way to the gold medal. In the final, she managed a last-second near sweep to score a 1-0 lead on advantages and secure the title.
62kg – Gabrielle McComb fought twice to claim her title in Los Angeles. She first beat Bianca Basílio 3-1 on advantages in a very tough match. The final was against Nicole Sullivan, also a very tough opponent. A 4-2 lead built with a sweep and a takedown put Gabi on the highest step on the podium.
70kg – Thamara Silva powered through the most crowded bracket in the female division. She first beat Alejandra Gonzales 1-0 on advantages. Then Raquel Paahuli was disqualified in the semifinals. The gold medal match was a tough affair against Samatha Cook. After a 0-0 tie, the referees decided in favor of Thamara, the new champion.
90kg – Gabrieli Pessanha retained he title in the division with an outstanding performance. She debuted with a 13-0 win over Shantelle Thompson. The semifinal was against ADWPJJC champion Nathiely de Jesus. In a very close and thrilling match, Gabrieli managed two sweep to build a 4-2 lead. The final obstacle for Gabi was the very talented Kendal Reusing. In a battle, Pessanha swept in the end to beat Reusing 2-0.
Teams – The final results after all the matches of today was: 1st – Atos 6440pts; 2nd – Checkmat International 6240pts; 3rd – GF Team 4220pts. Click here for the full results.
Abu Dhabi King of Mats
The action returns this Sunday, at 1:30PM, for the Abu Dhabi King of Mats. The heavyweight division will put ten of the best athletes in the world face to face in an all against all bracket where only the toughest one will come out victorious. The winner of this Sunday’s bracket will take home $10,000 and the chance to unseat reigning champion Alexander Trans.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour returns on November 16-18, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Click here to register now.
Text: Ivan Trindade / Images: Ane Nunes/Gentle Art Media