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Aftermath: Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo

On the same weekend as the ADCC in Sao Paulo, on the other side of the globe, Abu Dhabi’s love for jiu-jitsu continued with its first of four major tournaments in Tokyo. The United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) has planned a seasonal grand slam series that will not only help elevate the status of the sport, with its top-notch organization and TV broadcasting, but also provide prize money for black belt medalists. 

The series is to be held in areas that the UAEJJF considers to be the hubs for jiu-jitsu around the globe, each in a different corner of the world; Tokyo for Asia, Los Angeles for North America, Rio de Janeiro for Brazil, and London for Europe.

 

Even though many of the top athletes were busy with the no-gi spectacle of the ADCC in Sao Paulo, the Tokyo Grand Slam was successful in attracting the likes of Marina Ribeiro, Celsio Vinicius, Gregor Gracie, Mike Fowler, Faisal Al Ketbi, Lagarto, Erberth Santos, Clark Gracie, Rodrigo Caporal, homeland favorite – Roberto Satoshi, and many others. 

 

They crowned...

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2015 World Championship Aftermath: Black Belt Male Adult

2015 World Championship Aftermath: Black Belt Male Adult

Every year, the entire jiu-jitsu community looks forward to seeing who will become the next world champion, especially at the black belt level. This year, the results are a blend of obvious answers but also a few surprises along the way.

 

Rooster Division:

No surprises here. We have almost the exact same results as last year, except Rafael Freitas from Gracie Barra is the new bronze medalist along with Ivaniel Oliveira who wins bronze again. But it’s Bruno Malfacine who is most impressive here, once again winning the title for a seventh time defeating Joao Miyao yet again in the finals (albeit in a controversial referee’s decision). But at this pace, it’s only a matter of time until Joao will win his title. Bruno will be a tough opponent to defeat, but without Caio Terra in the division for the time being, Miyao will dominate. 

 

Lightfeather Division:

Without Guilherme Mendes in the picture, Paulo Miyao was able to reach his goal of becoming world champion. Although it’s always unfulfilling for fans to see the absence of the defending champion, it does not take away from Paulo’s achievement – although probably in his mind, he is wishing that he could show the world how he would do this year against Gui. This is a thought that every champion keeps in mind when they win the title; did they really take it away from the previously reigning champ? At the moment it looks like it won’t be happening any time soon, as Guilherme chose to retire and spend his time focusing on his gym and his soon-to-be-born baby. 

 

Feather Division:

No surprises here whatsoever. The exact same results as last year except we now witness the ascent of Gianni Grippo who placed third, replacing Alberto Paiva from 2014. Mario Reis joins Grippo for bronze and ...
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5 Matches You Will Want To See This Yeard

5 Matches You Will Want To See This Yeard

  1.       Michael Liera Jr. vs Gianni Grippo

 

Michael Liera received his black belt recently and shows a lot of promise in the division. He is a student of Andre Galvao and trains with some of the best jiu-jitsu athletes in the competition scene today, namely; JT Torres, Keenan Cornelius, and the Mendes Brothers. 

Gianni Grippo is a Marcelo Garcia black belt but had spent most of his time until that point training with Renzo Gracie in New York. Gianni has been very active in the last year, fighting to an hour-long draw against Joao Miyao in Copa Podio later in 2014. 

These are two of jiu-jitsu’s rising American stars. They are about the same size - Liera is slightly larger - but this match would be, with a doubt, high intensity.

 

  1.       Felipe Preguica vs Keenan Cornelius

 

This is a match that will happen soon enough, most likely in the absolute division of the Worlds or Pan-Ams. 

Felipe Preguica is the current heavyweight world champion after beating Keenan’s coach, Andre Galvao in the finals. He is about the same age as Keenan and has been on a roll in 2014 with a win at the Copa Podio Heavyweight Grand Prix, beating savvy competitors like Claudio Calasans and Luiz Panza. 

Keenan Cornelius is one of today’s most exciting grapplers with one of the weirdest styles and guards. It’s going to be interesting to see how Preguica will match up against the flexible and long-legged Cornelius...

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