2009 Pan-Ams – Day One Black Belt Absolute Divisions


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– Caleb

Black Belt Mens Absolute Division

The black belts have begun!

Rodrigo Cavaca (Check Mat) is now on the mats against an undisclosed smaller competitor, whom he triangles in under a minute.

Otavio Souza (Gracie Barra) is now on mat one against a Japanese black belt who pulls half guard immediately.

Roberto Tozi is now squaring off against a large-framed opponent.

Otavio Souza is now up 7-0 against his opponent andis mounted and setting up a choke.

Tozi is on top in half guard.

Souza finishes the choke and his hand is raised in victory.

Romulo Barral, Rafael Lovato Jr., Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, Lucas Leite, and other black belts can be seen warming up in the staging area.

Tozi remains on top in half guard aafter several miunutes.

Tozi’s opponent turtled, only to obtain full guard a moment later.

In the only black belt match underway at the moment, Tozi and his opponent are now standing.

Time expires and the ref raises Tozi’s hand.

Wellington “Megaton” Dias is now on mat 10 against an opponent from Gracie Barra. The Barra competitor pulls guard.

Megaton has his GB opponent in full guard and is working to prevent the pass.

Megaton’s opponent stands, and Megaton’s guard opens. His GB opponent then attempts to pull full guard from standing but Megaton lands in half guard.

Now Megaton is on bottom and in open guard. He appears to be setting up a kneebar / footlock / sweep combo but his opponent is wise to it and Megaton ends up going to turtle. Sorry I can’t tell you the score – I’m unable to see it.

Megaton is now fending off his opponent’s attempt to take his back.

Time expires and the ref raises Megaton’s opponent’s hand.

An Alliance competitor that I do not recognize wearing Fabio Gurgel patches has his hand raised after a long match that went the full time.

Rodrigo Cavaca now takes on Roberto Tozi. Cavaca begins attempting to pull guard. Tozi is now on top in half guard.

Cavaca is now working on setting up attacks against Tozi from full guard.

A black belt in a Robert Drysdale gi triangles a Gracie Barra black belt for the win.

Otavio Souza is now stepping on the mats against a Barbosa Jiu-Jitsu opponent.

Cavaca and Tozi remain in the same position. Cavaca is attacking from full guard and Tozi is patiently waiting for a moment to get a guard pass going.

Otavio Souza pulls guard against his Barbosa Jiu-Jitsu opponent.

Tozi remains more or less stationary in his battle against Cavaca. The referee deducts an advantage point.

Souza sweeps his opponent and mounts. He is up 6-0.

Cavaca defeats Tozi. He was in the middle of a gogoplata-style attack when I looked away. The next thing I know his hand is being raised.

Antonio Braga Neto (Ralph Gracie) is on top in half guard against a Gracie Barra opponent.

Souza is holding full guard against his Barbosa Jiu-Jitsu opponent, who is standing.

Antonio Braga Neto is attempting to take his opponent’s back. His opponent was turtled but has now turned in and is in half guard on bottom.

Souza and his opponent are exchanging foot lock attacks.

Braga Neto is lowering his substantial weight into his Gracie Barra opponent.

Braga Neto is now on top while his opponent is in turtle. Braga Neto is arching over his opponent’s back to work on that far side arm.

Time elapses in Otavio Souza’s match and he wins 6-0.

Braga Neto changes things up and taps his smaller opponent with a foot lock.

Romulo Barral is now up against a competitor wearing Axis Jiu-Jitsu patches.

Lucas Leite is now stepping on the mats against an unidentified opponent. Leite pulls half guard and quickly sweeps for a 2 point lead.

Barral is on top in half guard.

Barral finishes his opponent with a choke from half guard.

Roberto Cyborg Abreu is now up against the Alliance / Fabio Gurgel competitor I mentioned earlier. The Alliance competitor almost takes Cyborg’s back in the opening seconds but Cyborg recomposes and is on top in half guard.

Leite remains on top in half guard with a 2-0 lead.

Rodrigo Cavaca will face Antonio Braga Neto in a moment on mat 10.

Now it is Cyborg who has his Alliance opponent’s back and Cyborg begins working a collar choke.

Cyborg only had one hook in for most of that choke attempt but now he sinks both hooks and really begins cranking that choke. His Alliance / Fabio Gurgel opponent taps rapidly!

Now Lucas Leite wins his match against his unidentified opponent by a score of 2-0. Not much action there.

Rafael Lovato Jr. is now stepping on the mats against an unknown opponent.

The two giants, Cavaca and Braga Neto are now in action on mat 10. Cavaca attempts to pull guard and only obtains half guard.

Lovato Jr. is now holding his opponent in full guard.

The ref slaps Braga Neto’s hand away for an illegal grip in Cavaca’s pants while he attempts to pass. He remains on top in half guard.

Lovato Jr.’s opponent is turtled. Lovato Jr. is in front and appears to be setting up a choke.

Cavaca’s guard continues to frustrate Braga Neto, who cannot pass yet.

Lovato Jr. and his opponent both stand, and Lovato Jr. pulls guard. His opponent manages to avoid getting caught in full guard and Lovato Jr. begins defending double underhooks.

I turned away and when I look back at mat 1, Lovato Jr. is sinking a deep triangle on his opponent! He wins!

Cavaca remains on bottom and Braga Neto is still attempting to pass.

Cobrinha is now up on mat one against the unknown Robert Drysdale black belt. Cobrinha is already working the omoplata / triangle combo.

The contest between the two towers is now over – Cavaca comes up short against Braga Neto, who was on top the whole match.

Cobrinha climbed all over his much bigger Drysdale opponent and gets the tap.

Cyborg is up against Romulo Barral. Cyborg pulls half guard quickly.

Lucas Leite is now stepping on the mats against Otavio Souza. This is getting good!

Leite and Souza are patiently measuring each other up. It appears there may have been a simultaneous guard-pulling accident and Leite is now being attended to by the medics for a cut on his cheek.

Barral has now gotten side mount on the powerful Cyborg. Cyborg escapes and is now in half guard on bottom again.

When Leite and Souza restart, Leite is in Souza’s full guard.

Barral is now attempting to take Cyborg’s back and is working to get the hooks in.

Barral sinks the choke and eliminates Cyborg from the absolute division.

A huge crowd is watching the Leite / Souza match. Among the spectators are Royler Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Kron Gracie (much bigger than I have seen him in the past), Leo Vieira, Vitor Estima, Braulio Estima, and Robert Drysdale.

Souza gets a sweep and now Leite is on bottom, almost in an x-guard position.

Souza takes Leite’s back! It doesn’t last long and now Leite is on bottom in half guard again.

Souza and Leite are being restarted and are tying their belts after the two stand simultaneously.

Souza pulls a tight triangle frmo standing! Leite escaps but now finds himself defending an omoplata! Souza turns it into a sweep and is now winning 8-0.

Now Leite sweeps and it’s 8-2!

Again they are started from standing. Leite pulls haf guard. A moment later the whistle blows and that’s the match. Souza takes the victory on points.

It’s now Lovato Jr. against Cobrinha! The crowd around mat one grows even bigger!

Lovato tries to pull guard sneakily but Cobrinha backs out. now Cobrinha pulls guard and Lovato Jr. is passing.

Cobrinha is now craftily working underneath Lovato’s legs, who stands while Cobrinha has one leg! The two wrangle out of bounds while Cobrinha still had an excellent single leg takedown setup. As they are restarted in the center the ref doesn’t give the much smaller Cobrinha Lovato’s foot, much to the crowd’s audible dismay. No matter, in a moment Cobrinha has pulled guard and swept the much larger Lovato Jr, and now enjoys a 2-0 lead.

The only match underway now is Cobrinha against Lovato Jr, and the gym is surprisingly quiet as it pays detailed attention to this David and Goliath matchup.

Time expires and Cobrinha wins on points 2-0! The gym erupts from its silence into applause!

We now have Romulo Barral against Antonio Braga Neto on mat 10! The two slap hands and circle each other. Barral sits back into open guard. The large Braga Neto attempts to quiet Barral’s active legs but is having difficulty.

Barral misses a sweep attempt and remains on bottom.

Like Braga Neto’s earlier match, he and Barral remain in half guard. Braga Neto defends, Barral continues to actively work for a sweep.

If you took a hundred photos of the match between Barral and Braga Neto, they would all look very similar. No big changes to speak of.

Time expires and Braga Neto wins. I can’t see the score from where I am but it could not have been a big lead. Perhaps just advantage points.

I think the only remaining black belt match is Otavio Souza versus Cobrinha.

Cobrinha and Souza are now circling.

Cobrinha appears to be looking to pull guard by his posture, but as soon as he does, Souza reciprocates. They are both facing each other with their butts on the ground and are vying for the best grips. Souza is the first to come up on his knees, and stands.

Now Souza is low, attempting to penetrate the open guard of Cobrinha. The winner of this match will go against Antonio Braga Neto tomorrow for the absolute title.

Cobrinha has turned Souza’s gi lapels into places to work spider guard and Souza appears to protest to the ref that this is a forbidden use of the gi, but the ref allows it to continue.

After what feels like 7 or 8 minutes, Cobrinha gets a sweep and is up 2-0!

Cobrinha is now in Souza’s full guard. He opens Souza’s legs and stands. Souza now sweeps and the score is tied 2-2! Now the time expires and due to a one point advantage he held for most of the match, Otavio Souza wins! He will face Antonio Braga Neto tomorrow for the black belt absolute title!

Brown Belt Mens Absolute Division

Ian McPherson (Alliance) defeats Ralph Go in under one minute.

Ian McPherson is now up against Tony Tipton.

I must’ve missed McPherson vs Tipton. Sorry!

McPherson is now up against an enormous Jarrod Bunch. McPherson pulls guard and goes for an omoplata but his opponent picks him clear up off the ground.

McPherson appears to have swept his opponent but was not given points.

McPherson taps Bunch with a footlock! The crowd rewards him with their appreciation!

McPherson is now in another match and is tied on points 2-2 but up by 3 advantages.

McPherson wins!

Now McPherson is up against a tough brown belt from Arman Barros (Roberto Traven) and is mounted.

In his match against Arman Barros, Ian McPherson is disqualified by the referee for pulling 50/50 guard! The ref states that the position jeopardizes the knee in a twisting manner. McPherson acknowledges that he was down and would have had a hard time coming back to win anyhow.

Joao Assis defeats a UNIJJ opponent by a score of 10-0 and advances to the brown belt absolute finals.

Last and final update, 5:35 PM Pacific: Okay that is it for our live coverage here on thefightworkspodcast.com today, Family! Stay tuned tomorrow for all the black belt weight divisions and the finals of the absolute division!


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