The IBJJF 2017 No-Gi Pans went down this past weekend in New York and what an event it was! Here are the main stories from the day.
The rivalry between Gianni Grippo and Jamil-Hill only seems to be growing. The two have met at a number of major events and give each other hell every time they step on the mat. So far though, Grippo seems to have the edge: he pulled out another ‘W’ today at No-Gi Pans after an extremely close match. This makes the series 3-1 Grippo; we certainly look forward to the next entry in the never-ending series.
Oliver Taza, Jackson Sousa, Talita Alencar and Michelle Nicolini wasted no time jumping back into competition after getting back from Finland and the epic event that was ADCC. Everyone managed to improve upon their results from last weekend except Talita Alencar, who struggled to find a way past Amanda Monteiro in her semifinal match her today.
Taza continues to impress with his creative leg attacks and positional transition. The Renzo Gracie rep nearly secured a win in the dying moments of the brown belt lightweight final against Paulo Gabriel, but the bell rang before he could secure the position and lost by advantage.
Checkmat standouts Michelle Nicolini and Jackson Sousa both cruised to gold in their respective divisions. Jackson only needed to win one match against the very tough Eliot Kelly, who also competed in Finland last weekend. Nicolini seem unfazed by the aggressive TLI student Aarae Alexander. Nicolini got the submission win over Jessica Cristina to take the lightweight gold medal.
We can’t help it. We love the absolute division, and Jackson Sousa put on an incredible performance this evening. His foot sweeps and aggressive wrestling paved the way to victories over the dangerous Dustin Akbari and then the very game Diego Ramalho in the final, giving Sousa double gold on the day. Given his ADCC bronze medal was earned just six days ago, we’d consider this a pretty good week for the Checkmat all-star.
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