Grappler’s Quest Advanced No-Gi Results; Interviews with two OTM Sponsored Champs

Grappler’s Quest 20th West Coast Championships, Las Vegas:
Lightweight, 4-man tournament results:
During the semis, Justin Rader of Team Lovato submitted Romulo Romano via guillotine. Romano had stepped in after Caio Terra withdrew earlier in the week.
In the second semis match, Jeff Glover submitted Alfredo Barum via kneebar.
In the finals, ADCC veterans, Rader and Glover faced off. Rader was able to edge a win over Glover with 2-0 on points.
Abosolute, 4-man tournament results:
Marcelo Mafra (Chemat) took the back of Davi Ramos (Atos) in final moments of match and wins by points. 

This weekend, two BJJ competitors from the San Francisco Bay Area made the trek to Las Vegas to compete in the Grappler’s Quest Championships. Sean Roberts, a Ralph Gracie brown belt, won 1st place in the no-gi up to 169lb division. Julian Marquez, a purple belt, took home 1st in the purple belt up to 189 division with Gi and 2nd in No-Gi advanced, also in the up to 189 division.
We interviewed the two competitors on their preparations for the tournament, how their matches went and what tournaments they have in sight for 2011.
Interview with brown belt Sean Roberts, Ralph Gracie
OTM: Congrats on your win!
SR: Thanks!
OTM: You recently had knee surgery. How did it feel during the tournament?
SR: Perfect. It didn’t bother me at all. It’s my second tournament since surgery. I had one month of recovery, but I was back on the mats after 3 weeks because it was just a meniscus tear.
OTM: Did you compete gi and no-gi at GQ? How were your matches?
SR: Well I got DQed in my first match with the gi. I had a calf lock and the ref thought it was heel hook. Next was no-gi. My first guy was from 10th Planet Vista, in San Diego.  I jumped guard and arm locked him right away and his arm broke. He was really nice though and I was invited to go do seminar at his school. Next I fought Checkmat’s James Guyton, from OC area. I took him down with a foot sweep, mounted, but didn’t get points because I didn’t have it long enough, then I took his back, and then was in his guard, then we were stuck in 50/50. In the last match, I was against one of Justin Rader’s guys. He was a big wrestler guy, I pulled guard on him, he almost passed, he got out of a few of my triangles and then we had a battle with footlocks attempts, we went back to my closed guard and I finished him with a triangle.
OTM: What does the rest of 2011 look like for you? 
SR: I’m doing the U.S. Open, American Nationals, Best of the West (sponsored by OTM), and other smaller tournaments in Bay Area and L.A.
OTM: Thanks for the interview & congratulations. Anyone you’d like to thank?
SR: Everyone at the Ralph Gracie Gym, but most of all: Brad Jackson, Eduardo Fraga, Ralph Gracie and my mom & dad.
Interview with purple belt, Julian Marquez, Ralph Gracie/MarinMMA
OTM: Congratulations on your gold and silver medal wins at this weekend’s Grappler’s Quest.
JM: Thanks so much.
OTM: Tell us a little about your background- how did you start training? 
JM: I started training at 15 under Mikyo Riggs, a Ralph Gracie black belt. I moved from Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii to help Mikyo open his academy MarinMMA. I have been training with Mikyo and Ralph Gracie team for nearly 9 years.
OTM: How do you look at competing?
JM: Since I started training I’ve always wanted to compete. Competing is a way for me to get through the plateau of my learning of jiu jitsu. In every competition I learn something new. I’m excited for this year; I want to compete in every tournament I can.
OTM: What were your preparations for this tournament?
JM: I trained hard; I trained twice a day. I started lifting weights. I’m also swimming every week.
OTM: At what weight did you compete?
JM: I thought divisions would be typical, every 10 pounds. I did not think of cutting because I was between 170-175 lbs leading up to tournament. I got to the weigh-in, day before and I found out that everyone in my division was cutting down to 189 and that my division was actually 170-189. This was a big surprise, but I didn’t let it get to me; I train with big guys in the academy everyday.
OTM: How did your fights go?
JM: During my first match in the Gi, I fought I competitor from Canada. He had a tough guard. I pulled guard, swept and got two points. I had trouble getting past his guard and won on 2 points. My second match, I fought Sim Go’s student. I pulled half guard and ended up in full guard, swept, passed guard, mounted, and arm-barred. He battled to keep his arm; I think he had an injury from the submission. I won gold in that division.
OTM: What about your no-gi division?
JM: My first fight was against black belt, Marcello Mafra of Checkmat. He pulled half guard and knee-barred me. Then a couple others got hurt and couldn’t continue, so I was able to fight for second place. I don’t know which school he was from. I won by uma plata. 
OTM: What tournaments are on your radar for 2011?
JM: Everything. As much as I can afford to go to. Whatever I can get to—I’ll get to. I’d like to go back to Vegas for IBJJF Las Vegas Open, L.A. Nationals, World Pro Cup Trials in San Diego in October.
OTM: Anyone you want to thank?
JM: All my family and friends for their love and support. Mikyo Riggs and everyone at MarinMMA. I’d like to give a special thanks to Kurt Osiander for helping me with my training and finding me a job. Also, Ted Vida for taking me to Grappler’s Quest & all of Ralph Gracie team! Finally, thanks OTM for making me look sharp in the gear.
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