Full results are available at The 13th edition of the US Open attracted a record setting 776 competitors to Santa Cruz this year. “This year was our biggest event,” tournament promoter Claudio Franca told me, “last year was our previous biggest event. Next year, I may have to find a new venue!” I am actually hoping that the tournament can stay at the Civic Auditorium at least one more year, as it is one of my favorite venues to watch (and participate in) Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Not a bad seat in the house to view the action as matches were spread out on four mats over the two day tournament. There are always familiar faces at the US Open as the much of the Greater Bay Area (one of the top locations in the world for BJJ with an immense pool of talent and instruction) shows up; the US Open also regularly attracts talent from across the country and internationally. This year there was even a competitor from Mongolia on the mat! Due to family commitments I was unable to attend Saturday (which would mark the first day since 1996 I’ve missed a day of the US Open. Sunday packed plenty of action as the blue, brown and black belts competed. The blue belt divisions were some of the largest of any tournament, and some brackets actually had over 30 competitors! There were a number of black belts that stepped on the mat Sunday, mostly local rivalries that featured intense, close matches. Two matches that stood out was Mike Weaver of Claudio Franca BJJ overcoming Sergio Silva Open Door in the medium heavy masters division, and then Eduardo Rocha of Rocha BJJ defeated Daniel Thomas of Claudio Franca in the medium heavy seniors divisions. Pro long boarder and new black belt Joel Tudor must have felt right at home in Santa Cruz as he beat a very tough and experienced Felipe Lattari in the black belt featherweight division. Probably the best division of the entire tournament was the black belt lightweight division, which featured four outstanding competitors. The semi-final matches were close, but the final came down to the legendary Fredson Paixao taking on the dangerous Marcos Torregrosa. This match was an absolute war as Fredson began aggressively and worked his way to Marcos’ back, Marcos would expertly defend each time and initiate his own offense. Marcos managed to put Fredson on his back and pass the guard for three points, but it didn’t last long as Fredson blasted his way. With Marcos on his feet, he attempted a triangle choke but Fredson stood up. Time shortly expired on one of the most exciting matches I’ve seen in sometime. Full results are available at

TechGasp Comments Master

About the author


Gumby is the co-founder of back in 1997 with Scotty Nelson.