Three hundred competitors took the mat for both the gi competition on Saturday and the no-gi on Sunday.
The highlight of the gi division were the professional black belt divisions in which light and heavy contestants battled for a $1500 prize. In the lightweight division Cassio Werneck armlocked Solomon Mitchell to take home top honors. In the heavyweight division Sergio Lorenzo defeats Vinicius Magalhaes in a very close match by the score of 2-0.
The second day was highlighted by an 8-man professional no gi division for $1500. The brackets and results broke down as follows:
Gilbert Melendez over Bill Cooper 8-4. Probably on of the most exciting matches I’ve seen in a long time, as both Melendez and Cooper were stylistically evenly matched and went for crazy maneuver after crazy maneuver the entire match. After trading two sweeps each Melendez managed to secure the back with hooks to pull ahead, Cooper was able to escape but not even up the score.
Vinicius Magalhaes over Paul Schriener 6-0. Vinicius pulled guard quickly, got a sweep and mounted Paul. Paul was able to escape and wound up back in Vincius’s guard where the match remained until time expired.
Nathan Diaz over Jeff Glover, choke. Incredible pace for the match throughout with Glover throwing everything he had at Diaz, but Diaz having a counter for each move. Nathan’s persistence and size seemed to pay off as Glover grew more and more winded, and Diaz capitalized by taking the back and finishing Jeff off with a rear naked choke.
Jake Shields over Raul Castillo, armbar. Jake spent much of the time on Raul’s back, who gamely defended the entire time. Shield’s onslought proved to be too much as he secured the armbar late in the match.
Vinicius Magalhaes over Gilbert Melendez by armbar. With four Cesar Gracie students in the finals you’d think they would hold something back, but with $1500 on the line the competitors went for it with everything they had. And everything he had describes Gilbert Melendez’s performance for a tee, and although on paper outmatched in size and experience came through with a tons of heart and wrestling ability. The match remained close as Vinicius could not contain the wily Melendez who fought off plenty of tight submission attempts. Late in the match Melendez began to score a comeback, and went for a leg attack with seconds to go in the match, which opened himself up to a Magalhaes armbar attack.
Jake Shield over Nathan Diaz, points. Again prior to the actual match you would think this is a mismatch and Sheilds definitely came hard during the entire match, but Nathan Diaz proved his mettle by holding off Diaz and fighting the entire duration of the match. Shields earned a shut out victory, but it was an exciting match of two skilled combatants.
Jakes Shields over Vinicius Magalhaes, points. Another war in a series of them. Magalhaes scored the advantage earlier and seemed content to play the closed guard, but Sheilds worked hard for the pass, which he finally got. From here Sheilds applied tremendous pressure, caused Magalhaes to turn and took the back! Magalhaes hung tough and escaped however and was then tried to press the action, but Shields would win the match, the title and the $1500!
To cap it off, team Cesar Gracie won the teams point challenge and took home an addition $1000!
Full report to come!