from Andrew "Judo Goat" Smith of www.BJJNews.com
The Copa do Mundo (World Cup of Jiu Jitsu) showcased some exciting matches, thanks in part to a cash prize for the winners of all black belt divisions, and a bigger one for the black belt absolute.
The Copa do Mundo (World Cup of Jiu Jitsu) showcased some exciting matches, thanks in part to a cash prize for the winners of all black belt divisions, and a bigger one for the black belt absolute. Margarida, Jacare, Xande and Saulo Ribiero, and several more big names showed up to fight for the money.
No doubt the most anticipated fighter of the day, Margarida was simultaneously the crowd favorite... and the most booed competitor. His first fight in the absolute was total dominance, as most expected... Margarida would get the back, then sit there with his feet forward, then wipe the sweat from his brow, fix his gi... and at once both delight and piss off the crowd.
Napao was dominant and controlling in his early fights
Jacare vs. Telles
In a heavily anticipated matchup, Telles and Jacare went head to head in a war. Telles (no surprise to most) pulled his infamous "turtle guard", and went to work, presenting problems for Jacare. At one point, the two exchanged sweeps, but it was Jacare's persistent guard pass that won him this close match. After the match, Jacare looked tired and wasn't really the same for the rest of the day- a testament to the impressive showing for Telles.
Napao vs. Saulo
Another exciting matchup in the quarterfinal round of the absolute division featured two great competitors- competition savvy guys going at it. Ultimately, it was Napao's size edge and careful, tactful guard pass game that won it for him.
This set up the semi-final bracket:
Margarida vs. Xande and Jacare vs. Gabriel Napao
Margarida vs. Xande
The two fighters stalked each other tentatively at first, Margarida having chucked a judo player earlier, and Xande having worked on his standup a great deal lately. Both fighters showed a lot of respect on the feet.
It was Xande who scored the first takedown, immediately looking to use his pressure and pass the guard. Margarida was able to sweep Xande to get back on top. But Xande went right to work from half-guard, working underneath Margarida, getting the sweep but Margarida went right to the omoplata. Xande was ready, and postured up, taking advantage of Margarida's lost position, and passing the guard! From that point on, it was all Xande. Margarida escaped and the two got back to their feet, and Xande was able to get the takedown on a tired, mentally broken Margarida, passing the guard once again, and dominating the rest of the fight on points in a HUGE upset.
Jacare vs. Napao
Xande upsetting Margarida would prove to be a tough act to follow. This fight went the distance, with experienced judo black belt Napao fighting hard for the takedown, but Jacare's athleticism and great stand-up skills getting the better in the end. Jacare got the nod by winning on points after taking Napao down and scoring several advantages.
Finals: Jacare vs. Xande
This fight would prove to be all about momentum: Xande's soared after upsetting Margarida, and Jacare's seemed to have slumped after having the tough bout with Telles earlier in the day. Xande took full advantage of this, taking it to Jacare, scoring a half-guard sweep, and staying ahead the whole time to win the prize.
Black belt divisional finals
Galo: Gabriel Morais beat Samuel Braga in a close match on points, 6-4, scoring three sweeps to Braga's two.
Pluma: Rico Vieira caught Bernardo Pitel in an early triangle after landing a beautiful uchimata judo throw, then held it for a VERY long time before getting the tap, about 9 minutes in.
Pena: Ruben 'Cobrinha' Charles beat Felipe Vidal 5-0, sweeping him and passing his guard, staying aggressive and active the whole match.
Leve: Leo Santos vs Rodrigo Feijao - these guys were on the same team, and the rumor mills quickly circulated the stands that this might be a "work" of sorts. Santos landed a super-fast arm-triangle for the tap, and the crowd booed.
Medio: Andre Galvao and Gustavo Campos went the distance in a very close fight that boiled down to Campos pulling guard first and having an aggressive, submission-filled game. Campos caught Galvao in an omoplata attempt for the advantage, and Galvao later scored an advantage of his own to even the score. The ref chose Campos, and the crowd agreed.
Meio-Pesado: Demain Maia upset a very tired Jacare, scoring an advantage as Jacare turtled, nearly getting his hooks in to win the fight.
Pesado: Margarida claimed to be injured as Robert Drysdale jumped guard on him.... it really seemed as though Margarida's spirit was broken at this point, and many fans speculated on whether this injury might be faked (and booed loudly).
Super-Pesado: Xande Ribeiro beat a very game and tough Roberto Tozzi by a tie-score advantage, 2-2. Great fight for Tozzi.
Pessadisimo: Leo Leite got the better of a stand-up battle with Gabriel Napao, scoring two nice judo throws for the 4-2 win.
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