International Master & Seniors 2006 -"The New Old Boys!"
August 27th, Rio de Janeiro - Looking to the mats for this edition of International Master&Seniors held in the traditional Tijuca Tennis Clube, it's hard for me to believe that some of the fighters I watched starting at BJJ are in the masters division. Fighters such as Gabriel Willcox, Jorge "Macaco" Patino, Muzio DeAngelis and Omar Salum are nowadays considered veterans of BJJ – Fabio Gurgel is a senior!! And for my conclusion; I'm becoming a master of covering fight events too. After all, I didn't start on covering these events in the age of 5 years old (LOL).
Every weekend I leave my home to cover fight events; it doesn't matter if this is submission, BJJ or MMA, I do have surprises. If I had a surprise of seeing Neiman Gracie's submission debut at an event with a Luta-Livre's banner last weekend; it repeated itself at International Master&Seniors 2006.
Rarely we give focus to the blue-belt divisions of any category (master, and its seniors one). However a weird fact pulled my attention for those new old boys of blue-belt division. A guy with a similar face to Johil de Oliveira's one in a blue gi I had to clean my glasses to see if that wasn't mirage, I approached him to verify that that was really Johil.
For those who are not familiar (enough) with Johil's name, he was one of the bitter rivals of BJJ in the decade of '80 and '90 - representing the most traditional Luta-Livre team of the Brazilian territory, the BUDOKAN. Johil left BUDOKAN and started training with BJJ black-belt Gilson Fernandes, who turned all focus of Johil and increased his game and mind to the new techniques BJJ could provide.
"What miracle!? No this is a hard job" said Johil's coach, Fernandes.
Still a little green with the gi, since he trained only one week for this match, Johil fitted his World fight-sport experience to overcome 3 opponents and capture senior 1 medio, and furthermore he was representing Carlson Gracie Team and paid a homage to Carlson's memory after his championship conquest. This is more than amazing fact for a fighter such was Johil (17-9-1) who battled against Carlson Gracie Team representatives in Wallid Ismail and Crezio de Souza in the old days of ValeTudo.
"A new phase/stage in my fight career, I started well" concluded Johil.
Still at the blue-belts, Ohio's former NFL player of NY Giants 6'2'' and 250lbs, Jarrod Bunch, captured two medals (gold and silver) at senior 1 pesadissimo and absolute. Bunch was under tutelage of Marcus Vinicius of BHJJC and trained only 6 months to conquer these medals.
Jumping from blue straight to the black-belts: the masters finals were great and the pluma final showed a one-side fight where Omar Salum (Gracie Humaita) dominated Joe Souza of Gracie Barra completely. Salum started his show by pulling to the guard and sweeping technically. After this, he took the back and passed the guard scoring 9-0 and nearly submitting Joe with a lapel choke.
The Absoluto master champion of this year, Gabriel Willcox, after overwhelming his opponents of the prior day of the competition at the absolute, beat Kalil Scudeler by 2-0 in a tough to understand scored points by the referee, who warned Kalil and punished him with -2 points.
Cleber Luciano and Huanderson Pavao (UGF) showed an excess of caution in the leve division. First minute of the fight and the three referees already wanted to give negative points to both of them. Luciano seemed to me a little more strategist fighter, when swept
Pavao by an illegal move, which even wasn't scored by the judges, unbalanced Pavao's focus. No action until then and the referees warned them several times, taking points off. Like aforementioned, Pavao lost a bit his focus and this was time to Luciano manage the sweep which rendered him the first place on the podium.
Luis Paulo JJ's Eduardo Baiao faced off Johan Carvalho
(Gracie Barra PitBull) in the medio division and came across as the winner of this category by 2-0(sweep).
The meio-pesado final match-up involving Muzio DeAngelis and Jorge "Macaco" Patino was very balanced, with neither of them scoring points. Macaco had a tough road until the final, when he beat the BTT's instructor Alvaro Oliveira and submitted Eduardo
"Jamelão" Conceicao by ude-gatame. Muzio did the same in his bracket and collided with Macaco's better technique on the feet at the finals. Macaco shook Muzio on the feet, looking for better gi's grip, but not enough to unbalance Muzio and manage a takedown. Macaco won 1 advantage by his takedowns attempts and Muzio realized he'd not pose himself well on the feet against Macaco. They stalled a bit the pace and referees took off 1 point of both. Macaco insisted on the feet and Muzio pulled the action to his guard. Macaco worked to reach half guard three times and scored advantages by this, winning by 4-1 in the advantages.
Pedro Duarte collided against the only foreign fighter in the master black-belt, the American Mike Weaver and beat him by 5-0 at sweeping and passing the guard of the recently graduated American fighter.
Representing the Carlson Gracie Team, the methodical and always calm Carlos Henrique used his cold-blood on the mat to control the biggest impulse of Renato Ferro of BTT in the Super-Pesado’s final. Ferro is a known sweeper and he managed his first attempt of it at try to pull Henrique to his guard and dominate one of legs of Henrique. Without changing his facial expression, Henrique escaped from the Ferro’s trap and nearly passed the guard, scoring 1 advantage. Ferro insisted on the same move until he dominated one of the Henrique’s legs and try to force the mat to the ground. Henrique managed well and counter attacked with a takedown. The pace kept like that until the end of the time and Henrique was the champion.
The only fighter to have the bonus of a submission victory at the finals was Gracie Humaita's Bruno Ewal at pesadissimo, when he armbarred Danilo Rodacki of ASLE/Behring
Other outstanding black-belts at winning the gold medals were Marcus Vinicus (BHJJC), Nelson Monteiro (Gracie Barra), Helvecio Penha (DeLa Riva), Fabio Gurgel (Alliance) and Wellington "Megaton" Diaz (Gracie Humaita).