Elite black belts shine at IBJJF Miami and Chicago Opens

Several top athletes, including Brianna Ste-Marie and JT Torres found success at the IBJJF Miami and Chicago Opens.

Over the weekend, a number of jiu-jitsu’s top gi and no-gi athletes competed at IBJJF Opens in both Miami and Chicago. Below, we highlight strong performances from several high-profile competitors.

IBJJF Miami Open

At the Miami Open, ADCC silver medalist and 2022 IBJJF no-gi world champion Brianna Ste-Marie made her IBJJF gi black belt debut, taking home gold in both the middleweight and openweight divisions. While the Canadian is primarily known for her accomplishments in no-gi competition, she garnered plenty of accolades in the gi throughout her colored belt career, including Pans and European gold as a purple belt.

Ste-Marie is slated to continue her run in the gi next weekend at the Brasileiros.

And in other gi action, ADCC veterans Roberto Jimenez and Roosevelt Sousa look strong, with Jimenez taking gold in the heavyweight division while Sousa won the openweight division.

Jimenez also found success in no-gi, earning gold in the one-man heavyweight division before defeating veteran Gesias Cavalcante in the final of the openweight division.

Additionally, 10th Planet standout Rene Sousa won gold in the medium-heavy division, securing the first-ever buggy choke finish in IBJJF black belt competition.

View the Miami Open gi results here, and the no-gi results here.

IBJJF Chicago Open

Meanwhile, in the Midwest, the IBJJF Chicago went down.

In gi competition, two-time ADCC champion JT Torres won gold in the middleweight division, perhaps signaling his intention to compete more frequently in the gi after a stretch of competing infrequently or primarily in no-gi.

Brown belt world no-gi world champion Jacob “The Hillbilly Hammer” Couch shined in his IBJJF black belt debut, taking home gold in the heavyweight and openweight divisions. The Daisy Fresh product is slated to face Izaak Michell later this month at Who’s Number One.

View the full Chicago Open gi results here, and no-gi results here.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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