The IBJJF No Gi Pans went down this past week, from Nov. 18 to 22. The event was somewhat of a closing statement for No Gi competitions from the IBJJF this year. There are no major events scheduled past Pans. Divisions were all over the place, as we mentioned in our preview of the event. Some were talent stacked. Others were missing high-profile competitors.
All in all, the event was sound. Good competitors, solid and structured organization and competitive divisions. Let’s start with the women who fought this weekend. The biggest story of the weekend was Rafaela Guedes. She dominated the division and the absolute to win double gold. Another amazing performance came from Nathalie Ribeiro, who surprised everyone with an incredible flying mount transition while her opponent was pulling guard.
In the mens’ divisions, there were a lot of ups and downs. Kaynan Duarte won double gold on his return to competition after being suspended by the IBJJF. Lucas ‘Hulk’ Barbosa and Andrew Wiltse also made it to the top of the podium. There was an incident worth mentioning in the Featherweight final. Gabriel Sousa was fighting Kennedy Maciel, when all of a sudden the action stopped, and Sousa seemed to be in pain. It turned out he injured his knee during the match and was unable to continue. Very unfortunate since he was on fire over the weekend.
Let’s run down the divisions to see how they played out:
Roosterweight, light-featherweight and featherweight
This was pretty boring if you were looking for match quantity. There were only three athletes registered, so the three-man bracket rule took effect. The winner of the first match moves on to the final, the loser faces the remaining athlete for the second spot in the final. The winner was Willis Da Mota, who beat Washington Dias twice for gold.
The Light-featherweight division was the Lucas Pinheiro show. He had a bye in the first round and three matches enroute to gold. The Atos representative looked flawless and secured his spot at the top of the podium. He won 7-2 on the scoredboards.
The featherweight division saw two behemoths clashing on different sides of the bracket — on one side Kennedy Maciel, from Alliance, and on the other side Gabriel Sousa from ZR Team. They both had three and four matches respectively, and were the top two seeds. As we discussed before, Sousa suffered a knee injury and was unable to continue, so Maciel took first place.
Light, middle and medium-heavyweight
Rodrigo Francioni and Alexandre Molinaro closed out the lightweight division. They had three matches each and cruised through the division to gold. The only tough match for Molinaro was against veteran Samir Chantre. They match ended 2-2, and Molinaro won on advantages.
Middleweight was Atos’ division. They stacked Ronaldo Souza ‘Junior’ and Jonnatas Gracie and closed out the division with two matches each. Their first matches were pretty close, with Souza Junior winning by points and Gracie by referee’s decision. They both won on points on their second outing and closed out the final.
Medium-heavyweight was the first time Andrew Wiltse was able to compete at an IBJJF tournament. He was promoted to black belt earlier this year, but was unable to compete in IBJJF events because of insufficient time sat brown belt. He won his two matches convincingly and fought Joao Gabriel Rochas’ brother in the finals. Pedro Rocha gained a penalty point in a match that ended 0-0, so Wiltse won gold.
Heavy, super-heavy and ultra-heavyweight
The heavyweight division was Lucas ‘Hulk’ Barbosa‘s to win. The only challenger the Atos representative faced was Giancarlo Bodoni, but he won 2-0 on the scorecards to take gold. It’s also worth mentioning that he submitted his two opponents before that.
The super-heavy division was easy to predict. The monster known as Kaynan Duarte cruised to gold. He faced Ethan Moses and Aaron ‘ Tex’ Johnson to win the division. Interestingly, Duarte submitted Johnson with an Ushiro Sankaku (back triangle) from the back position, and used similar controls the DDS guys use. Gordon Ryan was quick to point this out on his instagram, so this feud will probably continue.
The ultra-heavy had two competitors who have been battling it out together for years, Ricardo Evangelista and Max Gimenis. This time, the two GF Team representatives won their first two matches and closed out the final.
2020 IBJJF No Gi Pans – the females
The only female division with more than one athlete who didn’t close out was lightweight. Nathalie Ribeiro and Nikki Sullivan both won their first matches and met in the finals. Ribeiro pulled an amazing flying counter to Sullivan’s guard pull and landed straight to mount. She proceeded to take the back and secure a rear naked strangle.
The open class was all Rafaela Guedes. She scored one submission and two points to secure the gold medal. She was awarded her black belt only a few months ago, so the future is bright for Guedes.
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