Are you combat sports fanatics ready for a super-stacked tournament of grappling all-stars? If so, the Copa Podio Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Lightweight Grand Prix is exactly what you want. It kicks off at 4:30 PM ET and will continue for several hours.
The stream is a PPV one ($21.95) and can be purchased at http://www.copapodio.com/en/pay-per-view. Here, I will bring you the live play by play and kick it with you readers in the comments. The Copa Podio Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/podiumcup) is full of photos, promos and other things as well.
Last time out, Copa Podio put together a very entertaining tournament of ten of the world’s best heavyweight Brazilian jiu jitsu grapplers with a small set of Super-Couples and City vs. City matches on the side. This time, ten of the world’s best lightweight grapplers are front and center and the side matches are even more star-studded.
The Super Fight will feature the heavyweight tourney winner, Rodolfo Vieira, against Ricardo Demente, a phenomenal grappler in his own right and MMA prospect. The team challenge is Alliance (with Terere competing!) versus GFTeam and the City vs. City challenge is Xande Ribeiro vs Braulio Estima, a gi rematch of the ADCC 2009 Absolute finals.
Note: Victor Estima is injured and Rodrigo Magalhaes of Gordo BJJ has stepped in to replace him.
The general structure of the Grand Prix looks like this:
A win by submission is four points. A win by points or advantages is three points. A draw is one point. A loss is zero points, however narrow or well-grappled. The matches last time out were six minutes long and I believe the same general IBJJF grappling rules are in effect (no heel hooks etc.).
LIVE BLOG BEGINS HERE
4:45 pm ET: Right now, it’s still the introduction of the athletes, anthems and all the rigamarole. The Terere/Marinho match looks to be a solid 15 to 20 minutes behind schedule right now. We are not quite officially in the realm of “Brazilian time” yet.
4:48 pm ET: Wait! We are kicking off! Awesome. Terere and Marinho promises to be a very good match between two athletic as heck people. Marinho probably favored here due to his more recent competition experience.
Alliance vs. GFTeam First Round at 77 kg:
Fernando Terere (Alliance) vs Vinicius Marinho (GFTeam)
Terere in the blue and Marinho in the white.
Marinho coming forwards as both are bent over. Terere pulls guard and goes inverted reverse de la Riva guard to start striving for the sweep. Marinhow tries to base out, but Terere re-adjusts and gets the quick sweep. Wow! Marinho trying to work RDLR also, but Terere points both knees out and pulls his opponent upwards into an open guard with his butt off the mats. A quick reset in the middle for spacing purposes ensues. Terere trying to work a double unders pass and Marinho is working to pop the left arm of Terere off the leg. Terere surfing on top of Marinho’s guard and preventing a 50/50 guard. Terere trying to long step over the top in a very athletic surfing position, but it doesn’t go anywhere. Marinho working an X-guard position now and trying to grab Terere’s collar.
Terere loses his balance and gets pushed over backwards for a sweep. Marinho goes immediately for a flop to side control and Terere pulls the leg back into guard. Marinho goes around and nearly gets side control, but Terere comes up to his knees and then back to half guard. Marinho working an underhook on the far side and lots of shoulder pressure. Gets the pass to side!
Terere shoves a foot into quarter guard and Marinho gets an advantage for going knee on belly briefly. Marinho goes from quarter guard to a near back take and Terere escapes. Marinho flops to his back and Terere dives into the open guard immediately. Marinho working to close the guard. Terere on his knees and looking to control a sleeve and start a standing pass. Marinho strikes like a viper and nearly gets a sweep to mount, but Terere recovers and an advantage is awarded to the GFTeam product. Terere working the same set-up to the stand-up pass.
Time elapses and Vinicius Marinho wins 7-2 on points with a few advantages for him also.
5:00 PM ET: We are launching right into the City challenge.
Xande Ribeiro (Manaus) vs Bráulio Estima (Recife)
Xande in the white and Braulio in the black.
Braulio immediately pulls open guard and Xande works the double unders in a very fluid motion. Back to closed guard right away. Xande opens (or Braulio opens). Braulio working the berimbolo on Xande, who drops to a knee and works to control the far leg and the matside arm. Xande flops to his side and it looks like Braulio has lost the momentum needed. Xande on one knee now and Braulio still working the berimbolo as Xande goes to stand. Xande back to a knee and back to his side, then back to his feet as Braulio now has a collar gripped instead of the foot. Xande on his butt and working to prevent Braulio from turning. Braulio nearly goes inverted, but Xande gets out and nearly passes to the opposite side. Braulio goes full invert and prevents the pass. Both settle back in an spider-ish guard and Xande looking to pressure pass to the left now.
Reset in the middle due to spacing concerns. Xande is looking to slide down Braulio’s right leg and shove the knee past in a very pressure-dependent pass. Braulio working a sleeve grip and a gi grip. Braulio nearly overhead sweeps Xande! The balance of both is very nice and Xande stays unswept. No advantage or points are awarded yet.
Xande again working to pass to the left and nearly gets it, only to see Braulio go invert again. Xande standing and Braulio in de la Riva, but choosing to work more in a RDLR now. Braulio in an open guard and Xande flops to his right and nearly gets a pass. They disengage and Xande steps to his left, which forces Braulio to invert. Xande staving off a kneebar by going to a knee and putting pressure. Braulio in open guard with a gi grip from the back and a foot over the shoulder. He’s setting up the same overhead sweep as last time and looking to underhook Xande’s left leg.
Xande basing strongly and clears the leg on shoulder. Xande now looking to come over to the left, but Braulio goes full invert and is pulling Xande’s left sleeve strongly. Xande gets past! He’s in north/south and stabilizes enough to get the two points. Xande working from north/south and Braulio looking to pull himself out and work the invert.
Reset in the middle due to spacing concerns. Xande in side control, controlling the head and the hips. Braulio works out and starts going for an inverted triangle and then kneebar as Xande flees. Xande stands and Braulio comes a-buttscootin’. Braulio trying for an armbar! Now for an anklelock! Xande gives up the sweep and Braulio is now dealing with the open guard of Xande.
Xande working an open guard and Braulio nearly steps around it for the pass. Braulio stands and Xande baits him with an opening for a triangle, which Braulio goes for and misses. Braulio still on top and coming forwards. Xande uses the forwards pressure to single hook butterfly sweep Braulio overhead! Braulio working for a leglock, but Xande stays based out and backsteps past the guard. Points for the pass and Braulio struggling to get to his knees. Xande goes to mount and now s-mount. Braulio still on his side and wanting to get up to his knees or feet. Xande using his top pressure to scoop the gi up Braulio’s back for a collar choke set-up. Now resting as time finishes.
Xande wins by a bunch of points.
5:15 PM ET: We are two matches in already and about to get to the LW grand prix. A couple pretty nice advertisements are playing right now. Tourism stuff and it makes Recife look like a paradise on earth. Considering that this is Brazil, it probably is exactly that.
Lightweight Grand Prix, First Round:
Oliver Geddes vs Rodrigo Magalhaes (Group Green)
Oli in the black and Rodrigo in the blue.
Oli comes forwards and pulls guard. A bit of scramble as Oli goes for the deep half. Rodrigo nearly steps past for a pass and Oli pushes him off to retain half guard. Rodrigo sprawled on top of Oli and controls the far leg enough to gets the pass to side control. Oli looking to counter what Rodrigo does and the Gordo guy scoops the near leg up and looks to go knee on belly. Oli swivels around to bottom of north/south and is trying to get out. Rodrigo staying balanced and bringing pressure. Oli gets out and back to open guard, setting up for deep half again. Rodrigo switches his hips and looks to try for kesa gatame. Oli unsurprisingly sweeps, but cannot stabilize enough to get points.
The scramble as Rodrigo tries to stand takes them out of bounds. They reset in the middle and retie their belts. Back in action. Oli pulls guard again and loses an advantage as a result. Has an over the back grip and a knee grip on Rodrigo while in butterfly. Rodrigo staying low and stuffing the work of Oli. It’s 3-0 Rodrigo on points. Oli working to pull Rodrigo up, but his opponent is not cooperating. Rodrigo stands and Oli sets up for open guard or deep half to the right. Back to the over the back grip and knee grip. Oli turns onto his left side and goes to work the half guard there. Rodrigo pushing top game pressure with a based out right leg and farside clamp.
Still half guard for Oli and Rodrigo. Rodrigo gets past with 35 seconds to go. Oli trying to get out by north/south again.
Rodrigo Magalhaes wins 6-0 on points.
Tio Chico vs DJ Jackson (Group Green)
Tio in the white gi and DJ, the man with the open warrant for his arrest in Iowa, is in the black gi.
Tio comes forwards carefully and pulls closed guard. DJ stands. The guard opens up and DJ starts basing out for his favored pass to the left. Tio using his length to keep the open guard intact. DJ nearly lets Tio on top of him, but recovers and tries to go left again. Tio back to closed guard. Open guard now as Tio tries to pull DJ’s arms upwards. DJ keeping his arms low and tight.
Tio now shifting back and forth between closed and open to try and pop DJ’s arms free of their low grips and upwards. DJ stands and the closed guard opens. Tio trying to get up on his left side and work something, but DJ falls back to the ground and bases out to prevent anything.
DJ now pulling his left arm low and letting his right arm go up a bit in return for a better position to opn the guard. Tio using his length again to keep the open guard intact. DJ gets a knee up in the open guard and looks to go left. DJ on his feet and Tio pulling sleeves again. DJ back to one knee and Tio regains closed guard.
Tio starting to work high guard. DJ basing out and looking to pop open the guard. Tio closes it once more and is fighting constantly for control of DJ’s left arm. DJ tries a big step over to pass guard to the left. Tio in the half guard and looking to underhook the leg and get a half guard sweep.
A draw between DJ “Open Warrant for Arrest” Jackson and Tio Chico.
Clark Gracie vs Brandon Magana (Group Yellow)
Clark in the black and Brandon in the white.
Brandon pulls RDLR guard and goes to open as Clark goes to his knees. Clark trying to elevate Brandon’s hips and push him over backwards. Brandon inverting well and setting up to return to open quickly. Clark back in closed guard of Brandon.
Brandon gets a sweep and Clark pulls the belt from the back very, very tightly to him. Pinning himself to Brandon’s right side. Looking to set up a back take or perhaps another of his weird omoplatas/sweeps. It goes wonky! Brandon nearly takes the back of Clark instead!
A scramble goes out of bounds so they reset in the middle as they were when they went out of bounds. Clark turns in and uses the scramble to take Brandon’s back instead! Whoa! Weirdo match so far, with a lot of momentum changes.
Clark working a collar choke from s-mount and Brandon defending. Brandon tries to get out, but Clark adjusts enough to get the clock collar choke.
Clark wins and picks up 4 points for a submission victory.
Leandro Lo vs Diego Borges (Group Yellow)
Leandro in the blue and Diego in the black.
They grip up and Lo pulls open guard. They’re close to an edge, so the referee resets them in the middle. DLR for Lo and Borges basing down with a knee pointing out, stuffing the far leg. Lo being patient and trying again and again to establish the farside leg. Has a spider grip right now. Pulls Borges’s leg, pushes him over and should get an advantage for the near-sweep! Scramble goes out of bounds. Very fun looking scramble as Diego refused to accept the sweep.
Lo pulls DLR again and Borges goes to his butt/one knee to prevent. Lo starting to swivel around and Borges stands up to navigate the guard. Lo now in an X-guard situation. Open guard and Borges rips free of the grips. Tries to walk around, but Lo is keep his entangling legs in between well.
Borges sits down in a spider guard situation to work his passes. Borges looking to stand and to prevent Lo from establishing a proper series of grips. Borges tries to flop and backstep his way into side control, but Lo stays with him and back to DLR guard. Borges stands and prevents the farside leg from coming across. Lo shifts to spider, but with an ankle grip. Borges staying patient and Lo looking over at the time. Two and a half minutes left. Lo working slowly from DLR to spider and back and forth. Borges staying patient as well. Lo has his sleeve grip popped and Borges moves to a double unders pass. Lo keeps his hips low and goes into DLR again, but without urgency. Borges flips forwards to try and pass!
Lo stays with him and prevents the pass, but Borges gets his hips briefly off the ground. Lo gets the hips back to the ground and Borges gets no advantage. Borges tries to start another scramble, but nothing is doing. Lo up by an advantage and looks to be waiting this out. Borges trying to clear the spider guard from his bicep, but it’s taking too much time. He flops back to his right side to try and pass at the last moment, but no luck.
Leandro Lo wins by one advantage to none.
Grand Prix, Second Round:
Vinicius Marinho vs Oliver Geddes (Group Green)
Marinho in the white gi and Oli in the black.
Oli pulls guard again and looks to go deep half on his right side. Marinho shoulder stuffs this and is working to clear the entangled leg. Oli clinging tight and gets an underhook on the left leg. Marinho pretty high up and looking to clear the leg rather than deal with Oli’s head.
Oli has given up the underhook and Marinho has shifted to more of a kesa gatame situation. Oli trying to shift his ups up to come up top and Marinho barely resists. He uses the shift in positioning to nearly get a sprawl to side control and now has two advantages. Oli getting the shoulder pressure now and Marinho uses that opening to try and flip to the other side. Oli stays with him and goes half guard on the other side after a bit of back and forth. Marinho using a sprawl to keep Oli out of deep half. Marinho frees the entangled leg and sprawls nearly to side control. Oli moves around and reclaims quarter guard. Marinho looking to flatten Oli out and pull free the leg for mount or side control.
Side control it is and they shift to north/south. Marinho using a belt grip and a leg grip to work around to side control on the other side. Oli moving around, so Marinho surfing on top and trying to keep Oli down. Marinho goes for an armbar using a kimura grip, but it’s not there, so he shifts to a back take. Oli refuses to accept that and gets his back to the mats and a deep half position on Marinho’s left leg. Oli fully underneath Marinho, but can’t work anything. Marinho now in a mount-ish position with an entangled leg. Now in a mounted triangle position, but shifts to side control. Time runs out.
Vinicius Marinho wins 6-0 against Oli Geddes.
Rodrigo Magalhaes vs Tio Chico (Group Green)
Tio in the white and Rodrigo in the blue.
Tio coming forwards and Rodrigo dancing on the outside. Double eye-poke because both guys are dumbasses about hand positioning. Time out as both recover.
WTF? They have decided that Tio Chico wins due to… being more severely eye-poked?
Juan Kamezawa vs Clark Gracie (Group Yellow)
Juan in the blue and Clark in the black.
Double guard pull. Juan goes invert working berimbolo and Clark entangles the legs so that no such sweep happens. Juan still trying to pull that, while Clark sits up and shifts back and forth to try and take top positioning. Referees pull them to the middle due to spacing concerns. Juan now trying to slide under to take the back, but Clark chooses to pull back and allow Juan to come up top for the advantage. Open guard for Clark and Juan sits down from standing to deal with it. Clark tries for an omoplata and settles in a RDLR situation. Juan trying to pull his legs and one arm out to pass, but Clark keeps things connecting. Clark spinning under and trying for a back take. Juan falls back and seizes a leg to move for 50/50. Clark resting for a moment and trying to kick his right leg loose to come up. Juan going inverted again and Clark has to follow to play the game the right way.
Juan trying to pull Clark’s torso closer to him. Clark going for an ankle lock on Juan, careful not to reap the leg (bullcrap rule, which the announcers agree with). Juan breaks loose of the ankle lock and stands to defend. Clark goes invert to sweep, Juan sits down and Clark goes for butterfly guard. Juan navigating it well and stays on top. Clark trying to get under Juan again, but not having the space to really get his legs where he wants. Juan staying low and tight to ride the time out. Clark shifts to an omoplata and Juan stands to defend. Clark hanging off Juan’s side in that omoplata and Juan staying just barely based out, while defending a choke.
Clark should have a near sweep and Juan frantically tries to take the back. Clark got an advantage for the omoplata and it’s a draw. Comebacks are Mr. Photogenic’s thing, apparently.
Draw between Juan Kamezawa and Clark Gracie.
Brandon Magana vs Leandro Lo (Group Yellow)
Brandon in white and Lo in the blue.
Brandon circles around on the outside and drives in for a single leg. Lo reverses it into a sitdown on top of the flattened Magana. Lo pushing a leg off and trying to work into a better half guard position from the top. He pushes Brandon’s farside arm to the mat and uses the space to get his entangled leg out. Nearly to mount. Brandon spins out and Lo stands up.
Brandon clutching an ankle and Lo picks up Brandon’s leg to spin him around. Nearly to a bad position for Brandon and they go out of bounds. Reset in the middle. Brandon now has a penalty for delay of game or something and pulls half. Lo very, very active and sprawls out of the scrambling Brandon’s halfguard into side control, but not long enough to get points. Lo is so much longer that it seems like he’s just using his limbs to more effective mat placements at every second.
Lo standing, two points, five advantages, Brandon turtled up. Brandon spins out and Lo surfs it successfully to side control. Lo moving around in weird ways and Brandon cannot anticipate it well enough to work his way out. Reset in the middle due to spacing concerns. Lo again surfing Brandon’s attempts to get to deep half.
Lo now using shoulder pressure to work out of quarter guard. Brandon flips over and Lo uses that to go for a back take and collar choke. Four points for Lo and Brandon covers up mightily. Lo comes up and he’s in a leg drag position. To side control and shifts to knee on belly/s-mount. Brandon trying to scramble out, but he’s getting stuck. Lo surfing again and they scramble some more.
Scramble out of bounds. Lo is up 9-0 and maybe six or seven advantages. Brandon has half guard and Lo pushes his way upwards to quarter guard. Lo working a cross collar choke and forces Brandon to action. Lo to mount and the choke being set up. Brandon tries to buck off and does. Somehow the score is at 18-0 and Brandon is now bleeding from the cheek or ear due to the scrambling and pressure. A medic comes in to work on the small cut.
They reset with Lo in closed guard and Brandon up top. Brandon opens the guard up and Lo shifts to DLR. Time runs out. Very spirited match from both grapplers, but Lo’s surfing is unreal to watch at times and scores a ton of points very quickly.
Grand Prix, Third Round:
DJ Jackson vs Oliver Geddes (Group Green)
DJ “Open Warrant for his Arrest” Jackson in the black gi. Flashes a LI sign at the camera. Oli in the white.
Oli pulls half and loses two points due to DJ’s gripping. DJ bases out and looks to rip his entangled leg out for the pass. Oli trying to get the underhook, while DJ uses shoulder pressure to keep Oli’s head away from the leg. Knee grip looks pretty important for Oli.. DJ frees the farside leg and Oli now looking to rebuild his half guard. DJ now sprawling and still keeping Oli away from the underhook.
DJ pushing forwards as usual and Oli trying to turn over. DJ uses the pressure to pop his leg free and settle into side control. Oli now looking to shift into north/south, but has to watch out for DJ’s kimura on the far side arm. Oli keep his arm high and tight. A wristlock win for DJ as Oli shifted his hand into the wrong place.
DJ “Open Warrant for his Arrest” Jackson wins by wristlock.
Vinicius Marinho vs Rodrigo Magalhaes (Group Green)
Marinho in the white and Rodrigo in the blue.
They grip up in the middle and look to be trying to actually throw each other. Hurrah!
Rodrigo briefly goes for a single leg, but bails on it and Marinho looks to be setting up a hip toss. Reset in the middle and they grip up again. Marinho with the more upright posture and seems to be really setting up for his left hip to come in. Rodrigo kind of implacably gripped up and coming forwards, looking for a leg sweep. Marinho has something going with a trip attempt, but it’s not enough and the referee warns them both.
Reset in the middle as both are retying their belts. Marinho gets an advantage due to penalty points accumulating on Rodrigo. Marinho fends off a bad single leg attempt and they’re back to the gripfest in the middle again. Marinho going for the hip toss again and again. Rodrigo got two points due to Rodrigo stalling again (referee deciding this).
DQ due to penalties and Marinho wins due to the stallfest from Rodrigo (although, I’d have assigned an advantage to Rodrigo for Marinho’s own stalling.
Diego Borges vs Clark Gracie (Group Yellow)
Clark in the black and Diego in the blue.
Clark looking to pull guard right off the bat and does, but does it in such a way that gives Diego two points. Diego standing as Clark buttscoots. Diego using the same strategy against the RDLR as he used against Leandro Lo. Clark using it in a different way to trap the sleeve/arm more though. Clark has the RDLR/spider hybrid going on the same left side and Diego flops to his butt to defend. Diego preventing Clark from getting optimum collar grips, but Clark is slowly setting up the way he wants on grips and positioning. Clark inverts and goes for an omoplata on DIego’s right arm. Awesome.
Diego flattens himself out and Clark is underneath him, trying to pass the legs over so he can sit up. Diego initially prevents this, but the legs get shoved over. Now Clark is trying to sit up, which is prevented by Diego’s feet being right on his face. Clark loses the legs briefly and Diego uses the space to escape from the omoplata. Back to the spider/RDLR for Clark. One advantage to him for that work.
Diego on his butt, basing out to prevent a sweep and Clark shifting his grips around a bit. Diego stands and one more invert to omoplata attempt, but it’s better defended this time. Diego spins around and nearly gets omoplata’d for it. They go out of bounds and there is a reset in the middle.
Diego standing and Clark buttscootin’ in. Clark goes for the DLR/spider this time. Now just spider and Clark kicking the leg up to try for a triangle. Diego has lost control of his upper body and is in danger of being triangled. He sits up and manages to fend it off some more, but Clark moves him back in. Clark has five advantages for this, but is still down on points. Diego stands up and sits down as time finishes.
Diego Borges wins 2-0 on points against Clark Gracie.
Juan Kamezawa vs Brandon Magana (Group Yellow)
Juan in blue and Brandon in white.
Juan sits down after a bit of hand holding. Goes for the RDLR and invert. Brandon stays standing and uses his head to create eno+ugh downward pressure to fend off the sweep. Back stepping to avoid the full entanglement, leaves his right leg behind and Juan goes for a twisting footlock as a result.
It’s tight! Brandon taps!
Juan Kamezawa with a very fast footlock win over Brandon Magana.
Grand Prix, Fourth Round:
Tio Chico vs Oliver Geddes (Group Green)
Tio in the black gi and Oli in the white.
Oli pulls half again. Tio backsteps far enough to get out of the half guard and is past, but not stable enough to get points yet. After some fight by Oli, Tio stabilizes and is looking to push Oli up on his side. Oli spinning out to north/south and Tio staying on top, super-tight. Looking to pull a gi tail up Oli’s back. Oli staying tightly balled up, but isn’t doing much to escape.
Tio tries for knee on belly, but doesn’t get it. He’s briefly standing up to get better position now and then and Oli isn’t able to use the space to get out. Tio to knee on belly for long enough to get points. Oli bucks him off and Tio tries a step over to mount. No joy. Oli fending off knee on belly. The referee is handing out points awful fast here. Tio working collar placement and Oli trying to get out through north/south. Tio spins slowly on top from north/south to side and back trying to get something submission-wise. Oli to deep half now.
Tio motionless, popping Oli’s grip off briefly, but eventually lets Oli get that grip. Oli trying to spin around and come up top, but Tio’s resisting strongly. Still deep half for Oli. Half butterfly for Oli now. Trying to overhead sweep and gets enough for an advantage, but not for the points. They go out of bounds during the scramble.
Reset in the middle after the belt retie. Oli coming forwards and pulls half again. Tio uses an underhook to prevent. Time is finished.
Tio wins 5-0 on points against Oliver Geddes.
DJ Jackson vs Vinicius Marinho (Group Green)
DJ in white. Marinho in the blue. Despite the gi change, there is still a warrant for DJ’s arrest though.
They grip up in the middle. Marinho tries for a foot sweep. DJ resists and appears to be grip-fighting for a single leg on the left leg of Marinho. Gripfighting and inside reap attempts for Marinho. Not much happening beyond a few movements for quasi-takedowns for both.
Reset in the middle due to spacing concerns. Grip fighting again. DJ drops for the single leg and Marinho sprawls. Marinho uses the positioning to get an advantage for nearly throwing DJ to his back with an inside reap. They reset in the middle as DJ tries to bull for the single leg takedown.
Gripfightin’ is still the game here. DJ is stalling out, but the referee is not calling it. They reset in the middle. DJ seizes the left leg and Marinho sprawls out of it successfully. He chooses to sit down to closed guard. DJ again basing out to pass left. Marinho pulls the left arm down to keep the posture low. DJ breaks free and stands. Marinho opens up guard and stands up. DJ grabs the left leg and Marinho is sprawling out of it. DJ trying to pull Marinho down for the takedown, but it’s not working. Marinho rides out time for the advantage victory.
Vinicius Marinho wins by advantage over DJ Jackson.
Leandro Lo vs Clark Gracie (Group Yellow)
Lo in white and Clark in black.
Lo circles around briefly and Clark comes in to pull guard. Lo surfs it and ends up in north/south super quick. Magic. that was pure black magic.
Lo scrambling around for a back take, but loses control of Clark. Back to open guard. Clark setting up in the spider/RLDR that he likes. Lo looking to use his free posting hand to surf again, instead of basing out like Diego did. Clark inverts for an omoplata, but Lo’s length might have allowed him to escape that and spin around.
Lo uses the spin around to go for a back take and Clark shunts it back to half guard. Lo surfing past the guard and gets to side control briefly. Advantage to Lo, as Clark gets half guard back. Surf again to side control. Wow.
Clark is flattened out on his back and Lo looking to push an arm down. Clark explodes back to open guard. Lo shoves the knees past and nearly to side control, but Clark scrambles to keep open guard alive.
Reset in the middle as they edge out of bounds. Lo surfs again and pushes aside Clark’s feet to get to quarter guard. Lo trying to work around to the back by using a back of collar grip on Clark and his knee placements. Lo resting briefly as Clark figures out how to get back out of this quarter guard. Lo shifts around, shoves Clark’s reacting legs out of the way and ends up in the quarter mount in the other direction. 6-0 Lo right now.
Lo chilling out in quarter mount and stands up. Looks like he wants to stuff Clark’s bottom leg for some reason. Clark shoves Lo back into open guard and Lo uses that to pull both Clark’s legs downwards and bullfighter his way into side control again. Wow. Lo going for mount. Gets it. 13-0 Lo now.
Quarter guard again because Clark is fighting constantly to get out. Time finishes.
Leandro Lo wins 13-0 against Clark Gracie.
Diego Borges vs Juan Kamezawa (Group Yellow)
Diego in black and Juan in blue.
Borges pulls guard, even though he is visibly the bigger grappler. Juan tries to back step through and Diego uses it to come up for a single leg and back take. Very neat. Juan escapes, comes back to top of closed guard and stands. Diego keeps the closed guard and goes for sleeve grips.
Diego uses a wristlock attempt as a feint to open guard, stand up and outside reap Juan for a takedown/sweep. Wonderful move. Juan goes open spider, but looks to be setting up the berimbolo as he’s abandoned sleeve grips for ankle grips. Diego pops free the grips, forward rolls and tries to get the back. No luck.
Juan back to open guard and Diego reengages, while preventing the berimbolo. Diego preventing the inversion and seems to be content to rest. They roll to the edge and the referee resets them.
Battle of footsies and ankle grips. Juan looking to invert once more with the RDLR and Diego preventing the free leg from really getting where it wants. Diego tries to pop a leg free to go for the back take, leaves a leg behind and Juan goes for the twisting footlock on the free leg. Advantage to Juan, but no finish.
Diego comes up top and Juan goes invert to defend. Reset to allow belt tying. Open guard for Juan and Diego bases up on one knee. Juan goes for berimbolo again, but it’s not working. Diego tries a rolling berimbolo counter and it whiffs badly, but he uses the space to work a near back take. Open guard for Juan, Diego comes in and reengages from standing. Not much happening right now, Diego stands once more and rips free of Juan’s grips. Juan being oddly passive and not creating the action. Juan tries for a footlock off RDLR, but Diego is wise to it and stays standing, unswept and unfootlocked. Uan working some 50/50 now. Diego rides out the time and wins with a comfortable points victory.
Diego Borges wins 6-0 on points over Juan Kamezawa.
Grand Prix, Fifth Round:
Rodrigo Magalhaes vs DJ Jackson (Group Green)
They circle around and then grip up. Rodrigo briefly drops for a single leg, but it’s going nowhere. Back to the feet and the gripfest. Rodrigo drops again for a single leg on DJ’s right leg, but it doesn’t work. Gripfest, gripfest, gripfest. DJ drops for a single leg, but it doesn’t work and they edge out of bounds.
Reset in the middle. Gripfest again. Rodrigo drops again for the single, but DJ sprawls the leg out of danger. Reset in the middle due to edging out. A bit more action within the gripfest, but nothing concrete. Rodrigo trying very hard to work footsweeps, but the positioning of Jackson is too good. They edge out. Reset in the middle. Grip fest. Snapdown attempt from Jackson to no avail. Gripfest, gripfest, DJ goes for a brief hip toss, but it’s extremely far from succeeding. Rodrigo coming forwards and pulls guard.
He pulls guard badly and DJ immediately passes to side control for two points. Time will finish with DJ winning on points.
DJ “Open Warrant for his Arrest” Jackson wins 2-0 on points against Rodrigo Magalhaes.
Tio Chico vs Vinicius Marinho (Group Green)
Tio in black and Marinho in blue.
Tio comes in and pulls half guard immediately. Marinho looking to knee slide to side control. Tio uses that to sweep and is in top of half butterfly. Marinho keeping an ankle motionless and trying to come up into an x-guard of sorts. Timeout due to a bloody nose from Marinho.
They resume within a minute and Tio is standing on top of the half butterfly/x-guard. Now DLR and a sweep position for Marinho, but Tio uses his head to base out and prevent the sweep. Back to the standing for Tio. Marinho tries the other direction and Tio uses it to extract his entangled leg and shove the inverted Marinho’s legs to the mat around his head.
Tio using his weight to tire out Marinho for a bit, before Marinho spins out and back to half butterfly. Marinho works a bit before snapping back to closed guard. Tio standing again and looking to open up the guard. Guard opens up at Marinho’s choosing and he uses a chop out to drop Tio to his back.
Tio fights off the sweep by kicking Marinho in the face. The referee resets it and appears to ignore the kick in the face entirely. Referee is resetting them in an odd position. I have no idea what’s going on here. Referee assigns penalty points such that Marinho gets an advantage and Tio has to give up two points for a sweep as well. Marinho gets an advantage for something connected as well, so he’s now ahead. Marinho underneath and in a medley of open guards while Tio tries to surf his way past. Marinho keeping connected and is trying to elevate Tio up and over for a sweep. Tio frantically trying to get past – excellent work ethic from him.
Marinho hanging on in the open guard and Tio stuffing hands and looking to surf or backstep his way to side control. Marinho freeing a hand and inverts to keep the open guard alive. Tio stands once more and Marinho keeps the open guard long enough to prevent the pass.
Vinicius Marinho wins by advantage in a very fun match over Tio Chico. Or maybe the referee disqualified Tio Chico for trash-talking. I dunno. Either way, Marinho won.
Brandon Magana vs Diego Borges (Group Yellow)
Brandon in white and Diego in black.
Gripped up in the middle, both bent over to prevent anything crazy. Diego eventually sits to DLR guard. Brandon bases up very strongly and focuses on grip fighting. Chooses to stand and posts out with free hand to prevent a simple push-back sweep. Brandon has a knee grip briefly popped loose, but fights his way back. Diego uses that momentum to go for a single leg and back take attempt on the standing Brandon.
Diego tries the Leo Vieira rolling back take and it doesn’t work – immediately. After a bit of struggle after the roll, Diego does get the back and secures the control for the points. Diego feels his control loosening and tries to come up into mount, but Brandon escapes and pushes him back into open guard.
They reset in the middle due to edging out and Brandon has sat, while Diego stands. Brandon stands after a brief ankle pick attempt. They try to trade lightning fast grip attempts and eventually lock up. Diego uses a great snapdown to seize Brandon’s back.
They’re out of bounds, so as they inch too far over, the referee resets them in the middle. Diego doesn’t have the points yet, but he does have Brandon controlled there and is going for the collar choke. Now the points come and Brandon is preventing the collar choke. Diego might be losing control, but he’s staying tight to the back as Brandon looks to come up to his knees and inch out of the danger.
The choke attempt is gone and the hooks are out. Brandon is turtled up and Diego lets him loose. Brandon dives for a takedown and Diego sprawls his way back to the feet. Brandon shoots in for a singleand Diego uses another snapdown to get an advantage.
Diego Borges wins 8-0 on points over Brandon Magana.
Leandro Lo vs Juan Kamezawa (Group Yellow)
Lo in white and Juan in blue.
Lo nearly sweeps Juan overhead, but then accepts guard once more. Juan trying to tippy-toe his way around the tricky guard. Lo working spider and Juan is trying to cross-up the legs and prevent Lo from getting under, but it doesn’t work. Lo gets under and sweeps for the two points.
Lo now in full out surfing mode, while standing. He’s pushing aside Juan’s legs and looking to create a push-back reaction from Juan so he can bullfighter past. Juan doesn’t take the bait and they settle back in open guard.
Lo surfing again and looking to knee slide past now. Juan defending by climbing his legs up inside and in between. They reset in the middle and Juan has RDLR/half butterfly going. Lo trying to drag his foot free and settles into half guard. Lo knee slides past, but only enough to get an advantage. He gets a pushback and nearly bullfighters his way into side control again. Advantage to Lo and some more scrambling leads to a shove down and a securing of side control. Points to Lo.
They rest and Lo briefly pops up for knee on belly. Juan refuses to accept it and scrambles to his knees. Lo disengages and then comes back in as Juan sits up into a single leg grip. Juan falls back into RLDR and Lo is surfing and high-stepping past the guard. Wow. One advantage comes flying in for Lo due to the constant motion and near seizures of side control over the scrambling Juan. Lo settles down and looks to knee slide once more, combining with a collar choke grip. Juan fights it off and shifts into a single leg that is defeated by the collar grip. Back to RLDR for Juan and Lo keeping the collar grip strong. Knee on belly for Lo and the pass to side control also. Securing of side control. Resting. 10-0 Lo, right now. Time finishes.
Leandro Lo wins 10-0 on points over Juan Kamezawa.
Alliance vs. GFTeam at 98 kg:
Léo Leite (Alliance) vs Rodolfo Vieira (GFTeam)
Leo in the white and Rodolfo in the blue. Rodolfo also appears to be wearing a Jesus t-shirt. Did not know ancient religious figures were particularly honored by casual sartorial choices, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
They gripfight very lightly as it appears both want to deny key grips to the other more than they want grips themselves. Rodolfo comes in pulling guard, but it’s out of bounds and thus a reset in the middle is done. Edge out once more due to shuffling around. Rodolfo pulls butterfly guard. Tries an immediate elevator sweep. Shifts to x-guard with an anklelock grip ready. Leo standing to defend and carefully working to stuff the free arm and connect his elbow to his knee and stuff Rodolfo’s free leg.
Reset in the middle due to edging out. Leo fails to control the free leg and gets dumped, yet stands up in time to yield only an advantage. Rodolfo yanks Leo back to guard and now is working open guard as Leo pressures forwards. Rodolfo now going berimbolo. Wow. Leo falls to his back to defend and is trying to slide out. Rodolfo slides around to threaten the back take and Leo turtles up to prevent the hooks coming in. Leo tries to stand and Rodolfo slams his hooks in, but after the referee calls a halt to the action due to edging out of bounds.
Reset in the middle with Leo turtled up and Rodolfo having one hook in. Now both hooks in and Rodolfo working a collar choke. Not a good restart position for Leo and he couldn’t stop the progression and points. Rodolfo not even bothering with seat belt grips or upper body control. All he wants is a collar grip and Leo gives him an armbar. Wow. As time runs out, it looks like Rodolfo finishes Leo Leite with an armbar from the back. Beautiful near finish with the great grip strength, despite the non-ideal positioning.
Rodolfo wins 14-2 over Leo.
Vinicius Marinho vs Diego Borges
Diego in black and Marinho in blue.
They clinch up, bent over and grip fighting. Marinho taking some risks with his hip toss attempts, but it’s not backfired yet. Borges gets a stalling point for basically refusing to actually do anything. Marinho nearly lands a foot sweep, but Borges doesn’t actually fall over. No advantage or point yet.
Borges pulls guard right at the edge of the area and they reset in the middle. Borges in open guard, looking to go DLR on Marinho. Marinho basing out and looks to prevent Borges from coming up for the single leg that he’s done before successfully.
Borges to spider guard and Marinho stands to break down the knee posturing. Marinho stuffs the free leg under and starts trying to come around. Borges stands after trying for a single leg. Borges tries a snap down, Marinho tries a trip and pays for it with a takedown for Borges. Diego to mount immediately at the edge of the arena. They reset in the middle. Borges in a very high mount looking to keep tight. Marinho trying to roll Borges without giving up a collar choke.
Diego takes the bucking attempts and shifts into an armbar. The submission doesn’t really look that dangerous, but Marinho isn’t moving out of it quickly. Borges has the arm underhooked and then Marinho rips it out and they stand once more. Marinho tries a footsweep and they both teeter out of bounds. Stalling called against Diego and an advantage to Marinho. So it’s 6-0 on points for Diego Borges, but 2-1 for Marinho on advantages. Borges pulls guard and Marinho tries to stuff and go right.
Borges prevents. Marinho gets too eager with the pass attempt and Borges sweeps for two more points.
Diego Borges wins 8-0 on points over Vinicius Marinho.
Leandro Lo vs DJ Jackson
Lo in white and DJ in black. No news about changes to the open warrant for DJ’s arrest.
DJ gets a single leg takedown as Lo got overeager clinching up. Lo gets spider guard on DJ’s far arm and nearly sweeps DJ, should get an advantage for that and DJ stands, nearly gives Lo his back as they tumble out of bounds. They reset in the middle and Lo gets the back points right away.
Lo going for a collar choke and DJ looking to shuck Lo off his back and forwards into guard. Lo manages to topple DJ and nearly into a bow and arrow choke. Now switching to the double collar choke as DJ grip fights the hands off.
Lo now being patient about the collar grips and trying to prevent DJ from spinning into him. Lo threatening another collar choke again as DJ grip fights some more. DJ powers his way back to his knees and into Lo’s closed guard once more.
Lo opens up the guard and DJ again looks to pass left. Lo gets spider guard on DJ’s left arm and DJ tries to toss Lo upside down and backwards. Nothing doing and Lo keeps the open guard alive. DJ reengages and Lo brings in the flexible legs in for more open guardwork.
Lo has spider guard going as DJ kicks back his legs and brings up a knee forwards. Reset in the middle due to edging out of bounds. Lo pushing forwards with the spider guard and DJ postures up to defend. Lo stands and then pulls guard as DJ vainly tries for a single leg.
DJ trying double unders passes and Lon brings in his legs for spider guard once more. DJ gets swept and Lo stands to prevent an anklelock. DJ is now upside down and they’re close enough to the edge to allow a reset in the middle. Belt retying time. DJ in DLR, but only a couple seconds are left. Leandro Lo wins on points.
Leandro Lo wins 6-2 on points over DJ “Open warrant for his arrest” Jackson.
Alliance vs. GFTeam at 86 kg:
Dimitrius Souza (Alliance) vs Léo Maciel (GFTeam)
Souza in white and Maciel in blue.
Maciel very briefly teases a fireman’s carry. Souza pulls guard and has to deal with Maciel crouching in great base right away. Maciel bulling his way into a pass attempt, but Souza resists and gets back to closed guard. Souza working for spider, but Maciel not cooperating very much and now standing. Maciel tries a backstep pass, but Souza makes him chill out and nearly gets a triangle before Maciel regains proper posture in the guard. Souza working to get spider guard as Maciel stands. More open guard retention/breaking from the two.
Souza trying to get under and takes a chance with his leg positioning, but Maciel cannot do anything with the opening there. Back to closed guard. Reset for belt tying/rest break. Souza trying to get spider into something and shifts into x-guard briefly and Maciel bases out to prevent anything significant. Grip fight for collars and sleeves is very important here in the last stretch of the match. Souza pops upright for a sweep! The 50/50 off the x-guard worked!
Maciel now in the 50/50 and Souza stands to work his pass. Maciel appears to be celebrating. I’ve no idea what the points are right now, but I dunno if he won the match. Maciel wins somehow. Not sure what happened there, but somehow Maciel got enough points early on to ride out the sweep. Upon post-match Internetz sleuthing, it looks like the score was something like 2-0 Maciel. I don’t get it. Souza had a clear sweep near the end and I didn’t see Maciel score.
Leo Maciel somehow wins on points over Dimitrius Souza. Not sure what happened here, people. The scoreboard was all wonky and the GFTeam guy wasn’t clearly winning by my eyes. So by my tally, it’s GFTeam 2 matches won to Alliance’s 1 match (Dimitrius Souza won that match in my estimation).
Grand Prix Third Place Match:
Vinicius Marinho vs. DJ Jackson
DJ in white and Marinho in blue. Open warrant for DJ’s arrest is still in effect, last I heard.
Gripfest in the middle. Both guys bent over, preventing anything high amplitude, over the back grips with a sleeve grip apiece. Marinho pulls guard and tries to trap an arm for an armbar. Jackson bases out to prevent that and is trying to get his posture up to break the guard. Marinho has the right arm clamped to his side and appears to be trying to underhook Jackson’s left leg on the far side.
DJ trying to slide left and Marinho looking to turn it into a back take. This is a struggle that’s been going on for a couple minutes now and Jackson appears to be hit with a stalling warning. Jackson gets to his feet briefly, but Marinho has the closed guard clamped tight and the right arm tight also. Jackson stands and Marinho keeps the closed guard tight as time runs out.
Vinicius Marinho wins third place due to penalty point assigned to DJ “Open Warrant Still There For His Arrest” Jackson for stalling.
Rodolfo Vieira (GFTeam) vs Ricardo Demente Abreu (Nova União)
Demente in blue and Vieira in white.
Demente pulls guard. Goes RDLR and Rodolfo pulls the farside knee up and starts moving around to find the open spaces. Demente looks like he wants deep half and Rodolfo shifts to shoulder pressure, while keeping the farside knee grip high. Rodolfo trying to get into quarter mount, while Demente appears to be working something around the backside leg. Rodolfo continuing to bring the forward pressure via the shoulder and the inching upwards of the entangled leg.
Demente looking uncomfortable under there, but keeping the half guard alive. Rodolfo frees the entangled leg and spins around to the back. He’s got a seat belt on Demente, but no hooks in. Demente seems unconcerned with the seat belt and is preventing the hooks while positioned on his side. Rodolfo works to keep the seat belt and rolls over to try opening up spaces for the hooks. No spaces, but the collar chokes might soon be available. Demente trying to drive forwards and out of the seat belt. Gives up space for one hook and loosens up the seat belt a little bit. Rodolfo cannot quite get the second hook in, but has the double collar grip opening up. They roll slightly out of bounds and the referees drag them to the middle for a reset.
Demente has quarter guard, but has to very carefully navigate the double collar grip. One advantage to Rodolfo at this point. Rodolfo has an arm triangle of sorts going and Demente is answering the phone, going red, working the quarter guard to defend.
Rodolfo shifts to the full arm triangle and is working to free his legs and Demente keeps the ankle pinned in between the legs. They shift so that Rodolfo falls off and Demente comes up top in Rodolfo’s open guard, edging out of bounds. One advantage was awarded to Rodolfo for the arm triangle.
Reset in the middle. Demente looks to pin an ankle back and pressure his way over the knee. Rodolfo starts bringing in his legs to work open guard or spider guard. Demente gets up to his knees once more after coming back down and is still pressuring. He tries to toss Rodolfo backwards, but Vieira clings like a limpet. Near sweep from Rodolfo, but only enough to get an advantage. Closed guard and Demente looking to establish grips, while Rodolfo breaks them. Again the ankle pinning strategy from Demente. Rodolfo working spider guard and getting underneath Demente.
Demente hops back to stability, which is within Rodolfo’s closed guard. Demente stands, while pinning Rodolfo’s biceps back and gets a knee up the middle. Ankle pinning once more and Rodolfo stymies it. Closed guard once more. They shift back and forth between open and closed, while Demente tries to pressure his way through once more. Time runs out. Very tight match advantages wise, but Rodolfo came far, far closer to a finish.
Rodolfo Vieira wins by three advantage over Ricardo “Demente” Abreu.
Grand Prix Final:
Diego Borges vs. Leandro Lo
Lo in white and Borges in black.
They clinch up pretty fast. Lo pulls guard at the edges and they reset to the middle. Lo working his spider kick-up sweep and Borges sits back to defend. Lo entangles his other leg in DLR, scoops up the leg on that side and flops to his other side. Looks like a sweep set up and something results! Lo in a flash comes up, but Borges isn’t stable long enough for more than an advantage. The scramble goes out of bounds and they reset in the middle where Lo pulls guard. DLR work, as Diego bases out, sprawls fully on the mats to keep his balance. He prevents Lo from pulling him inwards and is trying to free at least one arm from the foot on bicep position. Does so. Lo regrips and looks to spin under, but Borges backs out to prevent that. They break apart and Diego tries to dive in past the legs, without success.
Lo keeping the open guard strong and Diego chilling until he can figure out how to get past. Lo trying to scoop the right leg of Diego while going foot on bicep on the left arm. Doesn’t happen, so it’s double spider for Lo. A switch to RDLR/spider and Lo inverts under! Borges falls to his back to defend and nearly turns it into a back take of his own! Wow!
Lo fights that off and ends up back in open guard. Nice work for both men there. Reset in the middle. Lo has open guard and Diego dives in once more. Lo does a simple push back sweep attempt and nearly gets it, but almost pays for it as Diego has a very narrow miss at side control through a bullfighter pass off the counter.
They go out of bounds and reset in Lo’s open guard in the middle. One advantage to Lo is the score as 15 seconds are left. Diego is trying to get past, but Lo’s open guard is too tricky. Diego rolls forwards for a slow footlock, but it’s as time expires and Lo wins!
Leandro Lo wins by advantage over Diego Borges. Leandro Lo is your Copa Podio LW Grand Prix winner. What an amazing last two years he’s had on the competition circuit.
Closing thoughts: Great pace to this tournament. The six minutes matches seem to be just a little bit short for elite black belt matches, but produces plenty of action without too much delay. Production was 9.5 out of 10 for a Brazilian stream and the commentating team really knew their stuff in both languages. Well worth the twenty bucks and I look forwards to seeing more from this organization.
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