One of the biggest weekends of the year for the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation was capped off by two professional grand prix tournaments, each paying $20,000 to the winner. The heavyweight grand prix featured Victor Hugo of Six Blades Jiu-Jitsu, Gustavo Batista of Atos, Fellipe Andrew of Alliance, and Mahamed Aly of Team Lloyd Irvin. The middleweight grand prix featured Otavio Souza of Gracie Barra, Jonnatas Gracie of Atos, Tainan Dalpra of Art of Jiu-Jitsu, and Renato Canuto of Checkmat. These brackets served as a great precursor to the World Championships, which will take place in Anaheim, California from December 9-12.
Tainan Dalpra continues to shine as a rookie black belt
Since receiving his black belt just over a year ago, Tainan Dalpra has competed at every opportunity possible in an attempt to assert himself as the best middleweight in the world. Prior to the grand prix, Dalpra had amassed a record of 30-1, competing in IBJJF open tournaments and various super fight shows. His first opponent at the Grand Prix was Renato Canuto, a grappler known for his acrobatic style and his willingness to challenge himself in any grappling ruleset. Dalpra started the match off by pulling guard and quickly swept Canuto from his favored de la riva position. Canuto countered well and was able to sweep right back, evening the score. From there, it was all Tainan Dapra. He swept Caunto again and then kept the pressure on for the remainder of the match. Although Canuto showed a great ability to retain his guard, Tainan’s pressure was too much as he was able to secure a guard pass in the final minute of the match and ride out a 7-2 score for the victory.
In the final, Tainan took on Atos representative and former teammate Jonnatas Gracie. Prior to the split between Art of Jiu Jitsu and Atos, the two had spent time training together at each other’s academies. In his first match, Gracie beat three time IBJJF World Champion Otavio Sousa of Gracie Barra by referee decision. In the final, Tainan again started the match with a guard pull, this time looking to invert and get to Gracie’s back. Gracie was able to defend the initial setups, eventually working back to the feet and pulling guard. From there, Tainan quickly moved around Gracie’s legs, forcing him to either concede a guard pass or give up his back. Gracie elected the latter strategy and Tainan capitalized, setting his grips in the collars and securing the choke about three and a half minutes into the match. With the victory, Tainan improved his black belt record to 32-1 and secured his status as one of the best middleweights in the world.
Victor Hugo uses pressure and submission skills to take out top ranked heavyweights
In the opening round of the heavyweight grand prix, Victor Hugo of Six Blades Jiu-Jitsu took on Gustavo Batista of Atos. Victor had quite a distinct size advantage in this match and he used it perfectly to keep Batista on the defensive throughout. After a feeling out process on the feet, Batista pulled guard and looked to get to his favored single leg x position. Although Victor was unable to secure a guard pass, he kept Batista’s movement at bay and won by a penalty that Batista received for an illegal grip earlier in the match.
In the final, Hugo squared off with Mahamed Aly of Team Lloyd Irvin. Aly is a 2018 IBJJF black belt World Champion who, despite not having competed much this year, looked in great form. He took out 2021 Pan absolute champion Fellipe Andrew in the semi-final in a back and forth match that saw Aly’s guard passing looking as sharp as ever. In the final, Victor Hugo immediately pulled guard. Victor utilized his flexibility and movement based bottom game to setup a foot lock on Aly. Although he was able to defend the submission for nearly a minute, Victor slowly adjusted the grip on the foot and got the verbal tap two and a half minutes into the contest.
The next major IBJJF tournament will be the World Championships from December 9-12 in Anaheim, California.
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