Unlike the past few weeks where the competition scene has been fairly quiet, many notable tournaments took place around the country and around the World these last two days.

In the U.S., the Long Island Pride Championship was the big go-to event on the East Coast, while the Chicago Open and Arizona International Championships were the main attractions in their respective regions.

But in the end, the biggest championship of the weekend was surely the World Pro Trial, known as the toughest WPJJ trial to win, that took place in Gramado, Brazil.

Down in the heart of Brazil, we saw World champions fall, new names surprisingly rise to the top and old names return back to form. Here is a recap of this past weekend’s WPJJ event in Brazil:

At the 143-pound category, the entire jiu-jitsu community was taken by surprise as neither Ary Farias nor his teammate Bruno Frazzatto were able to claim a ticket to the main event next month, as they were once expected to do. The day instead belonged to the once-unknown Isaque Paiva, who defeated both Farias and Frazzatto in back-to-back bouts. In the final though, after Paiva finished Frazzatto with a triangle, Paiva lost his chance to go to Abu Dhabi when he went running into the stands to celebrate with his team, which is against a new conduct rule instated this past January. Paiva would forfeit the win to Frazzatto, but that didn’t help him punch his ticket to the main event.

Even though Atos didn’t have a winner at the 143-pound category like they hoped for, the day wouldn’t be completely lost as Davi Ramos brightened the spirits of his team in the 163-pound weight class. To win his division, Ramos took no chances and displayed conservative jiu-jitsu, not the most exciting display but enough to send him to Abu Dhabi next month. In the final, he defeated Alliance’s Tiago Rocha by a 2-0 score, not giving any space for the runner-up to move. Ramos will definitely be considered a favorite going into the main event in April.

Another unexpected but welcome surprise was the arrival of Victor Bonfim to the 182-pound category. Many saw Guto Campos and Eduardo Santoro to be the two main favorites, but neither would end up with the coveted ticket. In the final of the category, Bonfim was able to come back from an early deficit to defeat the black belt veteran Campos by one sweep. In the end, Bonfim almost rushed off the mat to celebrate like Paiva, but remembered just in time and did not have to face any conduct penalty or disqualification. Bonfim’s ticket is booked!

At the 202.5-pound category, the jiu-jitsu world was re-introduced to two of the better and tougher fighters of our era – Tarsis Humphries and Alexandre de Souza – who are both coming off serious injuries. The two battle-tested black belts would end up meeting in the finale of the category, and Souza had it his way. The match started off even for a while, but Souza pulled away towards the end with a guard pass and back-mount, making the score 7-0. Both fought very well in their return, but it was Souza’s day as he returned even stronger and will be heading to Abu Dhabi for free to compete for the World Pro Title.

In the over-202.5-pound weight class, the audience was witness to a rematch of the super heavyweight final from the past World Championships between Checkmat’s Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida and Alliance’s Leonardo Nogueira. What was thought to be a tightly contested bout quickly turned into a blowout as “Buchecha” scored nine unanswered points and had his revenge on Nogueira, defeating him 11-2. With the win, “Buchecha” punched his ticket to Abu Dhabi and also sent another notice to the super heavyweight category; he’s sure to be coming into the Worlds better than ever before!

There are your WPJJ Gramado Trial champions! What was your biggest surprise, and do you believe any of the winners here could end up winning the big show in Abu Dhabi? Comment below and let your voice be heard! Osss!

Photo: (from L to R) Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, Alexandre de Souza, Victor Bonfim, Davi Ramos, Fernanda Mazzeli and Luanna Alzuguir enjoy a taste of the gold at the World Pro Trials (Ivan Trindade/Graciemag International)

About The Author

Gianni Grippo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Contributor

Gianni Grippo is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcelo Garcia and trains at the Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City. Besides being a big fan of the sport, Gianni is also an avid competitor and has ranked among the best in the World from blue to brown belt winning 6 IBJJF World titles and 7 Pan Championships. Still at 21, Gianni looks to continue to compete for many years to come as his main goals are to win the World championships at black belt and win the ADCC title.