This past weekend, the IBJJF hosted its 4th annual New York Open Championship at City College in New York City. The tournament ended up being so widely popular that the Federation actually had to close out the sign-up a few days prior to the original deadline, leaving many who waited to the last minute unable to compete for an IBJJF gold.

The ones who were able to compete ended up putting on a show, and the big winner of the day would end up being Gracie Barra’s Otavio Sousa. The young black belt was the big standout in New York as he won both the middleweight title and the absolute title, defeating other beasts such as Clark Gracie and last year’s champion Rafael Barbosa.

At black belt, the other big winners of the day were Daniel Beleza, who took the took the light-featherweight title by beating Marcelo Garcia black belt Henrique Rezende in the finale. Denilson Pimentia of GF Team got himself back into competition and back to the top of the podium as he defeated Jin Yung in the final of the featherweight division by a 2-0 score, adding another gold to his impressive resume.

Ítalo Silva de Albuquerque was another big name out of GF Team that took gold, this time in the lightweight category. Albuquerque overcame Rafael Rosendo dos Santos in the semifinal and then defeated Daniel Tavares in the division’s grand finale.

Antonio Antonioli took home gold in the medium-heavyweight category, while Alexandre Henrique won the heavyweight division and Diego Pereira de Santana defeated Neiman Gracie in the super-heavyweight final.

Now looking further ahead on the IBJJF/CBJJ calendar, there are still a few smaller Opens before the Worlds. In the next two weekends the IBJJF will be in Dallas for their 3rd annual Dallas Open, and the following week they will be further west out in Phoenix for the second installment of the Phoenix Open, which is already looking like it will draw some good names.

The last big championship before the Worlds in California is the CBJJ’s Brazilian Nationals held out in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, and as always, there will be a ton of big stars coming out, including Leandro “Lo” and Romulo Barral, who will be one of the few flying from out in California for the event. The championship actually begins this weekend as the juveniles, blue belts and purple belts square off. Then the next weekend (May 5-6), it is the brown and black belts’ turn to compete and vie for gold in probably the second toughest championship besides the Worlds.

Then finally, the IBJJF will conclude this crazy season in Long Beach, Calif., for the 2012 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships. Unlike all the other tournaments where stars show up and then some don’t, expect nearly all of the big names to be in California for the chance to be crowned World champion.

Getting excited yet? Well stay tuned for more coverage on the big tournaments such as the Brazilian Nationals and the Worlds in the coming weeks as we continue the count down to Long Beach! Osss!

Photo: Otavio Sousa celebrates after defeating Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa (Dan Rod/GracieMag)

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.