This past weekend, the IBJJF held a very special event in Long Beach, Calif., as they introduced the Masters & Seniors Worlds to the IBJJF circuit.
The inaugural event held at the famous Pyramid in California was a big hit as many of the old legends of the sport came out to play along with some present stars finally competing in their proper age categories.
What was thought to be almost like a fun reunion between legends got serious fast once the matches started. Here are some of the big names that became the faces of this memorable inaugural event…
If you are a fan of Robson Moura, you know the legacy he has left behind over his long jiu-jitsu career. One of the leading figures for the Nova Uniao team came into Sunday with seven World titles since he first entered the championship in 1997. Moura won his first black belt World title at only 18 years old (the youngest ever to do so) and now he is the first ever Masters light-featherweight World Champion.
The black belt would cap off his golden day with a victory over a tough competitor in Daniel Beleza, who had just come off a beautiful submission victory versus Carlos “Holanda” Vieira. Now with eight titles, does anyone believe Moura may come back to compete for the adult title again in June? Everyone knows that the jiu-jitsu community would love to see that again.
Like Robson Moura, “Shaolin” is another Nova Uniao legend who is a multiple-time World champion. An IBJJF and ADCC veteran, Ribeiro made his return to competition for the first time in a long time, as he has been occupied with running his academy in New York City.
In his return, Ribeiro did not appear to have any rust as he went through the field on his way to gold in the Masters lightweight category. In the final, “Shaolin” got by a game Lloyd Irvin black belt in Marcos Torregrosa.
The legendary Ribeiro brothers have both had an ample amount of success during their careers. The older Saulo won multiple World titles back in the early 2000′s, while Alexandre had more success a few years after his brother’s prime years were behind him. So, for all the golds they’ve both collected in their time competing, they had never won Worlds gold on the same day together. Well, that all changed this past Sunday. . .
“Xande” dominated his weight and absolute in the Masters category, while Saulo was equally as dominate in the senior 1 weight and absolute categories. Each won all their matches decisively, and each took home two gold medals. Two brothers and four gold medals, just another day for the Ribeiro family.
So there you have a few of the top names that shined brightest at the Masters and Seniors World Championships. Who else stood out to you, the reader, in this event? Comment below and let your voice be heard! Osss!
Photo: Alexandre Ribeiro (Tony Loiseleur/Sherdog)