After the IBJJF had a solid turnout for its fourth annual Houston Open event, the federation packed its bags and shifted its attention towards its second-ever San Francisco Open.

Although the tournament wasn’t much bigger than any other Open championship, it garnered a lot of hype due to some of the names that were set to compete on the Gold Coast.

At brown belt, the big names were Paulo and Joao Miyao of Cicero Costha. The two featherweight stars are training at the Mendes Brother Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy until the Pans and decided to tag along with the “AOJ” team to San Fran to get another tournament under their belts. The two berimbolo perfectionists displayed their A-game as usual and closed out their featherweight and absolute categories together. In the absolute semifinals, both had to get by difficult opponents as Paulo won in a close match against Manuel Diaz and Joao defeated Atos brown belt ace Brian Morizi.

In the black belt category, two of the most dominant forces in the sport did what they do best. The Mendes Brothers competed in their second tournament in two weeks and closed out their featherweight category together by winning one match apiece.

Unlike last week, where both cruised in their bouts, Guilherme Mendes had his hands full in his one match against Gracie Fighter black belt Osvaldo Moizinho. They traded sweeps during the 10-minute match and “Gui” would have one more in the end, winning the match by a 4-2 score.

On the other side of the bracket, Rafael Mendes would have his way with Geoffrey Villareal, as he landed his second armbar in his second match of 2013.

In the superheavyweight category, the jiu-jitsu community got the chance to welcome back an old icon in Antonio “Elvis” Schembri. The old-school rubber guard player showed he still has what it takes to compete with the younger black belts, as he won both of his matches in his weight category and defeated Gustavo Pires by a 5-0 score in the final.

In the black belt absolute category, the big man (both literally and figuratively) was Gustavo Elias of Gracie Humaita. The ultra-heavyweight had three matches in the absolute and won all three by submission against smaller, but tough opposition.

In Elias’ first bout, he choked out San Diego Trial standout Magid Hage with a bow and arrow choke from the back after passing the guard and taking Hage’s back. From there, Elias faced Moizinho in the semifinals and put him away with a straight kneebar submission.

And in the final, Elias faced the smallest, yet probably fiercest, black belt in the category in Caio Terra. The former roosterweight World champion made his way to the final with two outstanding wins against two larger opponents, but he would hit a wall against Elias. Although Terra fought hard, his technique would not be enough this time around as, like in his first match, Elias would take the back and get the bow and arrow choke, forcing Terra to tap. With the win, Elias became the big name of the day, and rightfully so.

So now, the IBJJF carries on. With San Francisco in the books, the federation travels across the country yet again for the Boston Winter Open championship. There, you can expect some great match-ups as the list of competitors is filling out with some great names, including as “DJ” Jackson, Jonathan “JT” Torres, Renan Borges, Rafael “Formiga,” Gregor Gracie and Keenan Cornelius. So stay tuned, because we’ll be back for more coverage of the event next week. Stay tuned! Osss!

Photo: Gustavo Elias (L) chokes Caio Terra (Ivan Trindade/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.