After the IBJJF had a great showing with some notable names in San Francisco, the federation headed east for its first-ever Boston Winter Open, and its third-ever event in the Boston area. From white to black belt, there was plenty of action going from 9 a.m. until nearly 9 p.m. The event never stopped, as the organizers had the matches going one right after another at a smooth pace. Some of the divisions were starting even earlier than they were previously scheduled.

Some of the big names to look at were ones that have had a crazy week to say the least.

Keenan Cornelius was the big winner at brown belt, taking both his weight class and the absolute in his usual impressive style and finishing all of his opponents along the way. But this tournament was unlike any other for Cornelius, as this was his first tournament since leaving Team Lloyd Irvin. Now with Atos JJ, the competitor has been in the center of attention in the jiu-jitsu world due to his sudden departure from the much talked-about Lloyd Irvin school in Maryland. But, through all the talk and controversy, Cornelius still looked as sharp as ever as he took home yet another double gold for his new team and new instructor, Andre Galvao.

“DJ” Jackson was the big winner in the black belt category. Jackson decided to remain with Team Lloyd Irvin, and he represented his team well this weekend, winning both his weight and the absolute while defeating numerous stars, such as Gregor Gracie, Abmar Barbosa and Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa, along the way. “DJ” stuck with his usual grinding wrestling style, getting the takedowns and then putting on the pressure while on top. Jackson submitted both Abmar and Rafael “Formiga” with wrist locks from the side mount, before winning a tight match over Gracie by a 2-0 score.

In the rest of the competition, standouts who put out a great showing were Renan Borges (lightweight champion), Gustavo Pires (heavyweight champion), Daniel Beleza (light-featherweight champion) and Rafael “Formiga” (middleweight champion). Each competitor helped themselves in the IBJJF rankings and in terms of their confidence for the bigger championships that lie ahead in the near future.

With Boston now in the books, next up is Chicago. The IBJJF will be heading to Chi-town for its second annual Chicago Winter Open championship, the final IBJJF tournament for competitors to tune up their game for the major championships. After that, the Pans is next on the schedule from March 20-24. Then, the IBJJF will have a few more Open championships in New York and Vegas, while in Brazil the CBJJ federation prepares for the Brazilian National championships.

There are many big championships coming up soon in the jiu-jitsu world, so make sure to keep track here as we continue to cover them all. See you next week! Osss!

Photo: “DJ” Jackson (R) (Preston Smith/IBJJF)

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.