This past weekend, yet another IBJJF competition went down, this time out in Santa Catarina, Brazil. The South-American Jiu-Jitsu Championships has continually grown over the years and has gained more and more names as the years have gone by. In 2012, the championship had its biggest turnout yet with 1,200 competitors as it went a full two days and, as always, there was no shortage of talent and great matches.

The big men of the day ended up being two of the (literally) biggest guys in the entire tournament. Superheavy and ultraheavyweight teammates Leo Leite and Leo Nogueira shut out the black belt absolute category, stopping everyone in their way. In their respective semifinals, Leite outdid heavyweight elite Alexandre Ceconi, while on the other end Nogueira submitted Atos star Guto Campos. In the end, the gold was given to Nogueira with both finalists leaving happy on Sunday.

In the weight classes, both Leite and Nogueira showed that the absolute was no fluke. They both ran through their own weight classes. In the superheavyweight final, Nogueira ran through Gracie Barra’s Andre Alberto, while in the ultraheavyweight final, Leite defeated Felipe Pareira.

But the championship was not defined by only these two competitors. The day was filled with great showings at all weight classes.

At roosterweight, CheckMat’s Igor Rodrigues took the top spot on the podium yet again as he won all of his bouts, including his final against Marcos Franco of team Gracie Barra.

The light-featherweight category saw a newcomer make his mark. Rayfan Barbosa has won the Worlds at all other belts, but never did much at black belt until now. Barbosa had a great day, winning his first IBJJF gold at black belt by defeating Leandro Martins in the final.

At 154 pounds, the Cicero Costha group showed why they are a small but talented up-and-coming team. Two relatively unknowns, Isaque Paiva and Jose Tiago, closed out the category and let their names be known as two more tough guys to watch out for.

At the lightweight category, Kim Terra (the brother of Caio Terra) fought hard on his way to earning gold at the South American Championship. The lesser known of the two Terra brothers, Kim has quietly made a name for himself in Brazil. With each championship, Terra seems to improve and become more and more of a threat. Look out for his name at future championships.

The middleweight title was won by Giderson Barros defeating Jacob Mackenzie, who had been on a good roll of late coming in. Meanwhile, at medium-heavy, absolute bronze medalist Guto Campos redeemed himself in his weight category by winning all of his matches in impressive fashion.

Finally, in the heavyweight category, the upset of the day came when Fabiano Junior defeated Alexandre Ceconi in the finale of the weight class to take gold. Ceconi was the favorite coming in, but fell short and will have to wait until next time for his shot at IBJJF gold.

So, for those who saw some footage of the championship, what did you think of the matches and who impressed you the most? You know the drill! Comment below and let your voice be heard. Osss!

Photo: Leo Nogueira (blue gi) (Gracie Mag)

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.