The Pan No-Gi Championship, located at City College in New York City, is always an intriguing spectacle for no-gi fans and jiu-jitsu fans in general. Every year, there are always great match-up’s in the brown and black belt categories. This year there were plenty of different generational match-up’s that kept the majority of those in attendance riveted until the final match ended at 8:20 p.m.

The biggest black belt match-up of the day came between rookie black belt Francisco “Sinistro” Iturralde and veteran Vitor Oliveira of GF Team. In their third encounter in 2013, Sinistro dominated for the biggest upset of the day. Oliveira was coming in on an absolute tear, having won nearly every IBJJF Open (weight and absolute) there was to win this past summer, but he ran into a brick wall who clearly had the better day.

After Sinistro defeated the always-tough Daniel Tavares, he came into the final having nothing to lose. Instead, he won it all. Unlike what most predicted, by the time the match was over, Iturralde was on Oliveira’s back, up 8-0, and sinking in the choke hold that eventually forced the Worlds middleweight bronze medalist to tap out. The Alliance NYC crowd went nuts as expected, celebrating as their top guy won his first major title as a black belt.

Another generational clash came between the day’s lightweight champion and medium-heavyweight champion. AJ Agazarm is another rookie black belt who is coming off a nice victory. He won the American Nationals No-Gi absolute title, defeating Eduardo Telles in the final. However, Agazarm was stopped this time by Murilo Santana, quietly one of the toughest guys the black belt category has to offer.

In their bout in the absolute category, Agazarm showed off his impressive submission defense, but he couldn’t hold out for long and eventually tapped to a guillotine from the closed guard. The victory took Santana to the medal rounds, where he ultimately closed out the category with his friend and teammate, Luiz Panza.

Along with Iturralde and Santana, Laercio Fernandes, Samir Chantre, Tom DeBlass and Agazarm stood out. They all won their weight categories this past Saturday.

At the end of the day, what ended up being one of the big highlights of the event didn’t even involve any black belts. The brown belt absolute was a sight to behold, as every single match was hard fought from start to finish and wrestling was the dominant style in much of the division. The eventual champion, Timothy Spriggs of Team Lloyd Irvin, battled through three close fights to attained the gold medal. In the quarterfinals, Spriggs avenged a loss from earlier in the year against American Top Team’s Kevin Mahecha and took the back of middleweight champion Dillon Danis in the semifinals after seven minutes of takedown exchanges.

In the finale, Spriggs encounter with the day’s medium-heavyweight champion, Matheus Diniz, ended up being one of the classics of the day. They exchanged position for submissions throughout. At one point, it appeared that Diniz was going to choke Spriggs unconscious, but being the battler he was all day, Spriggs somehow found a way to escape and turn the match around. In the very end, like in the semis, he took Diniz’s back for a 4-0 victory and his second gold medal of the day.

So there you have your 2013 Pan No-Gi results. Who impressed you in the championship most? Comment below! Osss!

Photo: Francisco “Sinistro” Iturralde (Facebook)

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.