2009 Pan Ams – Braga Neto takes two titles

This year’s Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championships recently took place this past weekend in Carson, California. The action was heavy until the finals of the black belt division. Three of the division finals did not have a contested match as both fighters represented the same team. This is a dilemma that will hold back the sport of BJJ from its huge potential.

The concept of respect amongst the teams is a huge factor in the Jiu-Jitsu world, but I feel it is disrespectful when representing your team to not leave it all on the mat. I reflect back to the days when there was only one Gracie academy and the internal academy qualifiers were akin to their own championships as teammates would battle it out for the honor to fill one of the brackets against the other academies.

The name of the tournament without question is Antonio Braga Neto. Braga Neto comes from the Gracie Fusion team which was founded by the late Ryan Gracie, Roberto Gordo and Vinicius “Draculino”. Neto has also spent extensive time with the Ralph Gracie academy in San Francisco alongside Kurt Osiander, Luke Stewart and many others.

Neto claimed the title by winning the finals of the absolute by a score of 3 X 0 against Octavio Souza from Gracie Barra. This is a perfect example of teammates under the same flag who let their skills determine the winner as opposed to academy politics. Braga Neto also took the super heavyweight division by choke against Roberto Abreu from Carslon’s academy.

Other names that stood out were Kron Gracie, Ruben Charles, and Marcio Corleta. These fighters have been on the sport BJJ scene for quite a while and they continued their dominance this year by submitting their respective opponents in the division finals. Corleta in particular put on a dominating performance transitioning from move to move against Rodrigo Cavaca almost as if he was shooting an instructional video!

This was Kron’s first Pan Am’s as a black belt and his road to medaling started with promise. Using a style reminiscent of his mentor and father, Rickson, Kron methodically secured the mount. Kron systematically started to work his opponent’s collar for a choke, then transitioned to the arm bar for the tapout. His next two matches also ended in submissions (knee bar and foot lock) securing a spot in the finals. Unfortunately for him, Kron came up short in the last match losing 7-4 to Lucas Leite. As he left the mat respectfully, Kron turned to Rickson for reassurance.

Full results by weight class and team are as follows. Check out Kid Peligro’s gallery for the pics

IBJJF BJJ Pan Championships Academy results

 Academy results (adult):
1- Gracie Barra
2- Gracie Humaita
3- Alliance

BLACK BELT ADULT

ROOSTER
FIRST: Joao Carlos Kuraoka – AXIS CARLOS KURAOKA AXIS
SECOND: Felipe Costa – Brasa FELIPE COSTA Brasa
THIRD: Shoji Masada  SHOJI MASADA STRAPPLE OHANA
THIRD MAKOTO SAWADA Paraestra

LIGHT FEATHER
FIRST YOSHIHIKO MATSUMOTO Paraestra
SECOND RAFAEL FREITAS Gracie Barra
THIRD LEANDRO ESCOBAR Soul Fighters
THIRD FELIPE LATTARI Cia Paulista

FEATHER
FIRST RUBENS CHARLES MACIEL Alliance
SECOND MARIO REIS Gracie Barra
THIRD RAFAEL MENDES Atos
THIRD GUILHERME MENDES Atos

LIGHT
FIRST LUCAS LEPRI Alliance
SECOND MICHAEL LANG Alliance
THIRD LEONARDO LEITE Gracie Barra
THIRD AUGUSTO MENDES Soul Fighters

MIDDLE
FIRST LUCAS LEITE Check Mat Bjj
SECOND KRON GRACIE Gracie Humaita
THIRD CARLOS DIEGO FERREIRA AXIS
THIRD AUGUSTO VIEIRA Gracie Barra

MEDIUM HEAVY
FIRST OTAVIO SOUSA Gracie Barra
SECOND ROMULO BARRAL Gracie Barra
THIRD NIVALDO LIMA Check Mat Bjj
THIRD MATEUS VINHAS Gracie Barra America

HEAVY
FIRST ROBERTO ALENCAR Gracie Barra
SECOND FLAVIO ALMEIDA Gracie Barra
THIRD ROBERTO TOZI Godoi JJ Club
THIRD RAFAEL LOVATO JR Gracie Humaita

SUPER HEAVY
FIRST ANTONIO BRAGA NETO Gordo JJ
SECOND ROBERTO ABREU Carlson Gracie Team

ULTRA HEAVY
FIRST MARCIO CORLETA Winner
SECOND RODRIGO CAVACA Check Mat Bjj
THIRD ANDRE DE FREITAS Cesar Gracie
THIRD RICARDO FELICIANO Check Mat Bjj

OPEN CLASS
FIRST ANTONIO NETO Gordo JJ
SECOND OTAVIO SOUZA Gracie Barra
THIRD RUBENS CHARLES Alliance
THIRD ROMULO BARRAL Gracie Barra

By:  Eddie Constantine

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