September 16, 2023
This Saturday, September 16th, marks the beginning of the long-awaited Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour Miami. On its first day of competition, the tournament brought amateurs and masters to fight for gold and glory at the Watsco Center.
The highlights were the black belt duels in the master 1 category. There was never a dull moment as seasoned veterans and unexpected champions gave their all on the mats and rose to the podiums. Check out below how each division final played out and, for the full results, click here!
MEN’S GI / BLACK / MASTER 1
54kg: Jeison Mora vs. Justin Ordinario
A brown belt among black belts, Colombian Jeison Mora had an unusual path to gold. After scoring 15-0 over Dustin Ordinario, Jeison faced Dustin’s brother, Justin Ordinario, in the 54kg division final. Starting ahead on the scoreboard, Jeison kicked off the match by pulling guard, almost sweeping, and then later actually reversing the roles. While playing guard, Justin moved quickly and almost took the back, but Jeison was up to date in his sweep training and, after taking many points in quick succession, closed the match at 8-4 to take the gold.
62kg: Wilian Chavez vs. João Miyao
In the biggest surprise of the event so far, Wilian Chavez got the better of the favorite João Miyao in the final. In the clash between PLSPB Cícero Costha teammates, Wilian and João had a very technical duel. Wilian started by pulling and going for the single-leg, gunning for a sweep. When he went up, Wilian didn’t stabilize the position and ended back in the guard, putting the score at 1-0. The match resumed with both fighters standing up, and it was João’s turn to pull, attacking in the leglock and then going up, but Wilian quickly fought back. Ahead on the scoreboard with a 4-2, Wilian avoided João’s attacks to seize the victory.
69kg: Thiago Marques vs. Thiago Macedo
In a classic duel, the 69kg division gold was fought over by Thiago Marques and Thiago Macedo. After the double pull, Macedo went up scoring one point. Marques attempted an armbar but didn’t land the submission, tying the score. Marques then used his solid guard and tight grips to control Macedo’s attacks, taking the win by scoring last in the match ended in 1-1.
77kg: Caio Cipriano vs. Cesar Miyahira
Caio Gregorio Cipriano showcased his strong takedown game to take the gold in Miami. In the duel against Cesa Miyahira, Caio dove into Cesar’s guard pull with a double-leg and scored two points from the get-go. He followed up by applying pressure, almost passing, and putting another point on the scoreboard. Both athletes then got up, but Caio put his opponent on the ground again, this time with a single-leg. By the end of the match, Cesar landed a beautiful kouchi-gari takedown, but it was too little and too late. A 5-2 score put Caio atop the division podium.
85kg: Claudio Calasans vs. Henry Gomes
Claudio Calasans used all his experience to defeat Henrique Gomes in the 85kg final. Henrique took the lead with a 1-0 after an attack on Claudio’s foot. To turn the tables, Claudio passed the guard, put his knee on the stomach, and locked Henrique in a crucifix. Even with the penalty by lack of combativeness at the end of the match, Claudio still took the victory with an 8-5 score.
**94kg: Adam Wardzinski vs. Matheus Romero
Known for his very dangerous butterfly guard, Adam Wardzinski put his top game on display to face Matheus Romero, with the latter quickly pulling guard in an attempt to neutralize Adam. Still on top, Adam showed he could still apply pressure as he escaped Matheus’ guard and attacked with an ezequiel and a katagatame. The move ended with Adam on Matheus’ back, putting the scoreboard at 9-0 and landing him the division title.
120kg: Felipe Bezerra vs. Roberto Abreu
Felipe and Cyborg fought until the last second of the 120kg final. After a hard battle standing up, Cyborg received a penalty for walking sideways without combativeness. Behind on the scoreboard, Cyborg pulled and tried to land his tornado-guard sweep, but Felipe deftly worked on top, using his knee to pass and then avoiding a takedown attempt made by Cyborg in the final seconds. With a 1-0 score, Felipe Bezerra crowned the campaign that took him through the star-studded division.
WOMEN’S GI / BROWN / BLACK / MASTER 1
49kg: Kacie Tan vs. Stephanie Penido
Representing Thailand, Kacie Tan came out on top in Miami, after submitting Stephanie Penido twice, after around a minute into the fight. Two wins, the gold medal, and a hard-earned title for the PSLPB Cícero Costha athlete.
62kg: Kayla Saldana vs. Loriane Pesarine
Loriane seized the win with a quick triangle in the first minute of the final. With a spot-on attack while positioning herself sideways to Kayla Saldana, Loriane squeezed and quickly took the gold in Miami.
95kg: Sheree Kerns vs. Shirley Ng
Two impressive wins gave the American Sheree Kerns the title in her home country. In two consecutive fights against Singapore’s Shirley Ng, Sheree scored 10 points in both duels and seized the AJP title.