Held between the 12th and 15th of December, the World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship marked the end of the big BJJ tournaments of 2019 with a great show taking place in Anaheim, Calif. Athletes from all over the world took off their gis and stepped on the mat vying for gold and glory.
The final day had some historic moments. In the men’s absolute, for example, 22-year-old Victor Hugo (Ribeiro JJ) displayed an abundance of technique and willpower to prevail. He didn’t just have to win the final — he had to win it against the man who beat him just hours earlier.
Victor, who received his black belt this year, went through some tough opponents on Saturday to secure a spot in the absolute final, and upon winning his semifinal match, learned that the veteran Roberto Cyborg (Fight Sports) stood between him and the title.
On Sunday, in the ultra-heavy division, Victor met Cyborg in the semifinals and ended up defeated by the legend, who later submitted James Puopolo, a teammate of Victor’s, via americana to claim gold.
Victor had to change strategies to do better in the absolute final. Refusing to give Cyborg much time to get his bearings, he got tangled up on the bottom, lassoed the legs and put Cyborg’s arm under his armpit, creating the proper lever for a brutal knee bar. Cyborg tried to resist but had to tap out.
The women’s section had Jéssica Flowers and Kendall Reusing sharing a double-gold campaign, as they closed out both the super-heavy and open divisions for Gracie Barra.