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IBJJF's 2010 American National Tournament - Monstro's Picks

Monstro has returned!  I must apologize for my absence as my life outside of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has gotten in the way.  But enough about me and my "dark place"...

This weekend brings us the IBJJF’s 2010 American National Gi Tournament!  As always, Monstro will be watching from the stands as, once again, Southern California is invaded with worlds class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Then again, every day out here is filled with top notch BJJ as So Cal can more accurately be described as “Little Rio.”

What follows is my analysis based on the competitor list from the IBJJF website as of 9:17 PM September 23rd, 2010, T-1.5 days 'till the fun starts.  (As a side note to IBJJF.org - Seriously, bros, you need to revamp your web site!  Are you trying to confuse and thwart would-be competitors?)

Brown Belt:

Medio

I can't wait for this division!  My favorite to win, Tim Peterson (see above), placed 3rd this year at Pan Am's losing only to the eventual winner, Zak Maxwell, who incidentally is making his debut at black belt.  Aside from Tim, another contender will be Sean Roberts.  Sean is a brand new Ralph Gracie Brown belt, but has had a meteoric rise in the BJJ world.  I believe he has been only training for 3 – 4 years in which time he has medaled at essentially every event, and came in 3rd in his division at this year’s World Championships.

Medio Pesado

I have Erik Anderson winning as he has been on a roll as of late, winning two medals at this year’s World’s, and beating Ian McPherson, one of the best brown belts, during the semi’s.

Super Pesado

James Puopolo will win as this Rafael Lovato prodigy has time and again proven to be a game competitor.

Pesadissimo

Jarrod Bunch should be the favorite here, and possible contender to win the absolute.  Yes, this is the same Jarrod Bunch who played fullback for Michigan, and eventually for the NY Giants, and yes he is over 40 years old!

Black Belt:

Pluma:

Caio Terra!  Caio Terra!  Caio Terra!  I am huge fan of his game.   Caio is extremely dynamic, always moving, and ALWAYS looking for the submission.  I am sure that Caio is still disappointed about this year’s Mundial Finals where he lost a very controversial match to Bruno Malfacine.  Finals prediction is Caio vs. Laercio Fernandes – who is coming off a 3rd place finish at this year’s World’s.

Pena:

We at Pullingtheline.com will be watching this division intently.  A good friend, and former teacher, Gustavo Carpio will be competing.  Gustavo was promoted to black belt at the beginning of the year, and has already thrown himself to the wolves with fights against Cobrinha at the Pan’s and Rafa Mendes at the World’s.   This is going to be a stacked division as there are several fighters with equal chances of winning this group.  There is the eternal competitor in Wellington “Megaton” Dias who competes at every single tournament in the Adult division, in spite of the fact that he is in his Mid 40’s!  Johnny Ramirez, Samir Chantre, and Baret Yoshida could win this one as well.  While there are only six fighters in this division, every match is going to be a championship-caliber fight.

Leve

The three names I will be watching are Zak Maxwell, Phillipe “Furao” Della Monica, and Jonatas Gurgel.  I'll wager several kilos of oreos (double-stuff) on anyone who feels that one of these three will not be standing on the top step with a faux gold, and very square object around his neck. 

Medio

There are only four competitors in this division, and each one has a shot at winning.  The teammates Clark Gracie and Ryan Beauregard are both newly minted black belts as of this year, and will be on opposite ends of the bracket.  They face some very tough competition in Marcelo “Lapela” Mafra and Rodrigo Texiera.  I remember Rodrigo from the U.S. Nationals two years ago when he pulled off the massive upset against beat Bill “The Grill” Cooper  (who, by the way, has a super fight with Nino Schembri in October.)  I have to think experience will win in this one out, and we'll see Lapela vs. Texeira in the final with Marcelo taking the win.

Medio Pesado

This is a first for Monstro here at Pullingtheline!  For once, I am only vaguely familiar with the competitors in this division.  Jared Nathanson is ALWAYS competing at the big events, but just as consistently seems to get unlucky draws.  My prediction is Bruno Antunes will win this division, based on him being from Gracie Florianopolis which is in Brazil and this is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition, often with Brazilian judges who, while impeccable in fairness, radiate Brazilian energy at such high levels that Brazilian competitors always seem to do better with Brazilian judges.

Pesado

The lone competitor in this division is Carlos Gomez, who wins assuming he makes weight, cuts his finger and toe nails, wears a higenic gi, and does not kick his opponent's in the groin after the handshake.

Super Pesado

The Nova Uniao stalwart, Bruno Bastos, will take this one with his stellar half guard, and is my favorite to win the absolute if he competes.

Pesadissimo

Stephen Hall vs. Leo Santos, now this will be a very interesting matchup. “Pesadelo Triangulo” as Hall is known travels all over the world to compete - Stephen maybe one of the most active American competitors out there.  Leo Santos is just a beast of a man!  I think that the strength edge here is in his favor, very interested to see how this one goes.

Purple Belt:

Last, but not least, the single most compelling division of the entire U.S. Nationals is (of course) the Purple Master Medio Division.  This division is a no-brainer as Kingof Crazyshit aka “kingofcrazy” will best all comers by his sheer HOTNESS.

Hey Monstro,

Hey Monstro,  this is Erik Anderson. I did a "vanity google" and came across your blog. It really means a lot to me that a few people have begun to notice some of my accomplishments : )   I was on a hot streak, but made some critical mistakes in my match against Dan Schon and lost to him in the finals at this tournament.  In hindsight, I wish I had also signed up for the open division : /  I'm disappointed that I was sidelined from the US Open and the No Gi Worlds this year by injury but I'll be returning to competition later this month at the NABJJ No Gi Tournament. By the way, Sean Roberts has been training for a little more than 5 years.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irIhq5dQyoQ  Here is his first competition match which took place about a year and a half before I even began training Jiu Jitsu. You've got a new follower for your blog now,           - Erik Anderson

Erik,I saw your fight against

Erik,I saw your fight against Dan Schon at the Nationals, you win some and you lose some, but Dan is no slouch either!What you did against Ian at the mundials was impressive!  Prior to that tournament I think everyone had Ian has the favorite to win both weight and absolute, not only did you beat him but you submitted him as well!  Congrats on a great performance!Thanks for following our blog, we appreciate it - especially someone with your caliber of bjj skill and knowledge.  Truth be told, we also are a follower of your blog.  Your gi survey and findings were by far one of the most impressive that I have seen! - Pullingtheline.com team

You got it right with Tim

You got it right with Tim Peterson for Brown Medio, and partially with Caio Terra x Laercio Fernandes...but Laercio won!

Tim and Laercio

Tim was a no brainer!  Someone give the man his black belt already!  I watched his fight with Sean Roberts, I was expecting an even match, and Tim just absolutely controlled that match!  I think he won 7 – 2?  Two sweeps and a mount I believe.  Tim has a great closed guard, active and strong. Caio Terra x Laercio Fernandes – this really was a tossup for me.  Laericio was on a good streak after doing well at the Honolulu Open.  Regardless, this is going to be a matchup for years to come in this division!