On Saturday July 2nd, black belt athletes competed without the kimono for American National No-Gi gold. World-class submission artists such as Kennedy Maciel, Tammi Musumeci, David Garmo, Elisabeth Clay, Hunter Colvin, Fellipe Andrew, and Amy Campo all competed and all took gold in their divisions. The athletes pushed the pace in their matches, making for some of the most exciting moments of the action-packed weekend in Las Vegas.
Thiago Saldanha and Amy Campo Win Open Class Gold
Renzo Gracie Academy’s Thiago Saldanha started his day by placing third in the heavyweight division. After winning his quarter finals match, he lost to Aaron Tiegs via inside heel hook. The open class, however, was a different story. Wins over Levi Moura and Alexandre Molinaro put Saldanha in the final, where he would once again face Aaron Tiegs. With Tiegs up 4-2, Saldanha set up a tight kneebar from 50/50 to get the win and the no-gi open class title.
Amy Campo of Zenith BJJ won her second open class gold of the weekend, this time without the gi. She won her first open class match against Mariana Rolszt of Gracie Humaita and moved on to the final against Luciana Mota of Alliance. The finishing sequence started with Amy working a guard pass, forcing Luciana to turtle and expose her back. As Luciana defended, Amy took the mount position and locked up a match-ending armbar.
Heel Hook Submissions Propel Fellipe Andrew to Super Heavy Gold
#1 ranked black belt adult male gi competitor Fellipe Andrew showed off some elite no-gi leg locking skills this past weekend. The Alliance athlete had two matches at super heavy. In his first match, Fellipe sat and worked his way to the closed guard position. As his opponent stood up, he under hooked his leg, inverted, and went to 50/50. From 50/50, Fellipe got on his side and locked on a tight inside heel hook to get his first victory. His final was against Jackson Douglas of CheckMat. This time it was Jackson who pulled guard first, but Fellipe jumped to a triangle and ended up on bottom with an advantage. A scramble later in the match found Jackson on bottom again, this time in half guard. Fellipe back stepped to entangle Jackson’s legs and this time finished with an outside heel hook. It was his second heel hook of the day, earning him American National No-Gi gold.
Carlson Gracie Team Takes Home Team Title
Carlson Gracie Team edged out 2021 Champions CheckMat to take home the no-gi team title in 2022. Black belts representing the team included Alexandre Molinaro, Romulo Ramos Caiado, Luiz Felipe Bragiao, Thomas Cronin, Tim Rennick, and Gene Cook. In addition to taking first place in no-gi, Carlson Gracie Team also took second in the gi to team CheckMat.
AOJ’s Cole Abate Wins Lightweight Gold with 100% Submission Rate
The standout colored belt of the event was AOJ’s Cole Abate. Cole competed in the lightweight division, where he had four total matches. He utilized a complete game throughout, scoring sweeps, guard passes, and submissions on his way to victory. His submissions included two armbars, a kimura, and a triangle.
2022 American National No-Gi Team results:
The following are the American National No-Gi adult black belt champions:
Rooster - Osamah Ali Almarwai
Light Feather - Carlos “Bebeto” Oliveira
Feather - Kennedy Maciel
Light - AJ Agazarm
Middle - Francisco Cuneo
Medium-Heavy - David Garmo
Heavy - Hunter Colvin
Super Heavy - Fellipe Andrew
Ultra Heavy - Helton Jose Jr.
Open Class - Thiago Saldanha
Rooster - Mariana Rolszt
Light Feather - Jhenifer Aquino
Feather - Tammi Musumeci
Middle - Elisabeth Clay
Medium-Heavy - Amy Campo
Heavy - Luciana Mota
Super Heavy - Mayara Custódio
Open Class - Amy Campo