The 2022 American Nationals are in the books and we saw plenty of great action throughout the weekend in Las Vegas. The gi divisions took place on Thursday June 30th and Friday July 1st at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Former American National champions, newcomers, and veterans made for a great mix of athletes spread throughout the divisions. The following are some of the most significant moments from the gi divisions.
CheckMat Wins Team Title for Second Straight Year
At the 2021 American Nationals, it was CheckMat that came away with the team title. They repeated this accomplishment in 2022, led by gold medal performances across multiple belts. Johnnie Nguyen (blue rooster), Michael Winkler (blue heavy), Igor Silva (purple light-feather), Rerisson Gabriel (purple feather), Dory Aoun (purple heavy), Alex Liscano (purple super-heavy), Joao Victor (brown light-feather), André Fernando (brown heavy), Ashley Montellano (brown super-heavy), and Lavinia Barbosa (black light-feather) all won gold in the adult divisions. The team scored a total of 352 points, followed by second place Carlson Gracie Team, who scored 308 points.
Fellipe Andrew Wins Weight and Open Class Titles in Repeat of 2021
Alliance’s Fellipe Andrew has stood atop the podium at many of jiu-jitsu’s biggest events. He started off 2022 by winning his weight and the open class at the European Championships. After coming up just shy of gold at the other major tournaments this year, Fellipe bounced back in a big way with two gold medals in Vegas. He won two matches at super-heavy before moving on to the open class. He had three more matches in the open, defeating Aaron Tiegs of Clark’s University of Martial Arts in the final. His double gold helped further cement his spot as the #1 ranked adult male black belt.
Zenith’s Amy Campo Wins Open Class Gold
After a very successful 2022 Worlds where Amy took second in the open class, she returned to competition at American Nationals. Amy had two fights in the open class. In the semi-final, Amy accumulated a total of 22 points before finishing the match with an armbar. She would then meet Elisabeth Clay of Ares in the final, who had won the middleweight division earlier in the day. Much of the match was spent with Amy trying to pass Elisabeth’s guard. Amy was able to force the turtle position and take the back, but Elisabeth escaped and got right back to her game. She was able to put two points on the board with a sweep and then earned another sweep as time expired. The final score was 4-4, with 2-1 advantages for Amy Campo. The open class gold was Amy’s second as a black belt, as she won the open earlier in the year in Denver.
Lightweight Pablo Lavaselli Takes Gold in Stacked Division
The lightweight division at the 2022 American Nationals was one of the toughest of the event. Nicholas Salles, AJ Agazarm, Gabriel Silva, Israel Almeida, Michael Liera Jr., and Osvaldo “Queixinho” were all contenders for the top spot on the podium. It was Pablo Lavaselli, however, who took home gold in the division. Pablo’s road to lightweight gold included wins over Chance Soltero, Nicholas Salles, and Michael Liera Jr. In the final against Liera, Pablo opened the score with a sweep, going up 2-0. Liera evened the score with a sweep of his own from an omoplata. Pablo answered back with another sweep and held onto the 4-2 lead for the remainder of the match.
Colored Belts Standouts
The standout brown belt of the event was Steffen Banta of Alliance. At super heavy, Steffen had two matches to take gold, submitting both of his opponents. In the open class he had another four matches, meeting Rui Alves of Dream Art in the final. In a back and forth match, Steffan once again came out on top, earning his second gold medal on the weekend. Samantha Hall of TAC Team BJJ also took home brown belt open class gold. After winning her semi-final, Samantha defeated Ana Mayordomo Garcia of Easton BJJ in the final to win the division. Other standout colored belts included Mourece Ramirez (brown feather), Rerisson Gabriel (purple feather), Ana Carolina Da Silva (purple open class), and Marco Mendes (purple open class).
2022 American National Team results:
The following are the American National adult black belt champions:
Rooster - Frank Cespedes
Light Feather - Carlos “Bebeto” Oliveira
Feather - Danilo Moreira
Light - Pablo Lavaselli
Middle - Marcio Andre
Medium-Heavy - Ronaldo Junior
Heavy - Luan Azevedo
Super Heavy - Fellipe Andrew
Ultra Heavy - Gabriel de Oliveira
Open Class - Fellipe Andrew
Rooster - Jhenifer Aquino
Light Feather - Lavinia Barbosa
Feather - Tammi Musumeci
Light - Janaina Maia
Middle - Elisabeth Clay
Medium-Heavy - Silvia de Araujo Silva
Heavy - Luciana Mota
Super Heavy - Larissa Dias
Open Class - Amy Campo