5/16/2022 By Danny O'Donnell
The 2022 Denver International Open took place at Regis University on Saturday May 14th and Sunday May 15th. In one of the last tournaments in the U.S. before the World Championships, there were many high level black belts competing in order to increase their ranking before the sport’s biggest tournament.
Ares BJJ had three representatives take gold in the adult black belt divisions. Livio Ribeiro won gold in the light-feather division. Livio earned wins over Alliance representatives Michael Alvarez in the semifinal and Ram Ananda in the final. “I felt good in Denver,” said Livio. “I had two fights with two tough athletes. I didn't feel at my best version, but I was able to win. I have an incredible team, and I know I will improve a lot.”
Ares lightweight Danilo Moreira also took gold. He submitted Damion Oranday, Jonata Gomes, and Joao Victor Machado to take gold. A third Ares competitor, Andreza Morais, took gold at adult female lightweight. She defeated Hope Douglass of Cicero Costha in the final.
In the adult male black belt open class, Pedro Machado of Gordo Jiu-Jitsu took gold, winning four fights. “I was the weight and open class champion yesterday, submitting every fight. I could impose my game and I felt really good, closing both finals with Felipe Trovo.” said Pedro. “I want to fight every opportunity I can and now the main focus is the Worlds. This month I’m intensifying my training at Atos in California. I’m feeling more and more prepared and in three weeks I’ll be ready. I’m happy with my performance in Denver and I hope to fight even better at the Worlds.”
Amy Campo of Zenith won double gold at adult female black belt. She started her day off winning the heavyweight division and followed it up with three wins in the open class. The open class final was against Kira Sung of Jiu-Jitsu Lab, a match she won via referee’s decision.
On Sunday, Jonathan “JT” Torres competed in no-gi. JT won gold at medium-heavy. He also competed in the open, winning two more fights and closing the final with Nikoll Domgjoni.
2022 Denver International Open team results:
1. Easton BJJ
2. GF Team
3. Six Blades Jiu-Jitsu
2022 Denver International No-Gi Open team results: