5/23/2022 By Danny O'Donnell
The IBJJF returned to Texas for the 2022 Houston International Open on Saturday May 21st and Sunday May 22nd. As the last tournament in the US before the World Championships, many black belts were putting the final touches on their games ahead of the biggest tournament of the year. Below are some of the best performances from the event.
In the lightweight division, Matheus Gabriel of the CheckMat returned to competition for the first time since winning the 2021 IBJJF World Championships. Matheus won three fights to take gold. He defeated Max Danrley of Cicero Costha in the quarter-finals, Arthur Detanico of BJJ Revolution Team in the semi-finals, and Fabricio Barbarotti of Cicero Costha in the final. “I had three fights and three submissions today, all by armbar. It was great to fight again to feel that vibe! Now the focus is on the Worlds.”
Another CheckMat black belt also had an impressive day in Houston in the middleweight division. Mathias Luna took gold after winning three fights. In the finals he faced Levi Jones-Leary of Unity Jiu-Jitsu, picking up his third victory to finish the day strong. “I had three fights and nobody scored a point or advantage on me. I felt good about my performance but I’m still pushing myself to improve. I’ve been preparing myself for Worlds and I’m very excited to fight.”
Amanda Canuto of GF Team won featherweight gold, winning two matches to take gold. She also jumped into the open class, taking third in a stacked division. The open class champion was Larissa Dias of MJN Jiu-Jitsu. Larissa had three matches in the open class, defeating Fernanda Cristo of Evox BJJ in the final. “My fights were very tough but thank God I could win. I went to the open class and won my first fight. My second fight was with Amanda Canuto, a black belt World Champion. I pulled guard, swept her to the mount, and finished with an arm bar. In the final I pulled guard and swept from single leg x. I passed her guard, went to the mount, and submitted her from the back.” Larissa will compete in a stacked heavyweight division at the Worlds.
Oliver Taza of Renzo Gracie International won double gold on Sunday in no-gi. He won two fights in the middleweight division and three in the open class, defeating Andre Porfirio of Fight Sports in the final.
2022 Houston International Open team results:
2022 Houston International Open No-Gi team results: