With the 2023 Pan Ams roughly a week away, top tier black belt competitors went to the Felix Event Center in Azusa, California for the LA Open to make some final adjustments to their games. There were many highly anticipated potential matchups, many of which came to fruition throughout the event. The following were the standout competitors from the LA Open.
Fellipe Andrew competed at heavyweight in LA and showed exactly why he’s the #1 ranked athlete in the gi. In his weight class Fellipe won both his fights by submission, scoring a combined thirty seven points before getting the finishes. The absolute division was similar, as Fellipe submitted two of his three opponents, getting a straight ankle lock in the final in under twenty seconds. Fellipe also competed without the gi, winning the super heavy and open class divisions with four matches and two submissions, bringing his submission count to six for the weekend.
Fresh off her third place finish at the IBJJF FloGrappling Women’s Heavyweight GP, Melissa Stricker returned to action at the LA Open. She won a total of three matches in the gi between the medium-heavy and open class divisions, showcasing her top game throughout her victories. On Sunday March 12th, Melissa competed in the no-gi open class, winning her first match by submission in under a minute and her final by points.
Diego “Pato,” who will be competing at light-feather at the Pans, competed in the featherweight division in LA. He had two matches, defeating his first opponent 5-0 in a match where he showcased his guard passing and top pressure. The final was against rookie black belt Mario Alvarado of UACTP. It was a close match, but Pato was able to edge out the victory and win gold for the second straight weekend.
Atos competitors Rolando Samson and Ronaldo Junior also had excellent outings in California. Rolando competed in his second event of 2023. He won his semifinal match by points and then met Johnatha Alves of AOJ in the middleweight final. Johnatha pulled closed guard to start the match and the two exchanged sweeps in a highly technical and very close match. The final score was 4-4, with Rolando getting the win via referee's decision.
The medium-heavy division belonged to Ronaldo Junior. Like Melissa Stricker, Ronaldo also came into the event fresh off a fantastic performance at the IBJJF FloGrappling GP, where he defeated Francisco Lo in a super fight. Ronaldo won both of his matches via submission, passing his opponent’s guards, taking their backs, and finishing with chokes.
2023 Los Angeles Open team results:
2023 Los Angeles Open No-Gi team results
2. Gracie Barra
3. Atos Jiu-Jitsu
2023 Los Angeles Kids Open team results
1. Art of Jiu Jitsu
2. Gracie Barra
3. Carlson Gracie Team