Rio de Janiero, Brazil is widely regarded as one of the top cities in the world for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The second most populous city in Brazil, also known for its beautiful beaches, has long been synonymous with the gentle art. The IBJJF returned for the Rio Winter International Open on Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th. The gi and no-gi event saw standout performances from multiple world class black belts.
After winning the 2022 IBJJF World Championships as a brown belt just a few weeks ago, Julia Alves of GF Team was promoted to black belt by Julio Cesar Pereira. She wasted no time getting acclimated to her new belt, jumping into the lightweight division at the Rio Winter Open. “I had three fights and I finished one of them. I felt a little bit of a difference in time, as they were longer matches. I also felt that the technical level was higher. I can't make mistakes.” Julia also competed in the open class, taking second to GF Team teammate Vitoria Vieira.
Vitoria Vieira had a great day on Sunday the 26th as well. Vieira defeated Thais Teixeira and Izabel Seki to win no-gi lightweight gold. She also placed third in the open class. “I had a total of four fights. I ended this championship happy, but not satisfied. In general I had a good championship and it will be marked because it was my first absolute title at black belt. I feel a progression in each championship and that's what I always hope for.”
Darlan Casaca of Atos Jiu-Jitsu was the standout competitor in the gi. The middleweight placed third in his weight class to start the day, winning his first match and then dropping the semi’s to Andre Ygor of CheckMat. Darlan would bounce back in the open, however. “I had 3 fights in the open class, submitting one of them. I felt very good. I fought happy and I managed to do what I've been training and that makes me very happy.” In no-gi, Darlan would go on to take third at medium-heavy and second in the open class.
Antonio Assef also had a phenomenal weekend with and without the gi. He won ultra-heavy gold on Saturday in the gi, winning three fights, including a finals victory over the always tough Otavio Nalati in the final. Antonio won another two matches without the gi on Sunday, defeating gi open class champion Darlan Casaca of Atos in the no-gi open class final. Natália Zumba of Alliance also won no-gi open class gold. She defeated Vitoria Vieira of GF Team in the semi-final and Julia Boscher, also of GF Team, in the final.
Rio Winter International Open Team Results:
Rio Winter International Open No-Gi Team Results: