For the first time since 2015, the IBJJF returned to Santa Cruz, California for the Santa Cruz International Open. The Kaiser Permanente Arena hosted the gi and no-gi event on Saturday August 6th and Sunday August 7th.
Team Ares brought some of their best black belts to the event, including Livio Ribeiro, Danilo Moreira, Alef Brito, Rodrigo Cardoso, and Italo Lima. Light-featherweight Livio Ribeiro took home gold for the second straight weekend after winning in Phoenix in his last outing. At lightweight, it was Danilo Moreira who took gold. “My first match was under one minute. I won by barataplata. The final started with a double pull. I came up first and got the advantage and the fight was my opponent trying to shoot omoplatas and triangles. I was breaking the grips and moving and trying to pass. There were no points and I ended up winning by an advantage.”
Moving on to middleweight, it was Alef Brito of Ares who took gold after two victories.“I submitted my two fights today. I felt good during the fights. Now it's time to go home and get ready for the next one.” The open class division belonged to Jackson Douglas of CheckMat. “I had two fights to get to the final. My first match I took the back and got a loop choke from the back. The second one I won by referee decision. It was a hard match where we both tried our hardest to take each other down in the last minutes. He pulled and I tried my best to pass. We ended up tied on points and I got the win.” Jackson’s teammate Arnaldo Maidana would take second in the open.
The female open class gi champion was Thamara Ferreira of Guigo Jiu-Jitsu. Thamara won gold at the 2022 Pans and bronze at the Worlds. On Saturday she defeated Mayara Custodio and Melissa Stricker to claim her spot on the top of the podium.
On Sunday, Gracie Barra’s Pedro Marinho put on an excellent display of jiu-jitsu without the gi. Known for his takedowns and guard passing skills, Pedro defeated Jackson Douglas and Benjamin Silva to take no-gi open class gold. Thamires Monteiro of CheckMat won the female no-gi open class division.
2022 Santa Cruz International Open team results:
1. Brasa CTA
3. American Jiu-Jitsu Syndicate
2022 Santa Cruz International No-Gi Open team results: