Submission Standouts From The Los Angeles Open
The Los Angeles International Open took place on Saturday March 11th and Sunday March 12th at the Felix Event Center in Azusa, California. Many world-class black belt competitors took to the mats to put their games to the test just ahead of the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships, the second major gi event of 2023. Though many of these athletes displayed tremendous skill and technique, there were three competitors who were best able to showcase their submission skills and finish their opponents. The following is a breakdown of the submissions we saw from Fellipe Andrew, Melissa Stricker, and Ronaldo Junior in LA.
Fellipe Andrew, Alliance - 9 fights, 6 submissions, 66.7% submission rate
#1 ranked gi adult black belt Fellipe Andrew of Alliance will compete in the heavyweight division at the Pans as he looks to capture his second major title of 2023. He competed in four divisions in LA in preparation for Pans. Between gi and no-gi, Fellipe had nine fights and six submissions, for a 66.7% submission rate. What was most notable about Fellipe’s results was the breadth of his submission arsenal. All six of his finishes came from a different submission, showing his versatility and ability to attack the entire body of his opponents.
In the heavyweight division in the gi, Fellipe submitted his opponents with a mounted cross choke and a triangle from the back, respectively. He went on to the open class where he submitted two of his three opponents, finishing a choke from knee on belly in the quarterfinal and a straight ankle lock in the final. On Sunday, Fellipe added two more submissions to his tally in the no-gi super heavy and open class divisions. He had two matches in each division, finishing the super heavy division final with a toe hold and the open class final with an armbar.
Melissa Stricker, Alliance - 4 fights, 2 submissions, 50% submission rate
Melissa Stricker, another Alliance representative that competed in LA, also put her submission skills on display. Like Fellipe, Melissa competed with and without the gi. Her first submission came in the gi open class semifinal, where Melissa showcased control and pressure from the top position, passing, moving to knee on belly, and mounting her opponent before finishing with an armbar.
The no-gi open class semifinal was another showcase of Melissa’s world-class top game. She countered her opponent’s attempt to use a shin to shin guard with a knee cut, punching a deep under hook and slicing through the guard. Melissa kept the under hook and transitioned to a far side armbar less than a minute into the match. She’ll return to competition at the upcoming Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships in the medium-heavy division.
Ronaldo Junior, Atos Jiu-Jitsu — 2 fights, 2 submissions, 100% submission rate
Prior to competing in Los Angeles, Ronaldo Junior had competed at the Atlanta Open, the Memphis Open, and in a super fight at the IBJJF FloGrappling GP, where he's put together an undefeated record. Ronaldo won another gold medal in the medium-heavy division in LA, continuing his streak of dominance in 2023. In Ronaldo’s semifinal match, he scored nine points on his opponent before finishing with a bow n’ arrow choke from the back. The final was another choke from the back, as Ronaldo locked in an ezekiel after scoring eighteen unanswered points. He’ll stay at medium-heavy for the Pans, taking on what is likely the most stacked division at the tournament.