On Saturday October 8th, The IBJJF returned to Minnesota for the Twin Cities International Open. This event brought out many of the midwest’s best athletes as they looked to test their skills on the competition mats. The Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minnesota hosted the gi and no-gi event where there were excellent performances from the following black belt competitors.
Alliance’s Fellipe Andrew has had a very busy 2022. In addition to competing at all the grand slam tournaments, Fellipe has also competed at American Nationals, Jiu-Jitsu CON, and in regional opens all across the U.S. This weekend he traveled to Minnesota to compete in the Twin Cities Open. “I had two matches this weekend in the open class. I finished the first match with a choke from the mount. The second one I finished with a kimura from a reverse triangle,” explained Fellipe.
His next challenge will be a super fight at the IBJJF FloGrappling Grand Prix on Friday October 28th where he’ll take on leg lock specialist Roosevelt Sousa. “I’m feeling really ready for the fight and I’m excited to do that. He is a very good athlete and dangerous. We both like to attack foot locks but of course the fight will not be tied in fifty/fifty and someone will finish. The people will like it for sure.”
Pedro Sauer Team representative Akeela Al-Hameed was the female open class champion in Minnesota. She described her match and her experience at the event. “I took a couple months off from competing so coming back into it, it took me a second to get in the groove. Once I felt the fire of the match I felt comfortable. I've been working on kimura variations and today I got to display one of those involving the lapel. Rachel is an amazing game opponent and I wish her much success. Having my coach Ishmael Bentley in my corner helps my confidence and provides world class real time feedback during matches.”
After dealing with a series of injuries, middleweight Rolando Samson of Atos returned to competition at the 2022 Jiu-Jitsu CON where he won gi and no-gi gold. Rolando did the same at the Twin Cities Open to continue his impressive comeback and run of victories. “I decided to do gi and no-gi again just to get some reps in. I felt great for the tournament. In the gi I had three matches and finished two of them. For no-gi I only had one match and I finished my opponent with an armbar. It always an amazing feeling to be back on the mats. It’s been a long road but I'm so grateful for it all. My family and team have done nothing but support me and push me to thrive and be the best I can be.”
Another black belt who had a great performance in Minnesota was Davi Cabral of GF Team. Davi won gi and no gi gold, winning the ultra heavy division in the gi and the open class without the kimono.
2022 Twin Cities International Open team results:
2022 Twin Cities International No-Gi Open team results: