It dawned on me today that I enjoy writing my tournament recap blog posts much more when I win than when I lose. It has been over a month since the Master Worlds in Las Vegas and I only found the motivation to write about it today. ūüôā

Going into this tournament I was feeling really good. Virtually injury free. There were only a total of 4 competitors in my bracket because the tournament filled up early and they closed the registration 1 month early. The other 3 guys in my bracket were Martin Farach-colton of Clockwork Jiu-Jitsu,  Joao Carlos Silva of Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu, and   Salvatore Rotolo of Team Maxwell.

When the brackets were released it showed that my first match would be against Joao Carlos Silva. This was a very critical match for two reasons, 1. Joao was ranked #1 for Master 5 Purple Competitors in the world and #2. We had met once before in the Finals of the 2015 Open Class and I beat him. I knew he was going to be a tough opponent for sure.


Lisa Lisa Photography captured the above shot right before I stepped on the mat for what would prove to be one of the most important matches of 2015.


Combatch! and we were off to the races. When we locked up I sensed that he might try to pull guard so I decided to beat him to the guard pull. Unfortunately I didn’t get a clean guard pull and ended up in open guard instead of closed guard.


Photo credit: Blanca Marisa Garcia


Joao’s fist attempt to pass my half guard almost resulted in me taking his back. The problem was he knew it so he was pinning my left arm to the mat with both of his hands.¬†Photo credit:¬†Blanca Marisa Garcia


In the picture below you can see that he almost passes my guard but I am able to recover half guard before he is awarded points. He received an advantage point for the guard pass attempt. Photo credit: Blanca Marisa Garcia


Then there was his second guard pass attempt which also earned him 1 Advantage point. He was winning by 2 advantages at this point. Photo credit: Blanca Marisa Garcia



At this point I transition from half guard to knee shield to closed guard. The problem is that I was running out of time. Because there was about 2 minutes left I had to open my guard and try to get a sweep. Photo credit: Blanca Marisa Garcia


Photo credit: Blanca Marisa Garcia


At this point I tried three different sweeps. First a Tripod Sweep. When I did the Tripod Sweep he fell on his butt but I made the mistake of letting go of his ankle too soon. I was awarded 1 Advantage point for the sweep attempt.

Then a Spider Sweep which didn’t work. (Below)


Then a knee push sweep which was also unsuccessful. You can see below from 2 different angles. You will notice that he maintains his base by posting his leg behind him. Photo credit: Blanca Marisa Garcia


Photo credit: Blanca Marisa Garcia


Photo credit: Lisa Lisa Photography


Photo credit: Lisa Lisa Photography


And just like that my run at Medium Heavy M5 World Champion was over. Now onto the Open Weight Class.

I only had one match and my opponent was¬†David Tombleson. I asked David how much he weighed and he said “I don’t know because I haven’t stepped on a scale for a while”. My guess was 345 give or take 25 lbs. I was actually 185 that day. But hey, “if you’re afraid to fight bigger opponents there is something wrong with your Jiu Jitsu.” (not sure whose quote that is) Anyhow, he proved to be a formidable opponent. I jumped guard and was able to come down and establish closed guard. At that point he attempted a rape choke. As soon as he did I threw up the armbar from closed guard. Big mistake. Because of his size he was able to smash pass my armbar attempt. He got the guard pass and I was not able to get out from under his side control. He won the match 3-0.¬†Photo credit:Lisa Lisa Photography






Overall it was a good day. I just like going home with gold medals better! Next year.