2011 Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials were put on in San Antonio by the Americas Pro Jiujitsu crew.
By our count, roughly 250 or so competitors gathered at the cavernous Freeman Coliseum for a day of top level competition and a chance to win all-expenses paid trip to the UAE to compete at the World Pro JJ Championships this coming April 2012. Out of all competitors, 7 reached that goal with many others winning prize money as well. More on top performers and highlights in a minute but here’s a quick recap of team results and trip winners from the absolute divisions of each belt rank.
1. Marra Senki 2. Gracie Humaita 3. Gracie Barra
ABSOLUTE WINNERS (earn all expenses paid by UAEJJ to the WPJJC main event in April 2012)
• MENS WHITE – Pete O’Neal – Marra Senki/Ohana Jiu Jitsu • MENS BLUE (-163) – Tariq Radi – Tony Passos BJJ • MENS BLUE (+163) – Raynald Ray – Gracie Humiata/Rodrigo Pinheiro Jiu Jitsu • MENS PURPLE – Manuel Diaz – Sandro Batata BJJ • MENS BROWN/BLACK – Rafael Lovato Jr. – Lovato Jiu Jitsu • FEMALE WHITE/BLUE – Danielle Alvarez – Alvarez BJJ • FEMALE PURPLE/BROWN/BLACK – Sijara Eubanks – Team Lloyd Irvin
Top Performers of the Tournament
It’s a given that everyone mentioned above performed exceptionally well in earning their way to the UAE by winning the open class at their level. Here’s a brief listing of outstanding performances on the day as we saw them on the mats.
► Sijara Eubanks – The Team Lloyd Irvin purple belt ran through the female division both in her class and in the open. Most notably, she was able to defeat Christi Thomas, Michelle Tavares, Kelly Fasholz, and tapped Mackenzie Dern with a wristlock to win the final.
► Vitor Oliveira and Samir Chantre – Both fighters looked dominant in the deep men’s -163 brown/black division until running into each other in the final. Oliviera would end up taking the day with a baseball choke there but that submission would take nothing away from the exceptional run Chantre was on until the final.
► Rafael Lovato Jr. – In a vintage Lovato performance, Rafael was able to take both his weight and the open with workman-like performances over all his opponents, including several sweet armbar finishes.
► Danielle Alvarez – This young lady proved why she is one of the top women to be reckoned with in Texas with her performance in ruling the womens under-140 class at white/blue. With her open class win, Danielle will now represent the US in the UAE at only 17 years of age.
► Mackenzie Dern – The all-world purple belt impressed with wins over Ana Dantas,Nathalia Azoff, Christi Thomas, and others before running into Eubanks in the finals.
Those are the top names that come to mind but there were plenty more who excelled on the day.