Brazilian No Gi 2023: Daniel Bill and Aurélie Le Vern shine in the absolute division

Daniel shone and dominated all opponents in the absolute category. Photo: CBJJ

The Brazilian No-Gi Championship set the Arena da Juventude in Rio de Janeiro ablaze this Sunday. The CBJJ tournament crowned the best no-gi fighters in the country and provided electrifying showdowns.

Daniel Bill of GFteam Jiu Art claimed gold in the black belt absolute division and was awarded a R$1,000 check by Patrick Gaudio for his victory in the open weight category. Although he was defeated by Guilherme Lambertucci in the semifinals of the heavyweight division, Daniel rebounded, winning four matches to become the champion.

In the final, Daniel defeated Peruvian Jorge Escudero 2-0, securing his victory with a takedown. Throughout his campaign in the tournament, Bill defeated renowned names such as Eli Braz and Paulo Cateriano.

Among the women, French athlete Aurélie Le Verne was unstoppable. The Six Blades representative, trained at the Melqui Galvão School, clinched double gold with triumphant performances in both the heavyweight and absolute divisions. In the open weight final, Aurélie submitted Juliana Silva with a dual attack – triangle and armlock – from the back. In the heavyweight gold match, she choked out Karen Ferreira with a rear-naked choke.

Antonio Assef became the four-time Brazilian No-Gi champion in the heavyweight division. The GFTeam Jiu Art athlete overcame Guilherme Lambertucci in the final to claim gold, securing a 6-2 victory and maintaining his reign.

GFTeam Jiu Art also dominated the super heavyweight division thanks to Davi Pedra’s flawless performance. He faced off against Lucas Alves in the final and defeated the Dream Art athlete 2-0 with a takedown. In earlier rounds, “Pedra” defeated opponents of the caliber of Gabriel Brod and Paulo Cateriano.

Representing the Roger Gracie Academy, Charles Negromonte was unbeatable in the heavyweight division. The experienced black belt tested the quality of his game and won against Leonardo Gonçalves by an advantage, earning the gold medal.

In one of the most competitive black belt categories, Rafael Paganini became the two-time Brazilian No-Gi champion. Paganini prevailed in three matches to capture the gold. The Dream Art fighter showcased his refined style, defeating Iago Duarte 4-2 in the final. In the semifinal, he engaged in a balanced contest with Servio Tulio and secured the victory on points.

Ygor Rodrigues continued his dominance in the middleweight division, becoming the three-time Brazilian No-Gi champion. The CT MR athlete successfully defended his title and navigated a turbulent path to reach the top of the podium. In total, Ygor engaged in four frenetic matches, relying on his championship experience to capitalize on decisive positions and thwart opponents’ potential comebacks. Ygor had a thrilling battle with Fabio Caloi in the final, raising the gym’s temperature. Suspense filled the mat area, but the champion and his supporters replaced it with a mix of happiness and relief after the referees’ decision favored Ygor. On his way to the tri-crown, Ygor eliminated Danté Buschamp, Luis Rezende, and Arley Pacheco.

Ruan Alvarenga tested his skills in the lightweight division and succeeded in the upper category. Marcelinho Garcia’s pupil dominated the division and left no openings for his opponents. Ruan secured three victories to capture the gold. Known for his excellent passing, he chose to test the quality of his guard and surprised opponents with his technical refinement.

Another GFTeam Jiu Art athlete, Ismael Santos, put on a spectacular performance in the final and delivered a dramatic finish to secure the title. Ismael submitted the also dangerous Jonas Lisboa with a lethal heel hook while leading the match 2-0.

After narrowly missing out on the title last year, Felipinho Machado entered the Brazilian No-Gi Championship determined to be the champion. The Pirâmide Grappling finisher kept his promise. In the final, Lipe opened an 8-2 lead against Welerson Gonçalves, “Destemido,” and had his arm raised after Welerson was disqualified in the final seconds. Immediately after the victory, Felipinho ran towards the crowd to embrace his friends.

Scotland’s Shay Montague dominated the bantamweight division. Accustomed to the low European temperatures, Shay overcame opponents and the intense heat to be declared the champion. In the gold match, Shay defeated Weslei Silva 3-1 on advantages.

The women also heated up the black belt contests. In the super heavyweight division, Mikaela de Lima returned to no-gi competition with a victory over Roberta Ribeiro. In the middleweight division, Julia Boscher was relentless and was also awarded a R$1,000 check by GFTeam Jiu Art.

Maynne Correa of Gracie Barra claimed the gold medal after securing three victories. One of the new generation’s gems, Vitória Assis remained undefeated in five black belt competitions. The Double Five athlete scored two resounding victories to be crowned the champion. In the featherweight division, Jessica Caroline once again showcased the efficiency of her Jiu-Jitsu and left no chance for luck. She secured the title after achieving two consecutive victories.

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