The 2020 IBJJF Europeans delivered a perfect start to the year: an explosive tournament that crowned new champions, delivered huge upsets, and set records.
Some quick facts:
- There were 12 first-time Euros winners, with four of those being rookie black belts.
- Brazilians claimed 10 gold medals, with the remaining nine being shared by five other countries (USA, UK, Japan, Norway, Belgium).
- More matches ended via submission than any other method. There were 7 submissions, 5 wins via points, 4 via advantages, 2 decisions, 1 closeout, and 1 DQ.
Here is a rundown of each final, with a description of how the match went and a link to watch the video.
Adult / Male / Black / Rooster – watch final
Tomoyuki Hashimoto of Japan was extremely close to getting the submission win over standout rookie Thalison Soares of Brazil. The youngster was caught dead to rights in a deep triangle, but maneuvered his way out of bounds and was DQ'd as a result.
Silver medalist in 2019, Hashimoto earned his first European gold medal this year and it will sit next to his previous Pan and World No-Gi gold medals.
Adult / Male / Black / Light-Feather – watch final
Much has been said of Michael Musumeci Jr's wild weekend in Lisbon, but his final with Jonas Andrade of Cicero Costha was one of the least-talked about matches the American grappler fought in. Maybe the exertions of the weekend were catching up with him, or maybe Andrade didn't want to get submitted like his teammate Diego Pato, but the final was a technical affair with little to report on. Musumeci won via decision in a match best remembered for the inconsistent ref's calls that drove Caio Terra crazy.
Adult / Male / Black / Feather – watch final
Bronze in 2018, silver in 2019, and now gold in 2020. Isaac Doederlein is the perfect example of hard work delivering results. The Alliance black belt has steadily grown into one of the best featherweight black belts in the world, and this was confirmed with his win over the legendarily-tough Leo Saggioro in the final. A good start for 2020 for Doederlein, who will certainly be one of the main contenders in this division for the big prizes this year.
Adult / Male / Black / Light – watch final
The only rookie black belt to win gold at the 2020 Euros, Jonnatas Gracie had to face off with the extremely tough veteran Vitor Oliveira of GF Team in the final of the loaded lightweight division. The match was close and the Atos black belt edged it via decision, but he had looked solid right up until that point, even taking a submission win over former Euro champ Luan Carvalho in the earlier rounds.
Adult / Male / Black / Middle – watch final
Tommy Langaker’s submission win in the final against Pedro Ramalho practically blew the roof off the venue. Even though Ramalho is the local hero, there were enough fellow Scandinavians in the crowd to make a noise when one of their own took black belt gold for the first time. It was Tommy’s second big win of the weekend following his triangle submission of Ronaldo Junior in the semifinal.
Adult / Male / Black / Medium-Heavy – watch final
Manuel Ribamar felt terrible going into the 2020 Euros and was battling a fever and a rattling cough, but you’d never have known it to watch him compete. Testing himself in the absolute division first he had a tough match with Fellipe Trovo, and the match served as a warmup for the weight division where Ribamar shone. He crushed Espen Mathiesen in the opening round, beat Rafael Paganini and Jakub Zajkowski by points, and then went on to submit Bruno Lima in the final. All in all, Ribamar went un-scored on all weekend and racked up a total of 38 points. What a performance.
Adult / Male / Black / Heavy – watch final
The last time Keenan Cornelius and Adam Wardzinski faced off at Euros, it was a lot less competitive. Keenan scored a quick submission win over Wardzinski back in 2018, but the Checkmat black belt has evolved a lot since then and looked like a completely different grappler in this heavyweight final. Wardzinski took the worm lord to the limit, avoiding falling deep into the lapel wormhole and going sweep for sweep with the American.
Adult / Male / Black / Super-Heavy – watch final
In terms of shock value, Patrick Gaudio's kneebar of Fellipe Andrew was second only to Andrew himself submitting Keenan Cornelius in the absolute. Gaudio's underrated technique saw him spin under and take a match-ending kneebar. It was fast, it was clean, and it gave him his first-ever gold medal at Euros at any belt level.
Adult / Male / Black / Ultra-Heavy – watch final
Few people were able to overcome the sheer challenge that Seif-Eddine Houmine presents, given that he stands around 6-foot-5 and weighs north of 350 pounds. Igor Schneider of NS Brotherhood, aka "Tigrao," showed zero hesitation in repeatedly pulling guard against the big man, finally managing to sweep and come on top for the reversal. It was a near kamikaze effort, but it paid off– Schneider was able to ride out the match from top and earn his first Euros gold medal.
Adult / Male / Black / Open Class – watch final
Fellipe Andrew made history by becoming the first person to tap out Keenan Cornelius in the gi. Let that sink in for a second– Keenan had never been submitted in the gi, ever. Not once in nearly seven years as a competitive black belt. But there is a first time for everything, and Fellipe Andrew was the man to claim that honor. It was a pretty simple triangle armbar from double sleeve control that did it. Andrew has an infamously dangerous triangle, and he shot it up like a cobra strike. Keenan was caught out of position for a split-second and paid the price. Andrew's win sealed his position as one of the top-ranked super-heavyweights in the sport.
Adult / Female / Black / Rooster – watch final
Mayssa Bastos and Serena Gabrielli have fought something like six times now, and the result always goes the same way. That didn't change at the roosterweight final at Euros, with Bastos winning the title for the second year via points.
Adult / Female / Black / Light-Feather – watch final
Ana Rodrigues and Talita Alencar are Alliance teammates, but that didn't stop them from competing. Rookie black belt Rodrigues was able to win via one advantage to claim her first major IBJJF title.
Adult / Female / Black / Feather – watch final
Amal Amjahid won her second straight European gold medal with a close points win over the dangerous Larissa Campos. Amjahid is from Belgium, and the raucous crowd cheered and whistled as she was declared winner. The best news from the weekend is that her father finally received his US visa and she will be able to compete once again at the IBJJF Worlds after a two-year absence.
Adult / Female / Black / Light – watch final
The first of Ffion Davies's gold medals at the 2020 Euros came thanks to a submission win against Charlotte von Baumgarten of Germany in the lightweight final. Ffion had moved up a division from 2019, avoiding a depleting weight cut and looking strong as a result (also see her absolute gold medal for evidence).
Adult / Female / Black / Middle – watch final
Thamara Ferreira's nickname is the "Queen of the Armlock," but she switched tactics and went for the legs against Danielle Alvarez, using a kneebar to submit the American and win her first European title as a black belt. Ferreira is a string contender for World champ this year– keep an eye out for her.
Adult / Female / Black / Medium-Heavy – watch final
Sábatha Laís submitted Maggie Grindatti with a triangle in the medium-heavy final, welcoming the rookie American to the black belt ranks.
Adult / Female / Black / Heavy – watch final
An all-European affair in the heavyweight final saw new black belt Laura Barker of the UK beat Magdalena Loska in a close contest that ended 2-0. This was the Gracie Barra's first European Championships as a black belt.
Adult / Female / Black / Open Class – watch final
Ffion Davies became the lightest woman in history to win the absolute division at the European Championships, beating Jessica Flowers in the final. It was her speed that allowed her to overcome the Gracie Barra black belt's size advantage. Davies latched onto the back and outscored her opponent to take home the double gold.