Report: Purple Belts Deliver Surprises At Rio Grand Slam

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3400 fans came to watch the opening day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in Rio de Janeiro, which is being held at a modern venue originally used during the Olympic Games. 

Day 1 saw action from the purple and white belts. The level in the purple belts division was ridiculously high, with many divisions looking similar in talent to what you would expect from Worlds. Not only, but the brackets were huge: five or more matches were required to win gold. 

Big names from major teams came out to compete, but there were more than a few surprise results. let’s go through some of the more memorable moments. 

Brothers Anderson and Alex Munis win 94kg and 85kg gold

Two names who stand out for their achievements are the purple belt brothers Anderson and Alex Munis. These Nova Uniao grapplers train under Rodrigo Feijao in the south of Brazil. Anderson cleaned out the 94kg division, while Alex took gold in 85kg. 

Anderson Munis. Photo: Vitor Freitas

Anderson is picking up an increasing amount of moment and does well under these rules; he won gold at the UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro back in April, while Alex is a 2017 IBJJF Worlds silver medalist. 

Mario Reis unleashes a new weapon

Not content with producing the young phenom black belt Nicholas Meregali, Mario Reis has given us Dionatan Santos, a dynamic and decisive 77kg grappler who tapped out the highly-rated Guitherry Barbosa with the same unusual triangle we saw Marcio Andre use at Euros earlier this year. 

Dionatan Santos. Photo: Vitor Freitas

Santos had six matches to win gold, beating the well-known Italo Moura of Cicero Costha 4-2 along the way. 

Pimenta subs 3 out of 4 for 110kg gold

GF Team ultra heavyweight Pedro Pimenta (aka 'Bombom') subbed everybody en route to the finals where he had his toughest match, beating Roosevelt Sousa by advantages. Pimenta took silver at Worlds, but with the 2017 champ Victor Hugo now up at brown look for Pimenta to roll over the competition throughout the rest of the season.

Thalison Soares. Photo: Vitor Freitas

Little Miyao wins again

With three submissions in four matches, Thalison Soares took another major title this year. Euros, Pans, Brazilian Nationals, Worlds, Abu Dhabi World Pro, Tokyo Grand Slam, and now the Rio Grand Slam too… is this kid unstoppable at purple belt? 

Raul Basilio stretchered off the mat with a hip injury 

Bianca Basilio’s younger brother Raul is a talent worth keeping an eye on, but the young Almeida JJ purple belt inured his sweep while defending a sweep and had to be stretchered off the mat. Wishing a fast recovery to him. 

List of gold medalists 

Male

56kg – Thalison Soares (PSLPB Cicero Costha)

62kg – Lucas Emanuel (Cassão Team)

69kg – Daniel Junior (Soul Fighters)

77kg – Dionatan Santos (Alliance Mario Reis)

85kg – Alex Santos (Clube Feijão)

94kg – Anderson Munis (Clube Feijão)

110kg – Pedro Pimenta (GF Team)

Female

49kg – Jessica Dantas (Caio Terra)

55kg – Andreza Sousa (Ares BJJ)

62kg – Janaina Menezes (SAS Team)

70kg – Melissa Cueto (Drill BJJ)

90kg – Raiane Santos (GB)

'I Was Wrong': Regretful Andre Galvao Apologizes To Jiu-Jitsu Community

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Andre Galvao made his first statement since his incident with Gordon Ryan at WNO last Friday. Speaking in an Instagram live stream, Galvao assumed responsibility for the altercation and apologized to the jiu-jitsu community. 

How to Watch: Fight to Win 166

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Here's how to watch the Fight to Win 166 on FloGrappling.

Kade Ruotolo & Ethan Crelinsten To Run It Back At WNO On March 26

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Who's Number One (WNO) returns March 26th for another stacked event, with WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha! The pound-for-pound King is back for his fourth match at WNO where he'll be taking on the top middleweight grappler in the world in Vagner Rocha.

Maggie Grindatti To Face Rafaela Guedes At Who's Number One On March 26

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Two of the best women in the 145 lb division will face off on the main card at Who’s Number One: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha on March 26. 

Vagner Rocha's Base Is Nearly Unsweepable | Stats Report

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Vagner Rocha has a reputation.

Mikey Musumeci Set To Make WNO Debut Against Marcelo Cohen March 26

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Who's Number One (WNO) returns March 26th for another stacked event with WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha! The pound-for-pound King is back for his fourth match at WNO where he'll be taking on the top middleweight grappler in the world in Vagner Rocha.

Buchecha Confirms MMA Debut, Faces Undefeated KO Artist

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Buchecha's long-awaited MMA debut has a date. The ADCC and IBJJF World champion will enter the ring with ONE Championship in Singapore on April 14. 

Nick Rodriguez And Yuri Simões To Meet At WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha

WNO Nicky Rod Yuri Simoes Matchups

Who’s Number One returns on March 26 for WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vanger Rocha. Both athletes in the main event are ADCC medalists, and they’ll be joined on the card by two more member of that exclusive club. In the co-main event, two-time ADCC gold medalist Yuri Simões will take on the Danaher Death Squad’s Nick Rodriguez.

How to Watch: FloGrappling WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha

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Here's how to watch the FloGrappling WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha on FloGrappling.

Four Major Takeaways From WNO: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior

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The backstage events at Who's Number One: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior, may have momentarily overshadowed some of the outstanding performances of the event.

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