Renato Canuto stepped up in a big way this past week weekend with his title-winning performance at KASAI Pro 3. The No. 2-ranked 77kg no-gi athlete earned his second KASAI title, this time in the welterweight division, after besting some of the toughest competition in the world.
We've chronicled the Checkmat athlete's entire road to gold below; hit the links to watch one of the most exciting athletes in the game go to work.
Renato Canuto vs Jason Rau
Renato simply went off in this match. The man hit a flying backflip-pass — yes, you read that correctly — on Jason Rau and never looked back. His passing was as smooth as it was relentless, and Canuto racked up double-digit points over the six-minute period. Canuto left the match with an 11-0 victory and swagger of a man unchained.
Renato Canuto vs PJ Barch
Canuto’s second match was one of the most controversial of the event. It was a stand-up war, with Barch’s more traditional folkstyle wrestling going head-to-head up with Canuto’s acrobatic and unorthodox approach. There were several crucial scrambles, with Renato generally getting the better of the exchanges — save one crucial movement where Barch fans believe the 10th Planet representative did enough to earn a point for a near takedown (see the Facebook embed below).
In any case, the match is high-energy and nonstop, and it saw Canuto take the win via points.
Renato Canuto vs Victor Silverio
Victor Silverio was the wildcard coming into KASAI Pro 3: the explosive Gracie Barra athlete joined KASAI Pro 3 on late notice and has primarily been competing in the gi the last few years. But with Romulo Barral, Edwin Najmi, & Gabriel Arges as regular training partners, the man is certainly ready for any level of competition.
And it showed in the match with Renato, who struggled to find an opening in the match, leading to a 0-0 draw after six minutes.
Renato Canuto vs Vagner Roach: The Final
On paper, this is a dream matchup — two of the top-five no-gi athletes going head-to-head in a format that allows all submissions and rewards aggression. But unfortunately for us, both men we're banged up from the previous four battles of the night, and the final between them was a war of attrition. Vagner was actually up on points up until the closing moments of the match when he was giving a penalty for stiff-arming Canuto to the face.
Though the clearly not the method of victory Canuto would have picked out for himself, a win is a win, and he became the first-ever welterweight KASAI Champion and two-division title holder for the promotion.