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The plan for Keenan at the 2019 Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship was to test out the new techniques and strategies he has been learning with John Danaher and Gordon Ryan at Renzo's gym over the last three weeks.
Decamping to NYC for the equivalent of a software update, Keenan seemed at times unsure of exactly what he wanted to do– he obviously wanted to try out the new moves but admits that he found it hard not to revert to habit and simply play his usual game.
"To be honest the reason I came here was not to use my A-game and win, it was to try new things," says Keenan. "And I felt comfortable with the new things in training and I feel I could have won with them if I had performed them correctly but I didn't. It was a good experience and I'm glad I did it here so I can see where I'm going to run into problems against people who use that strategy at ADCC."
Miyao, Gracie win gold
When you see Miyao and Grippo in the same bracket it’s an almost certainty that one of them will take gold. Something of an upset though as we didn’t see the final we expected in the featherweight division. Grippo stumbled in the semifinal and lost to unheralded Emilio Hernandez-Rodriguez of Zenith. Miyao only had the one match as his teammate Tiago Abud let him pass in the semifinal. He comfortably took gold versus Emilio 2-0, but positionally dominated throughout.
Jonnatas Gracie racked up the points vs Jake Watson in the medium-heavyweight final, going 11-2. The Atos rep had an easy run with a nothing match versus Charles Mcguire in the opening round and had a no show in his second. He faced the tough Dylan Royce in the semi, winning 5-0. Watson’s side of the bracket saw him win via DQ after Stanley Rosa went for an illegal leg lock, and a submission win over Brian Beaury put him in the final.
- Murilo Santana triangle Todd Mueckenheim in the heavyweight final. The Unity Jiu-Jitsu founder will compete in the -88kg division in two weeks.
- Aaron Tex Johnson struggled with the size difference of Max Gimenis, who passed and mounted Johnson in the ultra-heavyweight final to win 11-0.
- Lucas Pinheiro won light-featherweight gold by beating Sure Budhram in the final and overcoming Malachi Edmond in the semi. Malachi had beaten highly-ranked Edwin “Junny” Ocasio in the opening round.
- Alliance teammates Athos Miranda and Fabio Caloi closed out lightweight the lightweight division.
- Jeferson Guaresi edged out Johny Tama in the middleweight final. The scoreboard read 0-0, 2-1 advantages.