GFTeam Nationals awards champions tickets to IBJJF Worlds

Over 1,400 athletes fought at the Barra National Velodrome. Flashsport

Rio de Janeiro has been taken over by a decidedly Carnival mood, but the brave warriors from GFTeam are laser-focused on their goals. With the intention to make itself stronger at this year’s IBJJF World Championship, the team held its GFTeam Nationals on Feb. 16, giving plane tickets to the purple- and blue-belt absolute champions in the lightweight and heavyweight divisions so they can go to California.

Held at the Barra National Velodrome, built for the Rio Olympics, the event had 1,470 fighters enrolled from many states and some foreign branches, according to Serginho Miranda, the team’s technical coordinator and an IBJJF referee, with all of 12 mats getting plenty of use.

Out of the new crop, lightweight blue-belt champion Robson Junior shone, beating Arthur Carvalhães in a gripping final by two points. At heavyweight blue belt, Paulo Campos submitted a GFTeam Argentina representative via triangle to secure an all-expenses-paid trip. After tough semifinals, Arthur Lanes and Marlon Ferreira closed out the lightweight purple belt division. And Marcos Carrozzino beat the heavyweight purple belt field.

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