Ffion Davies makes history- the Irish star picked up where she left off in 2019 winning the lightweight and absolute crowns. Scoring a shocking 71 points with only 2 points scored against, while achieving the submission on 4 of 7 opponents. Her victory in the absolute division landed her in the history books as the lightest competitor to ever win the absolute division at Europeans. 2019 was a breakout year for the then-freshman black belt winning Europeans, Brazilian Nationals and Pan Ams. Fffion also walked away with medals at the World Championship and ADCC Championship. In her second her at Black Belt we could see a more seasoned version of Ffion walk away with the grand slam.
Michael Musumeci takes a shot at the absolute division- on Saturday the Lightfeather weight (sometimes Rooster weight) shocked many by jumping into the absolute division. Mikey was able to score 2 victories, one over an Ultraheavyweight before falling short against Muhammad Aly is one of the most exciting matches of the Europeans. Mikey used his incredible guard to attack the back of Aly and looked to score sweeps from the 50/50 but, was unable to settle the positions and score the points needed to win. Mikey would go on to win his division on Sunday. Afterward, he promised to join in more absolute divisions at major events this coming year. Do you think he will be able to seize absolute gold at an IBJJF major in 2020?
Fellipe Andrew takes home an absolute gold medal- the Zenith BJJ black belt scored a submission victory in the opening round before taking out Patrick Gaudio and Fellipe Trovo in the Quarterfinal and Semifinal. In the finals, Andrew would face off with the worm guard expert Keenan Cornelius. Andrew quickly jumped guard at the start of the match. After defending his guard against the outside passing from Cornelius, Andrew found a home for his dangerous Triangle Choke as Cornelius changed his grips. Despite a stout defense, Cornelius was unable to free himself and Andrew scored a major title to start off his 2020.
Tainan Dalpra starts 2020 with a bang- the prodigy from AOJ showed why so many people think he will be the next star at black belt. The brown belt lightweight ran through the competition including other highly ranked opponents, scoring 5 submissions in 5 matches with a quick armbar victory in the finals match. Tainan was dominant at Purple belt last year and looks like things will remain the same for him at brown belt.
All photos by The Grapple Club