It’s about that time again BJJ fans. The IBJJF presented 2010 Pan Am Championships are scheduled to occur April 8th through 11th in Irvine, California. Taking a peak at an early list of the potential participants, it looks as if we will once again be treated to a classic event full of tons of action and drama.
One such participant who is trying to show his true dominance in the Adult Black Belt Pena division, is the 3x defending Gold Medalist, Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles. The Alliance representative has seemingly placed his flag into the field of the Pan Ams, staking his claim as possibly the most prevailing participant the tournament has seen. Last year’s tournament did spark a bit of controversy when Cobrinha
decided to enter the Absolute division. In his fiercely contested bout with Gracie Barra stand-out, Otavio Souza, Cobrinha was adamant in his contesting of a last minute sweep points awarded to Souza giving the Gracie Barra star a 1 advantage point lead to take the match. In the same match, Cobrinha debuted the Fernando “Terere” credited “TT Delta Guard” in which Charles controls both lapels and keeps his feet tight on the same lapels a-la modified spider guard without sleeve control.
Rubens seems to have quite a task to make it number 4 in a row seeing some of the early entrances in his division. Some early notables include: ADCC 2009 participant Joel Tudor, GF Team member Theodoro Canal, Brazilian Top Team star Renan Borges, and recent WEC participant Javier “Showtime” Vazquez.
Joel Tudor is coming off of his most impressive year to date, winning an invite to the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club 2009 tournament, also submitting both Wellington “Megaton” Diaz and Rani Yahya to win the 2009 US Nationals. Both Renan Borges and Theodoro Canal are no strangers to the top of the food chain, as both have given Cobrinha fits in past large tournaments. Perhaps the dark horse of the division could be the newly committed Javier Vazquez, who’s coming off a 1st round armbar win in the WEC versus Jens Pulver. Assuming he indeed participates; his aggressive style could offer the competition problems.
Another interesting division forming thus far, is the Black Belt Adult Leve division. Four top-notch names immediately jump out at you when overlooking the early posting of the division: Alliance superstar Lucas Lepri, Alliance and Cobrinha protégé Michael Langhi, American Top Team notable Jonatas Gurgel, and Lloyd Irvin’s new star in the making – Jonathan “JT” Torres.
Michael Langhi is coming off his best year to date with only 2 years under his Black Belt. He’s quickly become well aware of Jonathan
Torres’ capabilities and skills with an epic battle at the 2010 Europeans. JT took the Alliance phenom to the final buzzer, barely losing out to a 1 advantage deficit. The match can be seen via a teammate taping and posting to YouTube.
Jonathan “JT” Torres is quickly becoming one of the most dynamic American Jiu-Jitsu competitors around. At a mere 19 years old, JT has accumulated a reputation that most would consider a lifetime achievement.
The Eastern United States has known of his talents for quite some time now. With Lloyd Irvin’s dedication, he’s ready to take his game to a new level, and it’s already paid off in dividends. The Lloyd Irvin student has upped his training from his astounding 2 to 3 time a week regimen, to train and teach full time for the Maryland based squad. Having such teammates as Mike Fowler and Jared Weiner won’t hurt his chances at achieving his highly set goals.
Flying under the radar as usual, is the always competitive Lucas Lepri. Lucas is definitely considered one the favorites in the division. His sweep game has been hitting its stride as of late, and his top game has been death to many of his foes. Lacking the flash and glitter of fellow teammates Rubens Charles, Michael Langhi, and Marcelo Garcia- Lepri’s consistent “basics driven” game continues to prove dominant in every tournament he’s decided to take on.
The storylines continue to write themselves. With more top level competitors committing to the tournament as well as the lower divisions starting to fill up with up and coming future stars, The Pans are shaping up to be yet another tremendous event put on in California. Budovideos.com also sees the potential in this monster event as they are set to broadcast the final day live exclusively on their website for free. Following NoGi industries lead, the event hopes to capture an even larger audience since this is a bigger, more prestigious tournament. All fans of the sport are encouraged to both view the tournament on the site and purchase some merchandise from BudoVideos so more special streaming events like this can continue to happen.