At the Fitzgerald Gymnasium this past Saturday, a who’s who of up and coming prospects and established competitors competed at the New York Trials. Here is the rundown of who won at each weight class in the Brown/Black division:
Gianni Grippo, Renzo Gracie Brown Belt took gold at the under 143 lb category.
Next, Augusto "Tanquinho" Mendes, last year’s Abu Dhabi World Pro Champion won the under 163 lb category, a great story considering he is coming off cervical surgery.
At the under 183 lb category, Lloyd Irvin black belt DJ Jackson took gold and his teammate brown belt phenom Keenan Cornelius took gold at the under 202 lb category.
Rounding off the divisions was Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu winning gold at 202 lbs and over.
The story of the event would have to be without a doubt the two Lloyd Irvin competitors, DJ Jackson and Keenan Cornelius winning their divisions, not because they won but who they had to go through to win. In the absolute, DJ Jackson, who just received his black belt not too long ago, defeated ADCC medalist and No-Gi World Champion Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu. On top of this, Keenan Cornelius, who just received his brown belt a 4 months ago, defeated long time Gracie Barra Worlds medalist Roberto "Tussa" Alencar. There is some new blood at the brown and black division and they put many competitors on notice this past weekend.