Last weekend, two of Atos Jiu-Jitsu Headquarters black belts showcased their skills at F2W Pro 144, dominating their opponents and giving the crowd an exciting, high-intensity show!
Among a star-studded main card, the first Atos competitor up was black belt Jonnatas Gracie. Jonnatas was promoted to black belt just last year, following an impressive performance at the IBJJF World Championships. At F2W 144 in Dallas, he faced off against Gracie Barra’s Edwin Najmi.
From the beginning of the match, Jonnatas played an aggressive game, putting Edwin on the defensive and attacking several submissions. According to Professor Andre Galvao, “Jonnatas started off pulling guard, hitting a beautiful sweep. Then he passed the guard a couple of times, and attacked with different submissions attempts (toe hold and ankle locks).”
In preparation for the match, Professor Galvao worked on Jonnatas’ strengths – particularly his spider guard and one leg X guard, as well as his back takes when his opponents open up to defend against his powerful sweeps. “Our goal was to get to the back,” said Professor Galvao, “But Edwin did a very good job defending our attempts.”
During training, Professor Galvao also incorporated some defensive tactics against Edwin’s known game: “We knew Edwin loves ankle locks, triangles and the D’arce. Since this event was sub only, we prepared against those attacks. Jonnatas did a great job attacking, keeping Edwin on the defensive, and had a very strong toe hold attempt right at the end. It was incredible.”
Jonnatas won the match by split decision.
Atos HQ’s favorite Bad Boy, Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa faced Ribeiro black belt Rafael Lovato Jr. as the F2W 144 main event, for the Light Heavyweight title!
This was definitely the fight to watch that night, as Lucas put on an incredible performance, demonstrating the best of his pressure passing game and finishing Lovato with a slick submission.
“Lucas absolutely dominated the fight,” said Professor Galvao. “Lovato pulled guard, then Lucas passed. He spent some time in side control, putting SO MUCH pressure that when Lovato tried to escape, it gave Lucas the opportunity to hit a flying arm bar from side control. It was beautiful. Lucas tapped Lovato around six minutes into the fight. Now Lucas is the Fight to Win Pro light heavyweight champ!”
In preparation for the highly-anticipated match up, Professor Galvao had Lucas working on his stand up game, expecting most of the fight would remain on the feet. However, Lovato had other plans.
“We worked a lot on Lucas’ judo at the gym, believing that Lovato would stay standing, waiting for Lucas to make his grips. Surprisingly he pulled guard!” said Professor Galvao. However, that played right into Lucas’ bread-and-butter game. “As soon as Lucas got the legs free, he started moving side to side, applying a beautiful overhead long step pass. We train those techniques a lot at the academy. Lucas’ passing is so sharp. After Lucas passed, I knew he would get the back, then attack an armbar, kimura or north south choke on Lovato, because those are his favorite submissions after he passes.”
Lucas clinched the submission, and the title, with a highlight-worthy flying arm bar.
“I’m super proud of them… They did amazing,” said Professor Galvao. “It’s beautiful to see them fighting like that. I’m super happy for my students. It makes me feel good to see them winning like that with such incredible performances, and seeing the techniques we practice at the gym working on the stage. It’s definitely priceless, and I can’t wait for the future!”
If you didn’t catch F2W 144 live on FloGrappling, you can still replay these incredible matches (with a membership) by logging into your FloGrappling account.
*Photography by: Kyu Lee