If you missed the BJJ Stars event last weekend, this show is well worth the replay, especially for Atos fans! The event was an exciting showcase of the top athletes in the sport today. Two matches in particular demonstrated the technical dominance and highlight-reel worthy performance of the Atos Jiu-Jitsu team.
The BJJ Stars professional jiu-jitsu event was held on July 26, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and featured an interesting twist on the standard IBJJF ruleset. In the case of a draw, the last competitor to score was declared the victor. This created a heavy incentive for the athletes to maintain a high level of intensity. Some of the top names in BJJ were invited to the event, including Atos’ own superstar black belts Lucas Barbosa and Kaynan Duarte, as well as the likes of Patrick Gaudio, Erberth Santos, Leandro Lo, and Joao Gabriel Rocha.
We talked with legendary Andre Galvao to breakdown the performance of the Atos crew at BJJ Stars:
Brazilian phenom Kaynan Duarte stunned the jiu-jitsu world back in 2017 with his incredible win at the ADCC Brazil Trials… as a purple belt. Since then, his professional career has only sky rocketed. In 2018, he was awarded his black belt on the podium of the 2018 World Championships by Professor Andre Galvao. This was just one year after he was awarded his brown belt in the same fashion.
In the last two years, Kaynan has faced some of the sport’s most recognized names, many of whom have decades more experience. Last weekend, Kaynan faced Soul Fighters black belt Joao Gabriel Rocha, winning via points.
According to Professor Galvao, Kaynan was originally supposed to fight Felipe Pena, but Pena had to pull out due to an injury. João Gabriel stepped in last minute to accept the match with Kaynan, although he weighed in 45 pounds heavier than Kaynan.
“The difference of size and weight makes a huge difference in a fight like that,” said Professor Galvao. “Joāo is super heavy but also super athletic.”
Nevertheless, Kaynan executed nearly the exact strategy Professor suggested: keeping the heavier Joāo firmly in his guard and attacking from there. “Kaynan controlled the fight really well. He pulled guard right in the beginning and work on attacking leg locks and sweeps. We talked about working on some spider guard, too, but Joāo did a great job of avoiding it. Kaynan was able to control the fight the entire time, winning by points.”
“I believe the fight against Felipe would have been more entertaining, since Felipe moves a lot and he is lighter as well,” said Professor Galvao. “But as always, Kaynan did an amazing job! I’m proud and happy for him. We did it again!”
The BJJ Stars event also boasted another of the Atos team’s star competitors: Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa. Lucas was coming into the event riding the high of another huge victory at the Fight 2 Win Pro 144 event last month. He had defeated Ribeiro’s Rafael Lovato Jr. for the F2W Pro Light Heavyweight title.
This time, Lucas faced NS Brotherhood’s star black belt, Leandro Lo. Securing an early two-point lead in the first minute of the match, Lucas showcased his relentless guard passing abilities all the way until the end of the match.
According to Professor Galvao, “Lucas had an incredible performance, dominating Leandro Lo the entire 10 minutes. As soon as the fight started, he hit a beautiful collar drag, scoring two points in the first 20 seconds of the fight.”
Professor Galvao describes the match vividly: “After that, Lucas was controlling on top, trying to pass the guard. He simply bombarded Leandro’s guard. Lucas actually got close to passing to Leandro’s side control twice, almost scoring extra three points. He gave Leandro absolutely no space try anything. In the last minute of the fight, Lucas almost passed again, attacking Leandro’s back with a very tight choke until Leandro was able to barely escape.”
“It was a completely domination by the Hulk. I’m super, super proud of him. It was one of his best performances so far, and definitely the best fight of the event. I love Lucas’ game. He did everything we trained and planned. He executed the strategy perfectly. Lucas was on fire!”
Congratulations to both competitors for their awesome performances, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!