AJP Newsletter March 2024: Your monthly recap of the highlights from all over the world

April 1, 2024

In another month filled to the brim with competitions, AJP remained steady in its mission to increase the sport’s influence while giving its athletes the chance to both fight closer to home and to see all the world has to offer through the lens of Jiu-Jitsu. Before we look at the many attractions that April holds in store for fight fans, let’s go over the highlights of March!

AJP Tour South America Continental Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2024: Felipe Bezerra and Yara Nascimento conquer the double gold

Setting a high bar for the rest of the month, the AJP Tour South America Continental Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2024 took place between March 1st and 3rd, giving athletes of all ages and graduations a chance to show what they’re made of in one of the most challenging tournaments in the AJP roster. In the Professional category, two Brazilian black belts stole the spotlight with powerful performances that landed them the coveted double gold.

Starting on the men’s side, Felipe Bezerra once again rose to the challenge and added multiple victories to his already-stacked grappling record. In the 120kg division, he outscored two opponents before reaching the final against Helder José, in which he came out on top by scoring last in a 2-2 tie. A little later, he returned to fight for the Open Heavyweight title, beating Helder Jose and Fernando Bonfante on his way to the final. The gold round saw him going toe-to-toe with Leandro Maia, and this proved to be the toughest match for Felipe, as neither side managed to score a single point during the regulated time and the additional minute of overtime. At the end of it all, Felipe was deemed the most effective fighter of the bout, which earned him his second trip to the top of the podium.

Meanwhile, Yara Nascimento was the boogeyman on the women’s side. Her first stop was the 95kg division, where she outscored Isabely Lemos in the semis and advanced to the final against Thaynara Dias. Thaynara started by pulling guard while Yara tried to pass, but it wasn’t long before the latter went for the katagatame to pass and spin to the north-south position, attacking first with a kimura and then with the winning armbar at the last minute to take her first gold. With some gas left in the tank, Yara returned to the battlefield and made her way to the Open Heavyweight division, where she fought Isabely Lemos for the title. The match was a well-balanced one and both sides managed to score multiple times, but Yara tipped the scales at the very last minute with another timely submission to secure her double gold.

AJP Tour China National Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2024: Mongoljin Ganbaatar takes the triple gold in Beijing

Taking place on March 23rd and 24th, the China National brought the fires of competition to one of the most influential capitals in the world. The tournament welcomed athletes from all countries and found itself quickly stacked with contenders for the title of champion within the AJP.

Cue Mongoljin Ganbaatar, a 25-year-old Mongolian brown belt and promising Garuda Jiu-Jitsu Academy representative who used her Jiu-Jitsu prowess to conquer not only the attending crowd but also three gold medals in a row. Starting at the 62kg division, she donned her gi and submitted Yuan Zhou twice to gain her first gold. She then shed her cotton armor and returned to fight for the No-Gi 62kg title, first submitting Jingjing in the semifinal and then landing another submission to defeat Yuan Zhou on her way to the top of the podium.

Her last appearance at the tournament happened at the Open Heavyweight division, with two more duels before she conquered her third and last title. After Yuan Zhou advanced to the finals, Mongoljin dominated Jiedan Xu with a 13-0 score and got ready for one last rematch against her Chinese rival. The gold round took up the entirety of the regulated time and saw both sides scoring multiple times, but a 5-3 score put Mongoljin in advantage and crowned her golden campaign at the China National.

AJP Tour London International Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2024: Vanessa English and Washington Lana take the title in the UK

On the last weekend of the month, specifically on March 30th, the London International took over the University of London Sports Dock with multiple fight areas ready to house another memorable AJP competition. Fighters from all over made their way to the venue and fought for the gold and those sweet ranking points, but two black belts conquered their division and the hearts of the attending crowd on that fateful day.

Starting with the local, Vanessa English landed in the 70kg division and faced two opponents before taking the title. After submitting Emily Eyles in her first match, the Brazilian Raquel Santos was the last remaining hurdle between Vanessa and the gold, so Vanessa went all out in their battle. Vanessa started the duel by going up from the double pull, hitting the side, and trying an attack on the arm, but Raquel responded with two foot attacks, which put the scoreboard at 3-2. Not leaving anything to chance, Vanessa kept her eyes sharp for any chance to widen the gap between herself and her opponent, and when the opportunity presented itself, Vanessa wasted no time and swept to close the score at 5-2 and climb the podium.

Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Brazil’s Washington de Lana left his heart on the mat as he fought for the 77kg division title. After outscoring Stephen Martin in the semis, Washington went toe-to-toe against the Welsh Benjamin Robson in the final round. Benjamin opened the scoreboard with a takedown attempt, but Washington responded with a successful seoi-nage and put the score at 2-1. Benjamin tried to attack with a triangle, Washington tried a choke from the guard and, when the fight restarted with both sides standing up, the Brazilian competitor landed yet another seoi-nage to close the scoreboard at 5-2 to conquer the gold.

UPCOMING: Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Rome, North America Continental, Europe No-Gi Continental, Nationals, and much more!

The time is almost upon us! Scheduled to take place between April 12th and 14th, the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour Rome 2024 marks the tournament’s first edition in the land of gladiators, and athletes of all ages and graduations are more than welcome to join AJP as it carves its name in the annals of the Italian city. With Amateurs on the first day, Youths and Masters on the second, and Professionals on the third and last day of the competition, the Centro Olimpico Matteo Pellicone will be the stage that puts on the show that will remain in the minds of fight fans for the foreseeable future.

Another important competition taking place this month is the North America Continental. Held in the Floridian city of Miami, in the US, on April 27th and 28th, the tournament will welcome colored and black belts alike to fight for gold and glory while putting their skills to the test, offering each of its champions a whopping 1400 ranking points. The registration window closes on April 22nd, so don’t waste any more time and save your spot at one of the most important competitions this year.

As if one Continental wasn’t enough, the No-Gi Europe Continental is also coming in April to give athletes who favor grappling a chance to shine in the AJP. Scheduled to take place in Istanbul on April 21st, the tournament also offers 1400 ranking points to its gold medalists and welcomes athletes of all ages and graduation, but it is worth noting that the registration ends on April 15th, so make sure to save your spot before then.

Three countries will host Nationals this month, with Andorra coming on April 13th, Turkey on April 20th, and South Korea on April 21st. On April 27th, the AJP Tour Kavkaz Regional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2024 will give Armenian athletes the chance to fight closer to home. Last but not least, the list of this month’s Internationals is as follows: Charleston (April 6th), Curitiba (April 13th-14th), Guadalajara (April 20th), Shymkent (April 20th-21st), Budapest (April 27th), Morges (April 27th), Gqeberha (April 28th).