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GROWING TALENT THROUGH COPA DE MARIANAS

October on Guam is a big month for jiu-itsu with the annual Copa De Marianas taking control of the FD Phoenix Center. Saturday October 3rd was no different with Guam’s best talents in the sport of jiu-jitsu mixing it up for medals.

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By Robert Balajadia

October on Guam is a big month for jiu-itsu with the annual Copa de Marianas taking control of the FD Phoenix Center. Saturday October 3rd was no different with Guam’s best talents in the sport of jiu-jitsu mixing it up for medals.

Purebred’s reign of team tournament champions was retained once again with the squad bringing in the most medalists, earning them another team title. Coming in 2nd place was Figo and 3rd went to Vida, two of Guam’s newest gyms over the past few years.

In attendance was special guest referee, the famous black belt superstar Bryant Pangelinan. Pangelinan arrived on the island Tuesday and is set to leave Monday, making his trip to the island a brief visit.

Pangelinan always jumps at the opportunity to head back home and the jiu-jitsu superstar has seen the sport’s exponential growth through the dedicated athletes abilities, namely during his time refereeing in the 2015 event.

“It’s gown so much that when these guys from Guam go out to compete around the world, they do really well. So even when they’re just competing at home against each other, the quality of jiu-jitsu is really high,” said Pangelinan on the local talent.

“Guam adheres to a lot of the old school style, the pressure style, which is how I like to fight. Not only that, but they seem to adapt to the high level stuff really quickly.”

As far as Pangelinan is aware, the big showing of white and blue belts at the Copa de Marianas assures the sport on Guam is headed in the right direction: up.

“These blackbelts and brown belts around here, I’ve known them when they were white belts and that’s just how the sport grows and it’s going to continue to keep growing. These white belts and blue belts competing in this tournament are going to be the future, and that’s exciting,” added Pangelinan.

The main event of the no-gi 131-145 division featured a showdown between two very familiar MMA stars. The ‘Power Couple’ Mike Sanchez and Brogan Walker won two fights each that brought them into the finals. Sanchez, a brown belt, and Walker the newly achieved Purple Belt, put forth an entertaining show that wasn’t all too serious.

Walker ended up winning the bout by points with the crowd getting a good laugh wondering just how much Sanchez was pushing himself to win. The two have collected a lot of hardware through the years as a couple so, in the end, the medals are all going to the same household.

Family members, friends, and significant others were all on deck recording all the action of the 2015 Copa De Marianas. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Family members, friends and significant others were all on deck recording all the action of the 2015 Copa de Marianas. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Purple & Brown Copa de Marianas Results

Purple

149-Under
Gold – Ray Paul Jardon (Purebred)
Silver – Cameron Mantanona (Purebred)
Bronze – Daniel Cayanaan (Purebred)

Special guest referee and blackbelt superstar Bryant Pangelinan assessing the local talent. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Special guest referee and blackbelt superstar Bryant Pangelinan assessing the local talent. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

150-174
Gold – Norberto Rosario (Figo)
Silver – Issaac Balajadia (Figo)
Bronze – Oliver Cruz (Purebred)

175-199
Gold – Derrick Calvo (Carlson Gracie)
Silver – Carl Wilson (Vida)

200-Over
Gold – Chris Nededog (Purebred)
Silver – Joe Moss (Figo)
Bronze – Erik Flores (Vida)

Brown

160-Under
Gold – David Tuncap (Purebred)
Silver – Dara Roberto (Purebred)
Bronze – Richard Enriquez (Purebred)

161-Over

Gold – Javier Mirelez (Purebred)
Silver – Joshua Jerome (Purebred)
Bronze – Nathan Santos (Vida)

*complete results will be posted when available

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Brown belts Nathan Santos and Joshua Jerome battle for the last two medal winning spots. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Brown belts Nathan Santos and Joshua Jerome battle for the last two medal winning spots. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Tyrone Jones attempting to put Norberto Rosario in a dangerous position. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Tyrone Jones attempting to put Norberto Rosario in a dangerous position. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Norberto Rosario managed to defeat Tyrone Jones by points in the no-gi portion of the event. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Norberto Rosario managed to defeat Tyrone Jones by points in the no-gi portion of the event. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Purple belts Kevin Cruz and Trevin Jones battle for position with Jones winning on a last second advantage. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Purple belts Kevin Cruz and Trevin Jones battle for position with Jones winning on a last second advantage. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cameron Mantanona tries to pry free the arm of his opponent for a submission. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cameron Mantanona tries to pry free the arm of his opponent for a submission. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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DID U KNOW?

Sports legend Joe Taitano used to run to school at JFK from his Yigo home and back. He continued this routine up to 1979 when he’d run from home to GW gym and back to practice for the South Pacific Games with the national basketball team. Guam went on to win its second straight SPG gold medal.

 

 

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