2019 Arizona International Open Preview

By Danny O’Donnell

The 2019 Arizona International Open will take place this Saturday and Sunday at Phoenix College. This will be the first gi tournament of 2019 and the sign ups show that local competitors have been anxious to get back on the competition mats. With over 800 competitors signed up and the opportunity to gain individual and team points for the 2018/2019 season, the tournament will host some of the state’s best and most active competitors. The current top 3 teams in the state are Maracaba BJJ, GD Jiu Jitsu Academy and CTA Arizona. The top three academies (single location) are Maracaba BJJ, GD Jiu Jitsu Academy and Lotus Club Fight & Fitness.

Saturday will feature kids, adult blue belts and adult brown belts. Sunday will feature adult white, purple and black belts. Arizona has proven to be home to some of the best competitors in the country and the following divisions are ones you won’t want to miss. For females, the brown and black belt divisions will be combined. The female brown/black Master 1 middleweight division will feature GD Jiu Jitsu coach and Worlds silver medalist Sarah Black against the MMA Lab’s Lauren Murphy, a UFC veteran. Both athletes have great take down skills and plenty of competition experience, which will make this 6 minute match something that everyone who aspires to reach a higher level of Jiu Jitsu should watch.

The Black Belt adult lightweight division consists of Josh Rodriguez (GD Jiu Jitsu Academy), Paris Stanford (Carlos Farias BJJ) and Ramsey Green (Soul Fighters Tucson). Josh is currently the #1 ranked AZBJJF adult black belt and Paris is the #1 ranked AZBJJF mater 2 black belt. Another division that promises to be action packed is the adult brown belt heavyweight division with competitors Jake Watson (Maracaba BJJ), Lucas Lopes (Gracie Barra Ahwatukee) and Arian De Melo (Gracie Barra Chandler). Jake is the #1 ranked brown belt adult male and Lucas was the #3 ranked purple belt adult male prior to being promoted to brown belt in January. Be sure to catch these divisions along with many others this weekend!