Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts Elkridge and Owings Mills locations traveled with 15 competitors to the first tournament of the year at the IBJJF Atlanta Winter Open Championships on February 4, 2017. Crazy 88 masters students Eduardo Viana, Michael Silverman, Amanda Riggs, and Jack Bender stole the show and brought home gold in their respective divisions.
Eduardo Viana competed in the Master 1 Purple Belt Medium-Heavy Weight Division and brought home the Gold Medal in his weight class. Viana came out strong with a big judo throw in his first match and submitted his opponent by triangle choke. He continued in this fashion to win his second match and the Finals. Viana entered the absolute division and continued his dominant performance to bring home the Silver Medal in the Master 1 Purple Belt Absolute Division narrowly losing in the Finals.
Michael Silverman fought down an age bracket and up a weight class for more matches in the Masters 3 Blue Belt Feather Weight Division. He decided to get serious about his learning and started competing more in the last year. The IBJJF Atlanta Winter Open 2017 was a culmination of his hard work. He took the Gold Medal after two matches. Silverman has been working on his takedowns and was able to successfully land a single leg and fireman’s carry in the Semifinals match to win 4-0 on points. In the Finals, his opponent pulled guard and was later disqualified for wearing a cup, which is illegal as it could cause injury. Silverman won first place in his division.
Amanda Riggs, a master’s competitor who competes in the adult division, also had a strong technical performance in the Adult Blue Belt Feather Weight Division. She was able to bring home the Gold Medal after four matches and four submissions. In her first match, Riggs came on top of a double guard pull. She passed her opponents guard several times while looking to secure a top position and settled on a kimura finish. In her second match, she pulled, swept, and passed her opponent’s guard before finishing a cross choke from the mount. Her third match was quick; she passed off the break and submitted via kimura from side control. In the Finals, Riggs swept at the offset and later submitted via triangle choke from her spider guard.
Jack Bender had a strong performance in his first tournament. He also won the Gold Medal in the Master 1 White Belt Light Weight Division. In his first match, Bender won on points with a 7-2 lead. He was happy that he was able to successfully land a hip toss that he had been working on as well as pass his opponent’s guard and score from knee on belly. In his Finals match, Bender submitted his opponent via bow and arrow choke after passing his opponent’s guard twice and mounting him.
Cathy Tran-Zwanetz competed in her first tournament in the Masters 1 Purple Belt Feather Weight Division after a four-year hiatus from competition. She brought home the Silver Medal after going 1-1 in a three-person bracket. Tran-Zwanetz won her first match via Americana submission after taking down her opponent. She could not secure the win in the Finals and lost on points.
John Johnson brought home the Silver Medal in the Adult Purple Belt Super-Heavy Weight Division. He had two matches. In his first, he dominated to win 16-0. He was unable to come away with the win in the Finals match. He entered the Purple Belt Absolute Division and won his first match but lost by three advantages in his second match before the medal rounds. He went 2-2 for the day.
Byung Ju Lee brought home the Bronze Medal in the Adult Purple Belt Light Weight Division. He won his first two matches on points in typical fashion. He lost in the Semifinals round 3-2 on advantages.
Andrew Carter went up a weight class to the Adult Blue Belt Light Weight Division. He won his first two matches by advantages and narrowly lost his third match on points before the medal round. He went 2-1 for the day.
Chris Tran, Lakita Patterson, Monica Barlow, Lauren Crino, Tori Kime, and Leah Mays also competed at the tournament.