The current Pan-American absolute champion is Bernardo Faria, but there’s at least one heavy candidate in the running looking to throw a wrench in a second win in a row for the Alliance black belt, starting March 24 in Irvine, California.
He is none other than Gabriel Vella, who last weekend proved he is back in his old form. Sidelined from competition since last year, Vella won the first stage of the Circuito Aberto Paulista 2011 (São Paulo Open Circuit) last weekend.
The Pinheiros Club athlete took gold at both ultraheavyweight and open weight. In winning the absolute, Vella beat stalwart guard player Leandro “Lô” do Nascimento (Cícero Costa) on advantage points in the final, after routing the hard-nosed Adriano Silva (Barbosa) by 10 to 0 in the semifinal.
Do as Vella does and secure your spot at the Pan, paying less on sign-ups until the weekend. Click here and register.