Mackenzie Dern stuns nine-time world champion Gabrielle Garcia

Mackenzie Dern stole the show by stunning nine-time world champion Gabrielle Garcia before claiming her maiden open weight world jiu-jitsu title in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Denzil Pinto
by Denzil Pinto
26th April 2015

article:26th April 2015

Happy faces: The triumphant athletes.
Happy faces: The triumphant athletes.

Mackenzie Dern stole the show by stunning nine-time world champion Gabrielle Garcia before claiming her maiden open weight world jiu-jitsu title in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

– Sheikha Maitha bags a silver as Brazilians dominate
– Emiratis win 136 medals at Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup
– #Quiz360: Win a 2014-15 Real Madrid jersey


On the final day of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship at the IPIC Arena, the 22-year-old, who stands 1.57m tall, showed size does not matter as she defeated Brazilian Vanessa Nascimento 6-0 in the final.

Fans expecting to see Garcia in the final were in for a shock as the 1.88m tall Brazilian, weighing over 90kg, was made to pay after a penalty point saw short-statured Dern, who weighs 55kg, hold on to victory in the last-four.

And the American ensured the win was no fluke by putting on a spirited display against Nascimento.

“I always believed I could win and always had the belief that I could beat anyone,” said Dern, who moved up to black three years ago. I never fought against Vanessa ever before but I knew she would be really tough. 

“She was defending really good and when I saw one minute left until the end, I was never going to lose my winning position from that. It’s definitely the highlight of my career.”

For Garcia, the defeat ended her hopes of winning a fifth straight gold in Abu Dhabi, but did claim bronze following a 3-0 victory over compatriot Beatriz Mesquita.

Speaking of her semi-final loss, Garcia said: “Each fight gets harder the longer you go in the tournament. I’m very disappointed but I’m not invincible and I will come back stronger next year.”

In the men’s black open division, it was business as usual for defending champion Marcus Almeida, sealing his third straight world title with 2-1 win over Denmark’s Alexander Trans.

It was the Brazilian’s second gold after winning in the +95kg division on Thursday. And Almeida showed his class in a closely-fought encounter against Trans.

Both got penalty points but the defending champion did enough to win his seventh gold – fourth in +95kg and third in open weight.

“Fighting against him (Trans) is always really tough and he had a different strategy. I couldn’t put mine in place so I had to try something different,” said the 25-year-old.

“All the fights were tough and the semi-finals was difficult and it was one of my toughest tournaments that I have ever fought in my life.”

Almeida, who will compete in Las Vegas and California in the next two months, added: “The victory is amazing and it feels good to be the world champion. For sure I will be back year next year.”

In other results in the Open Weight division, Brazil took a clean sweep in three categories (Black Master 1, Black Master 2 and Brown), while Venezuela’s Luis Seballos claimed his second gold in two days in the Brown Master 2.


Share

Comments