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Cyborg Wins Heavyweight Title at Kasai Pro 7
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu can now add “Kasai Pro” Champion to his resume, as the heavily decorated veteran grappler won the Kasai Pro 7 Heavyweight Tournament. Cyborg defeated Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa by a score of 6-0 to claim the title in Dallas, Tx.
Kasai Pro 7 Heavyweight Bracket A
Entrants: Nick Rodriguez, Cyborg Abreu, Vinny Magalhaes, Bruno Bastos
Bracket A was destined to be explosive, with Cyborg and Rodriguez on a collision course for one another since their epic showdown at ADCC 2019. After Cyborg notched a 2-0 win over Bastos in his first match and Nicky Rod fought to a draw with Magalhaes, the two would meet again in the second round of the round robin portion of the event.
Cyborg set the tone for much of the match, diving to guard in the first few seconds of the match. From then, it was a battle of Cyborg’s guard versus Rodriguez’s explosive knee cut pass attempts. About halfway through the match, Rodriguez finally made it past Cyborg’s guard, but Abreu was able to bridge his way out of ceding the points. Cyborg nearly gave up his back during the sequence, but was able to roll and shuck Rodriguez off of him without allowing any hooks to settle in.
Coming out of the exchange, Cyborg was cut by an incidental elbow from Nicky Rod. In a short break from the action, he was bandaged up, but in a heated battle between two of the more physically imposing grapplers at the event, that bandage hardly stood a chance of staying on as blood flowed everywhere throughout the rest of the match.
The remainder of the match played out much like how it began, Nicky Rod constantly on the offensive, but unable to score on the veteran Cyborg, ending in a draw. Rodriguez would go on to win his final bout of round robin by heel hooking Bruno Bastos. However, Cyborg would receive a default win as Magalhaes withdrew from competition after an apparent injury in his match with Nicky Rod. According to Kasai tiebreaker criteria, Cyborg would advance to the finals.
Kasai Pro 7 Heavyweight Bracket B
Entrants: Paulo Azambuja, João Gabriel Rocha, Lucas "Hulk" Barbosa, Kyle Boehm
The B Bracket would also feature a major rematch angle, with 10th Planet Black Belt Kyle Boehm coming off his overtime win over the Atos phenom Lucas "Hulk" Barbosa at the BJJ Fanatics Black Belt Grand Prix. After Boehm finished Rocha by heel hook and Hulk defeating Paulo Azambuja -- a late replacement for Patrick Gaudio -- the rematch was set for the second round. It did not disappoint.
After a few early offensive exchanges between the two, Hulk sat to guard. Shortly after, Boehm attempted to dive over Barbosa’s guard, but Barbosa came up from the seated position on an expertly timed double leg, which he switched to a single leg to finish and score the first points of the match. Boehm was unable to execute any sort of meaningful offense from his back. Both made their way back to their feet in the final offensive exchange of the match. Hulk shot a double which Boehm tried to counter with a Kimura but was unable to as Hulk took him down for another 2 points and finished with a 4-0 victory. After a 2-0 win over Rocha, Barbosa advanced to the finals to face Cyborg.
Bronze Medal Match: Nick Rodriguez defeats Kyle Boehm 5-0
The 10th Planet competitor spent most of the first half of this match trying to entangle Rodriguez in rubber guard, attempting a triangle at the 2:50 which Rodriguez brushed off and attempted to pass but Boehm turtled to prevent Nicky Rod from scoring. This sequence played out a few times, until the 1:30 mark, when Rodriguez attacked Boehm’s back as he turtled. Rodriguez then went after Boehm’s neck, putting a squeeze on Boehm that changed the color of his face, and used that pressure as a path to mount and a 5-0 win.
Gold Medal Match: Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu def Lucas "Hulk" Barbosa 6-0
The first 30 seconds of this match featured some of the best action of the night. Cyborg, still sporting bloody tape around his head, shot on Barbosa. As Hulk defended the takedown, the two scrambled, until Cyborg would hit a textbook suplex and get on the scoreboard early 2-0.
The 39-year-old Cyborg would then put on a clinic in top control, shutting down any hope of an offensive by Barbosa, 27, from bottom. After a few guard pass attempts force Hulk to turtle, Cyborg would finally secure hooks and back points to secure the 6-0 victory and title of Kasai Pro 7 Heavyweight Champion.