U.S. black belt Kristina Barlaan wins gold, cash

Kristina Barlaan of the U.S. upset the 2017 World Champion Talita Alencar at the 2017 Copa de Marianas Jiu-Jitsu tournament held Saturday at the Father Duenas Memorial High School Phoenix Center.

The female black belt competition highlighted a day of grappling for about 200 competitors gathered at the school.

Guam is a hotspot for jiu-jitsu competitions, and it attracts grapplers from all over the world. The four international female black belt fighters all competed in the 55Kg division.

It featured Emma Xiong from China who is the first Chinese female black belt; Talita Alencar from Brazil and the 2017 world champion; Kristina Barlaan from California, who is a black belt from Caio Terra team and lastly, Tassia Pimenta from California born in Brazil who trains with Gracie Barra black belt under Romulo Barral.

For the first match, Alencar took the win by a choke-hold from the back against Emma Xiong.

In the second match, Barlaan wins by a toe-hold with 15 seconds left on the clock against Pimenta.

In the final match for the Gold medal and $2,500, both ladies put on a good show up to the last few seconds on the clock.  Kristina took the win, her advantage for a sweep attempt gave her the title. Barlaan is the first ever Copa De Marianas Women’s 55kg black belt Champion.

This article was originally published on PDN on Oct. 28, 2017. View here.

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