The IBJJF Kansas City Open 2023 took place across September 23rd and 24th, 2023 and there was plenty of great moments across every division at the event. There was even a surprise appearance by BJJ legend and coral belt Wellington ‘Megaton’ Dias, who actually competed in the gi in the adult lightweight division. He wasn’t able to get any wins unfortunately and had to settle for a default bronze medal instead, although his presence at the event seems like a clear sign that he intends to continue competing in the IBJJF World Championship next year. This is after he became the first coral belt to ever compete at the event in the last edition.
While Megaton is one of the most experienced competitors in the world, one of the newest black belts around was also competing at the event. Top ATOS prospect Rafael Silveira was only promoted just a few months ago but he came in strong at the IBJJF Kansas City Open 2023 in order to win gold at middleweight. The biggest prize of the first day undoubtedly went to Horlando Monteiro though, as he was able to win gold medals in both the heavyweight division and the absolute. There were no matches in regular women’s divisions but the absolute division had some action as Mayara Custodio, Thamires Aquino, and Thamires Monteiro lined up on the podium in that order.
Custodio returned on the second day to win the no gi absolute division, and this time she took a hard-earned gold medal at super-heavyweight too. Emilio Hernandez also stepped on to the mats on both days but he didn’t get much luck at all, getting a bronze medal in the no gi absolute division after a pair of default medals in his weight class. There wasn’t anywhere near as many matches in general on the second day when the no gi edition took place, but that’s pretty par for the course when it comes to IBJJF competition.