The IBJJF Dublin Open 2023 took place across April 1st and 2nd, 2023 and the tournament attracted some of the best grapplers from all across Europe to compete. The men’s middleweight division provided plenty of action as Espen Mathiesen won gold in the gi, defeating one of the UK’s most popular competitors Bradley Hill in the final. Third place on the podium was occupied by Tom Barry, although he redeemed himself in impressive fashion by winning gold in no gi. In the next weightclass up, Taylor Pearman put in a great performance to take gold in no gi as well.
Ashley Bendle put in a virtually flawless performance in the women’s featherweight division, as she won gold in both the gi and no gi editions of the tournament. Gabi Schuck also left with a pair of gold medals after winning at middleweight in the gi, and winning in a higher weightclass at medium-heavyweight in the gi. The woman who won that division in the gi, Martina Gramenius, was equally impressive as she won the absolute division in the gi too. Vanessa English was the woman who left with the most medals of the weekend though as she won gold in the gi and a default gold in no gi at lightweight, along with bronze and silver medals in the respective absolute divisions.
Perhaps the biggest story to come from the IBJJF Dublin Open 2023 didn’t actually happen on the mats at all, although it did effect the tournament results. Jackson Sousa won gold in the super-heavyweight division in the gi and had made it to the final of the absolute division, when his opponent Bradley Hill withdrew from the match. This wasn’t due to injury or anything that might normally happen at Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, as Hill actually forfeited his medal and withdrew in order to take a stand against Sousa personally. This was in response to the sexual harassment allegations that have been made against him in the past; the first of which was made by Samantha Cook, who is now married to Hill.
Bradley Hill explained in his own words why he withdrew from the absolute final at the IBJJF Dublin Open 2023 in a post to his official Instagram account after the event:
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