The IBJJF Toronto Open 2023 took place across the weekend of September 16th and 17th, 2023 and several top competitors made to the trip to Canada in order to compete. The most impressive performance of the weekend undoubtedly came from Joao Gabriel Rocha, as he won every single match across four different divisions. Not only did he win gold medals in the ultra-heavyweight division both in the gi and no gi, but he also managed to win the absolute division on both days as well. He put in some fantastic work on the mats and he faced some tough competition along the way, making the achievement even more impressive.
Rocha beat Clay Mayfield in the final of the gi absolute division and although he left with a silver medal from that bracket, he did manage to win a pair of gold medals from the medium-heavyweight division. Mayfield had another attempt at winning the absolute division in the no gi edition on the second day, but he ended up with a bronze medal that time around. Although Emilio Hernandez didn’t manage to leave with as many higher-value medals as Mayfield and Rocha, he was the lightest competitor to reach the podium of the absolute division.
Hernandez took home a pair of bronze medals in the absolute division shortly after winning gold medals at featherweight and although his gi weight class had no opposition, he beat top competitor David Weintraub in no gi. Surprisingly given that Brianna Ste-Marie is one of the most accomplished Canadian grapplers, there weren’t very many female competitors taking part in the IBJJF Toronto Open 2023. There were no black belt weight classes for women that could put together a match between two athletes and only the gi absolute division had two entrants, with Bruna Maciel taking home a hard-earned gold medal after winning the only female black belt match.