By Caoilte de Barra
The 2022 IMMAF Pan American Championships are off to an exciting start. The action got underway at 11 am (UTC-5) local time. Twelve bouts took place in Cage 1 to get the competition started.
A match-up between Brazil’s Giulliany Perea and Uruguay’s Jimena Osorio got the competition underway. It was Perea’s first time competing at strawweight, and she impressed once again, taking a decisive win over Osorio. The highly touted BJJ Brown Belt is one of the athletes to watch after her silver medal-winning run at the 2021 World Championships, where she competed as a flyweight.
The first finish of the competition came in the second bout of the day. Colombia’s Oscar Mateo Lara Cuellar was too tricky for Puerto Rico’s Jese Negron, submitting with a triangle choke in the second round to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
Colombia’s fine form continued through Diego Torres Valbuena and Tael Nicolas Sotelo Rodriguez. Both athletes rounded out the day with wins, while Walter Plazas and Jeisson Andres Farias Poveda were on the wrong side of decisions.
Later in the day, Trinidad and Tobago also picked up their first win through Anthony Joseph. And in their second bout of the day, Uruguay was able to get into the win column through Cristian Sanchez, who defeated Guyana’s Trevlon Clarke via TKO with just over a minute left in the bout.
Host nation Mexico had mixed luck across their seven bouts, winning just three. Jaime Sierra was the standout. He snatched his opponent’s arm early in the third to secure a submission victory and a semi-final slot.
Lastly, it was a clean sweep for the United States, with Jonathan Powell, Lester Batres Jr and Anthony Orozco all earning victories. Orozco rounded off the day in spectacular fashion, utilising his high-level wrestling to dominate before submitting his opponent with thirteen seconds left in the round.