Saipan’s Frank “The Crank” Camacho clinched a silver medal in the 2013 European Open Jiu Jitsu Championships held late last month in Lisbon, Portugal.
Camacho was among the 50 entries in the purple-belt middleweight Gi (181lbs) division and placed second in the tournament than ran from Jan. 24 to 27. The Gi category allows mixed martial artists to use the traditional kimono during bouts and it helps the fighter better perform submission maneuvers if used properly.
Camacho came into the finals on a tear of four wins, which included four submissions victories he executed in under three minutes. However he succumbed to Alliance’s Rehan Muttalib, losing on points in the last five seconds of the championship match.
“I came into the finals feeling great after locking in three Kimura submissions, and a clock-choke submission, but faced a very tough opponent in Muttalib for the gold prize,” Camacho said in an email to Saipan Tribune.
It was one of the best closing fights of the day, as Camacho started landing a double-leg takedown and scored a big aerial slam, but Muttalib countered with a super tight triangle choke hold that almost put the former to sleep.
“I ended up getting out of it, but still lost the match by an advantage in the last five seconds. I fell short of my goal, which was gold, and unfortunately I was not the better man in Portugal. Still, the experience I gained is like no other,” he said.
“I will use this result as motivation leading up to the BJJ World Championships this June in California. I’m staying positive…it was a well needed match for me this year, meaning I can patch the current holes in my game and come back stronger. I want to thank my team, Master Lloyd, my family and friends, 12-P’s and the CNMI. I’m hungry and fired up. 2013 is going to be a great year,” Camacho added.
Camacho is also eyeing an appearance in the Pan-American JJ Championships in Irvine, California and the Brazilian JJ Nationals in May in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The 2013 European Open JJ Championships is a major annual affiliate of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF).