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Photo Courtesy of Ivan Trindade and Gentle Art Media
Congrats to Sonya Plavcan, Our new World Champion. This past weekend in Las Vegas, NV, Sonya set out to accomplish what is the Largest Goal for most BJJ competitors, to win a World Championship. Sonya, having just received her Black Belt this past February, jumped head first into competing at that level by taking Silver at the Pan Ams in March. Only a month into her black bet she lost her finals match by only 2 Advantages and never had a point scored on her the entire tournament. Not entirely happy with her performance, she returned to the gym and set her site on World Masters Championship in August. Well, her hard work definitely paid off. After a great 6 week training Camp, held at Twisted Fitness to prepare the students prepare for Chicago Open and World Masters, Sonya set out to Las Vegas to purse her Dream. Sonya’s first task, winning her division. Sonya was able to win her division without getting a point scored on her, making her WI’s first Black Belt world champion, Male or Female.
Next, Sonya set her sites on the Open class. Anyone who takes a medal in their division can enter the Open weight class and fight Opponents of all sizes. Sonya was the lightest woman, by weight, in the open class division. Sonya’s Semi Finals match put her against the same woman she fought in her weight class final. This time Sonya caught a submission on her opponent (knee bar) and moved on to fight the finals against a Super Heavyweight. In the finals match, Sonya pulled guard and quickly set up her half guard. She began to attempt to set up the sweep from the half guard, meeting strong resistance from her opponent, who outweighed Sonya by almost 40 lbs. She finally found the correct technique and timing and swept her opponent, then proceeded to try and pass the guard until time expired, winning the finals of the open class 2-0 on points. Again Sonya did not have a point scored on her in the Open class.
We are all very proud of Sonya’s performance and for everyone who knows how much she been through over the past few years, this has definitely been quite a momentous year for her. First receiving her black belt, next her stellar performance at Pan Ams, taking the silver only one month after being promoted to black belt. Then she goes on to take double Gold at the most prestigious Master’s tournament in the World, making herself a World Champion. Sonya is now THE Top Ranked female Black belt in the world in her class.