Keenan Defeats Marcos Souza, Lucas Leite & Mike Fowler & Wins $10K

Keenan Defeats Marcos Souza, Lucas Leite & Mike Fowler & Wins $10K



Keenan Cornelius won a high level black belt absolute division at the 2015 Marianas Open Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament this weekend, which included Marcos Souza, Lucas Leite and Mike Fowler. 

Cornelius took home the $10,000 grand prize as he defeated Mike Fowler in the black belt absolute final match by submission.


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Photo: Virgilio Valencia/For Pacific Daily News

Grant Wieman from Guampdn.com has more:


“Cornelius defeated Marcos de Souza and Lucas Leite on his way to the championship match, opponents he was very familiar with, he said, because he’s trained with and competed against them several times before.

The decision to come to Guam and compete came only this week, Cornelius said. He was swayed by Atos teammate Josh Hinger’s decision to compete as well. Hinger lost to Fowler in the first round.

“It was a fast, quick decision to come out here and it paid off,” Cornelius said. “Whenever there’s good prize money, I’m always there. … I’ll definitely be back.”

Guam’s two black belt entries, Terrence Aflague and Luis Blanco, were defeated by Leite and Fowler, respectively.

It was the first time Blanco has competed in the black belt division of a tournament, which is exactly what tournament director Steve Shimizu hoped for when he created the $10,000 purse for this year.

“We met our goal,” Shimizu said. “We didn’t want Guam to go to the world, we wanted the world to come to Guam. … We brought an opportunity for our athletes to compete against the best in the world.”

Several of the black belts from off island are former world champions. Cornelius plays jiu-jitsu for a living.

“The opportunity for these guys is right here,” Shimizu said. “Hopefully we can do this again, with the support of our very, very fine sponsors. … (For the sponsors) it’s not about the money, it’s about showing our athletes they have it, too. Hopefully, one day, we can see one of our athletes be the best.”

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