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A Star is Born in Women’s BJJ with Karen Antunes

Karen Antunes FIVE Grappling Super League

Around the same time Karen Antunes and husband/coach Mayko Araujo accepted positions as new full-time jiu jitsu coaches at The Cellar Gym, Karen also accepted an invitation to compete in the first ever, FIVE Grappling Super League event. The professional invitational 8-woman tournament featured some of the best female grapplers in the world and took place in Solana Beach, CA on August 2nd and was available on internet PPV.

In her first match Karen faced Luiza Monteiro, a 4x Black Belt World Champion and 5x Pan American Champion (to name a few of her titles). Monteiro was viewed as one of the favorites to win the entire tournament and the $10,000 cash prize. She started out strong against Karen, pulling guard and getting two sweeps to take a 4-0 lead during the match. But in the blink of an eye Karen was able to recover her guard and throw up a lightning fast triangle choke and lock it in tight. Karen then switched to the triangle+armlock to get the submission win.

In her second match Karen challenged another BJJ World Champion in Nyjah Rollins. Karen was able to execute a sweep and a guard pass to get the win on points 7-0.

In the finals Karen met 14x World Champion, Mackenzie Dern. Unfortunately Dern was too much for Karen on this day and got the submission win. Karen settled for second place and a cash prize of $5,000. But more importantly, she made a huge name for herself on one of the biggest stages for female jiu jitsu! At one point the PPV commentators were going nutz talking about Karen and her underdog victories over Monteiro and Rollins and how a star had been born in Women’s BJJ in the form of Karen Antunes.

Congratulations Karen, we are so proud of you and so excited to begin working with you at The Cellar Gym! Congratulations to Coach Mayko as well!

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