Joshua and Solange both did extremely well at the Torque tournament this weekend.
They both took gold medals in their Gi division.
In Solange’s No Gi divisions, Solange took a gold.
In Joshua’s No Gi division, Joshua drilled through the competition to face AJ Sousa in the finals.
A.J. Sousa is the protege and heir apparent to an aging Pablo Popovitch, and Sousa has already proven himself capable of defeating World Champions and Black Belts at major tournaments.
Sousa, like Popovitch, is a master of the arm drag from all positions, and is also a specialist at taking the back and finishing from the back.
Joshua, even though the underdog, had made an impression on Sousa by handily defeating some known very tough competitors without breaking much of a sweat in the fights leading up to the final.
As their fight commenced, Sousa immediately took a guard position and failed to sweep Joshua again and again as Joshua’s methodical approach and seeming ability to float to regain his balance prevented Sousa’s best efforts to put Joshua on the bottom.
Growing clearly frustrated Sousa switched to a series of relentless arm drags from the bottom which almost resulted in Sousa being able to convert to a single leg takedown and take Joshua down from the bottom at least twice.
But, Joshua exercised a spirited athletic defense against the leg attacks in both cases and narrowly prevented the favorite from scoring.
As the final thirty seconds counted down, an overtime round seemed certain as neither opponent could score on the other.
Then, with 5 seconds left on the clock, Sousa executed an aggressive back attack, and Joshua was unable to attack back during the scramble nor block his opponents hooks.