New champions crowned at IBJJF No Gi Pan Championship
The IBJJF No Gi Pan Championship took place and there was plenty of action in each division. Although most of the attention was on the adult black belt brackets, New Wave Jiu-Jitsu’s Luke Griffith put in a fantastic performance to take home two gold medals at brown belt. Dante Leon also impressed, as he was moving pretty far up in weight at the event. He normally competes at middleweight and has even gone down to lightweight in the past, but he stood on top of the podium at super-heavyweight here.
Either side of him, Adam Wardzinski and Roosevelt Sousa both put in some great work as they won gold at heavyweight and ultra-heavyweight respectively. ADCC veteran Oliver Taza won the middleweight division after submitting all four of his opponents, registering one of just a few perfect runs at the tournament. Gianni Grippo and Edwin ‘Junny’ Ocasio also stood on top of their podiums at featherweight and light-featherweight respectively.
Kaynan Duarte stages tactical masterclass at Polaris 25
Polaris staged the most ambitious BJJ event in the promotion’s history, putting together a stacked absolute tournament with a $30,000 grand prize. Kaynan Duarte was the biggest winner of the night, as he put on a tactical masterclass to score the first points early in all 3 of his matches. That allowed him to work his gameplan against each opponent without pressure, and he ended up beating two by submission and one by scoring the most points of the night.
His opponent in the final was Fabricio Andrey and although Andrey didn’t win, he came out of the tournament looking like one of the best grapplers on the planet. He scored a huge upset in the opening round by outworking veteran Judoka Owen Livesey on the feet, before defeating ADCC world champion Giancarlo Bodoni in the second round. Andrey earned both of these wins despite being more than 15kg lighter than his opponents, an incredible feat for the smallest man in the bracket.
Gordon Ryan returns at Who’s Number One 20
Who’s Number One 20: Night of Champions delivered just as much action as it promised, as the promotion put five titles on the line at a single event. BJJ prodigies Mica Galvao and Diogo Reis both re-established their place at the top of the pecking orders in each of their divisions, as both of them won a four-man tournament to earn the welterweight and featherweight titles respectively. There was another vacant belt up for grabs in the women’s featherweight division, and Elisabeth Clay took that home.
The co-main event saw Nathiely De Jesus become the new women’s heavyweight champion, while Gordon Ryan and Patrick Gaudio closed out the show. Ryan was dominant in his first match in almost a year, and he was in control from start to finish. He was never in any trouble and ended up submitting Gaudio with an armbar, before revealing in the post-match interview that he had predicted the finish before he even stepped onto the mats.
Mikey Musumeci submits Shinya Aoki with Aoki Lock
ONE Championship has continued to push forward on promoting high-level grappling at their events, as both ONE Fight Night 14 and 15 featured top talent. Danielle Kelly took on Jessa Khan at ONE Fight Night 14 and the first ever ONE Championship women’s submission grappling title was on the line. Kelly managed to avenge the loss against Khan earlier in her career, winning the match by decision and becoming the inaugural atomweight champion.
Next up was ONE Fight Night 15, where Mikey Musumeci took on Shinya Aoki in an openweight matchup between two fantastic grapplers. In a shocking turn of events, Musumeci actually submitted Aoki using his own patented technique; the Aoki lock. Although those were the only submission grappling matches that ONE Championship staged, Thanh Le won the interim featherweight MMA title with a beautiful transition off the back of a takedown that gave him the opportunity to finish the fight with a heel hook.
- Top ten UFC lightweight Arman Tsarukyan took home a gold medal at NAGA Los Angeles, submitting all three men in his weight class.
- Jon Jones has enlisted the help of Gordon Ryan in preparation for defending his UFC heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295.
- Igor ‘Fat Ninja’ Tanabe moved to 4-0 in his professional MMA career at RIZIN Landmark 6, with all four fights being finished by submission in the first round.
- Ten-time IBJJF World Champion Bia Mesquita has just moved to American Top Team ahead of making her professional MMA debut.
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