Jacob Couch, commonly known as The Hillbilly Hammer, is a professional grappler and a jiu-jitsu black belt under Heath Pedigo of the Pedigo Submission Fighting team, a squad also labeled as The Daisy Fresh. Couch first made waves in the sport as a colored belt, competing against veteran names of the sport, successfully, in submission-grappling’s professional events while also conquering numerous gold medals on the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) and the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro circuits.
Jacob Couch Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Jacob Lee Couch
Nickname: Unlike the traditional Brazilian/Portuguese nicknames, whose origins tend to be based on banter among friends and/or family, Couch’s nickname, The Hillbilly Hammer spawns from a combat sports tradition, a promotional name with less of a backstory, aside from Jacob’s place of birth and job description.
Lineage: Carlos Gracie > H. Gracie > Rickson Gracie > Rodrigo Vaghi > Heath Pedigo > Jacob Couch
- 3rd Place ADCC East Coast Trials (2021)
- 3rd Place WNO Tournament (2021)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
- 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI (2018 blue, 2021/2022 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship NOGI (2020** purple, 2022**)
- 1st Place AJP Grand Slam, MIA (2020 purple)
- 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI (2019* purple)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NOGI (2019 purple, 2021 brown)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2020 purple)
- 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI (2018 blue*, 2019 purple, 2021* brown)
** Weight and Absolute
Favorite Position/Technique: Closed Guard
Weight Division: Peso Pesado (94kg/207lbs)
Team/Association: Pedigo Submission Fighting
Jacob Couch Biography
Jacob Couch was born on February 3rd, 1999, in Hazard, Kentucky, United States of America.
Competitive sports entered Couch’s life in 6th grade when he joined the A.B. Combs Elementary School’s football team. Although he loved the sport, he was forced to quit the team due to lack of transportation, but the love for the challenge remained very much alive in his heart.
Jacob joined his school’s wrestling team as a freshman. A short-lived experience that lasted 3 months, prior to him finding out about submission-grappling.
When Couch was 15 years old he became a target of bullying. Seeing his struggles, two friends of Jacob – brothers Ken and Stone Beverly – suggested that he should join a local MMA gym, which he enjoyed from the get-go. Despite his lack of financial resources, Jacob was allowed to pay half-fee so he could train.
At the mixed martial arts gym, Jacob started learning jiu-jitsu under the guidance of Donald Neace, who saw Couch through to the blue belt level, and later with Adam Gomez.
In 2019, while at the IBJJF No-Gi Pan American Championship, Jacob Couch befriended a few students of Heath Pedigo. These newfound friends invited the Kentucky native to come and train with them at their (now famous) training room in Mount Vernon, Illinois, even offering to drive Couch there, as the young athlete did not own a vehicle.
Couch visited the Daisy Fresh facility – Pedigo Submission Fighting – in 2019 where his relationship with the workgroup grew even stronger, leading to his decision to stay and move to Illinois. Jacob was a purple belt at the time.
While training at Pedigo Submission Fighting, with some of the top athletes in the nation, Couch’s grappling skills shined through even further than they had in the past. After multiple successes in the colored belt divisions, coach Heath Pedigo promoted his student, Jacob Couch, to the rank of black belt. A celebration that took place while The Hillbilly Hammer stood on the podium of the IBJJF No-Gi World Championship, on December 15, 2022.
NOTE REGARDING JACOB COUCH’S GRAPPLING RECORD
Traditionally BJJ Heroes has only accounted for an athlete’s individual black belt matches in our record displays as they signify an athlete’s entry into our sport’s elite division. Jacob Couch, however, is a special case as he’s been competing against and beating top-shelf athletes in the pro-grappling circuit since he was a colored belt. This has left BJJ Heroes with a delicate predicament of defining when to start accounting for the young prodigy’s match records.
As we saw some of these matches as a fundamental part of Jacob’s entrance into the sport’s rankings, we have opted to include all his pro-division matches from brown belt onwards, on our display (see below). The reader of this page is to keep in mind that every match prior to 2022 was fought when The Hillbilly Hammer was still a colored belt.
Jacob Couch Grappling Record
- BY DQ
20 SUBMISSIONS WINS
- BY DQ
5 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES
Jacob Couch Fight History
|27903||Mica GalvaoMica Galvao||L||Armbar||WNO Champ.||84KG||SF||2021|
|27920||Jon BlankJon Blank||L||Reverse triangle||WNO Champ.||84KG||RPC||2021|
|28913||Giancarlo BodoniGiancarlo Bodoni||L||RNC||ADCC EC Trials||88KG||SF||2021|
|31295||Gordon RyanGordon Ryan||L||Pressure||WNO 12||O92KG||SPF||2022|
|31380||Harrison Woods||L||Pts: 3x0||ADCC WC Trials||88KG||8F||2022|
|34992||Andrew TackettAndrew Tackett||L||Pts: 2x0||ADCC Vegas||ABS||SF||2022|
|37808||Igor TanabeIgor Tanabe||L||RNC||Unrivaled 2||SPF||90KG||2023|
|39925||Izaac Michel||L||Referee Decision||WNO 18||84KG||SPF||2023|
|27901||Roberto JimenezRoberto Jimenez||W||Inside heel hook||WNO Champ.||84KG||4F||2021|
|27922||William TackettWilliam Tackett||W||Referee Decision||WNO Champ.||84KG||3RD||2021|
|28446||Hunter Colvin||W||Armbar||WNO 10||O92KG||SPF||2021|
|28876||Corbin Crisp||W||Kneebar||ADCC EC Trials||88KG||R1||2021|
|28885||Donald Marcelin||W||Points||ADCC EC Trials||88KG||R2||2021|
|28895||Micah Bakefield||W||Outside heel hook||ADCC EC Trials||88KG||R3||2021|
|28904||Achilles Rocha||W||Triangle||ADCC EC Trials||88KG||R4||2021|
|28911||Joseph Watson||W||RNC||ADCC EC Trials||88KG||4F||2021|
|28915||John SalterJohn Salter||W||Pts: 0x0, Pen||ADCC EC Trials||88KG||3RD||2021|
|29823||David GarmoDavid Garmo||W||Inside heel hook||WNO 11||93KG||SPF||2022|
|30706||Santeri LiliusSanteri Lilius||W||Referee Decision||GrappleFest 11||90KG||SPF||2022|
|31354||Charles Hiersche||W||Triangle||ADCC WC Trials||88KG||R2||2022|
|31365||Joshua Baerwolf||W||Pts: 5x0||ADCC WC Trials||88KG||R3||2022|
|31373||Kevin Crane||W||Referee Decision||ADCC WC Trials||88KG||R16||2022|
|32810||Tom Breese||W||Referee Decision||GrappleFest 12||NA||SPF||2022|
|34206||Jacob Rodriguez||W||Referee Decision||WNO 14||NA||SPF||2022|
|34959||Angel Verduzco||W||Inside heel hook||ADCC Vegas||91KG||R2||2022|
|34964||Daniel Ontiveros||W||Inside heel hook||ADCC Vegas||91KG||8F||2022|
|34968||Brian Guevara||W||Inside heel hook||ADCC Vegas||91KG||4F||2022|
|34972||Gabriel AlmeidaGabriel Almeida||W||Inside heel hook||ADCC Vegas||91KG||F||2022|
|34990||Jeferson GuaresiJeferson Guaresi||W||Triangle||ADCC Vegas||ABS||4F||2022|
|35276||Silviu Nastasa||W||Referee Decision||GrappleFest 13||95KG||SPF||2022|
|36161||Bruno MatiasBruno Matias||W||Guillotine||WNO||84KG||SPF||2022|
|39173||Mackenzie Morales||W||RNC||Chicago SPNG||91KG||4F||2023|
|39177||Yousef Ghoul||W||Smother tap||Chicago SPNG||91KG||SF||2023|
|39178||David GarmoDavid Garmo||W||Points||Chicago SPNG||91KG||F||2023|
|39179||Mackenzie Morales||W||Triangle||Chicago SPNG||ABS||4F||2023|
|39182||Daniel McGuire||W||Smother tap||Chicago SPNG||ABS||SF||2023|
|39183||Alexander Seaver||W||Inside heel hook||Chicago SPNG||ABS||F||2023|