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Matt Leighton

Matt Leighton

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Matthew Leighton, or Matt Leighton is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Mark Vives (New Breed Training Centre) and a member of the Bonsai JJ team when competing internationally. Leighton made his name as one of grappling’s rising stars while climbing the ranks of jiu jitsu, by conquering important titles such as the IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2016) and IBJJF European Open Champion (2016), a status he later cemented as a black belt with repeated podium placements in jiu jitsu’s international circuit.

Matthew Leighton Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Matthew W Leighton

Nickname: N/A

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > George Gracie > Octávio de Almeida > Adilson de Souza > Mauricio Antonio de Souza > Mark Vives > Matthew Leighton

Main Achievements:

  • IBJJF Atlanta Summer Open Champion (2017)
  • IBJJF Washington D.C. Open Champion (2017)
  • UAEJJF Canada National Pro Champion (2018)
  • UAEJJF Mexico National Pro Champion (2018)
  • UAEJJF Continental North American Pro Champion (2018)
  • IBJJF Chicago Summer Open Championship 3rd Place (2017)
  • IBJJF Pans No-Gi Championship 3rd Place (2017)
  • IBJJF Cincinnati Open Championship 3rd Place (2017*)
  • IBJJF Chicago Spring Open Championship 3rd Place (2018*)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2016 brown)
  • IBJJF European Open Champion (2016 brown)
  • IBJJF Pans No-Gi Champion (2016 brown, 2015 purple)
  • IBJJF World No-Gi Championship 3rd Place (2015 purple)
  • IBJJF European Open Championship 3rd Place (2016* brown)
  • IBJJF Pans Championship 3rd Place (2017 brown)

* Absolute
** Weight and absolute

Favorite Position/Technique: Open Guard

Weight Division: Peso Pesado

Team/Association: Bonsai JJ

Matthew Leighton Biography

Matthew Leighton was born on August 1, 1992 in in Chicago, IL – USA, growing up in a neighborhood located on the famous Windy City gangland region, the South Side, more specifically the South Shore.

During his formative years Matt closely followed the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which propelled his interest for martial arts. This curiosity would lead Leighton to a jiu jitsu gym at the age of 17, a decision highly influenced by a few close friends who had started before him. As there were no BJJ gyms at South Shore, Matt started training in Downtown Chicago with a local Gracie Barra team affiliate led by two purple belts: ‘Beto’ Barros and Brick Welch.

One year into his training and Matt Leighton was already convinced he should be focusing all his energy towards grappling. With a tenacious approach to life, even at such a young age, Matt decided to the South Shore behind as soon as he finished high school and moved into the gym where he dedicated his time solely to his jiu jitsu, an endeavor that started after his 18th birthday.

In around 2011 Adem Redzovic took over the school from Barros. It was he who awarded Matthew his blue and purple belts. Being totally embedded in jiu jitsu and wishing to progress as far as he could in competition Leighton chose to switch academies in 2013, moving to a more sporting oriented gym, namely the New Breed Training Centre. There he started working with Mark Vives, the team’s leader.

As a brown belt Matthew received an invitation from a good friend – and New Breed affiliate John Gutta to move to Iowa and coach BJJ. Gutta was making the transition from teaching at the University of Iowa BJJ Club and working at his own school (Tipping Point Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) in Cedar Rapids. The invitation meant Matt could continue training and coaching while making enough money to compete in the top grappling events around the US. With that in mind, the young athlete decided favorably on the move to Iowa which proved to be a successful decision.

On June 30, 2017 Matthew Leighton was awarded his black belt from his coach Mark Vives.

Matt Leighton Grappling Record

20 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    7 (35%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    0 (0%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    11 (55%)
  • BY DECISION
    2 (10%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

11 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Armbar
55
6
#86e620
Triangle
27
3
#5AD3D1
Wristlock
9
1
#d1212a
Submission
9
1
11
(100%) SUBMISSIONS
10 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    4 (40%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    0 (0%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    3 (30%)
  • BY DECISION
    3 (30%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

3 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES

#214eb8
Triangle kimura
33
1
#86e620
Triangle
33
1
#5AD3D1
Choke from back
33
1
3
(100%) SUBMISSIONS

Matt Leighton Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
13155Lucas BarbosaLucas BarbosaLPointsChicago SMO88KGF2017
13162Keenan CorneliusKeenan CorneliusLPointsChicago SMOABS4F2017
13481Breno BittencourtBreno BittencourtLPts: 5x0Atlanta SM OpenABS4F2017
13527Aaron JohnsonLReferee DecisionNo Gi Pan Am.O97KGF2017
13879Keenan CorneliusKeenan CorneliusLTriangle kimuraBJJ NY Pro94KGSF2017
14064Vitor OliveiraVitor OliveiraLPointsCincinnati Open88KGF2017
14067Silvio DuranLReferee DecisionCincinnati OpenABSSF2017
14830Gerard LabinskiGerard LabinskiLReferee DecisionGrand Slam LDN110KGSF2018
14882Horlando MonteiroHorlando MonteiroLTriangleChicago Sp. Open94KGF2018
14889Gutemberg PereiraGutemberg PereiraLChoke from backChicago Sp. OpenABSSF2018
13154Joseph HookerWArmbarChicago SMO88KGSF2017
13161Danilo LopesWArmbarChicago SMOABSR12017
13228Malden JokmanovicWArmbarWashington Open88KGSF2017
13229Christian DellevagWTriangleWashington Open88KGF2017
13353Nick CalvaneseNick CalvaneseWReferee DecisionF2W Pro 49ABSSPF2017
13478Walnan PrestoWPointsAtlanta SM Open94KG4F2017
13479Jeff BoudreauxWArmbarAtlanta SM Open94KGSF2017
13480Josh BowlinWPointsAtlanta SM Open94KGF2017
13526Oleksandr KarliychukWArmbarNo Gi Pan Am.O97KGSF2017
13877Charles McGuireWArmbarBJJ NY Pro94KG4F2017
13977Diego GamonalWWristlockSan Antonio Open88KGF2017
14065Fabricio BarbarottiWTriangleCincinnati OpenABS4F2017
14337Pedro AzambujaWPts: 2x0Orlando Nat. Pro94KGF2018
14411Eduardo MiguelWTriangleMexico Pro94KGF2018
14553Kenneth BrownWPointsContinental Pro110KGRR2018
14554Aaron JohnsonWPointsContinental Pro110KGRR2018
14828Jamie HughesWPts: 6x4Grand Slam LDN110KG4F2018
14839Inacio NetoInacio NetoWReferee DecisionF2W Pro 6694KGSPF2018
14844Matthew GoddenWSubmissionCanada Nat. Pro110KGSF2018
14845Amir YafawiWPts: 6x0Canada Nat. Pro110KGF2018

Matthew Leighton vs Christian Dellevag

Matthew Leighton vs Diego Gamonal

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