APRIL 04, 2021, HOUSTON – Texas, USA, held the 6th edition of Third Coast Grappling’s Grand Prix, this time in the promotion’s absolute no-gi division. The tournament featured 8 of the top athletes in the sport, consisting of:
VICTOR HUGO (32-9-0) – 6 Blades Team
WILLIAM TACKETT (30-4-0) – Brazilian Fight Factory
PEDRO MARINHO (16-8-1) – Gracie Barra
NICK RODRIGUEZ (–) – Danaher Death Squad
KAYNAN DUARTE (94-12-0) – Atos
TEX JOHNSON (81-62-1) – Fight Sports
MANUEL RIBAMAR (105-48-0) – Rodrigo Pinheiro JJ
MASON FOWLER (10-1-0) – Caio Terra
Sadly, the tournament did not provide too many crowd-pleasing moments. Very few points scored on the board and no submissions in regulation time made for a somewhat disappointing Grand Prix from a spectator standpoint. Luckily the super-fights came for the rescue, with plenty of entertaining matches on the menu there.
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT
We did see plenty of action in the super-fights. One that truly deserves the FOTN mention was that of Niles Peebles and Josh Walker. Peebles was mentioned by BJJ Heroes as one of the most exciting athletes on 3CG’s first Kumite Card back in June 2020, and he did it again. Definitely a competitor to keep your eyes on in the future.
It takes two to tango, and Peebles’ efforts would have been in vain if there wasn’t an equally exciting and apt rival on the other side of the mat. That person was Josh Walker, the perfect match-up. These two had an all-out war, fighting for each square inch of the mat, like two bulls. The bout did end up in a draw and had to be decided on a judge’s decision, but don’t let that fool you. This is a match worth revisiting.
PERFORMANCE(S) OF THE NIGHT
No stranger to the 3CG ruleset was Draculino black belt, Andy Cordova of Gracie Barra – Texas. That experience made little difference to John Combs. A flawless performance by one of the most exciting athletes to watch in the sport, John showed technical and physical superiority taking home the win via mata-leão, after a slick back take from a passing attempt. Beautiful jiu-jitsu at work.
Equally impressive to Combs was Lucas Valente. The talented Red Shield representative made quick work of veteran grappler Justin Renick, taking home a win via straight ankle-lock.
As predicted in our preview (here), Kaynan was the man to beat here. The Atos athlete was on cruise control, sticking to the game plan throughout the tournament, never truly over-exerting himself but still putting enough effort on the mat to advance all the way through and take home the 15k prize.
Victor Hugo x William Tackett had, arguably, the best match in the tournament, although Ribamar x Fowler also had a few fun moments.
– Mason Fowler def. Manuel Ribamar via short choke (overtime)
– Kaynan Duarte def. Tex Johnson via golden score (overtime pts)
– Nick Rodriguez def. Pedro Marinho via decision
– Victor Hugo def. William Tackett via golden score (overtime pts)
– Jessie Crane def. P. Eckhardt via tech. fall (12×0)
– Savion Maranon def. Youssef Gebril via tech. fall (12×2)
– Niles Peebles def. Josh Walker via decision
– John Combs def. Andy Cordova via RNC
– Lucas Valente def. Justin Renick via straight ankle-lock
– Mona Bailey def. Trinity Pun via decision