The BJJ Fanatics company, who are currently the biggest distributor of grappling instructionals in the world, have graced us with plenty of creative ideas to promote jiu-jitsu content in the past, but we must say this was one of their finest.
The tournament was set for a prize of 2.5k (USD) and the big exposure that comes with the Fanatics brand. The tournament gathered a few of the top brown belts in the world, including Alliance star Roberto Jimenez, TriStar MMA Pierre Leclerc, Gracie Barra’s Pedro Marinho and Arian de Melo, Absolute MMA/Renzo Gracie Academy’s Izaak Michell as well as EBI Combat champ Kody Steele, 10th Planet standout Kyle Boehm, ADCC veteran Jesseray Childrey and many more.
Truly stacked to the brim with the best talent available up to brown belt in an open weight class, the event followed the EBI ruleset, with a submission-only 10 minute round, with overtime rounds starting from the traditional EBI setting if no finish is achieved in regulation.
With fantastic matches from start to finish, arguably the most important take from the whole tournament was that the Submission-Only side of grappling is becoming less and less something gi players can actually venture in, and be competitive, without fully committing to the ruleset and changes in dynamics. Sub-only is becoming (or has already become) its own sport.
Sub-Only: Gi Players Not Welcome Anymore
Although “tongue-in-cheek”, there is truth in the statement above from what we saw tonight. This was clear while watching the performances of the top gi players who tried to take the BJJ Fanatics prize tonight. Maybe the biggest name on the card was that of Alliance’s Roberto Jimenez – one of the most talented brown belts in the world, and an absolute killer with the gi, who, today, was swiftly removed by Irish newcomer Ryan McCartney via leg entanglements to footlock in the very first round. This was one case, but there were plenty more. Giancarlo Bodini of Alliance (another IBJJF Worlds podium placer) was also removed in the first round. Gracie Barra’s Arian de Melo (R2), Pedro Marinho (R2) and more. All elite grapplers under the traditional ruleset, who did show skill on the mats today, but were somewhat lost with the more modern grappling approach used by the sub-only specialists they faced.
The event was a very enjoyable affair all the way through to the final. A beautiful sequence of matches – all submissions during the first round. The very few matches that went all the way to overtime, did end up in submission under the EBI ruleset. No stalling.
From the many pleasant matches tonight, we would like to raise attention to Peter Hailer vs Andrew Jacobs as the Fight Of The Night. Unlike the other matches, these two gentlemen had a battle on the feet, with beautiful takedowns on display as well as tons of movement on the ground. A win very near the end for Peter, in a grueling match that we, the fans, certainly appreciated.
The athlete performance of the night, in our opinion, would go to Chase Hannah of 10th Planet, who showed tremendous skill and killer instinct. In all his matches, we must have accounted for less than 1 minute of defensive jiu-jitsu from the Atlanta competitor prior to the final. Truly outstanding work. Another impressive athlete on deck today was Chase’s fellow finalist Kyle Boehm, of 10th Planet Oceanside – the champion of the tournament. Kyle had two very impressive wins over Pedro Marinho and Jesseray Childrey before reaching the final.
– Pedro Marinho def. Nick Ronan by RNC
– Chase Hannah def. Sergio Villas by outside heel-hook
– Ryan McCartney def. Roberto Jimenez by inside heel-hook
– Pierre Leclerc def. James Cook by RNC
– Kyle Boehm def. Chase Davis by short choke
– Aaron Harris def. Giancarlo Bodini by inside heel-hook
– Andrew Alexander def. Steven Ramos by inside heel-hook
– Arian de Melo def. James Banville by inside heel-hook
– Peter Hailer def. Andrew Jacobs by RNC
– Erik Koval def. Izaak Michell by armbar
– Jesseray Childrey def. Quentin “Frosty” by straight ankle-lock
– Kyle Boehm def. Pedro Marinho by EBI overtime
– Chase Hannah def. Ryan McCartney by injury (rib)
– Andrew Alexander def. Ryan McCartney outside heel-hook
– Kody Steele def. Arian de Melo by EBI overtime
– Kyle Boehm def. Peter Hailer by RNC
– Chase Hannah def. Erik Koval by inside heel-hook
– Jesseray Childrey def. Andrew Alexander by straight ankle-lock
– Kody Steele def. Pierre Leclerc by EBI overtime
– Kyle Boehm def. Jesseray Childrey by inside heel-hook
– Chase Hannah def. Cody Steele by outside heel-hook
– Kyle Boehm def. Chase Hannah by EBI overtime