DECEMBER 12, 2019 witnessed the Japanese pro-grappling promotion, Quintet’s, return to the capital of fighting – Las Vegas, Nevada – United States. Although labeled as a high-level grappling tournament, the event is more of an MMA/grappling crossover-novelty, featuring a few retired MMA glories bundled in with current MMA athletes, in match-ups which are catered for an old-school mixed martial arts crowd. Nonetheless, the Quintet tournament did provide entertaining matches overall, though most of the event’s real interest — for grappling fans — fell on the appearances of jiu-jitsu ace’s Gordon Ryan and Craig Jones, who had super fights to attend at Quintet (more on those below).
Regarding the team tournament, there were a few high-level grapplers on deck, men such as Gilbert Burns, Jake Shields, Glover Teixeira, Gregor Gracie, Hector Lombard, Anthony Smith, and Sean O’Malley, who were among the most entertaining athletes throughout the tournament. The event culminated with the most anticipated match-up of the day, that of Jake Shields and Gilbert Burns, two of the most decorated grapplers on the show. Somewhat unexpectedly, maybe due to fatigue, the match was severely dominated by Burns, who passed the guard, took the back and mounted the former Strikeforce welterweight champ and sealed the win by overall referee decision for Team UFC.
Team PRIDE Fc
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson
Craig Jones def. Fredson Paixão by RNC
It is always fun to watch Craig Jones compete, though we really hoped Quintet could have done a little better with the match-making. Although highly decorated as a featherweight 18 years ago, 40-year-old Paixão showed up in “off-season” shape and was not a competitive challenge for one of the best medium-heavyweight grapplers of the modern-day era. A quick submission from the back by the Australian, who had referenced through social media that he suffered from food poisoning during the previous day.
Danielle Kelly def. Cynthia Calvillo by straight ankle lock
We did not have a lot of information on these two athletes, though we had seen Kelly compete at the IBJJF Pans NoGi Championship in a dominant performance. In this Quintet match, it took Danielle about 4 seconds to secure the victory, a quick guard pull to outside ashi-garami and a straight ankle lock finish. As clean as it gets.
Gordon Ryan def. Aleksei Oleinik by kneebar
Although Gordon’s favoritism here was unquestioned, this was an interesting match-up in the sense that many questioned which strategy Ryan would apply against such an unorthodox grappler such as Oleinik — the “King” of the Ezekiel choke in MMA.
It took Gordon about two minutes to break through the tough Russian grappler’s defense from the saddle position and seal the deal with a beautiful kneebar.
UFC vs PRIDE Fc
– Sean O’Malley def. Takanori Gomi by guillotine
– Hector Lombard def. Sean O’Malley by straight ankle lock
– Hector Lombard dew with “Rumble” Johnson
– Gregor Gracie def. Clay Guida by armbar
– Gregor Gracie drew with Anthony Smith
– Gilbert Burns def. Yves Edwards by short-choke
– Gilbert Burns drew with Kazushi Sakuraba
Both teams ended with a draw, referees made the decision, Team UFC advanced.
STRIKEFORCE vs WEC
Chad Mendes drew with JZ Cavalcante
Jake Shields def. Mark Munoz by katagatame
Jake Shields def. Cub Swanson by katagatame
Jake Shields drew with Glover Teixeira
James Krause def. King Mo by arm in guillotine
James Krause drew with Gilbert Melendez
Team Strikeforce advanced.
FINAL OF QUINTET ULTRA
UFC vs STRIKEFORCE
Clay Guida drew with Babalu Sobral
Anthony Johnson drew with Anthony Johnson
Sean O’Malley drew with Gilbert Melendez
Anthony Smith drew with JZ Cavalcante
Gilbert Burns drew with Jake Shields
Team UFC took the win by decision.