MARCH 23, 2021 – This weekend we had another edition of the Fight 2 Win grappling production, a show that, once again, featured some of the top talents on offer in the United States.
Although the show’s main event featured a solid no-gi contest between rising ultra-heavyweight Victor Hugo (6-Blades Team) and heavyweight veteran Tim Spriggs (Team Lloyd Irvin), most eyes were on 2020’s breakthrough grappler, Thiago Macedo, and his return to no-gi after a very long absence from the rashguard wearing affairs. Also on offer was the black belt debut of Gracie Barra’s Pedro Marinho, after a stellar career as a brown belt.
THIAGO MACEDO X COLE FRANSON
We expected an exciting match here. Although Macedo was the most accomplished grappler here, he is also known as a strategic athlete, unlike Franson who is much more prone to go on the offense and seek the match-defining submission. This brand of style associated with the Tinguinha black belt, made him a better fit for the F2W ruleset and a dangerous opponent for Thiago.
Cole came out with guns blazing, sinking a guillotine on the current IBJJF Pan-American champ. Thiago escaped and managed to slow down Franson’s impetus. Both athletes exchanged a few footlocks, and Macedo attempted a “no-arm” triangle near the end, which didn’t seem to phase the California native.
A tough decision to be made as neither athlete overwhelmed the other. The referees decided on a split decision for Macedo.
JAKE WATSON HANDS MARINHO HIS FIRST LOSS AT BLACK BELT
Gracie Barra’s Pedro Marinho had a fantastic career as a purple and brown belt, with particular success in the no-gi ruleset. Robert Jimenez, Jason Rau, Vinicius Trator, Gabriel Almeida are only a few of the top-level athletes defeated by Marinho in the recent future.
Unphased by the extensive curriculum of the Brazilian native was Jake Watson. Jake is well-known for his rangy style, and this is exactly what he used to block Pedro’s pressure game. The match did not have the levels of excitement seen in other matches we’ve seen of these two. These atypical dynamics favored Jake, who took home the win via decision.
VICTOR HUGO READY FOR BIGGER MATCHES?
Fast on the rise is 6 Blades’ Hugo, who is now going on his second year at black belt. There had been some time since we’d seen Victor without the kimono. His last match on the record was a win over Nick Rodriguez over one year ago. Prior to that, Hugo had submission wins over Roberto Cyborg and Tex Johnson (both back in 2019).
Although a very accomplished athlete, Spriggs is two classes below Victor’s natural weight and a fight against Hugo would always be an uphill battle. Tim fought bravely to keep Hugo from obtaining the top position, forcing the Brazilian to pull guard a few times. In one of their interactions, the Ribeiro Brothers prospect managed to establish 50/50 guard and clamp on to a heel for the match-ending submission.
23 Recorded Adult Grappling Matches 9 submissions (39% sub rate)
– 9 Gi Matches: 3 submissions (33% sub rate)
– 14 No-Gi Matches: 6 submissions (43% sub rate)
– Victor Hugo DEF. via inside heel-hook
– Thiago Macedo DEF. Cole Franson via split decision
– David Garmo DEF. Saul Viayra via decision
– Rida Haisam DEF. Nonso Ebede via decision
– Scott Dance DEF. Geoff Real via decision
– Chris Orozco DEF. Thomas Haley via inside heel hook
– Michael Esquivel DEF. Michael Francisco Lugo via split decision
– Tony Lopez DEF. Carlos Catala via darce choke
– Jay Shellhammer DEF. Rudy Canales via decision
– Jake Watson DEF. Pedro Marinho via decision
– Gabriel Sousa DEF. Osvaldo Queixinho via split decision
– Diego Ramalho DEF. Jason Bucher via toe hold
– Matthew Fox DEF. Myron Kamihara via choke from the back
– Angel Lopez DEF. Brian Pierce via decision
– Justin Brunet DEF. Lin Hughs via split decision
– Andrew Tackett DEF. Matt Cox via reverse triangle/armlock
– Eric Ceballos DEF. Julian Godinez via calf slicer
– Lorram Esteves DEF. Mario Fonseca via decision
– JT Little DEF. Danny Hernandez via decision
– Grayson Henley DEF. Justice Bibbs via inside heel hook
– Thalys Pontes DEF. Matheus Azacout via decision
– Andrezo Ramos DEF. Edgar Gamboa via decision
– Gerson Alef DEF. Chris Creamer via choke from the back