MAY 23, 2022, LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM. This past weekend, we enjoyed watching another edition of GrappleFest, one of the prime British grappling promotions set in Merseyside, England. Committed to no-gi grappling, GrappleFest produced a wide variety of superfights between local talent and a handful of international level bouts that have set exciting precedents for the upcoming ADCC championship, to premiere in September 2022.
On the aforementioned, ADCC precedent front was Ashley Williams of Wales versus Keith Krikorian of the USA, two athletes who will be going to battle in the 66-kilogram division come September, where they might very well meet. This match ran at an incredible pace, with most caution thrown to the wind by both competitors, resulting in a fun match to watch. Neither athlete backed off the right pedal for the full duration of the match and in the end, it was Williams who took home the win via decision after passing Krikorian’s guard in the final minute of the clash.
Another match that may very well come to fruition at the ADCC tournament later this year was that of Jon Blank (USA) and Eoghan O’Flanagan (UK), both of which are scheduled to compete at the Las Vegas showdown in the 88-kilogram division. This weekend, however, the match was set at 90KG, and it was a very competitive clash with both athletes opting to exchange in the stand-up early on – a somewhat surprising tactic for two guard-players. Also surprising was Eoghan’s frame, he came in bigger than we recall seeing him in the past, and he came strong, ending the match with a very tight triangle from a beautiful open guard maneuver.
The main event was set between Dante Leon (Canada) and PJ Barch (USA), two of the most exciting -80-kilo no-gi jiu-jitsu specialists on the planet. The match was incredibly even across the board in numbers of takedowns and sweep attempts and would have likely been declared a draw in a different ruleset. As there are no draws at GF, the victory went to Barch who won the GrappleFest 80KG belt and now has two narrow victories over Leon at the professional level.
MAIN CARD RESULTS
– PJ Barch def. Dante Leon via decision
– Ash Williams def. Keith Krikorian via decision
– Eoghan O’Flanagan def. Jon Blank via triangle
– Jacob Couch def. Tom Breese via decision
– Owen Livesey def. Micheal Pixley via decision
– Jack Grant def. John Hathaway via decision
– Tom Caughey def. Liam Alpang via decision
– Max Bickerton def. Shane Fishman via decision
– Rosa Walsh def. Sula Mae-Loewenthal via decision
– Dinu Bucalet def. Josh Williams via decision
– Kate Bacik def. Julia Scardone via RNC
– Troy Mercer def. Mick Stanton via decision
– Tom Barry def. Josh Roberts via decision