Kinektic Grappling is a new team tournament that is combining a few old school mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters on a submission-wresting format, much like an American version of the Quintet tournament.
Although with plenty of star power on the event’s roster, the main attraction here will be the return of Gordon Ryan to action, the well known John Danaher student who has been out of play due to a knee injury since February this year. Originally scheduled to return to competition on the 24th of August at the IBJJF Grand Prix, Gordon decided to remove himself from that tournament last month due to his knee not being fully recovered. Last week, however, Ryan surprisingly accepted to make his comeback debut for Kinektic, which will take place on August 16 (one week earlier than the GP).
As for the tournament itself, Team BJJ Fanatics is coming in as the big favorite, stacked with talent, particularly Blue Basement (AKA Renzo Gracie Academy) training partners, with Edwin Najmi being the only outsider. Below is a small introduction to each of the team’s line-ups.
TEAM BJJ FANATICS
As we referenced, this will be a hard team to beat, particularly if heel-hooks are allowed (this hasn’t been made totally clear by the event).
Cleverly named after the team captain’s nickname, Chris Lytle, Lights-Out has gathered a fun group with Mansher being the most experienced grappler on it. Ricco was definitely a force in the sport 15 years ago, and it will be exciting to see him back on the mats.
– Gabriel Checco
– Rafael Domingos
– Vinny Magalhães
– Ronny Markes
– Alexandre Almeida
* Chael Sonnen (captain)
Likely the 2nd best team on the show is team SUG, after Chael Sonnen’s “Submission Grappling Underground” event. Chael will not be making the roster due to his prior commitments as an MMA commentator for ESPN, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, as the team is stronger without the legendary MMA fighter.
Team SUG will feature two very talented heavyweight grapplers in former Kimura-Nova União standout Ronny Markes, who left the BJJ world to focus on MMA a few years ago, and, of course, 3x ADCC medal placer Vinny Magalhães. Gabriel Checco is himself an accomplished athlete, and Domingos – although in the smaller weight classes, can also prove to be a challenge.
* Anthony Smith (captain)
Although captained by Anthony Smith, it will be Enrico Cocco and James Brasco who will have most of the grappling experience on the mat for team Lionheart. Certainly capable of entertaining, this seems to be the more “wrestling sound” team out of the 4, though on a submission event, it is tough to know how far that will take them.