JANUARY 12, 2019, the highly anticipated the United Arab Emirates Jiu Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) King of Mats returned to action with an epic cast of light, middle, medium heavy and even heavyweight athletes, all mixed in for a superb 85-kilogram division.
The unusual picks made for exciting match-ups that you would not expect to see anywhere in the international black belt leagues/tournaments and unsurprisingly outstanding clashes spawned from this very format. Out of these great bouts and grapplers, we would like to shine some light on one athlete who did not step on the podium but displayed some of the nicest skills and mentality seen on the mats today. We are referencing Espen Mathiesen, the Norwegian lightweight who was severely outgunned physically, being the smallest athlete in his group by a long shot. Still, Espen never played defensively, put almost every single one of his opponents on the backfoot and showed one of the most aggressive guards in the game today. A pleasure to watch.
Another athlete who showed great skills and a very articulate game was Manuel Ribamar, whose lapel work needs to be studied by modern guard players looking to succeed in jiu-jitu. Very purposeful and interesting to watch.
But wild cards aside, the day belonged to Gabriel Arges. The former 2x IBJJF World Champion seems to shine brightest in these group style events, coming prepared with incredible endurance, sharp technique, and a warriors mindset. Arges was in, arguably, the toughest group at King of Mats, with Lucas Hulk and Rudson Mateus coming in with slight favoritism, due to their size advantage. Arges did not shine away from the fight, leaving the group stage as the #1 ranked, after very even final standings.
– Gabriel Arges def. Espen Mathiesen via Choke from back
– Rudson Mateus def. Caio Caetano via Armbar
– Lucas Barbosa def. Gabriel Arges via 3×0 pts
– Espen Mathiesen def. Caio Caetano via Choke from back
– Rudson Mateus def. Lucas Barbosa via decision 0x0 pts
– Gabriel Arges def. Caio Caetano via decision, 4×4 pts
– Rudson Mateus def. Espen Mathiesen via 2×0 pts
– Gabriel Arges def. Rudson Mateus via advantages, 2×2 pts
– Espen Mathiesen def. Lucas Barbosa via advantages, 2×2 pts
– Isaque Bahiense def. Roberto Satoshi via advantages, 0x0 pts
– Manuel Ribamar def. Diego Ramalho via Armbar
– Isaque Bahiense def. Manuel Ribamar via decision, 0x0 pts
– DJ Jackson def. Roberto Satoshi* via Wristlock
– DJ Jackson def. Diego Ramalho via advantages, 0x0 pts
– Isaque Bahiense def. Diego Ramalho via Bow and arrow
– Manuel Ribamar def. DJ Jackson via 9×0 pts
– Isaque Bahiense def. DJ Jackson via decision, 0x0 pts
#1 Group Ranked – Isaque Bahiense
#2 Group Ranked – Manuel Ribamar
* Satoshi hurt his knee and forefeit the tournament
No 3rd Place Match Due to Injury