MARCH 10, 2019, LONDON – ENGLAND. Built for the London Summer Olympics of 2012, the Copper Box Arena was the perfect home for one of the top “gi jiu-jitsu” events of the year, the King of Mats (KOM), a tournament that runs in parallel with the United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) Grand Slam Tour.
Set to feature all of the Grand Slam’s lighter weights champions (Tokyo, LA, Rio, and London) under one roof, the King of Mats London lost one of its main figures, Gianni Grippo, to an injury last week. As a last minute replacement, the federation called on Samir Chantre, the veteran co-founder of the Ares JJ team. The KOM saw the top rooster, light-feather, and featherweights on the UAEJJF circuit go to war. Lukewarm at first, the grapplers did pick up the pace as the tournament went by, providing good matches to the audience.
As is most common on these lower weights classes, traditionally more prone to experimenting with modern techniques, the lapel-guard was of the utmost importance throughout the tournament, with nearly all athletes aiming to use this control to overcome their opponents.
From all the competitors on the mat today, special mention to Isaac Doederlein, Gabriel Sousa, Paulo Miyao, and Tiago Bravo, who did their best to use their offense as often as possible, committing to forward-moving grappling and succeeding for the most part. Doederlein is looked at his sharpest throughout the weekend, both on the Grand Slam (yesterday) and today, very impressive campaigns.
On a side-note, Paulo Miyao came on the mats with messages drawn on his body, the messages increased as he advanced on to each round, Paulo was also incredibly emotional after the event, hinting that there may be a backstory to this out of character behavior.
Full results below.
Gabriel Sousa def. Hiago George by 6×4