Although there have been quite a few top-level tournaments on the professional circuit, during the current COVID19 pandemic, we hadn’t seen one where quite literally everyone is a favorite. Most events have had very solid cards with worthy athletes, yet, this 170 lbs Third Coast Grappling Kumite truly is in a league of its own when it comes to competitiveness.
Set for August 8, this event will also feature 2 interesting heavyweight super-fights between Ricardo Evangelista and Ricardo “Demente” and Guilherme Augusto vs Arnaldo Maidana. Below is a short description of the 5th 3CG Kumite line-up.
HUGO MARQUES (617 Fight Sports)
Marques is a former IBJJF World No-Gi Champion and Brazilian Nationals No-Gi Champion (weight + absolute) who is undefeated in no-gi matches since earning his black belt.
A natural-born competitor, the only kinks in Marques’ armor will be his lesser experience in events where heel-hooks are allowed as well as his lack of activity over the past 10 months. Although these are pertinent points, Marques should be seen as a very serious contender here. Great stamina, outstanding scrambles, and arguably the best pure wrestling on the card. A very hard man to score on.
ROBERTO JIMENEZ (Studio JJ)
A regular face in Third Coast Grappling’s events and one of the most active grapplers on the scene during these COVID19 times. No mystery as to who this young man is and what he’s style is like. Creative, outstanding stamina, solid triangles from the bottom, great back attacks from the top. Jimenez will also be the biggest man on the mat, not longer outmuscled as he was in previous events on heavier weight classes. A very serious contender to the 3CG belt.
JONNATAS GRACIE (Atos)
One of the most praised lightweights on the Atos team is Jonnatas. This black belt has many strong points technically, but it is his competitor mindset that sets him apart from most in the sport.
A solid “all-rounder”, Gracie will have a very tough match-up in his very first bout, where he will meet Vitor Oliveira, a man who will be able to match the Brazilian in strength, score awareness, and experience.
VITOR OLIVEIRA (GF Team)
Mostly known for his work with the gi, Vitor is very apt in nogi as well, holding wins in this uniform setting over high profile names such as Lachlan Giles, Thiago Abreu, DJ Jackson, and Philipe Della Monica. Very powerful for this weight class, with great takedowns (albeit from a judo base) and very savvy passing, Oliveira will be a headache to anyone in his path.
Oliveira is the oldest grappler on the card, yet, at 34 years of age, still well within his prime physicality to compete against the new generation of athletes.
JOHNNY TAMA (Studio JJ)
Tama will be one of the smallest grapplers in this Kumite, but this is a circumstance with which the Ecuatorian World No-Gi Champion is only too familiar with. Style-wise, if you don’t know Johnny, you are in for a treat. Tama is the epitome of the Latin grappling style with tons of heart and aggressiveness in droves, something he mixes well with a technical and offensive driven guard.
For his first match Tama has Renato Canuto. This is a perfect match-up and has all the ingredients for a Match Of The Night award. Aggressive guard player vs aggressive guard passer and two of the most talented lightweights in the world. Exciting stuff ahead.
RENATO CANUTO (Checkmat)
Undoubtedly one of the most exciting grapplers in the world, Canuto has amazing distance style takedowns and trips, cat-like reflexes, and agility, mixing all these physical attributes with great technique and timing.
His match with Johnny Tama in the first round is definitely set to be one of the best of the night. If he advances to the final, there is also a chance we will see him face Roberto Jimenez, another match-up we would give an arm and a leg to see happen.
TYE RUOTOLO (Atos)
Tye will have his hands full with Oliver Taza, being smaller and less experienced with professional rulesets when comparing to the John Danaher/Firas Zahabi pupil. Although uneven on paper, expect this to be a very close match. Ruotolo has a perfect style for Taza’s game, particularly if he is able to achieve top position.
Being the youngest, smallest and least experienced in this group, Tye may not be one of the favorites, yet, he has all the tools necessary to cause a big upset. Don’t count this young man out.
OLIVER TAZA (TriStar / Renzo Gracie)
The savviest leg-locker on the card, Taza’s technical prowess stretches far wider than his knowledge of heel-hooks. Oliver is a great all-round grappler, with a wealth of experience in the professional circuit and a natural welterweight. This will be one of the most stacked cards of the year and although Oliver is still a brown belt, he is in no way less of a contender than the more senior members on this bracket.