What’s going on in the world of BJJ?
We’ve got you covered for all your BJJ-related news and happenings in this version of our monthly recap (February 2021).
BJJ Stars V: Heavyweight Grand Prix (6th February, 2021) Results
Yet again, BJJ Stars pulled off a phenomenal card – and we were lucky to have had the opportunity to watch it. In case you didn’t catch it, here are some of the results from the heavyweight grand prix and a series of superfights between some of the sport’s best athletes.
Heavyweight Grand Prix
Felipe Pena walked away the winner of the BJJ Stars Heavyweight Grand Prix. But Gutemberg Pereira might have stolen the show with his win over Nicholas Meregali – the betting favourite heading into the night – in the tournament’s first round.
Other first-round matchups in the one-night tournament were:
Atos’ Lucas Barbosa took out Yuri Simôes via points.
Erich Munis bested Erberth Santos via points.
Felipe Pena guillotined Luiz Panza.
In the semi-finals, Pereira earned a close decision victory over Lucas Barbosa. Pena came back from being down on points early to beat Erich Munis in the other semi-final matchup.
In the finals, Pena swept Pereira, then fended off some late attacks to secure the heavyweight grand prix title.
Outside of the heavyweight grand prix, the ultra-talented Bia Mesquita won her nogi superfight over Thamara Ferreira of PSLPB Cícero Costha, in which fans were treated to a taste of the new heel-hook friendly rules from the IBJJF.
In another fast-paced nogi superfight, Isaque Bahiense did enough to earn a victory via points over Roberto Jimenez.
The last superfight of the night saw a gi matchup, in which Leandro Lo took out late replacement Alex Munis with a sweep to a cross choke.
This was another exciting card from BJJ Stars. We’re excited to see what they have in store for us next!
Rodolfo Vieira stunned by guillotine loss at UFC 258 (13th February, 2021)
In case anybody needed reminding that nobody – not even an elite black belt – is invincible, BJJ legend turned MMA fighter Rodolfo Vieira was stunned in his fight against Anthony Hernandez at UFC 258. Hernandez, just a blue belt in BJJ, was able to tap Vieira with a guillotine in the second round.
This was an eye-opening reminder that BJJ is an amazing art, and seemingly anything can happen on a given night. This seems to be especially the case in MMA.
Overall, this was a great performance by Hernandez, and Vieira is sure to bounce back.
F2W 163, 164, 165 Results
The Fight 2 Win promotion had a busy month, with 3 exciting events in total. Here are some of the key results from their trio of February shows.
F2W 163 – 13th February, 2021
F2W saw Kenedy Maciel retain his Lightweight title with a split-decision victory against Diego ‘Pato’ Oliveira. Also, Rafael Formiga Barbose retained his Master’s Middleweight title with a victory via slam over Johnny Souza.
Elsewhere in the black belt main card, Pedro Marinho earned a decision over Matheus Luna, Emilio Lucas Lima used an ankle lock to get past Sean Joseph, and Max Gimenis won a decision over Tex Johnson.
The fight of the night honours went to Jason Bright and Justice Rice, in which Bright submitted Rice via choke.
The submission of the night honours went to Isaac Doederlien for his victory via choke over Matheus Galvao.
F2W 164 – 19th February, 2021
F2W had an enormous card full of black belt action. Vagner Rocha beat Yuri Simoes, Manuel Ribamar beat Dante Leon, Gabriel Souza beat Gianni Grippo, and Pedro Rocha beat Oliver Taza – all wins coming by way of decision.
The fight of the night honours went to Fabrício Barboretti for beating Guilhereme Rocha by split decision.
The submission of the night honours went to Pedro Veras for his victory over Rodrigo Lopes via choke.
F2W 165 – 27th February, 2021
F2W165 was a stellar all-women’s card filled with submission-only matches. In the main event, Elisabeth Clay showed how dangerous she is with a toehold victory over Maria Malyjasiak.
Other blackbelt action saw Tracey Goodell win over Danielle Alvarez, Sheliah Lindsey bested Suellen Lima, and Luiza Moniero submitted Jessica Flowers with a toehold.
Fight 2 Win has shown once again that they are one of the top promotions in BJJ right now, with three excellent events in the month of February.
In the future, we’re hoping that this organization (and others in the BJJ world) put together more all-women’s cards… these girls can fight!
WNO (26th February, 2021) Results: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior
Besides the backstage chaos between Gordan Ryan and Andre Galvao, Who’s Number One (WNO) was another great event that saw the undercard and most of the main card matchups end in decisions. The co-main and main events ended with two satisfying submissions.
On the undercard, Checkmat’s rising star Elder Cruz took out the Hillbilly Hammer Jacob Couch. Also on the undercard, Art of Jiu Jitsu standout Jessa Khan won her black belt debut over the popular and talented Danielle Kelly.
On the main card, Nathiely De Jesus managed to pull off a crafty decision win over Gabi Garcia. Just surviving a few minutes with Gabi Garcia has become an impressive feat for high-level grapplers, let alone lasting a full 15 minutes and coming out with your hand raised. Needless to say, this was an impressive outing for Nathiely.
Other matches on the main card saw the super tough Andrew Wiltse get a decision win over 10th Planet veteran PJ Barch, while Barch’s teammate Geo Martinez managed to get a win over Unity’s Edwin ‘Juny’ Ocasio.
Gordon Ryan showed his continued dominance in the co-main event by securing an arm bar over the always-exciting Roberto Jimenez. This match reinforced how versatile Gordon’s game is (as if we still needed proof that he is one of, if not the best grappler in the world right now), as well as how fun it is to watch Roberto compete – even in defeat.
Finally, the main event delivered as expected, with a fiery matchup between the young black belt from Atos, Ronaldo Junior, taking on the talented and crafty Craig Jones. The leg lock game of Jones proved to be too much for Ronaldo Junior’s dynamic top-game, as Jones managed to secure a fight-ending inside heel hook to claim victory.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it), the action didn’t stop with the main event, as there some unplanned, extracurricular activities transpired backstage between some of the game’s biggest stars.
The Gordon Ryan vs Andre Galvao Incident at WNO
A star-studded line-up wasn’t the only thing people were talking about after another great WNO card.
After Galvao supposedly answered Ryan’s handshake by giving him the finger, the two met backstage later in the night, which resulted in an altercation… and it seems the BJJ world cannot stop talking about it.
After going back and forth with verbal jabs, Ryan delivered a quick slap to Galvao, who did nothing to retaliate in the moment.
The two had words again afterward when Gordon was doing an interview with Flo Grappling.
Before all of this occurred, it came out that Galvao had requested a paycheque of 1 million dollars for his expected (now hoped for) upcoming ADCC superfight with Ryan. The two are technically scheduled to face off at the next ADCC, as Galvao is the reigning superfight champ, and Ryan is the most recent winner of the ADCC absolute division.
With what’s happened recently, including Galvao’s apology to Ryan for the incident, nobody is quite sure what’s going to happen next.
Will this matchup ever materialize for ADCC 2022? Will another promotion capitalize on the buzz and book these two stars to an epic super-fight? Will there be another backstage skirmish between these two, or will Gordon accept Galvao’s apology, allowing the pair to put this event behind them?
We’re all waiting eagerly for these questions to be answered.
There you have it. Now, you’re all caught-up on key events in the BJJ world from February.
Tune in next month for a recap of everything that happened in March.
Until then… stay rolling, and protect your neck! (And your legs, and arms, and wrists… you get it).