Fight 2 Win is probably the most consistently impressive BJJ promotion in North America and they’ve started to up the ante with recent events. They already had a fantastic event just a little over a week ago with F2W 151 that had Kennedy Maciel’s title-winning victory as the highlight. They went even further with their next event, F2W 152 this weekend, which saw Edwin Najmi earn a razor-thin decision victory over Michael Liera Jr in the main event.
Romulo Barral also made a rare appearance, although he came out on the losing side of his match against Gabriel Almeida. The card also featured a number of other high-profile names like Johnny Tama, Rafael Barbosa, Tainan Dalpra and Johnatha Alves. The promotion aren’t content to stop there though as they’ve just announced the main matches for F2W 153, an event that will feature two legends of BJJ in Gianni Grippo and Talita Alencar.
Mackenzie Dern reveals fight with coach, then earns first-round finish
Mackenzie Dern is one of the most well-respected female BJJ competitors around several amazing performances, including beating a woman literally twice her size in Gabi Garcia. She made headlines for a totally different reason in the build-up to her fight at UFC Vegas 11, when she revealed that the relationship with her previous coach soured after he got into a fight with her husband over money.
When fight night came however, Dern was all business. She faced a game opponent in Randa Markos, a BJJ purple belt under Fabio Lima, and fans could be forgiven for doubting her after losing her undefeated record against Amanda Ribas. In total, it took less than four minutes for Dern to lock up a tight armbar and force Markos to tap, giving her four wins out of five UFC fights and a lot of praise from several fellow elite BJJ black belts.
Bellator carries on a strong relationship With BJJ royalty
With Scott Coker at the helm of Bellator, the promotion has nurtured a mutually beneficial relationship with the biggest surname in BJJ, the Gracie family. While Bellator gets name value in spades, the family all get MMA experience on a big stage and the opportunity to fight for titles and no doubt a nice amount of money. Their latest acquisition was revealed as Kywan Gracie Behring, the grandson of Carlos Gracie and black belt under BJJ legend Roger Gracie.
The promotion even featured Royce Gracie in a rematch of his classic match against Ken Shamrock several years ago and most recently saw Neiman Gracie retire Jon Fitch in style with a brutal heel hook. The relationship between the first family of BJJ and Bellator is showing no signs of slowing down as Royce’s son, Khonry Gracie is set to make his return to MMA and Robson Gracie Jr has also had his next fight announced for Bellator 246.
Xande Ribeiro in IBJJF Competition for the first time in two years
Alexandre ‘Xande’ Ribeiro is BJJ royalty in his own right and one half of a pair of BJJ legends, along with his brother Saulo. After winning the IBJJF World Championships a total of nine times and the ADCC World Championships twice, Xande appeared to retire from competition back in 2018. Nobody could blame him after a 17-year career at the highest levels of the sport and 10 years fighting his way through the colored belt ranks before that.
What sets Xande apart from anyone else is the fact that he’s only had his guard passed four times in almost thirty years, and only twice in black belt competition. That’s why the BJJ world went wild when he tested the waters with a superfight against Gabriel Almeida at F2W 145 earlier this year, a fight he would win by armbar. Now he’s even returned to IBJJF competition at the Austin International Open and come away with a gold medal despite being only a few months shy of turning 40.
- Despite early reports that UFC legend and submission specialist Frank Mir had signed to BKFC, his manager has confirmed he has not officially signed a contract, “yet”.
- Invicta FC 42 saw the promotion’s first ever Von Flue Choke finish, as Alesha Zappitella submitted Ashley Cummins to become the Atomweight World Champion.
- 170lbs BJJ black belt and top-tier competitor Edwin Najmi was challenged to a grappling match by a 250lbs powerlifting champion, and it went exactly as you’d expect.
- Mateusz Gamrot just signed to make his UFC debut against Renato Moicano in a little under a month and it’s a big challenge for the KSW Double Champion and ADCC veteran.
Side Control, Americana to D’arce Choke
Reverse De La Riva to Ape Guard to Matrix Back Take
Half Guard with Leg Lasso to Crowbar Sweep
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