Joe Hurst is personally committed to making sure that each and every competitor has the best time possible. Scotty himself said it was the most fun he`s EVER had at a tournament!
Editor`s Note: Alright, a little explanation on why this report is so late. Having being horrendously backed up as it was, when I finally had the chance to sit down with the footage my computer freaked out and crashed. When I was finally able to ressurect by video editing system, I got that much more behind. Flash forward to now where I`m finally sitting down and editing the footage for the DVD, and really wanted to get this report and footage up.
The Budweiser Cup is the third in a series of annual tournaments held by A&J Sports (that`s Aaron and Joe Hurst) held in Concord North Carolina. The tournament itself has grown in leaps in bounds and attracted talented competition from all over the United States and even abroad (UFC veteran Remco Pardoel brought some students and competed) and Joe Hurst is personally committed to making sure that each and every competitor has the best time possible. Scotty himself said it was the most fun he`s EVER had at a tournament!
Awesome blow by blow report by Andrew "GoatFury" smith from www.bjjnews.com (check it out!)
Budweiser Jiu Jistu World Cup
Day 1: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (with the gi)
Saturday had some exciting gi matches. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the gi brings out the most technical in a fighter, and this tournament was no exception.
Brown belt standouts included Lloyd Irvin brown belt Mike Fowler, who was voted "most technical" gi grappler. Fowler beat tough Sean Alvarez/Renzo Gracie brown belt Jo Jo Guarin and had a great match against Brazilian fighter Leo Marques (Flavio Behring Jiu Jitsu), dominating on points.
Noah Booth (Yamasaki) dominated the brown belt featherweight division, landing a very fast triangle on his opponent for the submission.
Eric Burdo (head instructor of Richmond BJJ) had a very technical match against Clint Crabtree (Jorge Gurgel), losing by 2 points after being illegally heel-hooked in the match. Burdo got a nice De La Riva guard sweep on Crabtree, and Crabtree got 2 solid takedowns for the eventual win.
Roy Nelson (Cobra Kai) didn't have an opponent for his brown belt super-heavyweight division, so he got a match with UFC veteran (and BJJ purple belt) Remco Pardoel. Nelson made quick work of Remco, kneebarring him early in the match for the tap.
Purple Belts provided some of the most exciting and technical matches of the day.
Richmond, VA Yamasaki instructor Klint Radwani faced Lloyd Irvin standout Mike Easton in the purple belt lightweight division.
The match began with Radwani pulling guard right away. Easton is notorious for his athletic, fast takedowns. Easton went right to work, trying to pass, coming very close several times.
Easton aggressively working to pass; Radwani effectively recovering his guard quickly
Because there were no advantages awarded in this tournament, a 2-minute overtime was called for.
Easton shot in to secure the fast takedown, ending up in Radwani's guard, where the rest of the match stayed. Easton won a great fight 2-0 to take first.
Purple belt welterweight was won by Andrew Smith (me). I ended up getting two triangles, one kind of weak flying-triangle guard pass, to finish both of my opponents for the gold.
Day 2: No-gi competition
Sunday kicked things off with fast and furious no-gi competition. The advanced divisions got underway early on.
Noah Booth (Yamasaki) made quick work of his opponent to win the division.
This division saw the first good battles of the day. Klint Radwani had a great battle with Casey Walters from Balance, going for the figure-4 footlock, along with a heel hook, ultimately winning 8-2. Klint finished his next opponent, the tough Jeff Dickens, with a triangle choke.
This division stole the show (in my very humble opinion). Brown belts Leo Marques (Sylvio Behring Jiu Jitsu) and Jo Jo Guarin (Sean Alvarez/Renzo Gracie) had a great match, with Guarin coming ahead on points, controlling every step of the way, and going for a close armbar on Marques.
I got the heel hook for the tap on my first opponent after he pulled guard.
A few words about the atmosphere during my matches from Dennis Hayes, head instructor at Hybrid Martial Arts Academy, and the ref during my matches:
"ALL the Richmonder's gather round cause the goat is in it. I would call him the goat & everyone would start going BAAAAHHH, like a goat would. Gumby has it on tape so that makes it true. at one point he has someones back but only has one foot(hook) in & everyone is talking sh*t to him saying "get that other hoof in goat, get that other hoof in". & I can't help but laugh."
So Jo Jo Guarin and I faced off.
I landed a solid uchimatta throw right into Guarin's formidable guard:
I stood up to do the "log-splitter" guard pass (call it what you want, but this is the best descriptive term I can think of for it right now) and got the guard open, playing tight, and managing to pass Guarin's guard, staying tight for the 5-0 win on points.
Meanwhile, awesome wrestler Justin Farmer (Mile High) was ripping through the other side of the division.
After using amazingly fast takedowns and athleticism to beat his opponents, Farmer faced me in the finals. Guess what? He took me down.
I was looking for a flying triangle, being kind of stubborn instead of just pulling guard. So Farmer led 2-0 when I rolled for a leglock. I had the kneebar set up but Farmer was trying to defend it, so I twisted the foot towards my chest... and his knee crackled a little. I stopped for a sec to make sure Justin was OK, then re-applied, and it crackled a little more and sort of popped. I stopped and told him that his knee was popping, so the match stopped. Justin got up and walked around, said he was OK, so I said it was all right with me if we continued from the same position. We did, and I immediately straightened his leg for the kneebar submission, getting the tap.
I won most technical no-gi grappler, and I was happy to win it. There were some excellent fighters in my division.
Chris Moriarty (Alliance) landed one of the prettiest flying armbar submissions in this division, out-classing his opponents for the win. Moriarty later did the pro division as well.
Pro Lightweight (under 166)
The much-anticipated pro divisions got underway with the lightweights, as Daniel Valverde (American Top Team) made quick work of Justin Farmer (Mile High), getting the armbar submission about 30 seconds into the match.
Noah Booth (Yamasaki) stepped up to fight in the pro division, tapping out Dennis Hayes (Hybrid Academy), who also stepped up after reffing all day, with a triangle:
In the finals, Daniel Valverde looked very smooth, passing guard after booth pulled guard. Valverde finished with the neck crank for the win.
This division was stacked with talent.
The competition-savvy Dan Simmler (Renzo/Matt Serra) faced Ademir Olivera (The Armory). Simmler went for a scissor sweep takedown, ending up in guard, and went right to work on his half-guard game. Simmler was able to get the sweep for 2 points, standing in Olivera's guard. Olivera transitioned to a shot, trying to take Simmler down. Simmler countered by setting up a rear triangle, ultimately ending up on his back after working the submission attempt. Simmler got another sweep as time was running out, winning on points to advance.
Chris Moriarty (Alliance) faced Mike Heitzler, an excellent wrestler. After some stand-up stalking by both guys, Moriarty pulled guard, going right to work. Heitzler was able to back out of Moriarty's guard, working on passing the open guard, and Moriarty would stand up. This went on for several minutes. With only about 30 seconds left, Moriarty landed a nice sweep, but Heitzler scrambled to his feet, so there were no points scored. Moriarty followed and was glued to Heitzler's back when he jumped and did a flying "take the back", getting both hooks in and immediately securing a rear naked choke with only a few seconds left!
Meanwhile, the youngest American BJJ black belt ever, Raphael Lovato, Jr. got the opportunity to show his stuff against Igor Almeida from The Armory. Lovato Jr. pulled guard and went for a straight ankle-lock. It was the battle of the footlocks, as Igor countered with his own ankle-lock attempt. Lovato Jr. came up on top, but was not awarded sweep points, which caused a little controversy. Lovato came up on top and immediately went for the guard pass. As Igor turtled to prevent the pass, Lovato got the hooks in and sunk in a tight rear naked choke for the tap.
Dan Simmler vs. Chris Moriarty proved to be a very even and exciting match. Simmler pulled guard to start. As he opened his guard to go to work, Moriarty sat back for an ankle lock, sitting back up to work the pass. Simmler defended well, and that's where the fight stayed for the next 5 minutes. As time ran out, the ref raised Simmler's hand... but according to the rules, if there was no score, there was to be a two-minute overtime. So there was. As the overtime began, Moriarty aggressively went for the low-single shot, defended by Simmler. Simmler landed a nice takedown from his own, and went straight to Moriarty's back, sinking in a fast rear-naked choke for the win.
This set up a finals match between Raphael Lovato, Jr. and Dan Simmler.
Lovato immediately pulled guard, going to work, and got the sit-up sweep from butterfly guard. As Lovato worked to pass, Simmler was able to set up a tight triangle with just seconds left. Lovato defended the triangle and time ran out with Lovato still in Simmler's triangle. Lovato won 2-0.
Heavyweight Pro Division (191 and up)
Jeff Monson made short work of his first opponent, finishing with a guillotine after being ahead 2-0.
Rick Macauley (Balance) faced Justin Jacobs. Macauley pulled half-guard right away, and set up a technical sweep. From Jacobs's guard, Macauley went for his patented straight ankle lock, ending up on his back, transitioning nicely from leglock to leglock, ultimately getting the tap with the reverse heel hook about 5 minutes in.
Roy Nelson (Cobra Kai) faced Carlos de Silva (The Armory). As Nelson aggressively pressured forward, getting both underhooks and lifting de Silva off the ground, de Silva jumped guard. According to the rules this should be ruled a takedown, but it was not at first. There was some controversy, but the match continued. de Silva was able to get the sweep, and with a 2 point lead at the end of the match, de Silva was awarded the win.
Here's where the controversy really began. Nelson (obviously) was not happy with the ruling and protested loudly. Joe Hurst and Aaron Helfenberger ruled that the takedown points should be awarded, and so the 2-2 score initiated overtime. Anthony Huss was called in to ref the overtime period. The overtime was very close, as de Silva pulled guard and aggressively went for sweeps, and as time was running out Nelson went for his notorious kneebar.
Huss awarded Nelson with the decision, as Nelson had a submission attempt to finish things out.
In the semi-finals, Rick Macauley faced Jeff Monson. Macauley pulled half-guard, and got the quick sweep on Monson. Monson recovered, getting his own sweep after transitioning into a low-single. Monson was able to pass Macauley's guard for the win on points in a very competitive match.
At this point I was called in to ref the last couple matches. Let me say that at first I was none too happy to be in there reffing such high-profile fights, but I agreed because I knew I could be objective and I have a freaking ton of competition experience.
Roy Nelson beat his opponent on points after getting the takedown and passing the guard, 5-0.
In the consolation match for 3rd place, Rick Macauley was able to submit his opponent with a kimura for the tap.
So that brings us to the finals.
Roy Nelson vs. Jeff Monson.
Monson got a nice, aggressive takedown on Nelson about 4-5 minutes in, but Nelson rolled through and popped back up. I did not award Monson any points, even though Jeff stayed on top of Nelson the whole time as Nelson stood up... Nelson was on his feet and the way the rules were explained to me, you had to have control for 3 seconds to score. It BROKE MY HEART not to give Monson the points because he worked extra hard, dominated the regular time, and the score was 0-0. No advantages were awarded as per the rules, so overtime (2 minutes) was called for. Monson went for a shot, didn't get it, pulled 1/2 guard, and Nelson was able to pass for the win.
Overall the experience reffing was awesome, and I'd be happy to do it again. Naturally if there is someone more qualified than me to do it I'll be happy to step aside, but under the circumstances I was glad to fill the role, if a bit nervous.
The Bud Cup ended at 5 PM on Sunday and 3 PM on Saturday, having come a long way since the Dale Earnhardt, Jr BJJ competition of 2 years ago.
Joe Hurst and company have done and excellent job of promoting a tremendous event and working with some of the biggest sponsors in the history of our sport. Happily, the sponsors (Budweiser especially) have seen the unlimited potential of our sport and due to the success of each event has agreed to continue to support Jiu Jitsu and Grappling and great things are on the horizon beginning in Concord, North Carolina and you can look forward to OntheMat supporting many events there!