OntheMat fans will know that we've been playing careful attention to the Southeast region of the United States for sometime now, as the grappling scene has literally exploded over the last two years there.
OntheMat fans will know that we've been playing careful attention to the Southeast region of the United States for sometime now, as the grappling scene has literally exploded over the last two years there. Right now there is a huge amount of talent in the surrounding area, incorporating top shelf level imported and homegrown talent matched by a boundless enthusiasm in the area for Jiu Jitsu. I always enjoy an opportunity to visit the area to enjoy some quality grappling and southern hospitality. The Budweiser Cup is the continuation of what began last year as the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Grappling Classic. A lot since then has been discussed bout what went right or what went wrong from that past event, (in retrospect, much of the criticism, while valid, does not take into account the fact this tournament had ridiculously high expectations for a first time event). Since that tournament the promoters of the Budweiser Cup worked very hard to listen to everyone's comment and set about to improve on the previous years tournament in every capacity that they could think of. Ultimately they succeeded and this year's tournament ran very well. Attracting and keeping the most major league sponsor in the sport EVER, the promoters have continued a plan to grow both this tournament and Budweiser's involvement to truly grow this into on of the premiere annual events in Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling. This year a legitimate 250 competitors competed in both the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling portions of the tournament (a very high percentage of competitors opting to compete in both). The day began with the women and children's division, followed immediately by the Pro Submission Grappling divisions. In three weight classes (light, medium and heavy) competitors battled for a $1000 prize, and the right to compete for the Budweiser World Champion in the next tournament. In the Heavyweights, there were many game competitors, but Jeff Monson tore through the division, submitting three opponents to claim first place. Jeff displayed a much more well rounded and dangerous attack in which not only showcased his takedown and positioning skills, he demonstrated the ability and willingness to get the submission. It looks like Jeff has definitely found his groove at the American Top Team. In the finals Jeff submitted Lamonte Tyler, who put up a good match and just looked genuinely happy to be on the mat. Jeff's teammate Marcel Ferraira won what was a highly competitive Middleweight division. It was a tough road however, as Marcel managed to submit a tough Chris Moriarty in overtime, defeated a suprising unorthodox but entertaining Wayne Anthony Huss (who was previous a rare foreign grappling instructor at Mach Sakurai's gym in Japan), and defeated Brett Thompson in another tough match for the title. The lightweight division had the wildest action of the day however, with plenty of top level talent, but Pedro "Pedrinho" Brando captured the crown. Earlier in the competition Pedrinho defeater Junior Assuncao in a wild match. Junior's brother Raphael Assucncao caught Pedrinho's teammate Marcelo in a leg lock. Pedrinho then submitted Diego Saraiva via triangle choke in the semi finals as Raphael also advanced. In the finals Pedrinho defended several leg lock attempts by Raphael Assuncao, but secured the armlock for the victory and the title. The regular submission grappling commenced and also featured plenty of excitement up and down the divisions. Afterwards many of these competitors stepped up by putting on the gi and also participating in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu portion of the tournament. There was plenty of purple, blue and white belt action. There was a superfight between black belt Diego Saraiva and brown belt Nestor Bayot. Nestor was very aggressive, however Diego, perhaps motivated by the earlier loss in the pro division, showcased a dazzling array of sweeps and passes to easily win the match. At the end of the day Jacare's Alliance captured the overall Team title. The tournament finished up at about 8:30 that night, which was a definite improvement over the previous year (if the tournament grows in size again it will probably need to be held over the span of two years. Many of the competitors were spotted later on at Hooters for the complimentary wings they offered. In one great idea, which went array, there was dancers and talent from some of the local clubs invited to the tournament, and there was a VIP section stocked with beer (Budweiser, of course). When the girls arrived however, they quickly drank all the beer and then departed. It was however a great day of grappling and camaraderie. Plus all proceeds for the parking fee were donated to CVAN, a battered women's shelter. Full video of the event coming soon to Onthmat! In the meantime, please enjoy these videos and photo gallery! Special thanks to Joe Hurst for stepping up despite the criticism and putting on a great show, and to Jason Cuberth, the Revered Billy, Greg Thompson and Team Roc for the southern hospitality on my visit out there. Budweiser Cup Results January 10, 2004 Charlotte, North Carolina BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU White Feather: 1 Zack Wagner 2 Butch Marks 3 Chris Toher Light: 1 Dwayne King 2 Ben Wright 3 N/A Welter: 1 William Butturine 2 James Gamble 3 Brey Deavours Middleweight: 1 Anthony Motola Greg Johnson 3 Roger Carroll Heavyweight: 1 Jason Spallek 2 Marc Spallek 3 Daniel Icard Superheavy: 1 Jerome Smith 2 Calab Allen 3 Paul Floyd Blue Feather: 1 Brandon Bledso 2 Klint Radwani 3 Eduardo Carvalho Light: 1 Chris Bailey 2 Dustin Beeson 3 Jeremiah Lefreniere Welter: 1 Matthew Roberts 2 James Gamble 3 Ian McPherson Middle: 1 Dexter Gould Jr 2 Tony Banken 3 Andrew Butville Heavy: 1 Markus Larieu 2 DeMarques Johnson 3 Adam Greer Superheavy: 1 Jonathan Tooker 2 Gable Wadsworth 3 N/A Purple: Light: 1 Dustin Rhodes 2 Dennis Hayes 3 Joseph Keller Welter: 1 Ryan Ellison 2 Andrew Smith 3 Scott Davis Middle: 1 Chris Moriartz 2 Brett Thompson 3 Tito Hartz Heavy: Humberto Borges Super: Edmond Copher Black Welter: 1 Diego Saraiva 2 Nestor Bayot SUBMISSION GRAPPLING Beginner: Feather: 1 Zack Wagner 2 Anthony Garetto 3 James Wagner Light: 1 Ben Wright 2 Nick Glass 3 Chris Bailey Welter: 1 Jeff Filler 2 Efraon Lopez 3 Micheal Chernyak Middle: 1 Lee Synkowski 2 Larry Huges 3 Matt Daniel Heavy: 1 Daniel Icard 2 Kurk Rasmussen 3 Nick Albin Super: 1 Ervin Jotak 2 Gable Wadsworth 3 Jonathen Tooker Intermediate Feather: 1 Klint Radwani 2 Kirk Wahyick 3 Brandon Gay Light: 1 Dustin Beeson 2 Anthony Bonney 3 Jeff Dickens Welter: 1 Matthew Robert 2 Ian McPhearson 3 Troy Sing Middle: 1 Tony Banken 2 Andrew Chapman 3 Kevin Walker Heavy: 1 Humberto Borges 2 Jason Spallek 3 DeMarques Johnson Super: 1 Brendon Welsh 2 Rento Ghica Advanced Feather: 1 Richard Salamore 2 Kirk Hahn 3 Brandon Bledsoe Light: 1 Dustin Rhodes 2 Justin Farmer 3 N/A Welter: 1 Andrew Smith 2 Justin Farmer 3 Mike Robino Middle: 1 Chris Moriarty 2 Andrew Butville 3 Chad Main Heavy: 1 Mike Yanez 2 Armando Avecilla 3 N/A Super 1 Eanon Copher 2 Josh Langley 3 Micheal McMillan Pro Light: 1 Pedro Brandao 2 Raphael Assuncao 3 Diego Saraiva Middle: 1 Marcel Ferraira 2 Brett Thompson 3 Ryan Ellison Heavy: 1 Jeff Monson 2 Lamonte Tyler 3 Sherman Pedergust WOMENS BJJ White: 1 Suzi Sibounlevorly 2 Tina Taylor Blue: 1 Kizma Button 2 Sorena Syma 3 Jamie Copher Purple: 1 Tonja Ivenhouc WOMENS SUBMISSION GRAPPLING Light: 1 Toloni Franks 2 Sarena Syma Heavy 1 Laura Vira 2 Tonja Ivenhouc 3 Tina Taylor CHILDREN'S BJJ 8 - 9 yrs. old White: 1 Gregory Gupton 10 -14 yrs. Light: White: 1 Caleb Hill 2 Kristie Kidd 3 Joseph Shearin 10 - 14 yrs Heavy: White 1 Andrew Vira 2 Justin Edwards 3 Nokomus Shearin Jr. 14 - 17 yrs Light: White 1 Zack Wagner 2 Dana Chuang 14 - 17 yrs Heavy White 1 Joel Wyatt 2 Cari Kelso 3 Nick Owens 14 - 17 yrs Blue 1 Stephen LaPresta 2 Josh Agner 3 Robert Copher CHILDREN'S SUBMISSION GRAPPLING 10 - 14: 1 Andrew Vira 2 Zack Conley 14 - 17 yrs Light: 1 Stephen Hill 14 - 17 yrs Middle: 1 Stephen LaPresta 2 Todd Williams 3 Dona Chuang 14 - 17 yrs Heavy: 1 Joel Wyatt 2 Nicholas McGehee 3 Nicholas Owens MASTERS BJJ White: Feather: 1 Chris Toher Light: N/A Welter: 1 Chris Simon 2 Jason Davidson 3 Robert Monge Middle: 1 Don Hamilton 2 Timothy Bresson 3 Rip Arrington Heavy: 1 Gary Thomas 2 James Tabor Super: 1 Brad Sperry 2 William Hamby 3 Tom Perry Blue: Feather: 1 Brian Mynatt Light: 1 Jimmy Salamenca 2 Durnard Gomez 3 Nick Glass Welter: 1 Tim Rumfelt 2 Alvin Decker 3 Tracy Spellenberg Middle: 1 Morris Williams 2 Alan Whited Heavy: 1 Bob Johnson 2 Phil Hurst Super: 1 Mark Salser 2 Brendon Welsh 3 Renato Ghica Purple: Middle: 1 Cliff Harris 2 Billy Fletcher Heavy: 1 Mike Yanez 2 Armando Avecilla 3 Casey Baynes Super: 1 Humberto Borges 2 Edmon Copher 3 Lamont Tyler -