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GQ Beast of the East Superfight Program Guide

    Mon, 2005-02-21 01:03 — Gumby

    Grapplers Quest, "The Greatest Grappling Show on Earth", returns to Elizabeth, New Jersey's REXPLEX, a 200,000 Square Foot Sports Complex on February 26th. For more information, please visit

    Grapplers Quest, "The Greatest Grappling Show on Earth", returns to Elizabeth, New Jersey's REXPLEX, a 200,000 Square Foot Sports Complex next to IKEA. This event will feature 122 Divisions for BJJ, No-Gi Grappling, and a $500 Absolute Division, a Blockbuster Superfight matching two former GQ Superfight Champs, and the Best 4-Man Grappling Tournament Ever Assembled! Let`s exam the feature attractions in depth. Beast of the East Superfight Showdown Kurt Pellegrino, Team Renzo Gracie/Ricardo Almeida - 2004 Beast of the East Superfight Returning Champion - 2004 North American Championships Superfight Champion vs Edson Diniz, American Top Team Black Belt - 2004 Grapplers Quest Southeast Tournament Champion - 2004 Grapplers Quest World Series of Grappling Advanced Champion Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino is the defending Beast of the East Superfight Champion and gets his chance to defend his title on February 26th. Although his a relative short-timer to the submission grappling superfight circuit (and hasn`t been training that long) Kurt is well respected by both competitors and teammates alike. He has a fairly straight ahead game, is very difficult to score upon and has one of the best double leg takedowns and submission grappling and is definitely improving from event to event. By contrast Edson Diniz is one of the more seasoned competitors, and a well respected competitor on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Circuit for years (he took second to BJ Penn in 2000 Black Melt Mundials) and has recently been making a name for himself without the gi in both MMA and Submission Grappling. Needless to say he has a LOT of tricks and moves he could come up with at any moment during the match. When this match goes to the ground it would be very surprising if we didn`t see Kurt on top and Diniz on the bottom. From here this promises to be a technical battle, Diniz has some of the best sweeps in the business, while Kurt`s base is unreal. The question is how the match got there, did Kurt get the takedown or did Edson pull guard? Based on how I expect this to a low scoring match, and how their styles match up, I would give a slight edge to Pellegrino in this match up. If I was coaching Kurt Pellegrino- Patience grasshopper (advice I`ve used for a lot of grapplers). At his best Kurt has the ability to stifle the most offensive guys in the business. When pressed or behind, that is when openings happen and get exploited. (Again, advice I`ve given a lot of Grapplers). Kurt`s best move is his double leg takedown (one of the most effective and spectacular in the sport), the problem is anyone who has scouted Kurt knows it`s coming during the match. Make sure you get your two points as opposed to letting your opponent pull guard, and if possible try to not land in a full closed guard. If I was coaching Edson Diniz- Against a grappler that`s VERY hard to score upon and has good takedowns, you want to make sure that the match goes to the ground as quickly as possible. Edson has the ability to make things happen from his back, but only if he takes the imitative and controls the pace of the match. This means being fairly active and exploring options. 4-Man Submission Grappling Superfight Tournament Todd Margolis, Lloyd Irvin Black Belt - 8-Time GQ Champion vs Marcos Avellan, Freestyle Fighting Academy - 2004 Abu Dhabi North American Grappling Qualifying Champion at 193 lbs. This is a rematch, with Margolis being up on Avellan in 2003, but this is a much different (and larger Marcos Avellan) that won the ADCC North American qualifier at 88 Kilos and very much wants to keep his winning streak in tact. Upon further analysis both fighters actually have similar styles in that both are going to fight you hard for the takedown points and have excellent sprawls, however are equally comfortable when the match actually hits the mat. (Avellan may be more willing to pull guard than Margolis however). While on the ground both fighters will play a cautious game, only to explode looking to improve a position or grab a submission when the opportunity presents itself. Margolis has a nasty arsenal of footlocks in particular, while Avellan favors the heelhook. So what is going to determine the outcome of this battle (and the winners eventual fortunes in the finals? It comes to one word: CONDITIONING. The fighter that starts sucking wind first is most likely to lose. Both fighters, as talented as they are, have had conditioning problems in the past (Avellan`s brought on by the move up two weight classes). Both are tough competitors and have vowed to not let this happen again. So really, the one who wins this match up is the one who demonstrates they want it more and they wanted it longer by coming in to the match in top shape. If I was coaching Todd Margolis- While I think both Avellan and Margolis have great takedowns and sprawl defense, I think Margolis has a slight edge in this department. Margolis is a master of the head games, it starts from his patented (and highly entertaining) songs at the beginning of the match and continues with the ways he plays the game from the match and basically confounds and infuriates his opponent. That`s exactly how he is going to have to face Marcos Avellan, who can be an emotional competitor. Keep that poker face until your hand is raised Todd, when you show signs of being frustrated or behind it`s a big boost to your competitor! If I was coaching Marcos Avellan- Not just having stated that I think Margolis plays a better wrestling game than Avellan, the obvious key for Marcos is to get it to the ground and keep it on the ground as quickly as possible. This means pulling guard if the opportunity presents itself. What this means Marcos cannot give up position for an instance in this match and is going to have keep grinding away as opposed to going for a fast or tricky submission (Margolis, and in fact all of the competitors in this 4 man division are simply too wily to be caught easily) and the penalty might very well be that match goes back to the feet. Joe D'Arce, Renzo Gracie Black Belt - 2004 GQ-Team U.S.A. Champion at 185 lbs. - Pancrase MMA Veteran (Japan) vs Rafael Lovato, Jr., Machado Black Belt - 2004 Arnold Gracie Brown Belt Division and Absolute Champion - Copa Atlantica and Pan American Jiu Jitsu Champion This is billed as "The Battle of Black Belts" on but it`s more than that, this at 22 and 21 respectively, this is the battle of the youngest Americans to receive their Black Belts in BJJ. To say that these guys are the future of the sport is an understatement, however on this day only one is going to get to go to the finals. Joe D`Arce is among the most well rounded grapplers in the sport; he can wrestle well, and he can play top or bottom with equal ease. Watching Joe D`Arce compete is a definite educational experience, you are going to learn something from watching him move. He may not be aware, but his methods of getting the choke while on top from a half guard position have been nicknamed the "Darce" by his fans on the West Coast. Rafael Lovato Jr. is among the most active competitors in the sport and from his home base in Oklahoma regularly flies to both coast and to Brazil to seek out competition and further his training. One will definitely learn new things every time Rafael steps unto the mat as well. Rafael also wants this title as much as he has wanted any title in the past. So what is going to happen when these two young guns meet? Joe D`Arce has the ability to play any position, and will definitely wrestle you if he has to. Lovato`s strengths are a bit more clear cut, he loves to play the open guard, and from there looks for submissions, sweeps or even to take the back. Look for this match to hit the ground early with Joe on top and in Lovato`s half guard. From here this is bound to be a chess match (which sometimes can be a code word for boring) but in this case I`m really looking forward to each competitor showing off his technical wizardry. If I was coaching Joe D`Arce- I would definitely suggest getting two points if the opportunity presents itself, but Joe`s guard is also excellent as well, and another strategy might be to pull guard and look for the sweep so that you can avoid Lovato`s strengths. The main theme for Joe would be to keep his opponents guessing, but to play to where he feels comfortable (as opposed to where his opponents feel weak) and make something happen. If I`m coaching Rafael Lovato Jr.- Well, Lovato`s Open guard has been rather documented rather well and while his wrestling might be vastly underrated as a result, this is not the match up or tournament I would suggest trying new things like this. Tried and true is what is going to carry you through the day. Methodical and inevitable are two words I use to describe Rafael`s game, push forward, have confidence and force your competitors to play your game. Outlook for the 4 man Submission Grappling Superfight division- This division is very evenly matched up and any one of the competitors can take the title. Furthermore, I`ve hung out with all of the competitors here at length, am a huge fan of each and will don`t want to be called out for taking side. Sigh, but you`re not going to let me get away with that, are you dear reader? Fine, if force to pick a favorite I will say that Joe D`Arce is the man to beat in this division. $1,000 Pro Absolute Division The exact number and names of the competitors in this division will be unknown until Tournament day. Still one big name has thrown his name into the division and has to be considered among the favorites, if not THE favorite no matter who else enters: Alexandre "Xande" Ribeiro. Xande can definitely lay claim to pound for pound being one of the top submission grapplers and jiu jitsu fighters in the world. AS has been demonstrated over and over again, anything can happen and we can probably expect to see plenty of surprises in this division. See you in Jersey For more information, please visit

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