Best of the West Quick Report
Best of the West Quick Report
Nearly 400 competitors came to Redondo Beach for the Best of the West Submission Grappling Tournament! The day saw plenty of action on and off the mat.
The day began with the children's divisions and worked its way to the teen divisions. Teen sensation Bill "the Grill" Cooper began his day in the Advanced Teens divisions (yes folks, remember he's only 17) and won his weight class and the Teen Open division.
The tournament marched through the novice, beginner, and intermediate classes before getting to the advanced divisions.
At 149 and under Sim Go from Cobra Kai tapped Dale Frank from Caique's school, but then was tapped himself by division winner Daniel McCowen. McCowen continues to look extremely impressive and is due for some major recognition for his skills and competition record.
At 159 and under Bill Cooper won his third gold medal of the day showing an impressive display of skill, tenacity and inhuman flexibility.
The under 169 division was literally stacked with talent and had one of the largest turn outs of the day. On side of the bracket Paulo Guilobel submits Pedro Elias on his way to the finals. On the other side of the bracket Daniel Camarillo made a rare no-gi appearance and dazzled with his judo style throws, but lost a close match to Jamie Walsh. Jamie Walsh wound up bowing out to teammate Paulo Guilobel in the finals.
Skipping up a few divisions (sorry, didn't see what happened at 180-200), Denis Gomes visiting from Brazil defeats Asa Fuller in the finals. This division was also marked by and altercation which was quickly broken up by the security on hand, which consisted of the US Army and Gracie security, both of which did a fine job all day long. One of the stars of the day was Rener Gracie who quickly jumped in to break things up, and in addition to his security duties he also refereed many matches. (Rener is putting on his own tournament with the IGJJF on August 13-14, BTW. www.IGJJF for more details).
The Superheavyweight division was won by Jeff Monson (he gets around, doesn't he?), who defeated Beau Herchberger, the large and quick Kadillac and one other opponent on his way to taking the title.
There were two round robin professional divisions which provided much of the days highlights, Unfortunately, three pull outs due to injury from the 185 division in the last 24 hours including featuring fighters Diego Sanchez, Cassio Werneck and Jake Shields had promoters scrambling to find replacements. Justin "Chim Chim" Garcia was the only one out of the scheduled participants who made the event, and although disappointed, he showed enormous sportsmanship in coming out from the East Coast, making weight and still entering the tournament. There were worthy replacement who stepped up, including newcomer Jason "Death Trap" Tapia, by way of Alberto Crane who highly recommended him, Greg McIntyre from Dean Lister's school and Fabio Nascimento, a multiple time CBJJO Black Belt champion who has once submitted Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in competition. Eager for the glory and the prize each of these competitors agreed to make the 185 weight limit (allowance for a pound) and were ready to get it on. As the format was round robin each of the competitors would have the chance to fight each other.
The first match saw Justin "Chim Chim" versus Jason "Death Trap" Tapia, after a brief exchange, Tapia quickly showed why he earned his nickname and locked up Harcia in a quick head and arm triangle that forced the tapout very early on in the match. In the second match up Fabio Nascimento used his great base, skills, and size advantage on Greg McIntyre (who weighed in well under the 185 limit) en route to a victory by points.
Greg McIntyre would face Jason Tapia in the next match up which Tapia dictated the pace on and won on points. Garcia and Nascimento then proceeded to have a war on the mats which spilled off the mat several times. This resembled a back alley brawl as much as grappling match at times but in the end Nascimento's takedown proved to be the deciding factor and he wins 2-0.
Garcia aggravated and old injury and was forced to withdraw from his final match against Greg McIntyre, so the winner of the tournament would be decided by Jason Tapia versus Fabio Nascimento. The battle went to the ground fairly quickly and Tapia did everything he could to hold off the surging Nascimento, but Nascimento eventually sank in the armlock and got the tapout out victory for the match and division. Nascimento wins the $500 prize and the prize package from Tapout, OntheMat, Rockstar.
The under 147 division contestants remained intact and was one of the most stacked classes of it's size in recent memory. Jeff Glover, west coast phenom from Paragon BJJ, Eben Kaneshiro, a decorated black belt from Hawaii who has been impressive on the MMA scene, Andre Soares from American Top Team and 2003 Brazilain ADCC Trials champion Rany Yahrya.
The first match between Rany and Andre Soares, Andre quickly locks on the triangle choke, then switches to an armbar, really streching it out but Rany somehow manages to escape. Rany quickly secures the footlock and gets the tapout for the victory.
Eben Kaneshiro vs Jeff Glover. Glover jumped to triangle right away and Eben looked to pass. ON some sort of scramble that's difficult to describe Glover takes the back and sinks in the rear naked choke for the tapout.
Jeff Glover vs Rany Yahrya. Rany immediately shoots in and gets two points for the takedown and initiates a smother offense. Jeff moves in and out of the half guard but is largely stifled by Rany and the match ends 2-0 for Rany.
Eben Kaneshiro and Andre Soares had a back and forth battle with Doares scoring the first two points, but a patient Eben eventually ties things up than secured the sweep late in the match to win 4-2.
Eben Kaneshiro then fought Rany Yahrya which was exciting , but Yahrya pulls off the win from a omaplata neck combo which forces Eben to tapout out. With three vicories in the three matches, Rany locked up the division and ensured himself of the championship.
The final match of the division however was Jeff Glover vs Andre Soares, which Jeff Glover dominated with his underrated top game en route 10 a 13-2 victory.
The Advanced Absolute division was the final mat of the day and the finals saw Bill "the Grill" Cooper, who had more matches than anyone, against Jeff Monson. Despite the obvious size difference, Bill kept coming and attacked the entire time, however an obviously restrained Monson won on points and took the title.
Picture and video coming soon!