Yeah, I know, these columns are a long time due, aren't they? I've been holding back on you, my friends and a lot of work lately has been behind the scenes. You, know, top secret stuff that I can't elaborate on
Yeah, I know, these columns are a long time due, aren't they? I've been holding back on you, my friends and a lot of work lately has been behind the scenes. You, know, top secret stuff that I can't elaborate on. It's stuff that will blow your mind however. The website redesign is coming along very well, and should be up now in a few weeks. I can't wait, I'm telling you I really can't wait. When the new site is online you won't be able to get enough of it, trust me!
The other reason I've been mum lately is just that I'm flat out tired. This up coming Grappler's Quest makes for about the fourth trip East for me and I'm really racking up the frequent flyer miles. Oh boo-hoo, poor me, my job is to go around the country and watch grappling tournaments. I know, I know, I'm the luckiest S.O.B. on the face of the planet and I know it
The Grappler's Quest & Copa Atlantica should be enormous however, promoter Brian Cimins is very happy with the support he's received for this one. And why not, as loyal OTM fan know, the SouthEast is seriously stacked with talent.
Speaking of stacked with talent, let's take a look at the roster starting in the BJJ divisions. Note I'm not going to handicap every single person on the roster, simply because I haven't seen everyone (yet, that's my goal however). I'll talk about some of the guys to watch out for.
$1000 pro BJJ 180 and under
- Cameron Earle, Ralph Gracie Black Belt, 2nd United Gracie Superfight Champion, IGJJF Division Finalist
- Jared Weiner, Team Lloyd Irvin, 2-Time Kimono Kombat Champion, Pan American Medalist
- Diego Saraiva , Team Nova Uniao/LA Boxing Black Belt, 2002-2003 Pan Am Bronze Medalist
-Aldo Nishkam, Team Joe Moreira Black Belt, 2002 Copa Pacifica Champion 2-Time USFBJJ National Champion
-Edson Diniz, American Top Team Black Belt
Everyone listed above competes in the 147 pound (Pena) weight division except for Cameron who fights in the 173 pound (Mediao) division which would alone make him the favorite. The rest of the field has been very active lately, where as Cameron is coming off an 18 month layoff however. Expect to see fireworks in this division, as all the contestants are not only very aggressive on the ground, but have solid judo skills as well. There is a possibility of some last second entries in this division as well.
$1000 pro BJJ 180 and over
- Leo Dalla, Team Lloyd Irvin, 2-Time World Championship Medalist
- Todd Margolis, Team Lloyd Irvin, 6-Time Grapplers Quest National Champion, Kimono Kombat Champion, Pan American Silver Medalist
Tough call. You might assume that since both competitors are from Team Llyod Irvin they wouldn't fight, but you'd be wrong. Leo Dalla has a stellar career in Brazil, and Todd Margolis continues to impress here in the US. On experience and size I'd give a slight edge to Dalla on this, but Margolis definitely can be the upset kid. (man, Margolis must be hating me for always picking against him in these things. Truth is, I really like him, but he's got to admit he's usually the underdog).
$1000 Oxydol Pro Middleweight Division 175-205
Leo Dalla vs Ken Kronenberg
Rick Macauley vs Chris Moriarty
Justin Garcia vs Charles McCarthy
Marcel Ferreria vs Spencer Canup
Marcel Ferreria, fresh off of his win at the US Nationals is the man to beat, but my gut tells me that Justin Garcia is not going to be denied this time around. The first round match up I'm looking forward to most is Rick Macauley vs Chris Moriarty.
$1000 Oxydol Pro Lightweight Division 175 and under
Marcos Avellan vs Brad Pearce
Rick Tavares vs Ryan Ellison
Jo Jo Guerin vs Mike Monica
Jorge Santiago vs Jon Stutzman
Joe Scarola vs Dennis Hayes
Sean Spangler vs Marco Marvucic
Keith Florian vs Jason Dushez
Diego Saraiva vs Jeff Rockwell
16 men enter. One man wins four matches and walks away $1000 richer. You want to call a favorite here? Like I said above, my job ain't that easy! I'll say Marcos Avellan is a strong candidate to emerge from the top side of the bracket, he's been so good at these tournaments for so long. The lower bracket has more names I recognize. Spangler has to be cutting some weight to get into this division, and with his aggressive new style I like his chances a lot.
Yeah, I know, compared to my previous write up that's a pretty soft-sack guide to this weekend's GQ, but mind my words, "DON'T BLINK". I'll try to write to you all more frequently, in the meantime I have a plane to catch.