LAS VEGAS – On Saturday, February 20, 2010 there was a new addition to the Las Vegas fight scene. This would be the debut of the submission grappling promotion Submission 1, which is headed up by Ricardo Pires black belt Cameron Diffley. This was just the latest project for the 25-year-old Diffley, who has already made a name for himself by successfully competing on the west coast grappling circuit and earning his jiu-jitsu black belt in 5 years. He also gained worldwide exposure as the head jiu-jitsu coach for Forrest Griffin and Team Forrest on the seventh season of the UFC produced reality show The Ultimate Fighter, which was televised on Spike. Since receiving his black belt in the summer of 2008, Diffley has also opened his own academy in Las Vegas, which is called Legion Jiu-Jitsu.
Diffley's latest endeavor in the sport, Submission 1, was launched on Saturday with the help of his business partner Wade McCoig and the two already have a second event scheduled this summer on Saturday, July 17th. The motivation behind starting this promotion was inspired by his desire to bring another dimension to the local Las Vegas grappling scene, while also supporting top-level competitors from around the world. Considering that Las Vegas has turned into one of the world's hot beds for jiu-jitsu with a plethora of world-class academies, instructors, and students located all over the city, the unveiling of the Submission 1 - Las Vegas Cup was a more than welcome addition to the already burgeoning grappling landscape. Some of the notable people in attendence to support the event, included jiu-jitsu black belts Robert Drysdale, Scott Bieri, and Sonny Nohara, as well as UFC fighters Martin Kampmann, Mike Pyle, and John Gunderson.
The no-gi grappling tournament, located at the Billionaire Mafia Headquarters, attracted over 300 people and about 150 competitors, including children, women, and adults with the main intent on allowing all competitors to gain as much competition experience as possible. This was done by including a "matches mat" next to the competition mats. After each competitor was finished with their official competition, they were given the opportunity to compete on the consolation "matches" mat to add more matches to their overall expereince. These matches were equipped with the same referee and score keepers, as the official mats, giving every competitor that extra bang-for-their-buck.
The event's main attraction was an 8-man No-Gi tournament, which involved 8 high-level grapplers competing for $1,500 in prize money. This was made possible by the torunament's three event sponsors: OTM Fight Shop, Choke Nutririon, and Billionaire Mafia. The 8 competitors that competed in the tournament were Marcelo "Lapela" Mafra, Amir Sadollah, Johnny Nunez, Stephen Martinez, Marcelo Caldes, Morris Ayala, Mike Cody, and Guilherme Lima. The following information below is the pairings of each round of the tournament and the results with how each match unfolded. The video above is of the final championship match, which saw Demian Maia black belt Marcelo "Lapela" Mafra square off with Johnny Nunez, who is an NCAA Division I wrestler from Boise State.
-Marcelo "Lapela" Mafra (Demian Maia) defeated Amir Sadollah (UFC fighter) via Points.
-Stephen Martinez (Milennia) defeated Mike Cody (Legion) via Points.
-Johnny Nunez (Boise State wrestler) defeated Morris Ayala (Legion) via D'Arce Choke.
-Marcelo Caldes (Barbosa) defeated Guilherme Lima (Robert Drysdale) via Injury.
-Marcelo "Lapela" Mafra (Demian Maia) defeated Stephen Martinez (Milennia) via Points.
-Johnny Nunez (Boise State wrestler) defeated Marcelo Caldes (Barbosa) via D'Arce Choke.
-Marcelo "Lapela" Mafra (Demian Maia) defeated Johnny Nunez (Boise State wrestler) via Ankle Lock.
8-Man Absolute Tournament:
1st Place: Marcelo "Lapela" Mafra (Demian Maia)
2nd Place: Johnny Nunez (Boise State wrestler)
3rd Place: Stephen Martinez (Milennia)
3rd Place: Marcelo Caldes (Barbosa)