This weekend the UFC is putting on a fan Expo, but Grappler's quest has worked in conjunction with them to put on a BJJ tournament as well. Not only can people come see the fights, meet fighters at the expo, compete in a BJJ tournament, but they can also watch some of their favorite MMA fighters and BJJ practioners face off in BJJ superfights which includes a four man tournament as well. These matches will be split up between the two days of Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th.
Friday the 5th
The first superfight of the day pits former UFC flyweight Ulysses Gomez, who holds a BJJ brown belt, against a Robert Drysdale brown belt in Kristian Woodmansee. While you may have not heard of Woodmansee he is only 25 years old, attained his brown belt in five years, and reached the level of blue belt in five months. Both have made impressive wins at multiple grappling tournaments, and if you are a fan of the smaller guys this would be the match for you.
Next, Marcelo Mafra takes on Javier Torres. Mafra is a student of TUF winner Joe Stevenson who currently sits at 4-0 in his MMA career with two submission victories. He also nearly won the 2013 Pan Ams in the black belt division but was choked out with only 26 second left on the clock while he was ahead on points by Clark Gracie. Torres trains at Gracie Humaita under Mica Cipili, and he will try to win against rising star Mafra.
The 5th will also hold the opening rounds of the four man tournament. In the first match, former UFC fighter and 2011 ADCC -99kg champion Dean Lister will be taking on the much younger Kyle Griffin. In the next match, Checkmat BJJ black belt Joao Assis is back at the UFC fan Expo, and the last time he was here it was a good day when he became the first man to tap out Jeff Monson in a tournament or superfight in ten years. He will be facing off top BJJ black belt Ricardo Abreu who trains at Nova Uniao and has helped top MMA fighters Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz with their grappling games.
The last super fight of the day will come between two top ten fighters in the UFC albeit they compete in different weight classes. Former flyweight number one contender John Dodson will be facing off with former bantamweight number one contender Scott Jorgensen. Dodson holds a black belt in Gaidojutsu which was originated by Greg Jackson, and as far as I can tell Jorgensen only holds a purple belt in BJJ but supplements it with his NCAA division one wrestling skills.
The second day has Tracey Fowler taking on Amanda Lucas. Fowler is a black belt and trains with her husband and fellow black belt Mike Fowler. Lucas of course if from Star Wars fame with her father being George Lucas, but that does not make her any less tough. She is currently the DEEP openweight champion which she won with a keylock, and faced off with Cristaine Santos at the 2011 ADCC championships.
Next two exciting lightweight MMA fighters will meet on the mats to see who is the better grappler. Cole Miller may fight at 145 now, but that has not stopped him from using his grappling skills in the cage. Miller is a black belt in BJJ and has picked up 14 of his 19 career victories by submission. He will face off with perennial top ten lightweight Jim Miller who holds a black belt and division one wrestling skills which lead him to 12 submission victories in 22 career wins. This should be one of the more exciting fights, and is sure to bring a crowd since their names are more recognizable to the casual fan.
In a match for the BJJ enthusiast, one of the best American grapplers in Jeff Glover is set to face off with third degree black belt Fredson Paixao. Glover is one of the best grapplers in the world having taken home over 15 openweight championships throughout his career which is impressive considering he only weighs about 154. Paixao's credentials are too many to list, but he has a history at the UFC Fan Expos having defeated Caol Uno in a grappling match in 2010 before UFC 114.
In the final super fight, the 4 man tournament will finish up with the winners of the previous days matches taking on each other to find a winner. All in all, this should be an exciting weekend of fights and grappling matches. Check back next week to get the results of the tournament and super fights.