July 17, 2004
As always on my trips to the East Coast, I took the opportunity to do a little sightseeing beforehand. My good friend David "the People`s Knee" Jacobs has been inviting me to stay at his place for quite sometime, and not only was I able to enjoy the hospitality of his home, I got to make a tour of our nation`s capital. I can`t believe after all these years of traveling I had yet to go to Washington DC, but I must say it made me feel downright patriotic. A must visit is the Smithstonian museum(s), the Air and Space and the Natural History museums being my favorites.
I have to mention Dave Jacobs proved to be an excellent host, even taking Whakball and myself to dinner when he himself was forced to sit and watch us dine because he was cutting weight!
Mechanicsville, Virginia, was the site for the first venture of Grappler`s Quest to expand to the southern states and proved to be a rousing success by all accounts. The events saw a tremendous amount of action in all divisions (particularly the advanced divisions) the most intense Biz Challenge to date and two stellar professional tournaments: Under 180 and over 180.
The Biz Challenge
The tournament began in earnest with the Biz Challenge. Biz, as you SHOULD know, is a Redox brand detergent responsible for large cash sponsorships for grappling tournaments across the country.
If you`re not washing your clothes with Biz, you should be. Support the ones who support our sport!
At any rate, the Biz challenge pits a pro level competitor against a member of the audience in a no scores, submission only challenge match. If a competitor lasts for 6 minutes Biz will award the audience member with $3000 dollars! If the pro scores the submission he pockets a cool grand, plus keeps his pride in tact of keeping up the perfect record for Biz professionals.
The Pro in this case known well before hand: David Avellan has earned a reputation in countless tournaments as one of the top submission grapplers in the world. The audience erupted when the name was drawn for the audience participant: none other than grappling sensation Mike Fowler!
Fowler came out very aggressively and shot straight into to a tight Avellan guillotine. Fowler hung on as long as he could, but was forced to tap out about forty seconds into the match! Wow! Avellan definitely cements his reputation as a grappelr to be feared, and for his good sportsmanship Biz awarded Mike Fowler $300.
Under 180 Pro Tournament
Rick Tavares vs Guerin
Match is a standup battle for the the first few minutes, with both competitors tying up from the feet and looking for the over under hooks. Referee Kenny Florian warns both fighters once, but both remain tied up until Tavares score a takedown to side control. The match eventually returns to the feet where after a brief tie up Tavares scores the takedown again. All though the match returns to the feet one more time, the remainder of the match is in Guerin`s guard and the match ends with the score 7-0
Jeff Glover vs John Stutzman
Glover has been terrorizing the grappling circuit for sometime now, Stutzman recently earned his black belt from Jorge Gurgel. Glover pulls guard to start the match and quickly begins working for a halg guard sweep. Glover nearly takes the backand as Stutzman scrambles to get away Glover scores a takedown. Glover pulls a triangle and Stutzman quickly taps as the maneuver reinjures an historically bad neck.
Marcos Avellan vs Brad Pearce
Pearce scores a single leg takedown early, but Avellan quickly converts to a sweep. Rather than play guard Pearce turtles up and Avellan rides the back. Avellan is finally able to score both hooks, but Pearce defends the choke well. Avellan rides for awhile until Pearce puts his back to the ground and moves to guard. Here he quickly sweeps Avellan, who is foced to his guard, but rather than try to pass Pearce holds on for dear life. The match moves back to the feet and Avellan scores a takedown for 2. Avellan works his classic pass to side control and then misses an armbar, allowing Pearce back on top. Avellan quickly secures the triangle choke for the tap out victory.
Keith Florian vs Jason Dushez
Keith is one of the infamous Florian brothers so Kenny is excused from refereeing the match. Keith pulls guard and Duschez is able to move to half guard looking for the pass. Both fighters are patient, Keith looking for a sweep but Duschez displaying excellent control from the top. Keith is finally able to see daylight and sits up for the sweepWhile Pearce looks to play a butterfly guard Florian goes high and low for the pass. The match goes back to the feet and Dushez shoots in for the takedown attempt, but Keith counters nicely, takes the back and gets the choke for the victory.
Sean Spangler vs Marco Marvucic
The competitors briefly tie up before picks up a leg then wrests Marvucic to the ground. Spangler nearly lands in the mount save for a hook Marvucic is able to sneak in to save the position. Spangler does pass however and then looks to take the back, but in the resulting scramble Marvucic forces Spangler to his back, then Spanger once again reverses the position!Spangler once again seeks the back by the slippery Marvucic escapes into a tight front headlock from Spangler. The match returns to the feet and defending a takedown from Spangler Marvucic threatens a knee bar! Spangler hangs on to win the match 13-2.
Dennis Hayes vs Jeff Rockwell
Jayes and Rockwell tie up before Rockwell scores the takedown. Hayes plays guard and Rockwell looks to pass but neither fighter is able to advance position. The action picks up when the fighters are moved to the center of mat when Hayes nearly scores a takedown, but Rockwell defends well and the competitors move to the feet. After missing a takedown attempt, Hayes is back to the guard and again the fighters are stalemated. Rockwell nicely goes for a choke from the half guard and falls back to attempt to secure it, Hayes escapes however and winds up on bottom again. Time expires and Rockwell wins on points.
Joe Scarola vs Aldo Niski
Niski pulls guard but Scarola applies a crushing pass and quicly moves to side control and looks for an armbar. Nishki claims he was spinning out of the armbar but the referee saw a tapout and Scarola advances.
Jorge Santiago vs Rick Tavares
Jorge got a bye in the tournament and matches up against Rick Tavares. Santiago pulls guard at first, but the fighters scramble and it goes back to the feet. After a brief tie up Santiago again pulls guard and quickly sucks Tavares into an Oma Plata attempt. Tavares escapes however the fighters restart at the center of the mat. The fighter tie up and Santiago has in a tight guillotine but when he tries to pull guard Tavares escapes and back to the feet the match goes. Santiago pulls guard again into a triangle choke, this time there is no escape for Tavares and he is forced to tap out.
Marcos Avellan vs Jeff Glover
Glover goes once again for his half guard but soons finds himself defending his arms from Avellan. Avellan stands up but Glover chases, this time Avellan sits back down into Glover`s guard. Glover is slick though and very nearly pulls off the sweep Avellan is actually forced to his back briefy but in the scramble Glover is forced back to guard. Avellan attempts to get his base back but Glover is working a high guard to break Avellan`s posture and Avellan cannot stand up. Glover finally opens his legs to make something happen, but Avellan looks quickly to pass, Glover is forced to half guard once again with Avellan trying to secure a kimura. Glover escapes but is forced to the turtle as Avellan looks for something. Time expires and Avellan wins on advantage.
Sean Spangler vs Keith Florian
The two tie up before Florian pulls guard. Spangler flattens Florian`s hips out and maneuvers to half guard. Florian is able to get up and Spangler drives forward for a takedown where the pair lands out of bounds. Back to the center and Florian again pulls half guard where spangler looks to pass for the remainder of the match. Time expires and the score is 0-0, the match awarded to Florian. Spangler is very upset, as he believes he should have at least been awarded an advantage for the takedown attempt but in the ensuing argument with the referees his point is lost. Case in point, the video will vindicate Spangler, but lesson learned when dealing with the referee`s one must keep their cool.
Joe Scarola vs Jeff Rockwell
Rockwell attempts a takedown and falls into Scarola`s guillotine. Match is over in seconds and Scarola advances.
Marcos Avellan vs Jorge Santiago
Florida rivals Avellan and Santiago begin by swatting the crap out of each other before referee Kenny Florian steps in. The two competitors shake before enganging, when Santiago pulls guard. Santiago tries a oma plata, but Avellan shrugs it right off and dives back into the guard. The match is played from Santiago`s closed guard for several minutes before Avellan sees his opportunity for a footlock. Santiago defends and comes on top, which forces Avellan to guard. The match goes back to the feet, where Santiago pulls guard then sweeps Avellan to the mount! Marcos is able to reverse and then tries frantically to pass Santiago`s guard. While lazily trying for a foot lock Santiago kicks into a sweep scoring two more points. Santiago attempts to hold Avellan down until time expires, but Avellan is able to put Santiago on his back one more time. Score is 8-2
Joe Scarola vs Keith Florian.
The two exchange aggressively on their feet before Florian pulls half guard for his third time in thre matches. Scarola proves to be a rock however and controls Keith well using excellent head control. Rather than have his guard passed Florian turtles. But Scarola counters by locking a tight guillotine and pulling guard. Florian exhibits his toughness be withstanding the submission attempt for a long time before finally breaking free, from here he cautiousl tries to pass Scarla`s guard, working from left to right. Scarola is forced half guard and Florian very nearl passes before Scarola turtles. Florians rides the back, no hooks in place and Scarola is able to get to guard. A heel hook attempt from Scarola on the bottom sends Florian scrambling, and Scarola follows to a front head lock. Time expires and the match is awarded to Scarola in an absolute war.
Joe Scarola vs Jorge Santiago
He two shake hands and begin to tie up from their feet. Scarola nearly scores a beautiful footsweep but Santiago recovers nicely. Santiago then jumps to guard and pulls Scarola to the ground. The match continues for several mnutes from here until Santiago has a sweep attempt that send Scarola scrambling and the match goes back to the feet. Santiago get the underhooks and scores a nice outside trip to a takdown, forcing Scarola to guard. The referees warn the competitors for stalling twice before they begin moving in earnest: Santiago looking to pass and Scarola to sweep. Scarols brings his guard high to attack but Santiago pushes the legs over. Scarola is forced to turtle before Santiago forces to half guard. Time expires and Jorge Santiago is your champion.
Over 180 Pro Division
Leo Dalla vs Josh Griffiths
Josh pulls guard right away and tries from an Oma Plata, howeve Dalla moves to the half huardpushes his head underneath Josh`s chine and goes to side control. Dalla looks for the mount, but Griffiths reconstitutes to a half guard. Dalla passes again, Griffiths get half guard. Dalla passes yet again, this time directly into the mount. Dalla rides high for awhile until Griffiths is able to reverseâ€¦straight into an Oma Plata attempt. Griffiths escapes but Dalla takes side control yet again. Griffith back to half guard as time expires. Dalla wins 18-0!
Rick Macauley vs Chris Moriarty
Maybe the match I was anticipating the most, as the two are known to go for it. Moriarty drops for a takedown but Macauley counters nicely. After holding a front headlock for awhile MacCauley spins to the back which Moriarty defends but then Macauley goes for a leg lock. Moriarty defends from the topand is able to wrest his leg free as the two spill out of bounds. Once restarted Macauley tries to pull guard but misses by a mile, so Moriarity plays the top game to side control. Macauley is exceptionly difficuly to hold down and from here he reconstitutes a half guard and score a sweep. Moriarty is dangerous from his back and looks to attack from his guard. As Moriarty opens his legs to make something happen Moriarty seizes the opportunity and spins into a knee bar for the submission.
Justin "Chim Chim" Garcia vs Charles McCarthy
The two circle each other cautiously, choosing their moments carefully. McCarthy scores the takedown and Garcia is forced to a butterfly guard. It goes back to the feet however and again the two circle cautiously, touching and going. Garcie tries a takedown but McCarthy defends beautifully, forcing Garcia to his back for the advantage as time expires. McCarthy wins 2-0
Marcel Ferreira vs Spencer Canup
Marcel moves around Canup before scoring a beautiful double leg takedown. Canup pulls a tight guillotine that forces Marcel to defend. While Canup shows some unusual flexibility from his guard, Marcle is able to pass to side control. It doesn`t last as Canup uses his flexibility to reconstitute his guard. Marcel is patient and time expires with the score 5-0.
Leo Dalla vs Rick Macauley
Uncharacteristic for a Macauley match, this starts off at a relatively slow pace before Macauley pulls half guard. The seasoned Dalla shows excellent control here and while Macauley eventually pulls full guard, Dalla works a pass which forces Macauley to turtle position. Macauley doesn`t stayed balled up for long, as he grabs a leg which Dalla defends and soon the pair is back to the feet. Macauley tries a takedown but Dalla executes a perfect sprawl and once again Macauley is forced to turtle up. This time Dalla holds from a bit lower so Macauley has no chance to grab the legs, so Macauley spins to guard. Dalla shows sensation control and never lets the pressure up for an instance and once again Macauley is forced to turtle. Macauley spins to half guard but in his frantic pace to make something happen Dalla attains full mount. Dalla spins to an armbar attempt as Macauley looks to come on time all as time expires. Dalla wins this one 4-0.
Marcel Ferreira vs Charles McCarthy
McCarthy comes with a very low stance, and Marcel wants nothing of McCarthy`s wrestling game, tries to pull guard. As Marcel butt scoots forward McCarthy reluctantly engages Marcel`s guard. McCarthy has an excellent base and Marcel attempts to work a half guard sweep. McCarthy tries for a kimura, but Marcel finally executes his sweep, but winds up entangled in McCarthy`s legs in an upsidedown triangle. Marcel defends well and McCarthy is forced to a more traditional guard. The fight goes back to the feeta nd McCarthy goes low again. Marcel tries to shoot in but is rebuked, so he pulls guard. McCarthy looks for an ankle lock but Marcel defends well. Back to McCarthy`s guard, where the match ends. Marcel by 2-0.
Leo Dalla vs Marcel Ferriera
The two cautiously circle each other, Dalla slowly stalking and Ferriera moving about the mat. Ferriera has the first take down attempt however, whoch Dalla sprawls nicely, the next takedown attempt puts Ferriera in the guard. Dalla looks for the pass from Ferriera`s half guard, who very nearly sweeps but the match goes back to the feet. Dalla tries a takedown, but Ferriera sprawls. Dalla goes for the takedown again, but Ferriera goes to all fours. Dalla rides him from this position, however Ferriera is able to reverse to score a singleleg takedown from here. From Dalla`s guard he attempts to maneuver and attack as Ferreira holds him tight. The match returns to the feet but Ferierra pulls guard again, and ties up Dalla from here until he can score another sweep. From here he hangs unto for victory and the tiltle.
Advanced division action.
Jeff Glover looked absolutely dominant (per usual) in the Advanced flyweight division. Our host Dave Jacob`s weight cutting definitely paid dividends, as he won the Advanced featherweight division. Daniel Acuilar wins the lightweight division, and Julius Park wins the welterweight. Brian Pardini wins Advanced Middleweight and Dexter Gould takes the Advanced cruiserweight. Pro division competitors and Alliance teammates Chris Moriarty and Josh Griffiths decided the Advanced Light Heavyweight title on a coin toss (Moriaty won this time around). Tom Muller rounds out by winning the superweight division.
Did I mention that the next day hosted the Copa Atlantica tournament? No. Part two of this report coming up very shortly.
For full results please visit http://www.grapplingratings.com/ 
For Eric "Neon Crusher" Zippe`s beautiful photo gallery, (from where we swipe the accompanying photo) please visit http://grapplers.com/  and click on photos in the top navigation.