Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Biggest Grappling Moments of 2018

This is not a comprehensive list. This isn't your list. This isn't the aggregate list of grappling both Gi and NoGi and across rule sets. This is just my personal list back through 2018 as a stroll down memory lane in semi chronological order. Enjoy. If you disagree, roast me on Instagram @zegrapplez

ACB 10 - features the following list of competitors: Quixinho, Musumeci, Hinger, Cavaca, Mafra, Rocha, Caporal, Simoes, Barral, Gaudio, Calasans, Wardzinski, Andre, Lerpi, Santos, Buchecha, both Miyaos, Augusto Mendes, and Panza. This amazing start to the year for ACB would prove ironic as the title matches in particular and even some of the undercard matches were guys riding out the 1 min penalized guard pull duration then sweep battles from 50/50.

Jon Calestine wins EBI and puts a new name in the mix for best -135/145 submission grapplers alongside Eddie Cummings & Geo Martinez, the only men to win at either 145 or 135 since EBI began.

Quintet 3 happened and despite the lack of heel hooks, this king of the mat/team challenge played out in about as entertaining a fashion as was humanly possible.
"Team Polaris X Team 10th Planet
Match 1 – Vitor Shaolin lost to PJ Barch by rolling armbar
Match 2 – Gregor Gracie defeated PJ Barch by kneebar
Match 3 – Gregor Gracie defeated Amir Allam by kimura
Match 4 – Gregor Gracie lost to Geo Martinez by kimura
Match 5 – Marcin Held defeated Geo Martinez by kneebar
Match 6 – Marcin Held lost to Richie Martinez by shoulder lock
Match 7 – Craig Jones defeated Richie Martinez by Caio Terra footlock
Match 8 – Craig Jones defeated Adam Sachnoff by RNC"
Gi Worlds 2018:
Malfacine became 10 time world champ, submitted all of his opponents
Musumeci became 2 time black belt gi world champion, back to back - first American to do so.
Lepri continued his legacy as greatest Lightweight competitor of all time.

ACB Basically Stops doing Pro Events because Gi competitors were boring. Promises to return with a different format. 

Gordon Ryan basically carries Team Alpha Male to victory at Quintet.

EBI Combat JiuJitsu Produces 2 10th Planet winners (Ben Eddy & Jon Blank) so EBI officially makes men's EBI all combat JiuJitsu (shocker)

ADCC Trials - Great event, was there in person, lost first round like a clown. Got to see a ton of exciting brackets play out and some very tense, close matches. Loved it. Some familiar faces punched tickets as Ethan Crelinsten makes his 2nd ADCC trip. Mansher Khera is headed back. Jon Satava is headed back.

Gordon wins double gold Pan/Worlds NoGi - silences a lot of his critics and cements victory of Yuri Simoes and Cyborg. Mahamed Aly pulls out to avoid getting crushed and so does Tim Spriggs.

EBI Combat JiuJitsu Produces two 10th Planet winners (Ben Eddy & Jon Blank) so EBI officially makes men's EBI all combat JiuJitsu (shocker)

EBI 18: Female Strawweights crowns the 3rd women's EBI Champ:  Mayssa Bastos joins Erin Blanchfield & Bia Mesquita as the triumvirate of women's Sub Only grappling inner circle.

Honorable Mentions:
Garry Tonon made his debut and fought 3x total in 2018, winning all three fights.

Finishers Sub Only & Onnit Invitational putting on professional level events to fill the void left by the changing format and focus of EBI. Finishers Sub Only recently announced they're expanding to the Midwest.

Black Belt CBD pumped a ton of money into the sport with its inaugural event (as always, we'll have to wait and see if it was a one off).

Fight2Win continues to put on shows across the country.

Grappling Industries continues expanding globally, and with its round robin format and laxity with leg reaping even in the Gi and the added submission legality, it will be interesting to see how the submission level changes in the coming years at lower belt levels and if this lures guys away from the stale IBJJF format.

FILA continues its quiet move into supporting JiuJitsu and submission grappling at a world level & Fuji also is semi quietly putting on events in what I suspect is a push by both organizations to position themselves to helm the sport into the Olympics. Fuji has the backing with its Judo development and FILA with wrestling. What makes it obvious is how lowkey both organizations are about doing events. They clearly have the funding to support the sport and make a big push, but I suspect they are corralling support at the grass roots level for down the road when the real fight for who will get that IOC support and funding when JiuJitsu joins the Olympics.

Dillon Danis actually finally made his Pro Debut.

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