Garry Tonon of Ocean County Jiu Jitsu repeated as Welterweight champ with an overtime submission win of Josh Hinger. Tonon is one of the young rising American stars who has made a name for himself at ADCCs, Metamoris, and the EBIs. Hinger is a veteran, high level Atos black belt who employed more of an old school pressure game to breakdown his opponents. He was able to force Tonon to his back and stop much of Tonon's famed leg lock attack and force the overtime. In the first period of the overtime Tonon really took his time escaping from Hinger's back control and then in the bottom half of the period Tonon put the squeeze on a rear naked choke and forced the tap despite Hinger having his hand in and chin tucked.
While Josh Hinger's run was a surprise for many of the tournament as he upset Nathan Orchard in the second round, the best darkhorse performance was likely Darragh O'Conaill, who beat short notice replacement Javier Vazquez and then 10th Planet's Boogeyman Richie Martinez. Hinger defeated O'Conaill in over time in the semifinals. Garry Tonon was involved in some just excellent matches, his match with teammate Eddie Cummings was an instant classic, but his match with Gokor's Karen Darabedyan was excellent as well.
The event overall was very good. The pacing was excellent, matches were started immediately. Down time was filled with the teen super fights, which brought a really cool energy to the event as the kids were just fearless in their grappling. The ring announcer seemed to struggle with the names of competitors, gyms, and submissions, but the broadcast crew lead by TJ de Santis did a fine job accompanying what was pretty fast paced action.
Moving forward for the Eddie Bravo Invitational things seem good as the rules seem well tuned to create action. Hopefully it will be able to draw more big name grapplers. Part of the charm of the EBI is that you get lesser known grapplers who perform well like a Darragh O'Conaill or Karen Darabedyan, but the inclusion of purple belts and matching them against high level black belts seemed is something that this format could likely do without.
Garry Tonon (Ocean County Jiu Jitsu) vs Eddie Cummings (Renzo Gracie Academy)
Garry Tonon advanced with triangle armbar. An amazing match between teammates, both grapplers were constantly attacking submissions and featured some prolonged leglock battles.
Darragh O'Conaill (Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu) vs Josh Hinger (Atos)
Josh Hinger advances with an Overtime Victory. O'Conaill was on top for much of the match, putting down heavy pressure on Hinger. In the closing minutes of the match Hinger hit a sweep and attacked a few guillotines but was unable to get the tap. Hinger and O'Conaill both escaped the back control in the first overtime period. Hinger escaped the back and then took the spider web for his position and finished a quick armbar.
Round of 8
Garry Tonon (Ocean County Jiu Jitsu) vs Karen Darabedyan (Gokor)
Garry Tonon advanced by Overtime Victory. Excellent on going leg lock battle was not resolved in regulation. Tonon got a a rear naked choke in the first OT period and then escaped Darabedyan's back control to advance.
Enrico Cocco (Zen Jiu Jitsu/Fight Sports) vs Eddie Cummings (Renzo Gracie Academy)
Eddie Cummings advances with an inside heel hook.
Richie Martinez (10th Planet San Diego) vs Darragh O'Conaill (Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu)
Darragh O'Conaill advances with a north/south choke. After spending almost the entire match fighting off Martinez's favorite attack, the D'arce/Japanese necktie series, O'Conaill got to the top and locked up a north/south choke with only a few minutes left in the match.
Josh Hinger (Atos) vs Nathan Orchard (10th Planet Portland)
Josh Hinger advances with an Overtime Victory. Hinger mounted Ochard almost immediately and spent the majority of the match forcing the 10th Planet black belt to carry his weight. In the closing seconds Hinger ended up on his back and attacked a shoulder lock/triangle combo as time expired. Orchard escaped Hinger's back control in first overtime period but failed to submit Hinger. In the second period Hinger took the spiderweb position and go a quick armbar, Orchard also took the Spiderweb but couldn't find the submission.
Round of 16
Garry Tonon (Ocean County Jiu Jitsu) vs Josh Valles (Gracie Barra Pasadena)
Garry Tonon advances with a heel hook. A brief period of wrestling, Tonon shot in and Valles attacked a front headlock. Tonon sat to guard and after a few minutes hit a heel hook off a failed butterfly sweep.
Karen Darabedyan (Gokor) vs Joey Hauss (Jean Jacques Machado Academy)
Darabedyan advances with a guillotine choke. Darabedyan hit a shoulder throw very early in the match, was on top for the entire match, attacked a guillotine that he didn't finish. Darabedyan went back to the choke from the top of half guard and rolled through to the get the finish.
Stephen Martinez (Millennia MMA) vs Enrico Cocco (Zen Jiu Jitsu/Fight Sports)
Enrico Cocco advances by heel hook. After some initial posturing the competitors ended up in the 50/50 guard and spent some time grip fighting before Cocco got the heel hook.
Lauri Karppinen (10th Planet Tampere) vs Eddie Cummings (Renzo Gracie Academy)
Eddie Cummings advances with a heel hook. Cummings slid into heel hook position and finished it after a short hand fight.
Richie Martinez (10th Planet San Diego) vs Julio Cordova (Renzo Gracie Mexico)
Richie Martinez advances with a kneebar. A really fun, dynamic match that featured Cardova really trying to work his guard, escaping several heel hooks, but one of those escapes
Darragh O'Conaill (Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu) vs
Marcelo Mafra (Checkmat) Darragh O'Conaill (Gracie Rancho)
Darrah O'Conail advances with an Overtime Win. Largely an uneventful match, Vazquez spent long periods of the match playing open guard and bottom side control. In overtime both fighters opted to take the back, and on the third period of overtime O'Conaill caught a quick rear naked choke and then escaped Vazquez's back control for the win.
Josh Hinger (Atos) vs Mike Padilla (Renzo Gracie Academy)
Josh Hinger wins advances by triangle choke.
Matthew Secor (Spa City Jiu-Jitsu) vs Nathan Orchard (10th Planet Portland)
Nathan Orchard advanced by overtime win. Orchard pulled guard and immediately went to his rubber guard game. Orchard got to his Dead Orchard position but Secor just able to slip out. Orchard again pulled guard and went back to his favored position and yet again Secor slipped out. Secor finally passed guard but was not able to find a submission in regulation.
Teen Super Fight Results
Grace Gundrum (10th Planet Bethlehem) defeats Alyssa Mia Wilson (Checkmat HQ) in Overtime
Demian Balderrama (Atos/Entram Gym) defeats Jacob Harris (10th Planet Gainesville Hotbox) by Rear Naked Choke
Jessa Khan (Gustavo Machado BJJ) defeats Cora Sek (Team Tooke Martial Arts) by Armbar