The illustrious Eddie Bravo Invitational returns on April 24th, but this time it is different. Instead of EBI 6 airing solely on pay-per-view, the promotion has also signed a streaming deal with UFC Fight Pass in and is set to feature one of the greatest open weight submission-only tournaments ever. In the weeks leading up to the event, Bloody Elbow will be giving you the low down on the strengths and background of each competitor. Let's kick off our third installation with one of the tournaments favourites.
Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Fabio Gurgel >Marcelo Garcia > Matheus Diniz
Team: Marcelo Garcia Academy/Alliance
If you are a casual fan you might not have heard about Matheus Diniz yet, but I can assure you that you will hear a lot about him in years to come. Diniz is a disciple of the greatest grappler of all time, Marcelo Garcia, and like his coach, Diniz is extremely well rounded. Since relocating to New York as a brown belt, Diniz has trained exclusively with Marcelo Garcia and has developed a name for himself as one of the most versatile grapplers in the no-gi world. With a varied offense and a near-impenetrable defence, Diniz's style lends itself well to the submission-only format and he should be considered a favourite to take home the title.
Diniz has looked spectacular in the last 18 months and has earned two victories over Garry Tonon, though the most recent victory was slightly controversial as the referee awarded Diniz a verbal submission victory after Tonon shrieked during a wrist lock. Tonon sits on the opposite side of the bracket to Diniz and will no doubt be eager to avenge his loss should the pair meet in the finals. I would rank Diniz as one of my 3 favourites to win and wouldn't be surprised if he dominated his side of the bracket.
First Round Opponent: Lucas Rocha de Freitas
Lucas Rocha is a talented grappler, but I fear his style does not translate to the submission only format, which I feel should favour Diniz. Rocha's best chance is to drag this match-up in to overtime.
The Eddie Bravo Invitational 6 goes down at the Orpheum Theatre, in Los Angeles, CA on April 24 and will be available on pay-per-view on Dish and InDemand, as well as being live on UFC Fight Pass.