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 and is set to feature one of the greatest openweight 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 final edition with one of the biggest names in the business, Garry Tonon.
Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Renzo Gracie > Ricardo Almeida > Tom DeBlass > Garry Tonon
Team: Ocean County Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / RGA
Chances are you know about Garry Tonon - you probably watched him play the leglock game with Palhares, or perhaps you watched him heel hook Marcin Held. If you have seen Tonon, the odds are that you are already a fan. Since exploding on to the sport, Garry Tonon has become the poster boy for the submission-only rule set, winning the Eddie Bravo Invitational on 3 occasions and dominating at Polaris 1 & 2. Tonon has had mixed success in the standard points tournaments and has yet to take home gold as a black belt at the Worlds or ADCCs, but when it comes to the submission only game, there is no one with a better record right now.
Tonon's skills are uniquely tuned to specifically suit the sub-only sphere. Under the tutelage of Tom DeBlass, Tonon developed an amazing fundamentalist approach to grappling while focusing purely on gi-grappling until he received his brown belt. From brown belt onwards, Tonon worked with DeBlass on transforming his style to the no-gi world and showed a particular talent for the rear-naked choke. It wasn't until Tonon was training for ADCC 2013 that Tonon developed his love for leglocks. Through direct training with Eddie Cummings and tireless work with John Danaher, Tonon has developed one of the most awe-inspiring leglock games, and that has shot him to success at numerous tournaments.
I think Tonon is amazing, but he faces some really stiff competition in this tournament. On his side of the bracket is Yuri Simoes who could cause him a lot of trouble should he make it to the quarter finals. If Tonon does make it to the final, he will likely be met by either Rustam Chsiev who is a great wrestler, or Matheus Diniz who has previously submitted Tonon. I believe that either Tonon, Simoes or Diniz will take home gold.
First round opponent: Felipe Fogolin
Fogolin is big and strong, but Tonon is in his element right now. I expect Tonon and Fogolin will engage in a leglock battle and Tonon will be victorious.
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.