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Grappling Report: Leandro Lo crowned BJJ Stars Middleweight Grand Prix champion

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A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.

bloody elbow grappling report

BJJ Stars 4 saw the Brazilian promotion crown a Middleweight Grand Prix champion out of eight elite grapplers. The opening round was characterized by painfully close matches as every single one went to decision with none of the competitors being separated by points differentials. The semi-final was where Leandro Lo and Isaque Bahiense separated from the pack as the former won 7-0 on points and Bahiense scored the night’s only submission.

Lo then overcame his game opponent in the finals to be crowned champion, after several superfights also took place. One of Bahiense’s recently promoted black belts, Erich Munis, scored a huge upset over Victor Hugo as he defeated the reigning IBJJF no gi World Champion. Elsewhere, Dimitrius Souza managed to submit the recently retired Bellator Middleweight World Champion, Rafael Lovato Jr, in another upset.

Final Who’s Number One event of 2020 adds more elite matchups

December 11th marks one of the biggest events left in the calendar year, the final 2020 edition of Flograppling’s Who’s Number One. They initially announced the huge main event between Kaynan Duarte and Rodolfo Vieira with a supporting fight between Dante Leon and Roberto Jimenez, but have now fleshed out the card even further. Since then, 10th Planet’s Grace Gundrum has also been lined up against Mayssa Bastos on the same event.

Her teammate, Jon ‘Thor’ Blank will also make the walk against one of the most brutally effective grapplers in the sport, Vagner Rocha. After these announcements, Flograppling revealed more of the supporting card, featuring even more elite grapplers as Kody Steele takes on Tye Ruotolo, and another 10th Planet standout, Geo Martinez, will be facing off against Kennedy Maciel.

Double Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison dominates in Invicta debut

Kayla Harrison is no stranger to combat sports and has been destroying other women for decades, despite only recently turning 30. She won a gold medal in the Judo World Championships in 2010, the beginning of a career that spanned six years and resulted in two Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016. Her second Olympic gold marked the last time she competed in Judo before embarking on her now blossoming MMA career.

Since her first professional fight in 2018, Harrison quickly earned a perfect 7-0 record that won her the PFL Lightweight World Championship and a million-dollar prize. Invicta FC 43 marked her first fight in the Featherweight division and a step up in competition against Courtney King. She gave fans a brutal display of elite grappling as the fight was called off in the second round, showing them that she’s destined for big, big things at Featherweight.

AJ McKee extends unbeaten Record to 17-0 with a brutal neck crank

Another phenomenal grappling performance took place this weekend as AJ McKee booked his place in the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix Finals with a brutal neck crank finish of Darrion Caldwell. The promotion built the young star’s career up slowly and he worked his way through the ranks to earn a perfect 13-0 record before facing the best Bellator had to offer.

Since his first 2019 fight against Pat Curran however, he’s been fighting the very best Bellator can offer and repeatedly turning in dominant performances. His fight against Darrion Caldwell was a lot more difficult on paper than it was in the cage, as McKee took his penultimate step towards Bellator Featherweight glory. It’s clear now that he’s a level above most of what Bellator can offer and it’ll be interesting to see how his career plays out.


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