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Finish of the Week: Masakazu Imanari’s Imanari Roll backfires at Combat Jiu-Jitsu Worlds

Tom Halpin had a great run at the 2020 Combat Jiujitsu Worlds.

With a ton of combat sports happening on each week, a lot of interesting moves and crazy finishes tend to slip through the cracks as people naturally pay more attention to the bigger events. This “Finish of the Week” feature is designed to put a spotlight on some of those wild moments that you may have missed.


Bloody Elbow’s Finish of the Week goes to a pretty impressive counter during the 2020 Combat Jiu-Jitsu Worlds.

Sunday in Los Angeles, Masakazu Imanari had a pretty impressive run at Eddie Bravo’s CJJ featherweight tournament, with the 44-year-old MMA fighter showing he still has what it takes to compete with the younger generation.

Known for his dangerous leg locks, Imanari’s promotional debut matches saw him submit two opponents via heel hook to advance to the semi-finals. This is where he ran into Tom Halpin, who had wins by heel hook and rear naked choke (over JMMA star Hideo Tokoro) prior.

In the opening sequence of their semi-final match, Imanari immediately went for the move he popularized and was named after him. As he dropped down for his trademark Imanari Roll, Halpin was prepared and countered it beautifully. In less than 20 seconds total, Halpin leg locked the icon known for leg locks.

With that slick counter and heel hook finish, Halpin earns BE’s Finish of the Week honors. He also went on to win the finals via heel hook as well, being crowned as the featherweight Combat Jiu-Jitsu World Champion.

You can watch Imanari’s two other heel hook submissions from early in the tournament below as well.


Probellum 1 in Liverpool, England had a terrible example of poor sportsmanship. Ten seconds left in a bout he was winning, Kasim Aras for bit his opponent Mindaugas Gerve to defend an arm-triangle submission. He was immediately disqualified.

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