The Emerald City Invitational returned on Saturday, December 4th to Martinsville, New Jersey for its third event, this time featuring a 16-man 185 lb. bracket and a pair of super fights. The 185 lb. bracket included Giancarlo Bodoni, Steve Kasten, Enrique Galarza, Steve Joachim, Josh Hayden, Isiah Wright, Nick Ronan, Matteo Martinez, Oliver Taza, Nick Domgjoni, Aaron Harris, Jay Rodriguez, Andre Petroski, Sean Yadimarco, Alan Sanchez, and Jon Piersma. The super fights were a 145 lb. match between Amanda Leve of Precision Jiu-Jitsu and Lauren Jones of Black Hole Jiu-Jitsu and a 135 lb. match between Estevan Martinez of ZR Team and Eric Naples of Robson Moura Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The matches were contested under EBI rules, with 10 minute submission only rounds and overtime rounds where competitors could start either on their opponent’s back or in the arm bar position.
Taza continues to impress with well-rounded game ahead of ADCC
Coming into the 185 lb. bracket Oliver Taza had faced some of the toughest 77kg grapplers in the world. He qualified for the 2022 ADCC World Championships by winning the European Trials in September and has since had super fights with Levi Jones Leary and Dante Leon. He’s shown a very well rounded skillset in his recent performances, scoring takedowns, sweeps, guard passes, and submissions.
Taza started out strong in the bracket, submitting his first opponent with an outside heel hook and his next two opponents with inside heel hooks, all in relatively short order. His opponent in the final was former teammate Nick Ronan, who had quite the day himself, defeating ADCC Trials winner Giancarlo Bodoni by heel hook in the semifinals. The regulation period was action packed, with Taza often dictating the pace and scoring takedowns, sweeps, and guard passes, but was unable to lock in a submission.
In overtime, Nick Ronan chose to start from the back position. Ronan moved to the body triangle and Taza was able to pummel his legs inside, breaking apart the triangle and getting the angle he needed to escape and come up in Ronan’s closed guard. Taza started from the arm bar position, but Ronan was able to escape, setting up a second overtime round. Ronan again chose the back control and Taza escaped again, utilizing great leg pummeling and defensive skills. Taza chose the arm bar position for a second time, but this time was able to lock up an inverted triangle, forcing the tap from Ronan. Look for Taza to continue competing regularly in the lead up to the 2022 ADCC World Championships in September.
Giant slayers Estevan Martinez and Amanda Leve score wins in OT
Estevan Martinez and Amanda Leve are the most prolific giant slayers in jiu-jitsu. Estevan’s nickname is the “Giant Slayer” as he often competes in the open class despite being a rooster weight. Amanda Leve recently beat Gabi Garcia at the WNO Championships, likely being outweighed by around 100 lbs. In the first of the two featured super fights of the night, Estevan faced Eric Naples of Robson Moura Jiu-Jitsu. The regulation period started pretty even, with Estevan spending most of the time on top trying to pass Eric’s tough reverse de la riva guard. In true Estevan fashion, he attempted to pass Eric’s guard with cartwheels and backflips, getting around the legs but not securing a submission.
In overtime, Estevan chose the back position and finished a rear naked choke in just 22 seconds. Naples had to finish Estevan in less time to win, but Estevan was able to work his way to the feet and shake Naples off to escape and secure the win.
The second super fight of the event saw Amanda Leve of Precision Jiu-Jitsu take on Lauren Jones of Black Hole Jiu-Jitsu. Jones pulled guard and Amanda passed to side control less than a minute into the match. Lauren recovered momentarily, but Leve utilized an over under pass to get around the legs for a second time. She used a gift wrap control to get Jones to turn away, inserting one hook and immediately attacking the neck. Jones cleared the hook and escaped, but Leve went right back into a similar sequence, stacking Jone’s hips and passing again to the back position. This time Leve got both hooks and eventually secured a body triangle. Although she had some solid attempts at a rear naked choke, Jones was able to turn and face Leve and come on top into the closed guard.
In overtime, Amanda Leve chose to start on the back but was unable to finish. Jones chose the arm bar position and Leve got to her feet and pulled her arm out to escape. Amanda again chose the back position but Jones did a great job hand fighting and avoiding the choke. Jones once again selected the arm bar position and Amanda utilized a similar route to escape, winning the match via ride time in overtime.
Full results for the 185lb. bracket can be found below:
Giancarlo Bodoni def. Steve Kasten via submission (rear naked choke)
Enrique Galarza def. Steve Joachim via submission (Estima lock)
Josh Hayden def. Isiah Wright via submission (outside heel hook)
Nick Ronan def. Matteo Martinez via ride time in OT
Oliver Taza def. Nick Domgjoni via submission (outside heel hook)
Jay Rodriguez def. Aaron Harris via submission (inside heel hook)
Sean Yadimarco def. Andre Petroski via submission (inside heel hook)
Alan Sanchez def. Jon Perisma via submission in OT (arm bar)
Giancarlo Bodoni def. Enrique Galarza via submission in OT (rear naked choke)
Nick Ronan def. Josh Hayden via escape time in OT
Oliver Taza def. Jay Rodriguez via submission (inside heel hook)
Sean Yadimarco def. Alan Sanchez via submission (rear naked choke in OT)
Nick Ronan def. Giancarlo Bodoni via submission (inside heel hook)
Oliver Taza def. Alan Sanchez via submission (inside heel hook)
Oliver Taza def. Nick Ronan via submission in OT (inverted triangle)