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Grappling Report: The Danaher Death Squad go their separate ways

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

bloody elbow grappling report

All good things must come to an end and now it seems like one of the best things in Jiu-Jitsu is doing just that. Earlier this week, John Danaher made the announcement that his elite team of grapplers, the Danaher Death Squad, were going their separate ways and would no longer be training together as a unit. At the time, details were scarce as to where Gordon Ryan, Garry Tonon, Craig Jones and the others would be going.

Slowly but surely more details have emerged, and Gordon Ryan announced that he, along with Tonon and Danaher, would be relocating to Austin, Texas in order to open up their own gym. Another faction of the original team are also staying together as Craig Jones announced that he would be sticking with “the B-Team” of Nicky Rodriguez, Nicky Ryan, and Ethan Crelinsten, hinting that they too would be opening a separate gym in Austin, Texas.

Superfight and preliminary matches announced for Polaris Squads 3

The full team lineups for both Team UK & Ireland and Team USA for Polaris Squads 3 have been public knowledge for quite some time, but the UK-based promotion has only just revealed the preliminary matches and headline superfight for the event. The superfight will take place during the half-time break of the team event and in keeping with the theme, the UK’s Freddie Vosgrone will be facing 10th Planet and USA representative Kyle Boehm.

Before the team match begins, Polaris has put together four prelim matches featuring the best talent they could find from across the UK. The promotion held an open casting call for the first time ever earlier in the year and sifted through hundreds of entries to find the most exciting up-and-coming grapplers possible. While none of them are particularly well-known, the idea is that they’ll make a huge impression on the biggest stage of their careers so far.

Victor Hugo retains 220lbs+ title at Fight 2 Win 178

Fight 2 Win is known for putting on great shows at a consistent pace and F2W 178 was no exception. The headline match saw Victor Hugo defend his title against an incredibly game challenger in Guilherme Augusto. The match would end up going to decision after neither man was able to get the finish but Hugo’s excellent use of spider guard and ability to chain both kneebar and straight ankle-lock attacks together was enough to earn him the win.

Shortly before this, a BJJ legend made a rare appearance as Xande Ribeiro took on the much-younger Fellipe Trovo. They also needed the judge’s help in order to decide a winner but the fight between the two was much closer than the headline fight. Ribeiro managed to maintain his legacy as the man with the most unpassable guard as he kept up his incredible record of only having his guard passed twice in over thirty years of competition.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Women’s 115lbs division lineup revealed for WNO Championships

The Who’s Number One championships are edging ever closer and each time one of the brackets gets revealed, the event just looks better and better. The full men’s 155lbs division was announced last week and included some phenomenal competitors like Mikey Musumeci and Geo Martinez. Now, the women’s 115lbs has been announced and it’s just as stacked from top to bottom.

The tournament lineup features some women who have already established themselves as the top competitors in the sport like Mayssa Bastos, Amanda ‘Tubby’ Alequin, Tammi Musumeci, and Danielle Kelly. Alongside them is a pair of young prodigies who’ve already beaten the best around, 10th Planet’s Grace Gundrum and AOJ’s Jessa Khan. Finishing off the lineup is two young starlets with a huge opportunity in Alex Nguyen and Jessica Crane.


Quick Hits


Technique Corner

Running man escape from the saddle, to 50/50, to far-side Heelhook

Reverse De La Riva to Reverse K-guard, to Backside 50/50

Collar-sleeve guard to Triangle Choke, to Matrix back-take