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Grappling Report: Ten-time IBJJF world champ Michelle Nicolini shut down at ONE: Empower

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

bloody elbow grappling report

The stage seemed set for ten-time IBJJF world champion Michelle Nicolini to take her MMA career to the next level as she fought Xiong Jing Nan for the ONE FC Strawweight world title. The fight served as the main event for the promotion’s very first all-female card and the four fights leading up to it brought the Quarter-finals of the ONE FC Atomweight grand prix to a conclusion.

In the end, Jing Nan clearly enjoyed a significant striking advantage over Nicolini and was ahead on the scorecards early after dropping her with a combination of punches in the first round. Nicolini tried to get the fight to the ground through a variety of methods including both pulling guard and rolling for leglocks and although she did get a few submission attempts in, it was nowhere near enough to prevent her from losing the decision.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Dante Leon comes out on top at the last second at Fight 2 Win 182

F2W 182 was headlined by a huge opportunity for top Canadian talent Dante Leon as he took on ADCC world champion and current UFC fighter Davi Ramos. It was an exciting back-and-forth match and it looked like it could go either way going into the final minute. Ramos clearly felt a sense of urgency and leapt on a kneebar that proved to be his undoing as Leon countered, took his back, and finished the choke in the dying seconds.

Shortly before Leon and Ramos took to the stage, Jackson Nagai and Edwin Najmi met in the co-main event to compete for the F2W gi Welterweight title. Both men had several decent attempts at a wide variety of leg attacks throughout the fight and the pace was relentless. In the end, Nagai managed to pounce through his opponent’s guard and straight into a mounted triangle choke to win the belt.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Miyao brothers share glory at IBJJF Pan-ams 2021

The IBJJF Pan-ams 2021 are well underway and most divisions have already concluded, although the adult black belt competitors are left until the final day. One of the biggest moments so far came in the masters division where both Paulo and Joao Miyao competed at Light-Featherweight. This marked the first time that they entered the advanced-age division with Paulo opting to compete at adult in the no gi Pan-Ams earlier this year.

They started out on opposite sides of the bracket and both men had to defeat two of the best competitors over the age of 30 in their weightclass to book their place in the final together. From there, the Miyao brothers decided to close out the bracket without competing against one another and Paulo gave the official victory to Joao, while he took the silver medal home for himself.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Derek Brunson submits Darren Till at UFC Vegas 36

The headline match of UFC Vegas 36 was an incredibly important moment for both men involved, but for very different reasons. Darren Till had lost three of his last four fights and gone 1-1 since moving up to the Middleweight division in search of success. Derek Brunson on the other hand was riding a four-fight win-streak since dropping a decision to the current Middleweight world champion Israel Adesanya.

Brunson used his superior grappling to put on an impressive performance from start to finish of their fight, dominating the positional exchanges and landing heavy ground and pound for the first two rounds. The third round then started off with more of the same before Till turned and gave up his back, allowing Brunson to sink in a rear-naked choke and push the conversation towards a rematch with Adesanya for the Middleweight belt.

Full results for the event can be found here.


Quick Hits


Technique Corner

Passing the Knee-Shield to Armbar

Deep Half-Guard counter to Cryangle, to Heelhook

Crucifix entry from Side control, and attacking options