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Grappling Report: Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida Sidelined With Knee Injury

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

bloody elbow grappling report

There has been not one, not two, but three of the biggest names in Jiu-Jitsu forced onto the sidelines in the past week. Starting with the current record-holder for most IBJJF World Championships in the gi, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, who withdrew from his upcoming match against Fabricio Werdum at BJJ Bet due to a knee injury. This may also have an effect on his proposed debut in MMA, as the 13 x World Champion recently signed a contract to compete for ONE FC.

Shortly after this announcement, ex-No Gi World Champion AJ Agazarm suffered a devastating knee injury in a losing effort against Chris Lencioni at Bellator 243. While everything seemed fine in the moment, he revealed only a few days later that he had torn every ligament in his knee.

A Record-Breaking Finish at Fight 2 Win 149

The third and final high-profile injury came during the last-minute preparations for Fight 2 Win (F2W) 149, when Keenan Cornelius suffered a back injury that took him out of the headline fight with Gabriel Almeida. Fortunately for the promotion, Manuel Ribamar was willing to step up on short notice for a rematch with Almeida. Unlike their first three meetings, Almeida managed to overcome his rival and secure the Decision victory in an extremely close match.

The rest of the card was action-packed from start to finish with the highlight of the night coming from the rather unheralded Max Danrely. He managed to pull off the fastest submission in a black belt match in F2W history, securing the Armbar finish in just 11 seconds.

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A Controversial Finish in a Battle of the Prospects

Another of America’s biggest grappling promotions had a bumpier ride this last week as Third Coast Grappling (3CG): Kumite 5 ended in significant controversy after a thrilling tournament. Two young prospects, Roberto Jimenez and Tye Ruotolo, clean-swept their respective sides of the tournament bracket as they built up to an exciting final.

After a back-and-forth fight in regulation time, the match entered a golden score period where the first points scored would net the winner the $10,000 grand prize. An unusual refereeing decision led to Jimenez being declared the winner despite not securing the takedown for the necessary 3 seconds. 3CG later went back on their decision and ruled the match a no contest, although they still awarded the prize money to Jimenez as they declared that the controversy was in no way his fault.

Is Team-Based Grappling Coming to the UK?

On the other side of the pond, the biggest UK grappling promotion, Polaris, made a rather cryptic announcement for their fourteenth event. After twelve straight single-fight events, they decided to test the waters with a UK Grand Prix for their most recent outing and the fans seemed pleasantly surprised with the change of pace.

It seems Polaris has learned a lot from the fan-response, as they’ve now decided to change the format again for the next event with “Polaris Squads”. The details haven’t been revealed as yet but the reference to “Team Sports” and the name of the event makes it clear that this will be in a similar vein to the ultra-successful Japanese promotion, Quintet.

Quick Hits

Technique Corner

Heel Hook Finish From 50/50

Passing Spider-Guard Straight to the Armbar

Endless Attacks From Rubber Guard