There are fools and jesters abound in this edition of the Aces BJJ News Roundup, and our entry into April has little to do with it!
We had a blast with all the juicy combat sports goodness this week, including an absolutely stacked UFC card with the heavyweight belt changing hands, and it looks like next month will only get crazier. Craig Jones and former world champ Gabi Garcia’s much anticipated intergender match has been postponed due to a few logistical factors. Still, the SUG crew filled the gap with an incredible show of their own. Mason Fowler defended his title, and his dynasty continues to build.
Laughs were had, tears were shed, limbs were broken. So let’s get into it!
In what has to be the biggest blow-up in MMA history, Francis Ngannou defeated Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic in their main event rematch at UFC 260. Showcasing a remarkably improved ground game with stellar takedown defense, Cameroon’s man shocked the world with an emphatic second-round TKO win over the most successful defending champion the UFC heavyweight division has ever seen.
Round one saw a patient Ngannou, measure distance against Miocic. Ngannou followed up a low kick with a one-two to the body. Miocic looked unshaken, but a big right from Ngannou put the champ on red alert. Miocic went in for a shot, but Ngannou proved his time training wrestling had paid off with a beautiful sprawl into a back take! Ngannou let loose with punches as the champ turtled up, but Miocic got back to his feet before the finish. Undeterred, Ngannou launched a head kick on the still disoriented Miocic before returning to measuring distance. Save for a few straight rights, Ngannou didn’t look in a hurry to end things as the buzzer sounded. In five minutes, Ngannou had already displayed a herculean amount of improvement in the wrestling department.
In round two, Ngannou opened with a jab followed by a low kick to Miocic’s left leg. Miocic returned fire with a straight right, closing distance on Ngannou. But a left cross from Ngannou managed to drop Miocic against the cage, letting Ngannou follow up with significant unanswered strikes to the head. As Miocic returned to the feet, Ngannou fired another perfect left that dropped him yet again. Before the champ could recover, and before the ref could end the fight, Ngannou launched a nuclear right hammerfist down on Miocic’s head. Ref Herb Dean leaped onto Miocic; the fight was over.
Underneath the calls to fight Jon Jones and the praise of his victory, a formerly homeless man from Cameroon achieved one of the most remarkable feats in combat sports, and the win brings Ngannou to a 16-3 record and Miocic to 20-4.
No one is happy Stipe had to lose (besides maybe DC), but no one deserved to beat him more than Francis.
Mason Fowler Defeats Richie Martinez
Mason Fowler is still the king of SUG mountain, defending his absolute championship belt against 10th Planet wizard Richie “Boogeyman” Martinez. This was an incredible fifth title defense for Fowler and added to his status as the face of an organization.
Martinez started with a guard pull, almost sweeping Fowler before he went in for a knee cut. Martinez defended well, but solid head control and positioning from the champ eventually lead him to pass into side control. Time ticked on, and with how dominant both men are in overtime, it could be anyone’s match. But Fowler isolated Martinez’s arm and extended in the final seconds of regulation, getting the tap at 4:41.
Fowler via Armbar.
At this point, Fowler has done enough to firmly establish his reign as SUG champion from that of his predecessor, the incomparable Mr. Craig Jones. But with such a streak building, one worries that the number of athletes willing to enter the cage might diminish. Conversely, the renown that comes with unseating such an established champion might inject more BJJ superstars into the promotion itself.
Hey Gordon, you up?
In a massive letdown for the grappling community, I guess, Craig Jones and Gabi Garcia’s epic intergender bout was postponed to a later date. Aimed to be healed this past Sunday, the two hosted a joint press conference instead to explain the situation.
Initially intended for streaming on the Alliance Eastvale FB page, one reason given by a moderator was the unexpected number of eyeballs on the event. Unsure of the stability to host thousands of viewers, a new platform will be chosen to ensure a stable connection.
The proceeding half-hour Q & A showcased a visibly annoyed Garcia and a jovial, shit-disturbing Jones. Garcia stated she felt disrespected by both the challenge issued and later conduct of the Aussie, and Jones proceeded to lose an arm-wrestling match to Garcia on purpose.
The end seemed to indicate that both were still as game as ever for the contest, and honestly, the brevity is a nice change of pace from all the iron-hot egos the BJJ world caters typically to.
That’s it for this week, everyone! Tune in next time for more of the goings-on in the world of consenting murder simulation.
Aces BJJ Blog staff writer and BJJ Blue belt under Edward “Scissor Hands” Berberich of Soulcraft BJJ. Kevin has been training BJJ for four years and complaining about Star Wars for over 20. Follow him on Instagram @kbrads_bjj