Hello, one and all! Welcome back to a new edition of the Aces BJJ News Roundup! Here we wine and dine you lovely readers with the latest in combat sports news from around the globe. No UFC events this week, but that doesn’t stop the martial arts community from making some headlines!
Today we’ve got some news right out of Bizzaro-World, as noted troll and shit-talker Jake Paul did something wonderfully charitable for an MMA hopeful. We’ve also got some new binge content of our grappling fans out there, as two new BJJ-themed series are set to hit your screens very soon. Lastly, we have to talk about the dynamite matches at the recent Fury Pro Grappling show.
Let’s tear into all this delicious content!
Danielle Kelly Dominates Fury Pro Grappling
Silver Fox black belt and submission wunderkind Danielle Kelly made waves this week with her impressive victory over former No-Gi Pans champion and Fight Sports athlete Sofia Amarante. The main event of the first-ever Fury Pro card set a high bar, with impressive exchanges and a very technical finish from the PA export. A brief shoutout to the remarkably sick showings on the preliminary and post main event cards, which you can check out in full on the Fury YouTube Channel here! But now, onto the main event.
Kelly began by pulling guard and started working in the butterfly hook for a possible sweep. Hitting it, Kelly ended on top but then had to defend a heel-hook attempt by Amarante. But Kelly escaped, briefly sitting to 50/50 before rising again to pass. Amarante defended with a reverse De La Riva guard, then moved to x-guard for a leg lock attempt which Kelly escaped once more and worked to pass from the top.
Amarante went on the attack again, going for a toehold that Kelly successfully defended. Kelly then, in a move I couldn’t do if you paid me, cartwheeled around Amarante’s legs for a kimura attempt. This strategy was abandoned due to a leg attack, but Kelly defended well and returned to passing. Going for a stack pass, Kelly had to defend another leg entanglement as Amarante inverted quickly. Kelly eventually locked in a head, and arm choke, then moved to take the back with one hook in. With just over a minute to go in regulation, Kelly sunk in an RNC to get the tap from Amarante.
An impressive start to a new promotion so here’s looking forward to what they do next!
Jake Paul, Good Guy?
Few figures spark more controversy in the combat sports world than the Paul Brothers. Older brother Logan most recently shocked the world by not dying at the hands of an admittedly aged Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition boxing bout, and younger brother Jake made waves with a 2nd round KO of former Olympic wrestler/ONE FC champ Ben Askren. With a social media rap sheet a mile long, including FBI weapon raids, filming a corpse in the woods, releasing terrible music, and other miscellaneous troll behavior, positive PR rarely seems to find either one of these guys.
But Jake might be on the cusp of changing that with a surprising donation to a fighter in need. UFC newcomer and DW Contender Series standout Sarah Alpar received $5,000 from Paul and a $25,000 donation from fighting promotion Triller.
Alpar took to social media in late June to announce a GoFundMe campaign to help finance her new UFC career. Following her winning a contract on the contender series, the athlete/mother realized that she’d need more funds to make her shot at a title more viable.
Taking notice of the campaign, Paul made the following statement on his social media accounts later that same week.
“SMH… Imagine a rookie in the NBA had to start a GoFundMe to play.
I let Sarah @TOOSWEET_Alpar know she has my support and contribution
It’s my honor and privilege to help fellow fighters in any way I can,” he wrote.
Paul followed up with a link to the campaign and the aforementioned personal contribution. Triller, a company in which Paul is a shareholder, soon followed up with their own donation. These two alone smashed the campaign goal of $30,000, with subsequent contributions flowing in due to the press.
A grateful Alpar made the following post in response.
“That’s a wrap, guys! You killed this goal, annihilated it. Thank you, Lisa Ferguson, for your phenomenal donation and @jakepaul for your donation and causing a mass of eyes to see my drive. My life changed this week. I’ve worked my butt off to get to where I am, and there is zero chance I could have done it without the help and support of my family, friends, and “Too Sweet” Tribe. I’m blessed to have each of you in my life and in my corner. My next @ufc fight is September 18th. I’m in it to win it. My training is going to be on point. I’m bringing home that W. Let’s go!”
Fighter pay is an issue Paul spoke publicly on at length leading up to his Askren bout, and this action seems to have endeared him to some of the more hardcore fans who saw his entry into the fight world as an unwanted invasion. Whether a publicity stunt or heartfelt action, the fact that a talented fighter now has more breathing room to train and compete is something we should all celebrate.
So yea… thank you, Jake.
BJJ TV From Some Dope Black Belts
We’re always on the hunt for more BJJ content. Many of us were only relieved by the wealth of videos and DVDs available online during the pandemic. But few projects outside of series like Daisy Fresh or other long-form shows have attempted to chronicle the broader range of stories BJJ culture has to offer. But this week, two different projects are trying to do just that.
Drew Weatherhead, BJJ instructor and founder of the hilarious “Because_Jitsu” Instagram page, embarks on a massive road trip with his family. Spurned on by the unfortunate closure of his gym, Central Alberta BJJ, Weatherhead is loading his clan into an RV and documenting his journeys across the North American Continent, visiting different martial arts schools along the way.
“It’s hard to explain how demoralizing, frustrating and soul-sucking this pandemic has been on my Business, my Family, and I,” Weatherhead explained in an Instagram post. Titled “The North-South Chronicles,” Weatherhead hopes to record his insights on combat and life along with stories he picks up from different places. Episode one is available right now, and I can’t recommend it enough.
And here in the states, BJJ black belt and author Kenny Kim is creating a show of his own. Titled “MATMADE,” the long-time competitor is looking to bring a full production team to different cities to sample local culture, cuisine, sights, and, most importantly, BJJ schools.
“There’s so much stuff that happens on the mats,” Kim said in an interview on the JJT podcast last May. “So I’m looking to sit down with people in different places and ask ‘what did jiu-jitsu do for you?’”
With production ramping up, Kim is putting out the call for any schools interested in being featured. You can find out more in his explanation video here!
That’s all for this week, gang. Tune in next time to watch me explain why takedowns are lame to a Soviet-Era Sambo Champion!
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