Salutations, dear readers! Kevin B here once again with the latest news from the world of combat sports. A lot can happen in this crazy game we love, so the best way to stay up to date is right here, with the Aces BJJ News Roundup!
We’ve got a ton to unpack from the realms of MMA, BJJ, and the drunk uncle making a pass at a Hooters waitress that is Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Former Disgraced UFC champion TJ Dillashaw returned with an incredibly close win over Corey “Sandman” Sandhhagen. Rachel Ostovich won her inaugural BKFC bout against fellow UFC alum Paige VanZant. And finally, the grappling world was upended when the uber-dominant Danaher Death Squad competition team would be dissolving, effective immediately.
It’s enough content to cause a heart attack, so let’s break out the defibrillator and dive in headfirst!
DDS No More?
This week, several members of the Danaher Death Squad (DDS) posted alerts that their team would be dissolving as a singular unit. Headed by Renzo Gracie black belt John Danaher with solid direction provided by leglock wizard Eddie Cummings, the squad has featured some of the highest-profile competitors in the sport. ADCC bronze medalist Nicky Ryan quickly pushed to the head of their roster after a dynamic start to his career, flanked by fellow superstars Craig Jones, Gary Tonon, Nicky Ryan, Ethan Crelinsten, and arguably the best no-gi grappler alive today, Gordon Ryan.
“A combination of factors revolving around disagreements in the physical location of a future school, personality conflicts, conflicting values and an inevitable tension between the team brand and the growing individual brands of members were the main factors.” Danaher wrote in an Instagram post
With a murderer’s row of competitors, the Danaher Death Squad stayed at the forefront of submission grappling for much of the 2010s. But with so much talent and ego in one room, greater alliances have fractured due to less pressure.
Currently, two groups remain. Gordon, Danaher, and Tonon are sticking together to form “Team New Wave Jiu-Jitsu” in Austin, TX, and members Nicky Ryan, Rodriguez, Crelinsten, and Jones will be creating a team of their own. No further details on location or logistics were available.
“Texas jiu-jitsu was already on the map, but myself and my team will make it the jiu-jitsu capital of the world. Moving in the next couple of months, who is joining and what part of Austin should we open and why?” Ryan said in a post announcing the move.
So let’s all ask ourselves the obvious question, is any of this real?
The DDS gang has trolled people before. Gordon Ryan sank an entire company with his whole “Gonna dominate in Gi” fiasco, not to mention his “retirement” phase. The gang made a cottage industry out of trolling the BJJ landscape, so should this new move be treated as anything other than a PR stunt?
Only time will tell. But until we know more, let’s send off one of the biggest brands the BJJ scene has known in many a moon. Adios, DDS!
Ostovich Wins BKFC Debut
Getting into a new sport can be rough, even if you apply prior experience to the venture. But Rachel Ostovich, former UFC fighter in the women’s flyweight division, can say her new career is off to a solid start! The newly minted Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship recruit dusted up with former MMA rival Paige VanZant in a five-round brawl last week. Though split amount some professional opinions in the MMA community, the judges awarded Ostovich the unanimous decision win after a grueling back and forth. Not only winning her debut, Ostovich also picked up a fight of the night bonus on the side.
“Believe it or not, my hand was messed up before the fight,” a visibly relieved Ostovich said in a post-fight Instagram live. Evading the baiting jab from VanZant through the early rounds, Ostovich landed solid counters and combos alongside significant overhand rights throughout the fight. This kept VanZant from going off until round five, where she connected with a big combo on Ostovich’s chin before a clinch. A solid performance for any who wants to watch it again!
On her future, VanZant seems optimistic. “I am going to keep chasing my dream one step at a time. 99.9% of the people on earth would not dare do what I do,” she said in an Instagram post. Offering double birds to her haters, VanZant praised Ostovich’s performance alongside her promise to return to competition soon.
We’re excited to see what these two athletes do next!
TJ Dillashaw Wins Razor Close Decision
Now THAT was close.
Returning to the octagon after his two-year EPO suspension, former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw defeated Corey “Sandman” Sandhagen in what many call the closest fight in UFC history. A split decision that sent the online community into debate mode, everyone from John Q Nobody to Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov had a myriad of opinions on the matter.
“I think Sandhagen 3:2 Because of damage,” Nurmagomedov said in a post-fight tweet.
Now I’m the type of guy to agree with Khabib on everything out of fear for my well-being alone, but he’s definite;y not the only voice in the discussion. The fight was admittedly dominated by Dillashaw’s octagon control and superior grappling, keeping himself on top and delivering punishment from safe angles. But on the other side, if you take any of the “highlight reel” shots from the fight, they’re all of Sanghagen delivering posterizing strikes on the former champ. The massive head gash opened up on Dillashaw’s brow certainly didn’t help the issue. A consensus seems reached that the early rounds belonged to Dillashaw, with Sandhagen getting into the latter.
“Just because of the two judges in there that thought that I lost, I’m not going to feel like I got beat in a fight because I don’t feel like I got beat in a fight,” Sandhagen stated to MMA Fighting.
There’s a lot to say about fight scoring, the judge system, and other aspects of the fight game. But right now, all I want is to see those guys fight again!
Sandhagen now stands at 14-3, and Dillashaw at 18-4.
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