Hello one and all, and welcome to another edition of the Aces BJJ News Roundup. The typical lighthearted tone is absent today due to the widley reported accusations of corruption and sexual assault within one of the largest BJJ schools in the world. The Fight Sports controversy has cast a looming shadow over martial arts culture and generally made us take a closer look at abuses all around us. Instead of going over them again, I will simply link to a thoughtful article written by the ever talented Kevin Gallagher breaking down the whole affair. If you or a loved one is experiencing sexual harassment in or out of the gym, please call or text the 24/7 National Sexual Assault Helpline at 800-656-HOPE.
Now we do have a few other news stories to go over, if you’re up for it. Subspectrum’s Summer Showdown gave us some of the clutchest BJJ this side of the continent, becoming the number one reason anyone would ever visit Iowa. BJJ legend Buchecha had his much anticipated MMA debut moved again, and tons more F2W goodness!
Let’s get down to business.
SubSpectrum Summer Showdown
A staple in the midwest BJJ scene, SubSpectrum hit us with their Summer Showdown on August 14. Streamed in full over on Youtube, folks caught some intense gi and no gi action from a slew of awesome competitors. But for my money, the big action came in their 145 no gi round robin tournament.
Sub Spectrum and Combat Jiu-Jitsu vet Austin Daffron took on Jonah Nassif in the final. Undefeated at Spectrum going in, Daffron was hoping to cap off a day full of great wins with just one more. Starting with some hand fighting, Nassif quickly level changed and shot to the back. Daffron rolled out and inverted, looking for a leg entanglement from his back. Nassif disengaged, and ended up on his feet looking to pass Daffron’s seated guard.
After letting Nassif circle a bit and blocking some pass attempts, Daffron stood. Nassif shot in for a back take again, and Daffron again inverted for a scramble. Daffron jumped for a guillotine as Nassif stood, but instead of finishing the choke opted to nail a takedown by grabbing his left leg. Nassif turtles, and Daffron rode onto the back and locked in a beautiful RNC. A smiling Nassif looked unworried at the start, but as Daffron squeezed in a body triangle his face went completely blank. The ref called it as he went unconscious, and his body slumped flat on the mat as Daffron let go. Daffron was declared the winner at 1:09 in regulation.
Please do yourself a favor and go check out the full stream right here!
Buchecha ONE FC Debut
One of the most beloved athletes in BJJ is finally (we hope) getting his Mixed Martial Arts debut! Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida will compete under the ONE FC promotion this September against undefeated Norwegian fighter Thomas Narmo.
After two scheduled fights for the ADCC legend fell through, one against Senegalese wrestler Omar Kane and another against Ji Wong Kang, many were left wondering if he’d ever actually make it to the cage. With his record in gi BJJ and submission grappling competitions, finding him an appropriate first opponent is an issue in and of itself.
With a 4-0 record, Narmo “The Last Viking” is certainly no can. Ranked 17th in the UK/Ireland Heavyweight rankings, Narmo has had a great start to his short career. Beginning in 2019, Narmo has racked up two TKO’s, one KO, and one submission across multiple promotions. Aside from his rocky start in ONE FC, a no-contest bout against Alain Ngalani that ended with a groin kick on Narmo, The Viking’s trajectory has been nothing but upward.
A decades-long competitor, Buchecha has achieved championships in gi and no-gi competition. With IBJJF and ADCC gold piled high in his closet, he will be one of the most accomplished grapplers ever to make the jump into the octagon.
Will the grappling superstar be able to land the win? We’ll find out Friday, September 24!
(Main Card TBA)
Sousa VS Pinheiro
F2W 181 dropped big matches in the gi this week, mainly their main event of ZR Coach Gabriel Sousa against former IBJJF Pans Champ Lucas Pinheiro.
Sousa kicked things off with a guard pull into a sweep attempt, and Pinheiro responded by trying to pass. Both men exchanged top positions briefly, and Sousa hit a sweep into standing 50/50. Pinheiro opened his leg to initiate a scramble, and both men ended up back on their feet. Pinheiro went in hard for a takedown, but the ref halted the match before both men flew clear off the mat.
Sousa again pulled guard briefly, stood back up to wrestle with Pinheiro, then pulled once more to establish frames. Both men stood again (getting tired just writing this), but Sousa pulled guard to attack Pinheiro’s leg. Pinheiro tried to bend his knee and managed to roll out of danger. With just 30 seconds to go, Sousa sprawled, then moved to a straight ankle lock that ultimately failed. Sousa then had to defend a takedown from Pinheiro, who then pulled him into closed guard. As the clock ticked down, Sousa postured up and slammed his opponent into the mat. The buzzer rang, and Sousa was awarded the unanimous decision victory.
It’s hard to go over everyday news this week. We’re all forced to address horrific practices performed by “pillars” of combat sports on a global scale. Our art is a hobby dependent on trust and open communication, and it’s hard to admit that a tool for empowerment and friendship can be abused in such a terrible way. Not only that, but we see others trying to deny the problem. Men who know crimes are taking place but would sooner aid the criminal than the victim. We can only heal from this and be willing to call out future and current abuses instead of pretending we don’t see them.
Have a great week gang. We’ll see you next time.
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