Kevin Bradley


Well, we’re here for another star-studded edition of the Aces BJJ News Roundup, but let’s be real. We all know there’s only one story anyone is really talking about. Two of the biggest athletes in professional grappling got into an altercation backstage at the most recent “Who’s Number One?” event. Why did this happen? Why is everyone losing their minds? Personally, to me, one black belt slapping another after a press conference has the journalistic appeal of a 16-year-old jar of mayo, but a writer has to eat.

We’ll discuss it, of course, but I’d be remiss not to mention other cool events in the world of BJJ. Tons of great athletes put in work on what ended up being a great card. From Craig Jones to Nathiely de Jesus, we saw no gi spectacles in lightning-fast leg lock submissions and razor-close wars decided by the judges. So before adding fuel to the fire, let’s give them their due.

Craig Jones Submits Ronaldo Junior

Initially, this was the main event of WNO this week. Who’d have thought?

Jones put on a leglock clinic against the young Brazilian, ending their bout with the fastest submission of the evening.

Pulling guard from the jump, Jones quickly went on the attack while Junior tried to pass. The younger man put a ton of effort into defending his legs, but Jones still slipped into his preferred z-guard. Junior escaped and soon after was put into 50/50 by Jones threatening a heel hook. This spelled the end, and though Junior fought the grips, Jones was ultimately able to get the tap in under five minutes.

Now in a vacuum, this performance would be newsworthy on its own—all the more reason to give it the attention it deserves regardless. Ultimately, the always affable Jones was mostly self-deprecating in subsequent social media posts.

And his was not the only stellar match of the evening.

Nathiely de Jesus Defeats Gabi Garcia

The undefeated no gi phenom Gabi Garcia has finally met her match. Longtime rival and the woman responsible for her last gi loss in 2019, Nathiely de Jesus overcame the legend in a close decision. This makes De Jesus the first competitor to defeat Garcia in both rulesets.

Kicking off with a charge ending out of bounds, Garcia was a force right from the bell. De Jesus pulled guard, but Garcia countered with a straight ankle lock that went nowhere. The athletes transitioned between positions and leg attacks for most of the opening, with de Jesus getting a pretty good bite on a heel hook and Garcia returning to the straight ankle lock.

Eventually disengaging, both women found the edge once again before a reset. De Jesus pulled to closed guard to counter a takedown, and Garcia made several attempts to pressure pass, but De Jesus had her locked up tighter than Fort Knox.

Garcia went in on a bottom-down foot lock towards the end of the match, but De Jesus countered with a toe hold followed by a near-back take. She locked in a pretty tight head and arm choke and nearly put hooks in to take the back. A final foot lock attempt from Garcia followed, but it was already too late.

De Jesus won by Unanimous decision, but man, that was a back and forth. Hopefully, only the most recent of many more to come.

The Slap

Phew, ok, here we are.

Following a dominant submission victory against Roberto Jimenez, Gordon Ryan ran into multiple-time ADCC champion and Atos Head Coach André Galvão. The two had been waging a war of words over Instagram and through various interviews regarding their potential ADCC Super Fight. Andre stated he wanted a cool million for his time, which, as someone who can add 2 + 2 together, makes absolutely no sense.

The dialogue online grew more heated the closer we got to the event. After his victory, Gordon posted an Instagram story claiming André flipped him off when they interacted. Later, The two restarted their argument during a media interview Gordon was doing. The two start to yell, and André eventually shoves Gordon. Gordon retaliates with an open-handed right slap, and André continued to yell at him. The fight was soon broken up and then shifted to Instagram posts once more.

Since the altercation, Gordon has posted a string of castigations against André and the rest of team Atos.

“I didn’t say one word of sh*t-talk about Andre after ADCC because he said he was retired. Only when he started with me did I answer. All I said initially was that he had a great career, and he said he was retired, but if he wants to compete, it’d be an honor. This is 100% fact,” Gordon posted soon after the fight. André has yet to respond as of posting this article.

If it wasn’t clear by now, this topic is a bit of a sore spot. I love BJJ, and covering the athletes and matches of the sport is my chosen career. But this weird alpha courtship is a remnant of when our sport was owned almost entirely by one family of bullies and aristocrats. Yes, BJJ has a violent history. Yes, a lot of that early violence helped the sport stay strong in the face of other styles. And yes, the very act itself can be violent. But what really happened here? What were the stakes? Was BJJ itself on the line?

No, two rich guys will maybe roll with each other because one slapped the other.

I’m not stupid enough to say these men aren’t two of the best BJJ competitors in history. Their match would likely be spectacular and set a new age for black belts everywhere. But is BJJ going to die if these two don’t fight? And after this, are the benefits to competitive BJJ even worth it?

I doubt it.

Another week down, another lonely journey to bring you folks the very best news from the world of combat sports. Food is scarce on the open road, and friends are few and far between. Thoughts of having to cover nothing but Jake Paul’s beef fights into infinity haunt my every dream. Yes, it’s hard, and yes, I miss my family. But this holy mission is my divine providence, and I shall not waiver. Tis my blessing, tis my curse…

So yea, Welcome to the Aces BJJ News Roundup!!!! We’ve got a heaping helping of news all about The latest Fight 2 Win, Derrick Lewis continuing to destroy the division, and an exciting matchup from a piss-covered bar bathroom in Oklahoma. Let’s jump to it!

As we inch closer to the fresh breeze and warm sunny days of spring, we must take stock of the goings on in the world. It is time once again for an info-dense edition of your favorite way to keep up to date on all the news, gossip, and drama of the punchy, kicky, grapply world of combat sports.

That’s right, it’s the Aces BJJ News Roundup, baby!!!!

We’re chock full of exciting developments for you fine folks this week. We’re gonna go over Andre Galvao turning into Dr. Evil, The Nigerian Nightmare defending his title, and a shocking submission victory against a BJJ legend.

Set phasers to FUN!

Greetings, fair travelers! It is time yet again to travel the long, winding roads of the combat sports world to gather for you, our loving readers, the juiciest bits of news and gossip. 

You know what that means. A new Aces BJJ News Roundup is here!

There are tons of crazy events to break down today. We have an ESPN talking head offering opinions on Women’s MMA, a UFC export losing their bare-knuckle boxing debut and an incredible underdog victory at BJJ Stars. It’s a heavier MMA week this time out, but sometimes you gotta give props to the punchy, kicky, wrasslin-y sport that helps introduce so many folks to the gentle art.

Read on, my friend, violence awaits!

Hark, travelers. A brand new Aces BJJ News Roundup rides with the rising sun. Prepare to be informed!!!!

Yes, fam, it’s time for yet another deep dive into some of the latest goings-on in the world of professional grappling with me, the less bearded Kevin here at the Aces writing office. We’ve got a ton of big news to go over, including a surprise DDS promotion, a glass-celling busting event from F2W, and a matchup of prodigies that’s sure to make your knees hurt just watching. So, despite the increasingly troubling state of affairs globally, at least we still have some sweet martial arts to enjoy.

We’re here. The only thing left to do is to carry on with the info dump!

Hello, grappling fans, young and old, and welcome to the latest edition of the Aces BJJ Roundup! 

Not even a month into the year, and we’ve already seen all manner of wackiness from the world of combat sports. A retired MMA legend is set to fight a YouTube troll, a high-ranking Gracie is going to prison, and one of the premier grappling events is changing providers.

Now I know we all wanted an easy start to the new year, and that is, categorically, 100% not what we received, but the combat sports world has still been good to its fans in month one of 2021.

So let’s get cracking!

Morning comes to a quiet apartment in New Haven, Connecticut. A hulking figure sits hunched over a laptop, hands with knuckles the size of Superbowl rings gliding from key to key. Coffee cools on the desk as the sun reflects off the many grappling medals adorning his wall. With broad shoulders and long dirty blonde hair, he wouldn’t look out of place on a Viking longboat with a battle-ax in his grip. Every physical characteristic he has projects confidence and strength.

If you’re reading this, then congratulations, you made it.

After a year so full of crazy bullshit you could fill a library, we stand now at the end, battered like a cake before the oven. We’ve seen a global pandemic, political elections, riots, civil rights threatened, and staggering unemployment. And if all that wasn’t enough, we couldn’t do our favorite sport without a hazmat suit.

2020 is dead y’all, let’s throw a party.

But in all seriousness, this year was a massive wound inflicted on the combat sports world. Gyms closed, people lost their jobs, and we realized how important that sense of community is for us PJ wrestlers. We also got to see how resilient the culture is, as MMA and BJJ were two of the first sports to start up again post-lockdown.

So as we say goodbye to this absolute dumpster-fire of a year, let’s take a brief look back at some of the most memorable martial arts events of the last 365 days.

Take a drink. It’s almost New Years.

SUG Saves the Day

It looked like all major sports would be on indefinite hiatus in the early days of the lockdown.

The first grappling show, and possibly one of the first sporting events period, to reopen post lockdown was Chael Sonnen’s combat circus extravaganza, Submission Underground XII.

Claiming to take place in an “Empty Grain Silo” in an undisclosed location, SUG 12 hit the grappling world like Pedialyte during a hangover. Back at the beginning of the lockdown, SUG was one of the only sports entities making early strides to reopen. Before then, no one knew if they’d pull it off and not get shut down.

But low and behold, Chael and matchmaker Heather Standing pulled it off. Jones/Casey proved to be a barn-burner show with a stacked card and showed that events could happen even amidst the pandemic. Athletes got paid, and new stars made a name for themselves in competition. Without SUG leading the charge, we might not have had many, if any, big grappling tournaments to soften the blow of 2020

Dinu Bucalet Makes us Believe in Miracles

This was the year one crazy submission reigned above all others! Polaris Squads was a monstrously stacked card featuring some of Europe’s best talent, but Dinu managed to steal the spotlight with a brutal Ezekiel Choke from, and I hope you’re sitting down, Inside of closed guard!

It was a move so ridiculous people couldn’t help but stare. Personally, this is my favorite submission of all time, so I love seeing it pop up. But seeing it implemented from a position widely considered ineffective for the choke was miraculous. As someone who watches BJJ for a living, I’m always happy when something surprises me. Does it have anything to do with all the coaches that have told me never to do this? You’ll never know.

BJJ Sexual Abuser Brought to Justice: 

Plenty of awful crap happened this year, with no real punishment. But in one instance, we got lucky. A former Cobrinha affiliate was sentenced to prison and deportation for abusing a teenage student for multiple years. Stevie Knapp, the student in question, gave a public statement on being resilient and moving forward after her terrible ordeal. She urged little girls everywhere to speak up when they see wrongdoing and that their voices are powerful. Being able to confront our community’s toxic elements meant a lot to many folks who feel their views and concerns are ignored. A victim of a violent crime got justice, and a rapist is in jail—good story for a crap year.

The Community Stuck Together

Possibly more than anything, this pandemic reminded all of us who practice martial arts how much we value one another. This life seems so strange to any who don’t train, but us living on our island of misfit toys committing acts of agreed-upon violence is just fine by me. And when things began looking dire, so many people stepped up to help out. Whether it was by offering free training to first responders after the civil riots, raising money for gyms going under, or just by checking in with your friends going through a rough time, we all did our part to keep this wacky ship afloat.

So to all of you out there, a part of this wild ride, thank you for sticking with us. We haven’t been around long, but we’ve already been blown away by the support from all you readers. We can’t wait to tell you all about the exciting new things we have in the works for 2021, but for now, we just want to say thanks for giving us your attention every week.

Happy New Year everyone, we made it to the end.

Salutations and happy holidays grappling fans! Kevin B here with the latest edition of the Aces BJJ News Roundup! Every week, we here at Aces BJJ scour the land in search of the juiciest bits of combat sports news you so desperately crave. 

This week, we’re breaking down some of the highlights from Third Coast Grappling, SUG, and Combat Jiu-Jitsu for all those that missed out on the action. Likely the last bits of tournament action we’ll see in the hellscape that’s been 2020, and man, did they deliver on the goods.

Prepare to feel the spirit of the season, everybody!

Hoist the sails grapplers, for we’re all set to embark on another high seas adventure through the mysterious waters of professional combat sports. That’s right. It’s the weekly Aces BJJ Roundup, baby!!

This week we have a ton of craziness to shoot at you, like adaptive Jiu-Jitsu with slaps, a new world record, and a UFC leg lock for the ages. 

Full steam ahead!