Salutations, dear readers! It is I, Kevin B., Emperor of the Forgotten Wastes and Champion of Blue Belts Who Get Fat. I’ve traveled far and wide through the lands of açai and shakkas to bring you, yes YOU, the very latest news from the world of combative floor hugging. All of that dynamite data is then cold-pressed and wrapped in a bow to make the final product: The Aces BJJ News Roundup!
It’s a fully packed edition this week, full of violence and scandal in a rare amount even for this sport. We had a dominant submission win from one Makenzie Dern, More Twitter beef courtesy of one Conor McGregor, and the inaugural Emerald City invitational being halted early for a very bizarre reason.
We have a lot to cover, and I’m running out of space on this laptop, so let’s just get into it!
Mackenzie Dern Submits Nina Nunes
Continuing her string of submission victories, former BJJ champion Mackenzie Dern took home an armbar win against fellow strawweight standout Nina Nunes (nee. Ansaroff). The black belt needed only one round to dominate her opponent, showcasing some striking along with her legendary ground game.
Hitting the single early, Dern quickly passed to mount while peppering Nunes with shots. Transitioning for different submission attempts, Dern spent almost the entire round dominating from the top in some form or another.
The clock ticked down to the final minute, Dern transitioned to the armbar on the left side. Nunes defended admirably, but Dern forced through the grip with her legs and got the tap with just 12 seconds to go!
Catapulted into the top five UFC rankings, Dern was quick to state her worthiness of the position.
“I feel like champ material!” Dern said in her post-fight interview. She went on to call out a few of her co-workers, including soon-to-be title challenger Rose Namajunas.
The latest in her submission streak, the ADCC vet has been touted as one of the most talented grapplers ever to grace the UFC octagon. So to you, dear readers, who should Dern face next?
McGregor Calls Off Poirier Trilogy Following Twitter Feud
Someone, please take away Conor’s phone.
Conor McGregor has seemingly called off his scheduled rematch against former interim champion Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier after their week-long Twitter battle. Poirier kicked off the beef with a claim that McGregor’s promised donation, in the amount of $500,000, was never deposited to his charity, The Good Fight Foundation. McGregor pledged to the contribution in the lead-up to their last bout back in January, and this tweet was our first official update on the matter.
Poirier claimed in a second tweet that McGregor’s team ignored three separate emails from the foundation regarding the donation and that he had “ghosted” them. He responded to McGregor’s manager, Audi Attar, with a similar statement.
McGregor responded by saying that he wanted an itemized statement on where the money would go before donating. He also added a profanity-riddled tweet in anger at his generosity being insulted. Poirier simply pointed to McGregor’s team’s alleged lack of response, and McGregor seemingly called off the fight.
With no official statement from the UFC, the validity of McGregor’s declaration is questionable. That being said, to cause this much ruckus over a relatively small amount of money in Mystic Mack dollars seems like a waste of time. According to Forbes, the fighter/whiskey maker is worth over 140 million dollars. Half a mill to him isn’t going to break the bank.
The fight is still on the books for July 10. What do you folks think?
Emerald City Invitational Halted by Doctor
Easily the weirdest story of the week, an incredible card for first-time event Emerald City bizarrely stopped early by the on-site PA Athletic Commission doctor. The show, hosted in Philadelphia, had to rush the final match of the 170 lb tournament and the evening’s last super fight.
“I’ve never heard of something like this happening,” event co-founder Sam Micale said in a statement.
But before we cover that in-depth, the matches we DID get were absolute barn burners!
DDS standout Frank Rosenthal took on 10th Planet HQ black belt Luis Quinones in the first of two super fights. Both men going in on leg attacks might have you thinking that’d be the finish either way, but a super slick back take from Quinones late into the match spelled doom for Rosenthal. Quinones locked in a convoluted spine lock-type situation to scythe the verbal tap.
The main tournament was similarly fire. Both brackets stacked with talent from all over the US, but two men put it on at a whole other level. 10P Teammates PJ Barch and Alan Sanchez torched their way to the finals, overcoming the likes of Andrew Tackett and Wether Marcialesto to reach the finals. But then, mere moments after Sanchez defeated JZ Cavalcante, a shocking announcement was issued. Sanchez would have no time to rest and be fighting Barch in the finals immediately. The anticipated super fight between Jon Calestine and Rey de Leon would be scrapped entirely, and all attendees ushered out immediately following the match.
Barch won via submission in regulation, but almost no one focused on the tournament entirely. What happened, and why was the show stopped?
Afterward, word would travel that the on-site physician demanded to leave, claiming his contract expired at 10:00 pm or half an hour before the JZ/Sanchez match. According to Micale, a miscommunication within the Athletic Commission led the doctor to believe the event would end around 9 pm.
Scrambling, several attendees convinced him to stay, but only for an immediate final and no other matches. Micale quickly conversed with all four fighters, who agreed to wrap up the event prematurely. The tournament ended, and the visibly enraged crowd was ushered outside by the 2300 Arena security.
A fantastic event, now slightly marred by circumstance. Did you folks catch it live?
And that’s it for this week! Tune in next time to read about my adventures learning Judo from an enchanted bean bag chair!
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