Artista Invitational 2 Preview

The Artista Invitational is back for it’s second edition on February 22nd, 2020 as it brings a stellar superfight and an 8 man Invitational Tournament to Nashville, Tennessee. This is a surprisingly solid event despite happening on the same weekend as Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground 11 and the first ever Substars event.

Marcio Andre v Johnatha Alves

These men are two of the best in the world in their respective weight-classes right now as Marcio Andre is ranked third at Featherweight and Johnatha Alves is ranked fifth at Lightweight. While Alves will have a small size advantage, Andre has much more experience competing at the highest levels of the game. Alves was only promoted to black belt last year after winning the World Championships at brown belt, whereas Andre has already established himself as a top competitor after winning the No Gi World Championships, The European Championships and The Abu Dhabi World Pro.

The main event will be very close but it’s worth mentioning that it’s a twenty minute long submission only superfight and after that long, even a small weight difference can have a big impact. After getting some valuable experience at The Spyder Invitational last year, Johnatha Alves might just have what it takes to squeeze past Andre as the match gets towards the end of the time limit.

Artista Invitational 2

Artista Invitational Tournament 2

The invitational tournament will feature both brown and black belts competing for a $1,000 cash prize and despite not attracting any huge marquee names, the level of competition is still high. It’s always hard to call the winner of an 8 man tournament successfully as the brackets could have a huge impact on how far each man gets.

That being said, one of the youngest competitors is also one of the biggest favorites to take home gold here. Tainan Dalpra is already starting to generate some interest from the wider grappling community as the Art of Jiu-Jitsu product has been taking wins over high level competition left and right. It all started a few years ago when he was 17 and managed to submit the vastly more experienced Bill Cooper and most recently pulled off a slick submission at Flograppling’s Who’s #1?. It’s hardly set in stone and anything can happen, but Dalpra has one of the best chances of running through this tournament.

Full Competitor List:

  • Tainan Dalpra
  • Lucas Protasio
  • Andrew Wiltse
  • Joe Watson
  • Fayyaz Akbari
  • Rehan Muttalib
  • Pedro Palhares
  • Ryan Aitken

For tickets to the live event on February 22nd, click here.

Alex Lindsey

Alex Lindsey is the managing editor here at Grappling Insider. Originally starting training in MMA in 2008, injuries and university slowed progress until he decided to put on a gi for the first time back in 2015.

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