Blue Collar FC announces stacked $25,000 tournament

The Blue Collar FC 8-man submission grappling tournament will feature elite grapplers competing for $25,000.

A new professional submission grappling promotion, Blue Collar FC, has recently announced a talent-rich, eight-man, $25,000 tournament featuring some of the planet’s top no-gi competitors. 

The tournament is set to go down on Friday, September 1, from Fort Meyers, FL.

Blue Collar FC 8-man tournament line-up

Roberto Jimenez: A high-paced submission hunter, the Ecuadorian black belt is an ADCC Trials winner and has found success at the highest levels of grappling in a wide variety of rulesets. Watch for his superb back-taking game and closed guard attacks.

Vagner Rocha: The field’s most experienced competitor, Rocha is a multiple-time ADCC medalist known for his gritty, physically imposing style.

Roosevelt Sousa: The Fight Sports representative will be the field’s largest competitor, but he possesses a well-rounded game, launching some of his best attacks – including his powerful straight ankle lock – from his guard.

Giancarlo Bodoni: The New Wave standout put together one of the best ADCC runs ever in 2022, defeating the likes of Matheus Diniz and Lucas Barbosa (both by submission) on his way to gold at 88 kg.

Andy Varela: What Varela might lack in size, he more than makes up for in tenacity and ferocious pacing. A 10th Planet black belt, he is an excellent wrestler and is particularly dangerous when attacking front head locks.

Jay Rodriguez: The B-Team product shocked the grappling world when he submitted every opponent to win last year’s ADCC West Coast Trials. Watch for his dangerous buggy choke and seemingly endless gas tank.

Andre Porfirio: One of the more active competitors on the black belt circuit, Porfirio is a skilled all-around grappler but tends to do his best work when attacking the ankle lock.

Elder Cruz: Checkmat’s Cruz is a top-tier takedown artist as well as an explosive guard passer. His deep gas tank could come in handy if he makes it deep into the tournament.

The matches will be 10-minute submission-only contests, followed by a five-minute golden score overtime if needed. In the event of no submission or score during overtime, judges will award a winner based on offensive urgency, submission attempts, and positional dominance.

The event is organized by Ben Kunzle, a former elite-level brown belt competitor who was paralyzed in 2022 following an accident while grappling.

Proceeds from the event will go to Kunzle’s wheelchair rugby team, the South Florida Rattlers.

How to watch: The Blue Collar 8-man submission grappling tournament will take place on Friday, September 1, and will air on Fite TV.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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