Two years ago Eddie Bravo unleashed Combat Jiu Jitsu onto the BJJ competition scene amidst curiosity and controversy. Now on his fifth dedicated CJJ event, he has proven that this is far from a one off novelty.
On November 23, Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds: the Middleweights will take place in Monterrey, N.L. Mexico, with a sixteen man bracket featuring Matt Secor, Kaniela Kahuanui, Felipe Fogolin, Jesse Taylor, Dan Martinez, Kyle Chambers, Justin Renick, Javier Torres, Alejandro Baez, Sloan Clymer, Tom Gallicchio, Michael Esquivel, Nick Greene, Nisar Loynab and Salvador Izar.
Four superfights feature on the card between local Mexican talents:
Nino Marroquin vs Tito Castro
Ricardo Arreola vs Ivan Perez
Abraham Canavati vs Micah Brakefield
Pearl Gonzalez vs Lilian Borja
CJJ: A Hybrid Ruleset
As the CJJ ruleset is designed to provide a sort of compromise between pure submission grappling and MMA, you would expect a good deal of MMA experience from the competitors. And although most of the athletes are not currently full time MMA fighters, more than a few of them have pro MMA records: EBI 17 CJJ finalist Matt Secor (10-5), Bellator fighter Javier Torres (11-5), TUF Winner Jesse Taylor (31-15), Felipe Fogolin (8-2), Alejandro Baez (10-9-1), Tom Gallicchio (19-10) and Salvador Izar (3-2).
This is no MMA tournament however. Many high level sport BJJ gyms are represented, such as Atos HQ by Nisar Loynab, Caio Terra Academy by Kaniela Kahuanui, Ralph Gracie Academy by Nick Greene. Unsurprising in a ruleset from the mind of Eddie Bravo, Tenth Planet Freaks feature heavily.
Even the MMA fighters on the card have either transitioned into a grappling career, or have a grappling-heavy style. Secor and Felipe Fogolin both run BJJ gyms and Jesse Taylor has joined Tenth Planet Freaks. Even as an active pro fighter, Javier Torres trains Jiu Jitsu in and out of the gi up to twice a day.
Competitors are coming in with a Jiu Jitsu mindset. The feeling from most of the athletes is that they will be in their element, despite the strikes. Even the CJJ veterans maintain that their games were not radically affected by the ruleset, although it does change the pace and the feel of the matches.
Different Styles of Jiu Jitsu
A number of fighters come from a wrestling background initially like Secor and Taylor. This should see a good amount of takedown attempts and top pressure. With team Atos’s overall recent success in ADCC, Nisar Loynab is confident that he is more than familiar with that sort of game. He claims that in order to be a complete Jiu Jitsu competitor, you need to be comfortable in all rulesets. This is just another competition for him.
On the other hand, there is no shortage of lanky middleweights who like playing guard and attacking legs. Kyle “The kneebar wizard” Chamber was the winner of the in-house Tenth Planet qualifier and Michael Esquivel blew through the Mexico qualifier.
You will see fast paced, aggressive, but technical jiu jitsu from all of the participants. However, we might see a skill gap between those who have focused on MMA and those with more experience in sport Jiu Jitsu. Particularly the leglock game could prove the magic bullet for some of the less top heavy players. Expect Kyle Chambers or Nisar Loynab to come in with a serious advantage in the leglock department, possibly spelling victory for one of them.
The rest of this month is packed full of grappling action, For tickets to the upcoming Polaris 12 on 30th November in Newport, South Wales, click here.