Emerald City Invitational 2 Results and Highlights: Gianni Grippo Beats Kennedy Maciel to Win 145-Pound Title

On Saturday, August 7, 16 top 145-pound grapplers competed for $10,000 at the second Emerald City Invitational. Competing for the first time ever under EBI rules, veteran black belt Gianni Grippo defeated four competitors, including ADCC silver medalist Kennedy Maciel, to win the one-night tournament.

In the opening round, Grippo made quick work of late replacement Ellis Karadag with a brutal heel hook from the leg drag position.

In the quarterfinals, Grippo took on Raul Rosas Jr., fresh off an upset win over Luis Quinones in the prior round. Grippo controlled position and threatened submissions for much of the regulation period, but Rosas was able to survive to overtime, when Grippo would finish a rear-naked choke.

In the semifinals, Damien Anderson went after Grippo’s legs early and often, but Grippo was able to nullify Anderson’s attacks and counter with his own attempts to take Anderson’s back. In the closing minutes of regulation, Grippo passed Anderson’s guard and solidified side control, but the match would again move to overtime. In overtime, Grippo maxed out a full six minutes of back control — three rounds of two minutes of control. That control, coupled with Grippo’s own escape time, moved him to the finals against Kennedy Maciel.

Maciel and Grippo went back and forth for much of regulation, with Maciel threatening guard passes while Grippo displayed world-class guard retention. Ultimately, the match would move to overtime, where again Grippo’s back control appeared to be truly inescapable, as he was controlled Maciel’s back for six minutes. In the third and final round of overtime, Grippo earned his first escape of the match, winning him the title and $10,000.

View the Emerald City Invitational 145-pound tournament results and highlights below:

Elimination Round

  • Kennedy Maciel def. Jeff Mock via revers triangle

  • Frank Rosenthal def. David Weintraub via revers triangle
  • Estevan Martinez def. Cameron Mellot via rear-naked choke in OT
  • Gianni Grippo def. Ellis Karadag via heel hook
  • Raul Rosas Jr. def. Luis Quinones via rear-naked choke in OT
  • Damien Anderson def. Richard Alarcon via kimura 

Quarterfinals

  • Kennedy Maciel def. Frank Rosenthal via rear-naked choke
  • Keith Krikorian def Estevan Martinez via OT escape time
  • Gianni Grippo def Raul Rosas Jr. via rear-naked choke in OT
  • Damien Anderson def Gabriel Sousa via heel hook

Semifinals

  • Kennedy Maciel def Keith Krikorian via OT escape time
  • Gianni Grippo def Damien Anderson via OT escape time 

Finals

Gianni Grippo def Kennedy Maciel via OT escape time 

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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