Emerald City Invitational 5 preview and absolute tournament line-up

The fifth Emerald City Invitational goes down on Saturday, November 5 and will crown an absolute champion.

The Emerald City Invitational (ECI) is set to return to action with an eight-man absolute grand prix in what might be the most talent-rich card in the promotion’s history. Featuring a mixture of promising young competitors and established ADCC veterans, ECI 5 should deliver a number of compelling, world class match-ups.

Like previous ECI events, all tournament matches will be conducted under EBI rules, with a submission-only regulation period followed by overtime periods as needed.

Current ECI 5 absolute tournament line-up:

  • Andrew Tackett
  • Devhonte Johnson
  • Dan Manasoiu
  • Pat Shagholi
  • Kyle Boehm
  • Sean Yadimarco
  • Franco Pana
  • Maxim Cote

The bracket includes three recent ADCC veterans, all of whom can safely be considered early favorites. Unity Jiu-Jitsu’s Devhonte Johnson is an IBJJF no-gi Pans, European, and Worlds champion, and possesses an all-around game that serves him well under any ruleset. 

Johnson suffered an early exit at the ADCC World Championships, losing in the first round to fellow ECI competitor Kyle Boehm. One of 10th Planet’s top grapplers, Boehm is a leg lock specialist that is well-versed in EBI overtimes techniques and tactics – recently coming in second at EBI 20. This, coupled with his size, makes him a tournament frontrunner.

The bracket’s largest competitor is likely ADCC European Trials winner Dan Manasoiu. The 6’7” New Wave representative owns a powerful leg lock game and is showing growth in each outing. Interestingly, Manasoiu was defeated in a 2021 no-time-limit match against the division’s smallest competitor, Andrew Tackett.

For his part, Tackett might be undersized but is nonetheless one of the most promising competitors in this bracket and all of jiu-jitsu. The younger brother to ADCC veteran William Tackett, the 19-year old is known for his ultra-aggressive, submission hunting style that borders on reckless. Still, his best overall position is likely the back, making him a real threat in any EBI overtime situation.

Speaking of young phenoms, 10th Planet’s Pat Shahgholi is just 16-years old and already well known in the jiu-jitsu community. After winning the EBI qualifiers on the strength of his brutal leg lock game, he won his first-round match at EBI 20 with a devastating heel hook. The teenager will now look to repeat that success against some of the sport’s top athletes.

Also in action will be ADCC Trials medalist and Brazilian Top Team black belt Franco Pana, ECI veteran and Tom DeBlass black belt Sean Yadimarco, as well as EBI 20 veteran Maxim Cote.

How to watch: Emerald City Invitational 5: The Absolute Division takes place on Saturday, November 5 and airs live on FloGrappling (subscription required).

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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