Emerald City Invitational 8-man, $10k tournament line-up and preview

On Friday, March 12, one of the most entertaining promotions in grappling returns with a one-night, EBI-rules tournament featuring some of the best 155-pound grapplers in the world. The Emerald City Invitational (ECI) will take place live from Atlantic City, NJ and will have a $10,000 purse on the line.

Like previous ECI events, matches will be contested under traditional EBI rules: a 10-minute, no-points regulation period followed by three rounds of overtime with grapplers competing for the fastest submission or escape time.

Below is the current ECI 155-pound tournament line-up.

A 2021 no-gi world champion and winner of the 145-pound ECI, Gianni Grippo will attempt to capture his second ECI tournament title. In his last ECI performance, Grippo’s back control in overtime was utterly inescapable, as he was able to control all of his opponents that made it to overtime for the maximum time permitted.

Grippo may be an early favorite, but he’ll face plenty of stiff competition. ZR Team’s Gabriel Sousa stands out as a serious threat. Although he lost in the second round of the 145-pound ECI last year, he bounced back with big wins over Mikey Musumeci, Cole Abate, and fellow ECI competitor Josh Cisneros. Look for Sousa to use his relentless pacing and guard passing to wear down his opponents throughout the tournament.

Cisneros is another name to keep an eye on. An excellent wrestler with a seemingly endless gas tank, he was a 2021 no-gi Pans silver medalist and holds a recent win over ADCC silver medalist Kennedy Maciel.

The main card will also feature three superfights:

  • Frank Rosenthal vs. Ellis Karadag
  • Lauren Sears vs. Izabella Frezzo
  • Jaidyn Mueller vs. Chrissy Briggs

How to watch: The Emerald City Invitational 155-pound tournament takes place on Friday, March 12 and will air 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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