“Some of the most exciting matches I have watched are women’s matches and I’m sure a lot of men would say the same thing; so I don’t know why no one else has done this before in the UK.”- Joanne Wellstead
ENYO is going to be the first ever all-female professional grappling show in the UK, with 30 women fighting on the card under a submission only ruleset, and it will take place at Southampton Central Hall, England on 20th of August 2022 at 5pm BST.
Enyo is a Goddess of War in Greek mythology, so it is a perfect name for a feisty all-female grappling card. Behind the scenes are Joanne Wellstead and Carly Patient who also own the women’s fightwear brand Rainha – they are the masterminds behind this whole operation. To view the match-ups of the event head over to their Instagram @enyograppling
Who is Involved?
“We have quite a good mixture of women involved in other aspects as well. We did a lot of researching and asking around, making sure we had the most experienced people we could to come in and do it.”
Everyone involved in this event is highly experienced and the majority of people involved are also women. On the commentary will be BJJ Black Belts Daniel Strauss and Vanessa English. The judges of the show will also be fellow black belts: Ben Robson, Gret Zoella and Rosie Sexton. The MC for the event is going to be Verity Panter, and referees are Carlson Gracie black belt Sarah Merriner and Roger Gracie’s first ever female black belt Yas Wilson.
Picking Grapplers for the Show
Fancy your shot at ENYO in the future? Be sure to reach out! When it came to organising the first event, Wellstead was overwhelmed with the amount of people who put their name forward; people from all over the world. So what is their selection process? Wellstead says,
“To whistle it down, it was going by: weight, belt, and watching some of their fights too, so if we had someone in mind, the person they were going up against would be a good match – not so they would cancel eachother out and stuff like that.” She continues, “There were people who were suggested to us in person, there was people messaging us right away to suggest people and people messaging to ask for a spot. I had one today of someone saying “can you just put me in” and I have to say no because the card is done. We have wound up with well over 100 women through all the belts, all over the world that are just like I want to come and compete, and as much as I want to put them all on I just can’t.”
ENYO will be held under the Grapplefest Ruleset. Wellstead explains,
“We are going for the GrappleFest ruleset which basically means anything goes other than fish hooking, eye-gouging and the general stuff you shouldn’t do to people anyway. The Gi matches won’t have heel hooks and no knee reaping either. The kids will be going down the NAGA rule set. Theirs is still submission only but it’s just in terms of what subs they can and can’t do because we want to make it as safe as we can for them. The adult matches are all 10 minutes and the kids are all 5 minutes.”
Future Plans for ENYO
Is there going to be a second ENYO? The organizers hope so: “Yeah definitely. We have a big list of ladies that are all asking to be on the show so we have got the women there.”
When it comes to future participants ENYO would like to have the current world champs on there, as well as some different styles going up against each other, Wellstead expands, “Obviously I want Ffion Davies on the show, but unfortunately she is out in America at the moment and has got some stuff going on out there for ADCC so she can’t do this show. It would be amazing to have her on it. Kendall Reusing too, I love her style. It would be nice to get some girls who are more MMA or wrestling based as well and really mix it up.”
What more can people do to support ENYO?
The best way to support the event would be to attend/ buy a ticket or buy the PPV (both will be linked below), however if both of those aren’t an option for you – how can you help? Wellsted says: “Share it. Share it as much as you can: share it to your gyms, because obviously we are always looking for more women to be on the show, so the more people that can share it and get the word out there, the better and then it also opens our eyes to people we may have not seen before which we can bring in as well which – that is the whole point of the show. Don’t get me wrong – a lot of the women that are up there have worked very hard to get to the level that they are at, and they deserve everything that they are achieving and of course I want them on the show as well but I also want to help bring in those new women that are smashing it but haven’t quite got the same recognition and appreciation for what they’re putting out there and what they’re doing so I want to give them that platform as well.”