The B-Team’s Ethan Crelinsten previews his squad and details his strategy for the CJJ Worlds Team Duel.
Elite no-gi competitor Ethan Crelinsten is already a Combat Jiu-Jitsu (CJJ) champion, and on Sunday, December 18, he’ll look to add another CJJ belt to his mantle as he leads The B-Team into the first-ever CJJ Worlds Team Duel.
Crelinsten captured the CJJ lightweight title in June, submitting each of his four opponents in impressive fashion on his way to gold. Three months later, he competed in his second ADCC World Championship, losing a barnburner of a match in the first round to Josh Cisneros.
But since then, the Canadian bounced back in a big way. In November, he submitted 22-year-old phenom Fabricio Andrey, marking one of his best victories in recent memory.
Now, Crelinsten is in his final preparations for the CJJ Team Duels, where he will lead The B-Team into CJJ-rules matches against Team 10th Planet, Team Alpha Male, and Team Combat Jiu-Jitsu Mexico.
Crelinsten recently spoke to Grappling Insider about his preparations and strategy for the event, as well as his win over Andrey, the training atmosphere at The B-Team, his podcast, and his plans for 2023.
Check out the full interview below.
Crelinsten broke down his five-man team of lightweights one by one.
“I’ll start with Damien. His last performance was insane. The first and only knockout in CJJ history, so that’s huge because it’s not so straightforward to KO a guy with open-palm strikes and only if they’re grounded. That’s big. That clearly demonstrates that the guy has really heavy hands if he can get the position that he needs to be in.”
“I’m obviously gonna be doing what I can to represent proudly, got the CJJ belt in the closet over there so I’ve got to make sure I take that into war and represent.”
“Very, very savvy leg locker and dangerous grappler. Honestly, he’ll do just as well… he’s not as wrestle-heavy as I am and Damien is. He’s not as top position dominant but his leg locks are very slick, very dangerous, and he will shred apart a guy’s leg if he gets on it… I think his guard is dangerous enough so that if a guy is close enough to apply any striking damage, Kieran is already well within range to enter and attack leg locks with real threats.”
“I haven’t trained with Fabian in years… He’s super tough. Good, just well-roundd game. We’ve seen him compete in the circuit in the years prior. It’s gonna be cool to see what he does in this event. Good leg locks, specifically, good overall submissions, very scrappy, aggressive.”
Dude, this guy, this kid, he’s literally a kid… He is gonna go really far in the sport, whatever he chooses to do. I think he’s gonna pursue MMA, but until he makes the full jump to MMA, he’s gonna do some damage in the jiu-jitsu world for sure. He’s a devastatingly technical grappler, unlimited gas tank… He’s not the kind of guy to pull guard or accept the guard position… I don’t think anyone is gonna be able to keep up with his gas tank, so he’s gonna be another hot potato to handle.”
How to watch: The CJJ Worlds Team Duel takes place on Sunday, December 18 and will air live on UFC Fightpass (subscription required).