Fight to Win 161 Preview: Can Tim Spriggs Upset Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu?

On Friday, January 22, Fight to Win BJJ will return to Miami for a night of gi and no-gi grappling. In the main event, takedown and guard passing specialist Tim Spriggs will try to spring the upset against the legend Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu in Abreu’s adopted hometown.

Although he is an underdog to Abreu, Spriggs is no joke and certainly has the athleticism and skills to surprise Abreu. An IBJJF world no-gi champion and ADCC trials winner, Spriggs is an absolute powerhouse capable of landing a submission on any black belt in the world. A representative of the Crazy 88 academy, Spriggs has excellent wrestling, crushing top-control, and relentless guard passing to pair with his opportunistic front headlock and guillotine game. Look for Spriggs to try to bully Abreu on the feet and latch onto any and all guillotine opportunities that present themselves.

Spriggs holds recent notable wins over Erberth Santos, Tex Johnson, and ADCC champion Matheus Diniz.

Abreu is a grappler that needs little introduction. An elite black belt competitor in both the gi and no-gi for well over a decade, Abreu has shown no signs of slowing down as he enters his 40s. Among numerous other accomplishments, Abreu is an ADCC absolute champion and a multiple-time IBJJF world no-gi champion. 2020 was one of Abreu’s best years yet, as he earned wins over Rafael Lovato, Jr., Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa, and 2019 ADCC champion Kaynan Duarte.

Abreu is a well-rounded grappler, perhaps most known for his surprising mobility and movement, a unique skillset for a heavyweight, much less a heavyweight in his 40s. He possesses an excellent top game, but will happily attack from his back where he easily inverts in his trademark tornado guard.

While Abreu can likely compete with Spriggs in the wrestling department, look for Abreu to work from his guard where his inverted attacks and ever-evolving leg lock game could give Spriggs problems. With a vocal Miami crowd behind him, Abreu is poised to pick up another big win, extending his current win-streak in grappling to 10.

Lower on the card, Tex Johnson meets Arnaldo Maidana, and Diego Oliveira matches up with Gabriel Sousa. Per Fight to Win’s official Instagram account, below is the full fight card and betting odds.

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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