Grapplefest 5 Preview: 4 Fights to Look Out For

Figure 4 promotions are now onto their 5th event and have started to attract top level from across the continent. The 5th edition of Grapplefest falls on what could be a magical night for Liverpool as they play in the Champions League final a few hours later.

The card for Grapplefest 5 is as always packed with well-known names such as Craig Jones, Miha Perhavec, Lachlan Giles and Ross Nicholls. I could write an article all on its own about the top 3 bouts, but you’ll get those from every outlet under the sun. Instead I’m going to pick out 4 matches featuring lesser-known names that I think are guaranteed barn burners.

What: GrappleFest 5

Where: Fusion Nightclub, Liverpool

When: June 1st 2019, live on Facebook (prelims) Flograppling (main card) and on demand

Ashley Williams (CRA) v Kev Corkhill (LBJJ) – u70kgs belt eliminator

Long before Ross Nicholls broke through on the bigger stage, Ash was making waves across the pond.

After a successful run through the coloured belts, Ash became the youngest black belt in the UK (21) and gained notoriety in EBI and in more recent times has wins over Ben Eddy, Frank Rosenthal and Masakazu Imanari. He also recently got crowed Polaris lightweight champion after a back and forth match against Ethan Crelinsten.

Kev on the other hand will be an unknown to anyone not super familiar with the UK scene. He’s always been known for his ridiculous flexibility and chilled out competition demeanour – which has drawn comparisons to Jeff Glover. In more recent times he’s added a nasty leg lock game to his arsenal, which he used successfully in his last outing on Grapplefest 4.

I’d heavily anticipate this to be fast paced, with both competitors using the early stages to test out each other’s leg lock game. I ultimately believe this will finish in a more traditional way with one of the competitors finishing from the back.

Lloyd Copper (Goole BJJ) v Chris Paines (Fighting Fit)

Lloyd is a bit of a dark horse in the UK scene and has steadily been chipping away in the submission only scene for a number of years. A multiple time Polaris and Grapplefest veteran he’s massively respected across the UK and has earned his ‘Yorkshire Gripper’ nickname after taking legs with him on multiple occasions.

That being said Chris Paines isn’t a man to be taken lightly. Chris was recently awarded his black belt by very well respected Estonian BB Priit Mihkelson.  Chris is super well rounded and has a leg game in his own right, but I’d imagine he’ll be looking to play on-top smash and avoid Lloyds A-game.

Both men are finishers and very rarely go the distance, so this will be a sub or get subbed type of match from start to finish.

Izaak Michell (Absolute MMA) v Craig McIntosh (Higher Level) 75kgs

Affectionately known as ‘the battle to keep their t-shirts on’ this should be a corker.

Izaak is the latest prodigy out of the Absolute MMA camp and has been spending a lot of time with the DDS at Renzo’s in recent months. The mans the walking talking version of how everyone would imagine an Aussie ‘surfer dude’, but with serious grappling skill to back it up. A multiple time Australian National Champion, Izaak is looking for a big year to break out from the pack.

Craig on the other hand is a more seasoned martial artist; with MMA fights dating all the way back to 2010. In more recent years his focus has shifted more towards grappling and he’s picked up NAGA Expert and multiple other submission only belts along the way.

Christian Knight (Stealth) v Gareth Davies (ARBJJ)

This is your UK grappling hipsters match so to speak. Both men have had steady success over the lower belts and have started to branch out into submission only format.

Christian has stepped in on a weeks notice (replacing Adam Ventre), but will be confident in the submission only format after a number of victories on smaller shows over the last 18 months. Christian is well rounded and will be looking to use relentless pressure to open up his unorthodox attacking chains against an opponent which on the face of it will have a considerable disadvantage in the cardio department.

Gareth on the other hand has had success in the more traditional IBJJF style formats and will be looking to avenge a previous loss against one of Christians Stealth BJJ teammates.

My guess would be the match will feature Gareth pulling guard and attacking from bottom, with Christian looking to play a pressure style from top.

GrappleFest 5 features a total of 24 matches, with 12 prelims and 12 main card matches and takes place on 1st June 2019. Watch it LIVE or On Demand on FloGrappling.

Full card

Lachlan Giles (Absolute MMA) v Ross Nicholls (RGA Gymbox) u80kgs belt

Craig Jones (Absolute MMA) v Miha Perhavec (ECJJ)

Frank Rosenthal (Renzo Gracie) v Jeremy Skinner (Absolute MMA) u70kgs

Ashley Williams (CRA) v Kev Corkhill (LBJJ) u70kgs belt eliminator

Tom Breese (Inglorious Grapplers) V Andy Clamp (Blackledge) u100kgs

Jamie Hughes (Pedro Bessa) v Adam Ellis (ARBJJ) u100kgs

Charlie McDonald (Sukata) v Freddie Sykes (RGA) u80kgs

Izaak Michell (Absolute MMA) v Craig McIntosh (Higher Level) 75kgs

Phil Harris (Gym 01) v Mikail Yahaya (Absolute MMA) 62kgs

Neil Atkins (Sukata) v Jay Butler (ARBJJ) u70kgs

Dominic Dillon (Checkmat) v Ben Robson (CF24) u73kgs

Lloyd Copper (Goole BJJ) v Chris Paines (Fighting Fit) u85kgs

Harry McKnight (Next Gen) v Danny Tyler (Alliance) u80kgs

Christian Knight (Stealth) v Gareth Davies (ARBJJ) u80kgs

Josh Cherrington (Bedlam) v Jack Tyley (10thP) u80kgs

Danny Hughes (GF Team) v Nicholas Fielding (IMBJJ) u70kgs

Sam Laird (Sukata) v Shane Price u90kgs

Brian Fitzgibbon (Sukata) v Kaiyan McKnight (Next Gen) u35kgs

Maia Holmes (5 Rings) v Marina Mav (Carlson Gracie) u65kgs

Shane Curtis (Notts MMA) v Kieran Kiffin (MMA Academy) u80kgs

Ollie Bates (Goole BJJ) v Chris Nicol (ACC) u70kgs

Shea Williams (Next Gen) v Brad McDonagh (Sukata) u30kgs

Ben Hills (Next Gen) v Andrew Hardwick (Sukata/ASW) u90kgs

Jack Rimmer (Next Gen) v Maison Farrington (New Wave) u34kgs

Lee Herbert

BJJ Purple belt, hobbyist competitor and referee. I write words about grappling / BJJ as a creative outlet from my day job where my focus is on coverage of mainstream sporting, entertainment and news events