As expected, Third Coast Grappling Kumite 3 was exhilarating. Competitors from both the tournament bracket and the undercard provided matches that thrilled spectators. One reason for this was Third Coast Grappling’s innovative ruleset. An athlete can win their match by submission or being the first to score 11 points. If neither of those happens, the match goes to a golden score overtime.
During the night, we saw several athletes take advantage of this, winning their matches by golden score. However, we also saw an abundance of stalling calls, as well as people being pushed off of the mat. As the commentators noted, the size of the mat can both cause and solve problems. A smaller mat allows fighters to push each other off the edge, while a larger mat can lead to stalling.
Third Coast Grappling Kumite 3: 180lb No-Gi Tournament Recap
Match 1: Tye Ruotolo vs. Roberto Jimenez
Both Jimenez and Ruotolo came out hand fighting and wrestling hard. While Jimenez seemed to have a size advantage, Ruotolo was able to defend most of his takedowns. After going out of bounds with a takedown, however, Jimenez was restarted with a standing rear body lock on Ruotolo. He used it to take him down with a broomstick style mat return. But in the ensuing scramble, Ruotolo snatched up a leg entanglement. For the rest of the regulation, Ruotolo threatened with leg locks, switching between heel hook and toe hold attempts.
Time ran out and the match went into overtime. Because Jimenez was able to score 2 points with the takedown, he received choice regarding which position to start in. He opted for bottom closed guard, where he used an arm drag to attack Ruotolo’s back and scoring the points required to win.
Roberto Jimenez defeats Tye Ruotolo by golden score (back take in overtime)
Match 2: John Combs vs. Pierre Olivier-LeClerc
Immediately LeClerc pulls guard, looking for a leg lock. Combs stays busy, relentlessly working to pass his seated guard (which he does). LeClerc recomposes his guard and fights back up for a sweep. However, Combs stands up and drags LeClerc back to the mat. Combs passes LeClerc’s guard several times, retreating just to pass again. This continues until Combs has collected 13 points, winning by technical fall.
John Combs defeats Pierre Olivier-LeClerc by technical fall
Match 3: Vagner Rocha vs. Kody Steele
Unsurprisingly, Rocha and Steele begin the match with heavy hand fighting, grinding forehead to forehead as they look for takedowns. However, their upright body positioning prevents either from completing a takedown. Any level change is too telegraphed to score. Stalling calls are given to both fighters. The match goes into overtime.
Halfway through the overtime, Rocha drives Steele back, picking up a single leg. The fighters fall towards the edge of the mat when Rocha sweeps Steele’s support leg out, winning by golden score. During the entire match, the fighters did not go to the ground at all.
Vagner Rocha defeats Kody Steele by golden score (takedown in overtime)
Match 4: Pedro Marinho vs. Johnny Tama
Tama starts the match off with a guard pull, not wanting to meet the aggressive Marinho head on. In response, Marinho snatches up an Estima lock, but Tama defends successfully. Marinho decides to attack Tama’s guard. He jumps over his legs, exposing Tama’s back. Tama hurries to defend, and in the chaotic scramble that follows, Marinho snatches up his signature guillotine. He holds onto it, rolling and tightening until Tama is forced to submit.
Pedro Marinho defeats Johnny Tama by guillotine choke
Semifinal: Roberto Jimenez vs. John Combs
Jimenez jumps guard and secures a body lock around a standing Combs. He jumps off while keeping the body lock, and the two competitors dive towards the mat. Jimenez takes Combs’ back and looks for a rear naked choke. However he uses a body triangle instead of hooks, and so no points are earned. Combs is able to escape. While trying to pass Jimenez’s guard, Combs looks for a guillotine choke, but this places him on the bottom. Roberto gets the points for a sweep.
Combs lures Jimenez into relaxing for a second and then sweeps him back with a double leg from guard. Jimenez hunts the heel hook for a bit. After getting his knee out, Combs stands up. Jimenez pulls him into his closed guard where he locks up a triangle choke, but time runs out.
The overtime period starts, and Jimenez chooses to start with Combs in his closed guard. Before long he has locked up the same triangle choke again! Switching his attention to Combs’ exposed arm, Jimenez attacks a kimura-style armlock, submitting him.
Roberto Jimenez defeats John Combs by triangle choke kimura
Semifinal: Vagner Rocha vs. Pedro Marinho
In this battle of unstoppable force vs. unstoppable force, both competitors turn into immovable objects. Similar to Rocha’s match versus Kody Steele, the regulation period ends with no score except stalling penalties. Rocha and Marinho hand fight and exchange foot sweep attempts, but no one is in any real danger of being taken down.
The overtime starts with Rocha in Marinho’s closed guard. Rocha stands, and Marinho unlocks his feet to look for a leg entanglement, but he’s unsuccessful at finishing any leg locks. Both competitors get to their feet. Rocha executes a Marcelo Garcia style arm drag inside trip, driving Marinho out of bounds. They come back to the middle where Rocha shoots for a double leg. He ends up in Marinho’s guillotine, but is awarded the golden score.
Vagner Rocha defeats Pedro Marinho by golden score (takedown in overtime)
Third Coast Grappling Kumite 3 Final Match: Roberto Jimenez vs. Vagner Rocha
Jimenez is a not a fan of the concept of hesitating. He pulls the trigger, jumping guard and attacking Rocha immediately. However, slams are legal, and Jimenez is slammed hard on his back. Rocha tries to pass Jimenez’s guard but Jimenez slips under with a RDLR kiss of the dragon. Again, he doesn’t put in his hooks, preferring to use a body triangle, so he doesn’t get points. Rocha stands with him on his back and then launches himself backwards, landing on Jimenez. The match goes into overtime.
Jimenez selects closed guard, which he opens to try to sweep Rocha. Throughout the overtime, the two go back and forth, with Jimenez attacking sweeps and Rocha fighting back with passes. The time runs out, and Jimenez is given the referee’s decision, winning the bracket and $10,000 dollars.
Roberto Jimenez defeats Vagner Rocha by referee decision
After his victory, Roberto took the microphone to say a few words. He described how he competed since seven years old, but never won a tournament until he was thirteen. Always losing, he said, built “callouses on his mind”. He said that it was all part of the process, and thanked God and the Rastafarian religion for the victory.
Third Coast Grappling Kumite 3 Undercard Results:
Dakota Lewis defeats Tevin Sandoz by overtime takedown
Adam Bradley defeats Bruno Matias by heel hook
Christian Guzman dfats Manny Aguilar by referee decision
Andressa Cintra defeats Maggie Grindatti by armbar
Lucas Valente defeats Pedro Rocha by golden score (sweep in overtime)
Arian De Melo defeats Michael Lugo by golden score (sweep in overtime)
On July 11th, Roberto Jimenez will return to the Third Coast Grappling stage for the Absolute. It will be streamed on FloGrappling. Click here to sign up and watch.