Third Coast Grappling Middleweight Grand Prix Preview: Roberto Jimenez, Micael Galvao Favored to Win

On Saturday, June 19, Third Coast Grappling will hold its eight-man, $15,000 middleweight grand prix. The tournament will see a mixture of young jiu-jitsu phenoms, veteran competitors, and wildcard newcomers competing up to three times in one night. There is currently no outright favorite to win the tournament, but odds-makers have named Roberto Jimenez and Micael Galvao as the top two competitors, odds-wise.

View the full Third Coast Grappling 7 middleweight grand prix betting odds below, courtesy of Super Fight Sportsbook.

The tournament will utilize Third Coast Grappling’s unique ruleset in which points are in play for the regulation time of each match. If, at the end of regulation, neither competitor is up by 11 or more points, the match goes to sudden death overtime, and the competitor with more points chooses the starting position.

Roberto Jimenez is the slight favorite to win the tournament, but the field is stacked with close matches. If Jimenez is able to get past Adam Bradley in the first round, he’ll have to face the winner of Pedro Marinho and wrestler Pat Downey. Unless Downey can spring the massive upset against accomplished competitor Marinho, Jimenez will most likely take on Marinho in what should be an electric semifinal. Jimenez is 1-1 against Marinho, with both matches ending by submission.

On the other side of the bracket, teenage prodigy Micael Galvao is favored, but he’ll have his hands full in the first round against ADCC veteran John Combs. Although the hype is with Galvao, Combs is an excellent wrestler, an ADCC veteran, and most importantly, very experienced at the highest levels of grappling. This opening round match will tell us a lot about Galvao’s overall skill.

In another first-round match, Gustavo Batista will square off with Brazilian wrestling champion Pedro Rocha. In terms of betting odds, Batista finds himself at the middle of the pack, but it’s worth noting that Batista, with his pressure passing style, holds a recent Third Coast Grappling win over Jimenez, who sits on the other side of the bracket.

On paper, it might be easy to assume that Jimenez and Galvao will meet in the finals. But in practice, things get more complicated, as Combs has the skills and experience to upset Galvao in the first round, just as Marinho has the skills to upset Jimenez. Moreover, point-based rulesets like the one in play here tend to favor the grappler that can earn takedowns, which creates the possibility of wrestlers like Downey or Rocha earning victories over much more accomplished jiu-jitsu players.

How to watch: Third Coast Grappling 7 and the middleweight grand prix takes place on Saturday, June 19 and will air live on Fite TV pay-per-view. The main card begins at 8 PM EST.

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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