The inaugural UFC Fightpass Invitational took place on Thursday, December 16. The event featured a four-team submission-only tournament that included a number of former and current MMA fighters, as well as some accomplished jiu-jitsu competitors. In addition to the Quintet-style team competition, the card also showcased several high-level superfights.
Each match, whether a superfight or part of the team tournament, was an 8-minute submission-only match. In the team competition, in the event of a draw, both competitors leave the mat; if there is a winner, that winner stays on the mat to compete against the opposing team’s next grappler.
Team LFA was the favorite going into the team competition, and for good reason; the squad included ADCC champion Davi Ramos and IBJJF world champions Rafael Lovato Jr. and Ary Farias. Just one submission was needed for Team LFA to capture the $25,000 in prize money, first defeating Team FAC on the strength of a Gregory Rodrigues armbar, then defeating Team Fury FC by judges’ decision.
Elsewhere on the card, former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson earned a clear-cut decision over 10th Planet black belt Ben Saunders, and Alexa Yanes earned an upset win over perennial top competitor Danielle Kelly.
Full UFC Fightpass Invitational 1 results and highlights:
Team tournament finals
Team LFA def. Team Fury FC via unanimous decision
- Gregory Rodrigues (LFA) vs. Kody Steele (Fury FC) – Draw
- Rafael Lovato Jr. (LFA) vs. Travis Tooke (Fury FC) – Draw
- Davi Ramos (LFA) vs. Daniel Pineda (Fury FC) – Draw
- Ary Farias (LFA) vs. Ricardo Evangelista (Fury FC) – Draw
- Benson Henderson def. Ben Saunders via unanimous decision
- Alexa Yanes def. Danielle Kelly via split decision
- Shane Shapiro def. Bobby Green via submission (kneebar)
Team tournament semifinals
Team LFA def. Team CFFC (1-0)
- Davi Ramos (LFA) vs. Anton Berzin (CFFC) – Draw
- Rafael Lovato Jr. (LFA) vs. Jonathan Piersma (CFFC) – Draw
- Rafael Lovato Jr. (LFA) def. Mike Wilcox (CFFC) via submission (rear-naked choke)
- Gregory Rodrigues (LFA) vs. Joe Solecki (CFFC) – Draw
Team Fury FC def. Team FAC (1-0)
- Ricardo Evangelista (Fury FC) def. James Krause (FAC) via submission (reverse armbar)
- Daniel Pineda (Fury FC) vs. Grant Dawson (FAC) – Draw
- Travis Tooke (Fury FC) vs. Mikey England (FAC) – Draw
- Kody Steele (Fury FC) vs. Jason High (FAC) – Draw
- Brenadan Allen def. Gabriel Checco via unanimous decision
- Christian Guzman def. Jerry Shapiro via unanimous decision