Weekend grappling recap: New champs crowned at Grapplefest 12, IBJJF Houston Open results

The submission grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu world has no off season, and this weekend was no exception. A number of elite no-gi grapplers made their way to Liverpool, England to compete in Grapplefest 12, the biggest event of the weekend. And in IBJJF action, the Houston Open featured several top competitors.

PJ Barch and Eoghan O’Flanagan win titles at Grapplefest 12

In the main event of Grapplefest 12, promotional mainstay and Grapplefest 80 kg. champion Dante Leon suffered a unanimous decision loss to 10th Planet standout PJ Barch in a high-paced, action-packed match. Also, in a match-up of 66 kg. ADCC qualifiers, Ash Williams used his leg lock defense and crushing top control to earn a hard-fought victory over Keith Krikorian. And before that, ADCC European Trials winner Eoghan O’Flanagan impressed with a beautiful triangle choke finish on ADCC veteran Jon Blank; the win secured O’Flanagan the Grapplefest 90 kg. title.

Lower still on the card, Daisy Fresh product Jacob “The Hillbilly Hammer” Couch won a unanimous decision over UFC veteran Tom Breese in a bizarrely uneventful match that saw Breese spending essentially the entire match hunkered down in Couch’s closed guard, unwilling to stand or otherwise expose himself by attempting to pass the guard.

Finally, another Daisy Fresh product, Michael Pixley, lost to fellow takedown artist Owen Livesey in a fun match that took place entirely on the feet.

View the full Grapplefest 12 results here.

Oliver Taza wins double gold IBJJF Houston Open

In Houston, New Wave Jiu-Jitsu representative and ADCC qualifier Oliver Taza impressed in no-gi action, winning gold in the middleweight and absolute divisions. Taza defeated Fight Sports’ Andre Porfirio in the final of the absolute division.

View the Houston Open no-gi results here.

And in gi competition, Dream Art’s Igor Schneider earned second in the ultra-heavy division and first in the absolute division. A 2020 European Open champion, Schneider has shown he has the skills to defeat top competition, and his wins in Houston are another step toward the consistency he is capable of.

View the Houston Open gi results here.

Also of note, Checkmat’s Mathias Luna defeated Levi Jones-Leary in the final of the middleweight division. That win should help Luna’s seeding as he heads into the loaded middleweight division at the 2022 IBJJF Worlds in June.

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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