A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.
ONE Championship are staging their first event on US soil with ONE Fight Night 10 on May 5th. To their credit, the promotion looks to be going all out to in order to put on the best show they can. Part of that involves getting their reigning flyweight submission grappling champion Mikey Musumeci to defend his title against the reigning IBJJF roosterweight no gi world champion, Osamah Almarwai.
This will be Musumeci’s second title-defence, after he destroyed Gantamur Bayanduuren’s leg in his last outing. This the first of three title-fights Rodtang Jitmuangnon will defend his flyweight Muay Thai title, and Demetrious Johnson attempts to defend his belt against Adriano Moraes. Another champion, Reinier de Ridder, will be competing too, but in a non-title grappling superfight against Tye Ruotolo.
Fight Sports lose three elite competitors to other teams
Competitors change teams all the time, but Fight Sports have lost three top athletes all in the space of the last few weeks. First up was IBJJF Pan champion Andre Porfirio, who appears to have left on good terms and is currently looking elsewhere in Miami, FL for a new team to represent. He was quickly joined by Maggie Grindatti, an IBJJF European champion who has been an important member of the team since 2016.
It appears as though Grindatti did not leave on as good terms as Porfirio, and she has since confirmed that she was actually asked to leave the gym. Grindatti is also yet to find a permanent team to represent, although both her and Porfirio will likely make the decision in the coming months. Finally, top brown belt competitor Luccas Lira Costa has also left the team and he will now be representing Dream Art instead.
Gordon Ryan and Nicky Rodriguez trade jabs over PED use
The rivalry between Gordon Ryan and Nicky Rodriguez has bubbled up to the surface once again, after Rodriguez made an appearance on Mark Bell’s Power Project and accused Ryan of taking steroids. Ryan quickly returned fire on social media and levied the same accusations back at Rodriguez, before other members of B-Team Jiu-Jitsu were also caught up in the drama and attracted criticism from Ryan too.
The pair then went back and forth on proposed drug-testing in exchange for money, while Rodriguez took a blood test live on camera in an attempt to prove that he was not using any PEDs. That didn’t actually solve anything though, and Ryan announced that he was getting a contract drawn up for randomized USADA testing leading up to ADCC 2024, where the pair are likely to meet in the over 99kg division once again.
EBI champion Erin Blanchfield earns biggest win of her MMA career
UFC Vegas 69 marked the biggest moment of elite grappler Erin Blanchfield’s MMA career so far, as it was her first main event fight. After some last-minute shuffling around, she ended up fighting former strawweight world champion Jessica Andrade in what should have been a tough challenge. In the end, Blanchfield looked unbelievably comfortable against one of the best female fighters on the planet.
Blanchfield took the fight to Andrade by striking with her from the start, likely winning the first round pretty cleanly. She was clearly in her element once she managed to take Andrade down in the second round though, transitioning to the back incredibly quickly and finishing the rear-naked choke. This submission win earned her a $50,000 performance bonus and probably a title-shot in her next fight too.
Full results for the event can be found here.
- A documentary about the life of legendary BJJ competitor Andre Galvao and his journey to ADCC is currently in production.
- Former UFC lightweight world champion Charles Oliveira just started an official OnlyFans account in order to share more about his workouts and training regimes.
- BJJ black belt and ADCC veteran Tom DeBlass has just brought together several people to set up a nationwide anti-bullying initiative.
- ATOS black belt and recent ADCC silver medallist Rafaela Guedes has started preparing to make her MMA debut at an as-yet unspecified date.