Grappling Bulletin: Meyram Downs Nagai, Jamil & Hokage At CHAANCE For $10k

Grappling Bulletin: Meyram Downs Nagai, Jamil & Hokage At CHAANCE For $10k

The Dream Art champion earned $10k with an impressive win. Plus, Murasaki earns CHAANCE 75kg title, Demian Maia returns, Nagai steps in for IBJJF GP & more!

Feb 13, 2023 by Corey Stockton
Grappling Bulletin: Meyram Downs Nagai, Jamil & Hokage At CHAANCE For $10k

Meyram Maquine Alves may have had the most challenging road to $10k of any athlete competing on Sunday morning’s CHAANCE: Spyder Road To Black tournament in South Korea.

The light featherweight IBJJF world champion drew Samuel Nagai in the first round, and would have to face back to back featherweight world champions in the semifinal and final.

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But Alves appeared strong as ever in his $10,000 campaign in the 65kg bracket, tactically outscoring Nagai in the division opener, then taking Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor’s back and leaning on a go-ahead takedown over Fabricio Andrey to earn his title as the division champion.

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Perhaps the most impressive element of Alves’ CHAANCE campaign was his dominance in takedown exchanges. The Dream Art representative used a high amplitude single leg to score his first points on Nagai, and relied on his takedown defense to stave off Nagai’s final barrage.

In the final, Alves used a well timed trip attempt against Andrey to set up a knee pick, with which he ran Andrey down to score the only points of the match.

Those familiar with Alves will know that among athletes in the lightest weight categories, the light featherweight world champ has one of the most reputable takedown games. He leaned on it late last year at the BJJ Stars Lightweight GP, standing toe to toe with much heavier opponents, and consistently off-balancing and threatening them with heavy kuzushi and leg attacks.

Alves’ only match which was not decided via takedown was decided, instead, by back control. In the semifinal, Alves utilized a slick pass to get behind Hill-Taylor, then patiently ran out the clock, threatening submission against his former teammate.

The CHAANCE 65kg champion is now $10,000 richer, and has proven himself at the top of his weight category — and among the top pound for pound — to start 2023. (The first gi rankings update for 2023 will drop later this week.)

Murasaki looking unstoppable to begin 2023, wins CHAANCE 75kg title

In the 75kg division, Andy Murasaki outscored two dangerous opponents and submitted one in his run to $10,000 at CHAANCE.

The recently crowned IBJJF European champion was called out early in the division by the division’s second-place qualifier, Seungmoon Baek. Murasaki scored an early six points — pulling guard then sweeping directly to mount — before returning to a neutral position, establishing back control and setting in a choke.

In the semis, Murasaki leaned on his wrestle-up game to score two decisive points on Marcio Andre; and in the final, Murasaki ran up the score on Natan Cheung, tallying 19 points in the final two minutes. Once again, Murasaki set up the scoring flurry with a wrestle-up single from his guard, one of his best weapons throughout his career.

The final was a dramatic change from a match two weeks prior, where in the lightweight final of Euros, Mursaki defeated Chung by a single advantage in a 0-0 match.

More results from CHAANCE

  • Demian Maia defeated Sangwook Kim via katagatame at 11:40 of the scheduled 15-minute match after building a 16-0 lead.
  • Diego Sodré def. Wanki Chae via points (3-0)
  • Fabrício Andrey def. Lucas Pinheiro via points ( 4-0)
  • Jamil Hill-Taylor def. Keven Carrasco via penalty (0-0)
  • Meyram Alves def. Samuel Nagai via points (4-2)
  • Meyram Alves def. Jamil Hill-Taylor via points(4-0)
  • Fabrício Andrey def. Diego Sodré via advantage (3-2)
  • Meyram Alves def Fabricio Andrey vis points (2-0)
  • Jhonathan Pessanha def. Inseong Jang via decision (6-6)
  • Natan Chueng def. Boncheol Koo via advantages (1-0)
  • Andy Murasaki def. Seungmoon Baek via choke from the back
  • Márcio André def. Lucas Valente via points (4-2)
  • Natan Chueng def. Jhonathan Pessanha via choke from the back
  • Andy Murasaki def. Márcio André via points (2-0)
  • Andy Murasaki def. Natan Chueng via points (19-0)

Tezos WNO: Ryan vs Pena II is two weeks away, what's at stake in the fourth installment?

The rivalry between Gordon Ryan and Felipe Pena has been a storied affair.

In the first two matches, Pena had made it clear he had Ryan's number. He withstood Ryan's reputed leg lock attacks and countered them when it mattered. In their first matchup in 2016, Pena countered a leg lock to get on Ryan's back and finished him in the waning moments of the 45-minute bout. Their second exchange at ADCC 2017 ended in a mostly similar manner.

The bout ended inside the 20 minute regulation period, where, with less than two minutes remaining on the clock, Pena countered Ryan's most significant-looking leg attack with a back attack. Securing the back position was enough to put Pena ahead on the scoreboard, advancing his lead in the rivalry to 2-0.

For five years, both men chipped at each other on social media: Pena reminding his "chubby baby" at every turn that he had bested him twice, Ryan offering confidently that he had evolved to far beyond Pena's skill.

While some thought the third installment of the match would never come to be, we were finally rewarded with the match in August 2022, just a month before the athletes would share the 99+kg division at ADCC 2022.

Both men were exuberant with confidence in the lead up to the match, trading barbs in the press conference and in interviews afterward.


Both men had their moments in the scheduled no-time limit bout, the third installment on Tezos WNO: Ryan vs Pena. But after the 30-minute mark, Ryan started to run away with it, putting consistent pressure on Pena, who resigned from the match at the 44-minute mark.

The ending left much to be desired, as although Ryan technically won via submission, there was no defining moment, no joint lock or choke to justify the victory.

That adds some degree of gravity to the fourth match, scheduled for February 25 in Costa Mesa, CA — the main event of Tezos WNO: Ryan vs Pena II presented by Fat Tire.

For Pena, the upcoming bout is an opportunity to prove that his 2022 loss to Ryan was a fluke, marred by tragic circumstances. Now training for the match with Andre Galvao and the Atos team, Pena has the support of a coach vitally familiar with Ryan's game, his strategy, his strengths and weaknesses. 

A third win for Pena would give him the opportunity to shut the door on Ryan, to walk away as the clearcut frontrunner in this seven-years long rivalry.

For Ryan, a second victory is a must.

A second win would not only justify he has evolved beyond Pena, it would undo any of the doubts about his victory in the match last August.

One thing remains unclear. If Ryan wins, would he call for a rubber match against Pena? The five-time ADCC champion is not one to leave any uncertainties. He's famously called for rematches with every athlete who has defeated him, and with every athlete who has escaped with only points losses. Would a career 2-2 record against Pena be enough, or would Ryan immediately look to settle the score?

All of that hinges on the result of the match on February 25.

Roster Change In IBJJF FloGrappling Lightweight GP Bracket

Samuel Nagai will fill in for Checkmat teammate Matheus Gabriel on March 3 at the IBJJF FloGrappling Lightweight Grand Prix.

Gabriel, the 2019 IBJJF featherweight world champion, was set as one of the favorites in the four-man tournament for $10,000. When Gabriel pulled out, friend and training partner Nagai filled in as a worthy addition to the bracket, which also includes three-time Pans champion Johnatha Alves, European champion Andy Murasaki and brown belt world champion Carlos Henrqiue.

Also at the Grand Prix on March 3:

Ana Carolina Vieria, Nathieley de Jesus, Andressa Cintra and Melissa Cueto will showdown for $10,000 in the women’s heavyweight GP

Tainan Dalpra and Isaque Bahiense will square off in a special 30-minute match

Francisco Lo and Ronaldo Junior will face off in a battle of explosive athletes

Janaina Lebre and Nathalie Ribeiro will add another installment to their long rivalry

Porfirio & Top Dogs Collect At Midwest Finishers 

Andre Porfirio submitted all four of his opponents in the 16-man Midwest Finishers 12 absolute tournament to become a two-division champ on the promotion.

Porfirio, who entered as the reigning 205 lb champion, submitted his way to the final where he submitted former teammate Achilles Rocha with a straight ankle lock to win the title.

Rocha, the teenage son of ADCC veteran Vagner Rocha, submitted all three of his opponents on the way to the final before falling to Porfirio.

In the women’s 3-on-3 tournament at Midwest Finishers 12, team Top Dogs — consisting of Claire North, Janine Mocaiber and Felicia Marceau — stormed through the eight team bracket to take the title.

They went toe-to-toe with team Serial Submitters in the final, leaning on a clutch submission by Marceau after back to back draws.


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Upcoming Events

Tezos WNO: Ryan vs Pena II presented by Fat Tire | February 25

Tezos WNO is back for the first installment of 2023, and potentially one of the biggest matches of the year. Gordon Ryan and Felipe Pena will try to settle the score on their storied rivalry, and Giancarlo Bodoni will challenge for Pedro Marinho’s light heavyweight title.

There are only a few tickets left to watch the card live in Costa Mesa. Get them here.

Finishers Kombat IV | February 26

A full day of superfights from Bethlehem, PA. 155 lb champion Vanessa Griffin will try to defend her strap against the 145 lb champ Trinity Pun. Kemoy Anderson and Sean Yadimarco will square off to unify the 185 lb belt.

IBJJF FloGrappling Grand Prix | March 3

A men’s lightweight GP and a women’s heavyweight GP for $10,000 each, plus Tainan Dalpra vs Isaque Bahiense in a 30-minute match, and two more high-level superfights.

SOGI Heavyweight Championship | March 11

Some of the best of the northeast will take the mats in this EBI rules tournament, featuring the Adult Slayer Pat Shahgholi vs Alex Nemeth and more.

IBJJF Pan Championships | March 21-26

The second of four major IBJJF gi tournaments in 2023 is six weeks away, and some of the divisions are already loaded.