Who Is Levi Jones-Leary, The Aussie Black Belt Who Defeated Lucas Lepri?

Levi.jpg

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Levi Jones-Leary stunned the jiu-jitsu world by beating veteran lightweight and 2018 world champ Lucas Lepri in the European lightweight final. 

We already knew the 21-year-old Australian black belt was one of the new crop of competitors to keep a close eye on in 2019. But few people bet on him to go through to the final of the stacked lightweight division, let alone beat the multiple-time world champion Lepri in the process. 

Jones-Leary, a native of Sydney, only received his black belt in 2018, promoted by Murilo Santana of Unity Jiu-Jitsu in New York shortly after winning Worlds in June 2018. 

As a wayward teenager, Jones-Leary was introduced into a program that offered martial arts classes to kids excluded from school. He discovered grappling was a positive outlet for his energies, and after dedicating himself to the training found that he had both the desire and talent to succeed in competition. 

Coming from a small team in Sydney, he found his way to New York and began training under Murilo Santana. There he shares the mats with the Miyao brothers, and hyper-talented brown belts such as Italo Moura, Thalison Soares and Jonas Andrade. 

Jones-Leary never stays longer three months at a time in the U.S., the maximum allowed by immigration laws. He returns to Australia to save money for his return stays, teaching jiu-jitsu seminars to fund his training during intense periods of competition. 

As a brown belt, Jones-Leary had an outstanding run from January to June in 2018. He racked up an impressive series of titles, including gold medals at the European, Pan and World Championships. 

Much of his success has been because of his excellent De la Riva guard game and berimbolo attacks, something he used in all of his Euros matches this year. 

Jones-Leary had one of the toughest championship runs of the tournament, beating the very capable Kevin Mahecha in his opening match 6-4. Next up was the 2018 Pan champion Gianni Grippo, who Jones-Leary beat 4-2. 

Finally, Jones-Leary had to face one of the best lightweights of all times. Admittedly Lepri was drained from the absolute the previous day but the young Australian played a smart and aggressive game that earned him the win via split decision after it ended as a draw (2-2, 2-2 advantages). 

The immediate future for Levi Jones-Leary involves competing at the IBJJF Pans and, of course, Worlds. With a gold medal in the bag from his first black belt run in a major IBJJF tournament, this will give him a huge confidence boost for the rest of the year and serve as a warning to those who maybe didn't know who he was: don't sleep on Levi Jones-Leary. 

Watch:

Levi Jones-Leary vs. Kevin Mahecha 

Levi Jones-Leary vs. Gianni Grippo 

Levi Jones-Leary vs. Lucas Lepri 

Controversial Call Spoils Kumite Final, Jimenez's Result Overturned

jimenez vs ruotolo 3cg kumite.jpg

A series of officiating errors at Third Coast Grappling's 170lbs Kumite tournament left a bad taste in the mouth of fans and competitors. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Official FloGrappling Predictions: Kumite V

kumitevpredictions.jpg

The highly touted Kumite series is back with its fifth installment this weekend, featuring 8 of the very best 170lb no-gi grapplers on the planet. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

How To Watch Third Coast Grappling: KUMITE V

Roberto Jimenez vs Tye Ruotolo 3CG.jpg

Here's how to watch the 2020 Third Coast Grappling: KUMITE V on FloGrappling.

5 Takeaways From Who's Number One: Garry, Cyborg, Vagner

WNO banner.jpg

Now the dust has settled from last Friday night's Who's Number One event, let's recap some of the action and see what it means for future matches.  

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Results & Match Videos: Garry Tonon vs Dante Leon, Hulk vs Cyborg & More

garry tonon vs dante leon WNO 1.jpg

It's time for another edition of Who's Number One! Our main event this time is an ADCC rematch between Garry Tonon and Dante Leon, which is sure to be just as exciting this time around.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Official FloGrappling Predictions: WNO Garry Tonon vs Dante Leon

WNO3predictions.jpg

After a wild week, WNO: Tonon vs Leon is finally upon us.  The cad remains stacked from top to bottom, and the FloGrapling staff has given their picks for the top four matches of the night!

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The King Speaks: Gordon Ryan's WNO Picks

gordon WNO picks.jpg

Love him or hate him, when Gordon Ryan speaks, people listen. Naturally, I reached out to Gordon to find out his picks for the upcoming WNO: Garry Tonon vs Dante Leon event after he was forced to pull out of his match with Ronaldo Junior due to COVID-19. Here's what The King thinks about these upcoming matches:

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The Hit List: Seven Of Vagner Rocha's Most Savage Submissions

vagner rocha vs masahiro iwasaki kasai pro 3.jpg

What can we say about Vagner Rocha that hasn’t been said before? Everyone knows his jiu-jitsu is among the meanest in the game: he punishes his opponents, breaking their will before attempting to do the same to their limbs.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Hulk vs Cyborg Is The Final Match Added To WNO!

hulkcyborg1.jpg

As you probably heard, Gordon Ryan and Craig Jones had to pull out of WNO this week after contracting COVID-19. Losing two of the sports biggest stars would usually be the kiss of death for an event, but we were able to bounce back and find two very solid replacements at the last minute.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Craig Jones Picks WNO Winners: Tonon-Dante, Hulk-Cyborg, Ronaldo-Vagner

craig WNO picks.jpg

Craig Jones unfortunately had to pull out of our upcoming WNO event with COVID-19, don't worry that match is just postponed and we will be running it back soon. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In