Edwin Najmi– the no.5-ranked 77kg no-gi grappler– has been on a tear since returning from a serious knee injury. In fact, he might be looking more dominant than ever.
In the last four months he’s had four superfights, and he’s won them all including two title fights: F2W 120 where he claimed the F2W middleweight no-gi title beating DJ Jackson, and just last weekend where took the Polaris welterweight belt from Mansher Khera. Now, with two title fights in consecutive weeks, he could become the champ-champ.
Coming back from significant injury is one of the toughest things an athlete has to endure. What got the Armenian-American machine through it and on his way to the top? His heritage. “It’s in my blood,” he says. “I always think about what my ancestors have been through. If I give up, I would be a coward and a disgrace to those people that gave up their lives for me to be here.” So, don’t count the kid out even if he was down for a minute.
But first, he will have to get through the challenger, Marcelo Mafra. ‘Lapela’ is a two-time No-Gi World champ and an ADCC veteran who loves to scrap. On top of that, he is coming back from a contentious loss to Tanquinho on the F2W stage just a few weeks ago and will be eager for redemption, without question this time.
Women’s title on the line
Speaking of people looking more dominant than ever, Fight 2 Win is also hosting a women’s 120lb gi match between World Champions, Mayssa Bastos and Karen Antunes.
In her 15-month tenure as a black belt, Mayssa has already won every major title in gi and no-gi: IBJJF World Championships, Abu Dhabi World Pro, EBI, and more. But that’s not enough to satisfy her passion.
Young, hungry, and on a roll Mayssa says she is only getting started. The rooster weight is known for entangling opponents in her leggy-snare, but recently she has been showcasing her prowess on top as well. It is an interesting match up for sure, as she faces a slightly heavier and very aggressive opponent in Karen Antunes, a perfect candidate to impose the speed, precision, and pressure to handle the trap that is Mayssa’s guard.
‘Frenemies’ to face off
Another must-see, ADCC “warm up” on the card is the 195 pound no-gi showdown between number 2 88kg contender, Josh Hinger and 2017 no-gi world champion, Arnaldo Maidana.
They say that the man to be feared is the one who has practiced “one move one thousand times”. And with his snatch single and infamous “Hingertine” that’s exactly what we get with three time no-gi world champion Josh Hinger.
He’s good at what he does, and he knows it making him one of the most entertaining grapplers to watch. This weekend he will face friend and rival Arnaldo Maidana. They are 1-1, with Hinger winning in no-gi by submission and Maiden getting revenge via points in the gi.
Watch your favorite fighters get paid for their work in these and over thirty more gi, no-gi, and judo matches this Saturday, September 7. Matches start at 5pm on FloGrappling. Watch live here.