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The BJJ Fanatics No-Gi Submission Only Grand Prix will be streamed live on FloGrappling on Friday, November 15. The event will take place in the Cabot Theater in Beverly, Massachusetts, and utilize a submission-only ruleset with EBI overtime.
With $10,000 on the line plus the opportunity to impress the premier BJJ instructional company in the business on the line, you know these athletes will be bringing it and hunting for submissions. There are a number of high-profile athletes invited, and here are three matches I would be most looking forward to happening in Massachusetts.
Gordon Ryan vs Lucas 'Hulk' Barbosa
These two have already fought twice in their careers with Gordon winning both matches, but any time that two of the best athletes in the game face off it is an exciting matchup. We all know how disappointed Gordon is to win matches without a submission; he has so far failed to submit Hulk in both of their meetings. I think we will see Gordon push especially hard to finally get the sub if these two meet up in the tournament.
Hulk is an IBJJF black belt world champ in both gi and no-gi and can’t be counted out. He will be looking for revenge here, and kept the match close in their ADCC semifinal until Gordon’s late back take. This is no doubt the marquee matchup of the tournament.
Watch: Gordon Vs Hulk From ADCC
Dante Leon vs Jonnatas Gracie
Dante Leon is young but already an established veteran on the no-gi circuit, so a matchup with Atos up and comer Jonnatas Gracie is an intriguing one. These two will surely meet many times in the coming years in the middleweight division. This will be a first look at how they match up should they meet here.
Jonnatas just won No-Gi Pans at black belt after winning everything at brown belt earlier this year. Dante has won that tournament twice already and has made the podium at No-Gi Worlds, but his performances in 2019 at ADCC and in no-gi superfights have elevated his status to another level.
Dante finished fourth at ADCC after defeating Jon Satava and Lucas Lepri; he also has submissions over Isaque Bahiense, Edwin Najmi, and Matheus Lutes this year. Jonnatas is one of the best new black belts and could make waves this year. A win over Dante would say a lot about his chances at the highest level.
Watch: Dante Vs Lucas Lepri At ADCC
Vinicius Ferreira vs Aaron Johnson
Vinicus “Trator” Ferreira has burst onto the no-gi scene this year after mostly being associated with gi competition for the majority of his career. Trator first entered the IBJJF Heavyweight Grand Prix as a late replacement and defeated Luiz Panza in the first round. Then he won two matches to win No-Gi Pans, including a victory in the final over Keenan Cornelius. Finally he accepted a super late invite with under a week left to ADCC, won three matches, and finished second at the biggest no-gi event in the world.
Aaron “Tex” Johnson is one of the most dangerous leg lockers in the game. He famously heelhooked Felipe Pena at Kasai, has tapped Jackson Souza twice, and Jon Blank with leg locks. Tex has struggled to win points matches against the best, but under a submission-only format I think he holds the advantage over the more conservative Trator.
Watch: Tex Heelhooks Preguica