BJJ Fanatics Grand Prix & GrappleFest Next For Dante Leon

Dante Leon

Dante Leon has had a breakout year in 2019, storming the no-gi circuit with submission wins over Isaque Bahiense, Edwin Najmi, and Matheus Lutes to go with a fourth-place finish at ADCC. Dante was no slouch in previous years, winning Pan No-Gi twice and finishing third at No-Gi Worlds, but he has no doubt gone up a level in 2019.

Watch: Dante Taps Isaque At Fight 2 Win

The action isn’t about to stop anytime soon for Dante, though, as he is scheduled to compete at both the BJJ Fanatics Submission Only Grand Prix and GrappleFest 7 on FloGrappling in the upcoming weeks. 

Here's what he said about his transition to no-gi competition this year: “It’s just kind of where the exposure is. I see the way it’s going; it’s leaning towards the no-gi side. I think more people can relate to it. MMA fans can watch it and relate to it more than gi. The money, the exposure, the events, that’s where it’s at right now.”

Just Getting Started

Next up on Dante’s schedule it the aforementioned BJJ Fanatics event. Dante will be one of the smaller competitors in the absolute bracket containing Nick Rodriguez, Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa, and Aaron “Tex” Johnson. Dante has never been one to shy away from absolute divisions, though, and has spent the last few years in Toledo training primarily with teammates over 200 pounds.

“It is a great event. A great collection of no-gi and submission only guys. It is a huge challenge for me, for a couple of reasons," he said. "First off is the size of the bracket — there are a lot of guys competing. Then you have the size of the competitors, some big dudes. They have a weight advantage but I love absolutes. I’m one of the smaller dudes but I’m excited for the challenge. I’ve fought and trained with bigger guys for most of my career so it’s something I’m ready for.”

About some of the lesser-known competitors in the field: “I think it is hard to put your finger on just one. So many good guys. Kyle Boehm has a win over me; he’s a super talented grappler. I think he is just getting started.”

Dante is coming off the best performance of his career at the 2019 ADCC World Championships. He fought a tough come-from-behind win in overtime in the first round over Jon Satava, advancing to the quarterfinals with the legendary Lucas Lepri. Dante took the back of one of the all-time greats in that match, winning by a final score of 3-0.

“Leading up to the event I was studying everyone. Not one person more than the other. They make the brackets late so you don’t know who you will have. I obviously had some things in mind for Lepri. I knew he likes to pass my kind of guard, the knee shield half guard. I knew he could give me problems, but that I could give him problems, too. I executed well; I got to his back. As soon as I sat up and got to the body lock, I knew I don’t lose those positions. I stayed tight, got the one hook and seat belt and had to stay tight to finish.”

“Obviously with somebody like Lepri you have to stay tight because he’s dangerous. I was cautious, opened up only as much as necessary, and capitalized on the mistakes and openings that I created.”

Watch: Dante Leon Vs Lucas Lepri At ADCC

Back-To-Back Events

Just one week after the BJJ Fanatics Grand Prix, Dante will be in Liverpool, England, for more no-gi submission-only action at GrappleFest 7. This time he will have a superfight with a formidable opponent, No-Gi World champion Marcio Andre.

“Marcio has some of the best jiu-jitsu in the world. A beautiful game, a great guard and great passing. People forget he has such good no-gi — he’s a black belt world champ in no-gi. It is cool that he is branching out to sub-only. I had a lot of change in opponents, up until two weeks ago I didn't know who I had for sure. I appreciate him taking the fight on short notice.”

Dante has no intentions of slowing down with this tremendous momentum he has generated so far in 2019. The Canada native — who for the past several years has called Toledo, Ohio, his home — has great ambitions for the future.

“I’m gonna keep improving, just getting better, and take advantage of the right opportunities. The best fights, events, to not only grow my career but expose my brand and help improve myself. BJJ Fanatics is a tall task and will help me improve as an athlete. I think people worry too much about failing, about being judged.”

“I want to be here and I plan to be on top. I have some goals, I have to take some steps to get to those goals in the time I have planned.”

Watch The BJJ Fanatics No-Gi Submission Only Grand Prix Live On Demand On FloGrappling

Watch GrappleFest 7 Live On Demand On FloGrappling

Johnny Tama And Oliver Taza Will Square Off At Who's Number One On March 26

Taza Tama announcement WNO

Johnny Tama and Oliver Taza will join the Who’s Number One card on March 26 in a prelim match to be streamed live for free on FloGrappling’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

'I Was Wrong': Regretful Andre Galvao Apologizes To Jiu-Jitsu Community

Andre Galvao by Bane Visnjic 3.jpg

Andre Galvao made his first statement since his incident with Gordon Ryan at WNO last Friday. Speaking in an Instagram live stream, Galvao assumed responsibility for the altercation and apologized to the jiu-jitsu community. 

How to Watch: Fight to Win 166

riba tackett.JPG

Here's how to watch the Fight to Win 166 on FloGrappling.

Kade Ruotolo & Ethan Crelinsten To Run It Back At WNO On March 26

ethan kade wNO

Who's Number One (WNO) returns March 26th for another stacked event, with WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha! The pound-for-pound King is back for his fourth match at WNO where he'll be taking on the top middleweight grappler in the world in Vagner Rocha.

Maggie Grindatti To Face Rafaela Guedes At Who's Number One On March 26


Two of the best women in the 145 lb division will face off on the main card at Who’s Number One: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha on March 26. 

Vagner Rocha's Base Is Nearly Unsweepable | Stats Report


Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Vagner Rocha has a reputation.

Mikey Musumeci Set To Make WNO Debut Against Marcelo Cohen March 26

Mikey Marcelo WNO

Who's Number One (WNO) returns March 26th for another stacked event with WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha! The pound-for-pound King is back for his fourth match at WNO where he'll be taking on the top middleweight grappler in the world in Vagner Rocha.

Buchecha Confirms MMA Debut, Faces Undefeated KO Artist


Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Buchecha's long-awaited MMA debut has a date. The ADCC and IBJJF World champion will enter the ring with ONE Championship in Singapore on April 14. 

Nick Rodriguez And Yuri Simões To Meet At WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha

WNO Nicky Rod Yuri Simoes Matchups

Who’s Number One returns on March 26 for WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vanger Rocha. Both athletes in the main event are ADCC medalists, and they’ll be joined on the card by two more member of that exclusive club. In the co-main event, two-time ADCC gold medalist Yuri Simões will take on the Danaher Death Squad’s Nick Rodriguez.

How to Watch: FloGrappling WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha


Here's how to watch the FloGrappling WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha on FloGrappling.