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During the Spyder King of King Championship in Korea, we sat down to interview two-time IBJJF World Champion Gabriel Arges.
During his interview, Arges made a passionate statement about how beating a world champion does not make you a world champion. To emphasize this point, he brought up the names of two competitors who in the past have beaten World champions and one of those competitors has come forward to challenge Arges as a result.
Tommy Langaker heard Gabriel's statement. During his post-fight interview after his decision win over Gilbert "Durinho" Burns at Polaris, the Norwegian fired back at the current world champ.
"There was one guy that opened his mouth against me and that was Gabriel Arges. I showed nothing but respect toward him, he's the World champion, and he starts opening his mouth against me and Espen. You don't mention my name if there's no beef. I asked him, he didn't want to answer, now I want to fight against him. He's been ducking me because I've been asking for this fight for a long time. Bring him to me."
Langaker and Arges have history: They first met at the IBJJF Worlds in 2018. The quarterfinal match ended in a disqualification after returning champ Arges walked out of bounds with Tommy on his back. Langaker went on to take silver that year.
Fans who had hoped to see a rematch at Worlds this year were left disappointed when Tommy lost in the second round 4-2 to Michael Liera Jr. of Atos. This was the year that Arges took his second gold medal, beating 2018 champ Isaque Bahiense (who had beaten Tommy the year before).
As we head into the 2020 gi season there is a score that needs to be settled between these two and fans may finally get their chance to see the rematch. Arges certainly wants it to happen.
"I hope this match happens at some point in 2020. The middleweight is more and more stacked every year so is hard to say when is gonna happen. But he holds a win over me at Worlds so I feel like the only way to even the scoreboard is beating him at Worlds too."
Gi season is just one month away with the 2020 IBJJF European Championships in January– if it happens there or later in the season, we've got our first big match to look forward to.