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Ethan Crelinsten dominates the 16-man tournament to become the 145-pound JitzKing, runner-up Andrew Tackett proves he’s worth the hype, and John Combs and Enrico Cocco take home submission victories in their superfights.
JitzKing hosted their second event last weekend. The Florida-based professional jiu-jitsu promotion stacked the event with superfights and a 16-man invitational for 145lb-ers comprised of some of the best grapplers, blue through black belt.
Leading up to the tournament the Danaher Death Squad representative, Ethan Crelinsten stood out as a favorite, while juvenile blue belt Andrew Tackett caught our eye as a potential dark horse. Both made it to the finals, with some impressive wins on the way.
After qualifying for ADCC at the East Coast trials an injury kept Ethan Crelinsten away from competition for about six months. This was his first appearance back since the leave of absence, and despite feeling “rusty,” he dominated the bracket with two submissions and two points victories.
Crelinsten started the night by securing the fastest submission of the tournament with a heel hook over Guilherme Lima. After scoring another submission over Florida-based brown belt, Spencer Mumme, Crelinsten was given the biggest challenge by Jose Cadavid in the semis. Cadavid’s relentless passing and a near back take had Crelinsten in the most vulnerable positions of the entire tournament. But Crelinsten’s gumby guard and incredible escapes kept him in the game. When the match reached sudden death overtime the Canadian brown belt was able to lock in a takedown, sending him to the finals where he would face juvenile blue belt, Andrew Tackett, younger brother to standout William.
Despite being the youngest and technically “lowest-ranked” competitor, Tackett had a flawless run to finals. He submitted all of his opponents in regulation, including first-degree black belt Rodrigo Francioni of Fight Sports. With an unorthodox game, he was able to crawl around his opponents, securing sneaky back takes and going for the kill. He had an answer for everything thrown at him. Even in the finals against Crelinsten his composure, athleticism, and skill were tit for tat with the eventual champion.
Crelinsten's experience paid off and he was able to wrestle his way up from guard to score two points on the Texas-based phenom in the last minute to become the champ.
He also had the benefit of the amazing training camp in Miami put together by ADCC promoter Mo Jassim, which brought together talents as diverse as JT Torres, the Ruotolo brothers, Mike Perez, Craig Jones, and Kaynan Duarte, not to mention of course Crelinsten's teammate Gordon Ryan.
Combs vs Steele, Cocco vs Martinez
In the co-main event John Combs took on Kody Steele. Both guys are coming into 2020 hungry. As anticipated it was a scrappy match, but Combs came in on another level. Combs successfully forced his game on Steele, eventually landing a takedown, back take, and finishing it with a rear-naked choke.
The main event between Richie “Boogeyman” Martinez and Enrico Cocco showcased a completely different style of grappling. During regulation Boogeyman was able to successfully utilize his unconventional guard to keep Cocco at bay. Once overtime hit Cocco was quick to change strategies. Instead of trying to figure out how to get around the labyrinth of Boogey’s guard, he went straight into it, opening up a leg battle and coming out on top with a heel hook submission victory.