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There's been a spirited debate recently about small guys competing against larger sized opponents but one man who has plenty of on the mat experience toppling the big men is Norway's Tarik Hopstock.
Just about every competition Tarik enters you'll see him in the middleweight division as well as the open class division. And in honor of Tarik's unabashed ability to submit people twice his size, we're taking a look at five times he beat the odds and slayed the giants before him.
1. Tarik edges out Kaynan
Kaynan Duarte only has a handful of losses at the colored belts and one of them happens to be against the lightweight Norweigan. Back at the 2017 World Championships when both were purple belts and in the quarter-finals of the open class Tarik stunned everyone inside the Walter Pyramid by taking a 2x0 decision victory over the heavyweight champion. This may still be one of Tarik's biggest and most impressive wins to date.
2. The Tarikoplata strikes!
Not many people have a submission named after them but Tarik has hit this move so many times it would be criminal to call it anything other than the tarikoplata. And one of our favorite applications of this technique came in the absolute division at the 2019 European Championships. Tarik was matched up with ultra-heavyweight medalist and Felipe Pena protege Guillerme Lambertucci in the early rounds and didn't miss a chance to fulfill the David vs Goliath narrative. (fast forward to 40:17)
3. Tarik loop chokes Reda
At the 2019 world championships Tarik once again put on a beautiful display of jiu-jitsu that earned him a spot on the coveted open class podium. And no one match was more astonishing to watch than his quick loop choke victory of the French-born Reda Mebtouche.
4. No-gi, no problem!
Reaching deep in the archives for this one, way back in 2016 at the IBJJF no-gi world championships Tarik took on Unity star, purple and brown belt world champion, Devonte Johnson. Both men were purple belts trying to make a name for themselves in the crowded purple belt ranks. It was a close match with neither opponent letting the other take the lead but in the end Tarik got his hand raised and punched his ticket to the open class finals. Where he'd go on to lose against a familiar foe, Kaynan Duarte.
5. Footlock fire!
Tarik is still out there submitting his way through absolute divisions, like just recently at the 2020 IBJJF European championships where Tarik made it to the finals. On his way he took out the medium-heavyweight champ and all-around buzzsaw Pedro Machado with a crumbling straight ankle lock just to remind everyone that he can submit anyone, no matter how big or strong.
To learn how to vanquish your foes like Tarik Hopstock click here.