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Follow along for live updates and match results from Third Coast Grappling Kumite III, featuring Tye Ruotolo, Roberto Jimenez, Vagner Rocha and more.
Third Coast Grappling is back for yet another installment of the exciting Kumite series. This time it's a no-gi tournament, and it's sure to be explosive. The eight-man, -180 lb Kumite II bracket includes some first-round dream matchups.
The very first match of the tournament could be one for the ages, as two young stars, Tye Ruotolo and Roberto Jimenez are locked in to square off. Another first-round match between Vagner Rocha and Kody Steele also promises to deliver early fireworks.
Pedro Marinho will return to the Third Coast Grappling Kumite, making his third appearance in as many events. His opening draw tonight will be 2019 IBJJF No-Gi World Champ Johnny Tama.
John Combs and Pierre Olivier-LeClerc will fill out the final corner of the bracket, and either man could steal the show and the $10,000 grand prize.
I'm Corey Stockton, and I'll be following the action live tonight, posting updates in real time. Keep refreshing this page so you don't miss a single detail.
One detail you'll need to pay attention to is the rule set.
In Third Coast Grappling, it's not enough to be ahead on the scoreboard once time expires. To win in the 7-minute regulation period, a competitor must score 11 points or secure a submission. If neither athlete scores 11, the match goes to a 5-minute overtime round in which the first person to score is the winner.
With that out of the way, let's get to the action.
Elimination Round: Tye Ruotolo vs Roberto Jimenez
What an explosive start to this tournament!
Both competitors stay low and look to wrestle. Jimenez jumps guard and scoops a leg on the way up. Ruotolo spirals out and the competitors return to fighting for collar ties. Jimenez takes a shot and gets behind Ruotolo. The match goes out of bounds and the athletes are reset.
Jimenez starts draped over Ruotolo's back, and takes him down. As Jimenez scores two points, Ruotolo tangles Jimenez's legs.
The match is reset again to the middle of the mat, with Ruotolo in the cross-ashi position.
Jimenez stays patient and fights the grips. As Ruotolo switches to a toe hold Jimenez frees his leg, builds a cross face and develops passing pressure.
Ruotolo's leg remains in inside position, and he is able to create distance. Eventually he inverts for another leg entanglement. As Jimenez gets free, he stands and nearly hops onto Ruotolo's back. Ruotolo squares up and sits down, locking up another leg entanglement. He works on a heel hook which appears deep.
Jimenez scrambles to defend and they return to their feet. Regulation time expires.
Jimenez, up by two, selects to start from closed guard in overtime. He is able to break Ruotolo's posture and secure a dominant angle. Keeping his legs closed, he methodically shimmies around Ruotolo's arms toward the back.
Jimenez locks in a body triangle but Ruotolo spirals away. Jimenez continues to chase for the back as he works to set in a choke. Amid Ruotolo's roll, Jimenez sets his hooks, securing the points and the sudden victory.
ROBERTO JIMENEZ def TYE RUOTOLO via GOLDEN SCORE
Elimination Round: John Combs vs Pierre Olivier-LeClerc
LeClerc pulls guard and works to tie up Combs's legs, but Combs is quick to hop passed the guard. LeClerc re-guards and earns a sweep. Combs easily sweeps back to top position, now up 5-2.
Combs stays nimble, refusing to settle into position. He slides quickly through the guard again for three more points and hops to knee on belly to advance his score to ten. He allows LeClerc to re-guard before attacks the neck with a guillotine. He releases the chinstrap grip to jump through the guard once more.
With a margin of 13-2, the match is over.
JOHN COMBS def PIERRE OLIVER-LeCLERC via TECHNICAL FALL
Elimination Round: Vagner Rocha vs Kody Steele
Don't expect either of these men to back down. In the opening minute, they are forehead to forehead and every collar tie is audible.
But it's mostly posturing. Four minutes in, the action hasn't hinted at going toward the mat.
This doesn't change in the back half of the match, as each man is assessed three penalties for passivity.
When regulation ends, Steele is awarded the right to choose the starting position. He decides to let the match continue on the feet.
Rocha takes the first shot, scooping up a leg, but Steele escapes. After some hand fighting, Rocha takes another shot, which is defended again.
Halfway through the overtime, Steel takes his first shot, a single leg, bur Rocha has too much space and is able to get free.
Towards the edge of the mat, Rocha takes a more confident shot while Steele is on his back foot. He sends Steele hard toward the mat. The match is stopped out of bounds, and Rocha is awarded his two-point victory.
VAGNER ROCHA def KODY STEELE via GOLDEN SCORE
Elimination Round: Pedro Marinho vs Johnny Tama
Tama pulls guard early. Marnho steps in and bites with an Estima Lock. Tama is forced to scramble and Marinho unleashes his trademark explosive passing style.
Tama remains composed and retains his guard. Marinho stays out of range and looks for opportunities to sprint in through small windows.
As Tama tries to close the distance, Marinho flies over the guard and nearly secures back control with a threatening choke set up. Tama defends and grips a leg to counter the attack. Marinho is forced to flee out of bounds and the match is reset in Tama's open guard.
Marinho explode over the top Tama's guard again, this time securing a tight guillotine as Tama fights to retain his guard. Tama tries to clear the choke, but Marinho keeps his grip from top position to bottom, and earns the submission victory.
PEDRO MARINHO def JOHNNY TAMA via GUILLOTINE CHOKE
Semifinal: Roberto Jimenez vs John Combs
Jimenez jumps to closed guard, comes back to his feet, and jumps to guard again. He uses the guard to secure a body lock with his arms, then releases his guard and begins circling toward Combs's back.
Once behind him, Jimenez makes short work of rolling over the top of Combs and locking in a back control with a body triangle.
He dominates the position, but never sets his hooks to earn points. Combs stands up and Jimenez jumps to guard again. Combs dives on an ankle lock, but rethinks it and tries to blitz past the guard.
While scrambling to pass, Combs hones in on a chinstrap, and sits back for a guillotine. Jimenez pops his head out and comes to top position, securing two points.
Jimenez is aggressive in his passing attempts, but Combs blasts up for a double leg sweep and evens the score at two.
Combs is often able to get past Jimenez's legs, but can't secure the position. Jimenez eventually sits him down and pummel his legs inside. He bites on a heel hook which Combs defends.
Jimenez pulls Combs into his closed guard and secures a triangle. He switches to a reverse triangle and attacks a Kimura, but can't get the finish before time expires.
In overtime, Jimenez elects to work from his closed guard, and picks up where he left off. He locks a triangle, switches to a reverse triangle, and uses a Kimura to bump Combs over. From the top, Jimenez earns the submission victory.
ROBERTO JIMENEZ def JOHN COMBS by ARM LOCK
Semifinal: Vagner Rocha vs Pedro Marinho
Rocha has a way of intimidating even the most explosive of competitors into inactivity. Three minutes into the match, neither athlete has moved toward the mat. Instead, they club with collar ties, rub foreheads, sweep at the feet and collect passivity penalties.
Each competitor has been assessed three penalties with two minutes left in the match. Vagner and Marinho take more aggressive feints at takedowns, but neither man makes a legitimate attempt to bring the match to the mat.
In overtime, Rocha is awarded the right to choose the starting position and elects to start on top in closed guard.
Rocha tires to stand immediately, but Marinho takes the opportunity to scoop Rocha's leg and attack a knee bar.
Rocha takes an angle toward a pass, but Marinho locks up 50-50. He aggressively raises his hips and chops at Rocha's free leg trying to sweep. Rocha eventually gets free and returns to Marinho's closed guard before both competitors decide to stand and wrestle.
On the border, Rocha shoots with a takedown similar to the one he used defeat Steele. It goes out of bounds and they are reset.
Rocha shoots another double leg and lands in Marinho's guillotine. He frees his head and Marinho scrambles free, but Rocha stays in top position as the match travels out of bounds.
Off the mat, neither competitor is content to stop fighting until the referee awards the victory to Rocha.
VAGNER ROCHA def PEDRO MARINHO via GOLDEN SCORE
Kumite III Final: Roberto Jimenez vs Vagner Rocha
Jimenez doesn't need to stand and wrestle with Rocha. He jumps guard and tries to attack Rocha's balance with lumberjack sweeps. When Rocha breaks the guard, Jimenez inverts underneath then stands back up.
After some hand fighting, Jimenez jumps guard again and Rocha takes the opportunity to slam him on his back.
Jimenez continues attacking from his closed guard. When he loses it, he attacks a leg lock, but Rocha separates and starts his passing game.
As Rocha works at his low squat passing game, Jimenez finds a gap to sneak underneath into a kiss of the dragon attack and takes Rocha's back. Rocha stands up and slams Jimenez, who is still riding his back. Jimenez attacks with chokes but can't get an arm beneath the neck. He earns no points for the position because he never set his hooks, but he is awarded the choice of position as regulation expires.
Jimenez chooses to work from closed guard. He opens the guard and nearly blasts into a double leg takedown on Rocha, but it's well defended.
In Jimenez's guard, Rocha finds the angle to free himself from Jimenez's legs and nearly finishes a back step back, but Jimenez scrambles free.
Jimenez pulls Rocha off balance and attacks an ankle, then sits up for a sweep attempt, but neither attack has enough magnitude to threaten Rocha.
Rocha attempts the back step pass twice more. He appears to see an opportunity with this movement pattern. But he can't finish it.
As the match nears the end, Jimenez fights to create offense, but Rocha remains heavy and stops Jimenez from attacking effectively.
At the conclusion of overtime, the match goes to referee decision. Jimenez is awarded the victory.
ROBERTO JIMENEZ def VAGNER ROCHA via REFEREE DECISION