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The official brackets for Subversiv 4 have been released! Sixteen teams of three competitors will square off in this squad vs squad showdown under the Fight to Win submission-only ruleset.
Each team is comprised of one heavyweight, one lightweight and one female competitor. The winning team of each round will be decided by a best of three matches, meaning several underdogs could push through to the later rounds in this event. While that makes it hard to predict what matches we'll see, there are some interesting early round matches we're guaranteed — or very likely — to see.
See the entire list of competitors here.
Tex Johnson vs Fellipe Trovo
Gracie Barra and Fight Sports are the most evenly matched first round pairing. The two heavyweights between these teams could give us one of the most exciting early matchups. Fellipe Trovo has gotten the better of Tex Johnson in both of their previous encounters. But they have never had a no-gi match, and they have never fought against each other in the Fight to Win ruleset. Both of these changes could play in Tex’s favor. Still, Trovo’s most recent win over Tex was a win via triangle. Tex will want to avenge the loss with a submission win. He’s not hiding his skill set; his best weapon is his footlock. If their last performances at Subversiv 3 are any indication, they will each be hunting for submissions for the entire match, and that’s exactly what we hope to see.
Tex Johnson vs Tim Spriggs
Oliver Taza vs Arnaldo Maidana
Team New York and Checkmat are both heavy favorites to get through their first-round matchups. If that happens as expected, those teams will meet in the quarterfinals, where we will get an unusual matchup between Oliver Taza and Arnaldo Maidana. These two compete at different weight classes and in different scenes. Taza is stepping up to the heavyweight category for Team New York, though he normally competes at 77 kg. Maidana will have a significant weight advantage over Taza, but Taza may have the advantage in leg entanglements. Although Maidana has never lost via heel hook, Taza is incredibly successful in his heel hook finishing percentage. That may help him neutralize Maidana’s weight advantage. But Maidana is a finisher too. If Taza sells out on an attack, he may open himself to counter, and Maidana will certainly capitalize.
Watch: Oliver Taza vs Valdir Araujo at JitzKings 185 lb Tournament
Nick Ronan vs Gabriel Almeida
A quarterfinal matchup between Team New York and Checkmat would also give us a match between Nick Ronan and Gabriel Almeida. Almeida has been one of the most active competitors since May of this year. He’s had ups and downs this year, but most of his matches have been against the best in the business. Nick Ronan may be best known as a leg locker. While he won’t shy away from a leg exchange with Almeida, he also has fierce back attacks and guard passing. Ronan would be the underdog in this match, but a win against Almeida would be an opportunity for him to emerge in the next tier of no-gi competitors.
Watch: Gabriel Almeida and Arnaldo Maidana Drilling Takedowns
Lucas Barbosa vs Isiah Wright
Isaiah Wright has been a mainstay on the Fight to Win stage. He’s demonstrated his affinity to hunting for submissions, and that’s helped him to stay atop the Fight to Win charts. But Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa will be his biggest test yet. Hulk is an ADCC bronze medalist and a four-time no-gi world champ. Wright is unlikely to shy away. He’ll be on the attack. But Hulk’s explosive game is overwhelming for anyone.
Watch: Isiah Wright vs David Garcia at Fight to Win 152
John Combs vs Hugo Marques
This potential quarterfinal matchup screams fight of the night. Marques is a no-gi world champion with a flashy passing style and a sixth sense for his opponent’s back. But Combs is a true veteran of the Fight to Win ruleset; he’s had 14 matches on the platform. He’s savvy from everywhere and has a fierce guillotine. If this match takes place in the second round, it could be a wild scramble which may end quickly.
Watch: John Combs vs Ruben Rivera at Fight to Win 150
William Tackett vs Tex Johnson
If Level Black and Fight Sports push through to the second round, we’ll get to see this rematch from last year’s BJJ Fanatics Grand Prix. Tex won that match in an EBI-style overtime, but Tackett had controlled much of the regulation period. Tackett has proven that he can defend Tex’s leglock entries, and he nullified Tex’s size, passing the guard and getting to the mount. Tackett will be the smaller of the two in this match, but he’s bigger than he was during the Grand Prix. He hasn’t only grown physically; Tackett’s game has developed significantly since he last encountered Tex. But, given the ruleset, Tex may come out in attack mode in this match, so both competitors could come into this contest with their throttles open.
Watch: William Tackett vs Tex Johnson at BJJ Fanatics Submission Only Grand Prix
Rafaela Guedes vs Amanda Leve
Rafaela Guedes is the newest black belt making waves at Atos. She earned double gold at Pans earlier this month, and is looking to follow that up with another winning performance at No-Gi Pans in November. But we haven’t seen much of her in sub-only formats, and that’s where Amanda Leve has excelled. She won the ADCC West Coast Trials in 2019 and went on to compete as the youngest woman in the +60 kg division at ADCC last year. She’s beaten some of the toughest competitors in the no-gi scene, including Lis Clay, Maggie Grindatti and Kendall Reusing.
Watch: Amanda Leve vs Maggie Grindatti at ADCC West Coast Trials 2019
Potential Late-Round Matches
The team versus team format of Subversiv makes it difficult to predict which teams will advance to the semis and finals. But if the stars align, we could see some wild matchups toward the end of the evening. Here are a few to watch for:
- Kody Steele vs John Combs - Potential Semifinal
- Nick Ronan vs Andy Murasaki - Potential Semifinal
- Oliver Taza vs Lucas Barbosa - Potential Semifinal
- Elisabeth Clay vs Rafaela Guedes - Potential Final
- Gabriel Almeida vs Kody Steele - Potential Final
- Lucas Hulk vs William Tackett - Potential Final