The biggest party in grappling will kick off a three-week visit to Dallas on Saturday, February 13 with Fight To Win 163, featuring three high-profile matches, including a gi featherweight title fight. Diego “Pato” Oliveira will try to take Kennedy Maciel’s title in the main event. Before that, brown belt submission hunter Pedro Marinho will face Matheus Luna, and Aaron Tex Johnson will take on Max Gimenis.
Main Event: Kennedy Maciel vs Diego Oliveira
Fight To Win’s gi featherweight champion, Kennedy Maciel, is the no. 1 ranked no-gi lightweight, and is also a highly-ranked featherweight in the gi. He’ll have a bit of a weight advantage against Diego “Pato” Oliveira, who is the no. 5-ranked light featherweight. But don’t count him out. Pato has amassed 35 wins in his short black belt career, and just three losses. Each of those losses have come against some of the best competitors on the scene: Gabriel Sousa, Isaac Doederlein, and Michael Musumeci.
Kennedy has had a similar experience in his black belt career; he’s 54-11. He plays an aggressive passing game, but Pato’s resilient guard will test Kennedy’s abilities. Kennedy has a high submission rate, but it won’t be easy to get a tap from Pato. Oliveira has just one submission loss on his record, a Musumeci had to break Pato’s foot to get it.
Co-Main: Pedro Marinho vs Matheus Luna
Matheus Luna is usually considered a gi competitor, but he put his no-gi skills on display at the end of 2020 at the TMS GP, where he made it to the final before falling to Ethan Crelinsten in overtime. Luna hasn’t been submitted as a black belt, and he’s a scrapper, which makes this match against Pedro Marinho one to watch closely.
Watch: Two Vicious Guillotines From Pedro Marinho
Marinho is still a brown belt, but he’s been challenging — and beating — high-caliber black belts for years. And he’s as gritty as they come. He can wrestle, he has leg locks, and he has one of the most vicious guillotines around. Marinho thrives in scrambles, and Luna will not shy away from the heat. This match is going to be gritty.
Must Watch: Tex Johnson vs Max Gimenis
Speaking of gritty matches, Tex Johnson vs Max Gimenis is a throwback to an absolute bruiser from No-Gi Pans in 2019. Gimenis was well ahead on the scoreboard at the end of the match. Although Johnson gave up 11 points, he never stayed in a bad position for long. And the Fight To Win ruleset could play into Johnson’s A-game. All he needs is one good bite on a leg to take control of this match. As he demonstrated in his last Fight To Win appearance, he has other tools at his disposal.
Watch: Tex Johnson Scores Armlock From Triangle
But Gimenis is the likely favorite here. He’s 2-0 against Johnson, and he was on a tear in 2020. He was 13-2 last year, with his only losses coming against world champions, Victor Hugo and Gustavo Batista.
How to Watch Fight to Win 163:
On Your TV: Now Available on Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast & Apple TV.
Cast: Cast to your smart TV including Vizio, Samsung and LG TVs.
On The Go: Download the FloSports app on iOS or Android.
Video footage from the event will be archived and stored in a video library for FloGrappling subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscription.
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