This Sunday night the Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBi) returns for its 11th instalment, this time for the 170lbs belt which has been vacated by previous champion, a certain Garry Tonon.
As per every EBi tournament, the roster of competitors varies from well known BJJ champions to lesser known national competitors who, whilst dangerous and capable causing an upset, should make for relatively easy pickings for the elite level competitors.
As per every EBi, the Danaher Death Squad is a daunting presence, but unlike most of the previous tournaments, two members of the squad are involved from the outset with both Gordon Ryan and Oliver Taza aiming to come away with the belt. Ryan is the senior competitor of the two and the far more decorated, being the open weight and middleweight champion. But Taza has prodigious talents and has been working away on the local grappling scene before getting the call up to EBi and will be keen to prove himself against his team mate.
Another notable name scheduled to compete is Vagner Rocha, a former UFC fighter and ADCC trials winner who happens to possess a mean armbar, which could be a huge asset in the overtime rounds.
As ever, 10th Planet have representatives in the tournament, with both Nathan Orchard and Richie Martinez hoping to claim the vacant title. Both men have fallen short in their previous EBi outings but this could be the perfect opportunity to finally be the bride after several outings as bridesmaids.
Darragh O’Conail is the only European representative on the card but brings with him a wealth of experience, competing on the European IBJJF scene and in submission only competitions in the UK. O’Conail is arguably known more for his accomplishments in the Gi so this will be a tough test for him, but if he can get to the semi-finals, it should be considered a very good night for him.
Karen Darabedyan is a Hayastan fighter under Gokor Chivichyan and will have extensive knowledge of leg locks – as most Sambo players do – but unfortunately for him, a lot of the BJJ competitors have now caught up with Sambo in their knowledge of. As such, Darabedyan may have to look at other ways to finish if he’s going to make an impact in this tournament.
Also on this card is the return of ‘Combat Jiu Jitsu’, a rule set devised by Eddie Bravo, whereby competitors are allowed to palm strike each other whilst they are grappling on the floor. No standing strikes are allowed, and no strikes of any kind are allowed in overtime. The competitors announced thus far are: Chad George, Nick Honstein and JM Holland, with one more announcement yet to come.
Confirmed line-up for the welterweight tournament so far: