This weekend, Fight to Win Pro 26 takes place in Denver and is headlined by a couple of competitors who will be familiar to fans, not just of submission grappling, but MMA too.
Since retiring from MMA, Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral has spent a lot of his time concentrating on not only teaching Jiu Jitsu and MMA, but also competing at grappling events. Having featured on the much maligned Metamoris promotion previously, ‘Babalu’ now makes his debut on the Fight to Win Pro stage with a tough match against a wily veteran in Eliot Marshall.
Both competitors found success as MMA fighters and have prospered similarly since switching their focus to Jiu Jitsu, with Marshall having competed and won at Fight To Win Pro on multiple occasions in the past as well as at IBJJF competitions, and Babalu finding his own success in IBJJF competitions and at other smaller competitions in the US.
The key for this match will most likely be if Marshall can stuff Babalu’s takedowns and land some of his own. I fully expect him to use his greater experience to get the win.
The co-main event of the card is an 185lbs Gi match between Marshall’s Easton BJJ team mate, John Combs and University of Ground Fighting’s Steve Patterson.
Combs has previously competed at Fight To Win Pro, having mixed success with a win against Hayward Charles at FTWP 7 but losing to the extremely talented DJ Jackson back at FTWP 18. A talented wrestler before he turned to Jiu Jitsu, Combs is as comfortable in the stand up exchanges as he is on the ground and his unusual and high pace style of grappling will be tough for Pattison to stop.
Patterson himself is no slouch however and has previously medalled at the No-Gi world’s and won against Chris Hartwig on FTWP 13 and, whilst learning under the great Rodrigo ‘Comprido’ Medeiros, will no doubt have made Patterson a very able competitor. This could be a tough ask for him to come away with the win against a very talented opponent.
Rossie Snow makes her return to Fight To Win Pro following a 15-second loss to Mackenzie Dern back at Fight To Win Pro 4; she’ll be hoping for a better performance against Beth Kowlanowski in a 145lbs No-Gi match.
Despite such a quick loss to probably the number one female Jiu Jitsu player on the planet right now, Snow is no joke and has placed at the world’s at brown belt twice before securing a world masters gold medal at black belt. Whilst she has struggled for success on the Fight to Win Pro stage, she’ll be hoping to get the win at the third time of asking.
Another veteran of Fight to Win Pro, Kowlanowski competed at the very first event, going the distance in a draw with Julie Hoponick and then going on to lose the rematch at Fight to Win Pro 4 via decision. With neither of these two women yet to show the world how well they can perform on this stage, expect them both to come out fired up and looking to put on a show, which will hopefully make for entertaining viewing.
The rest of the card is as follows:
215lbs Black Belt Gi: David Lucarelli (Fudochi BJJ) vs. Chad Latta (Factory X)
180lbs Brown Belt Gi: Isiah Wright (Easton BJJ) vs. Thomas Keenan (GDBJJ)
205lbs Brown Belt Gi: Jeremiah Talley (Kompound) vs. Don Westman (Colorado BJJ Stapleton)
190lbs Brown Belt No-Gi: Bruce Bugbee (Easton BJJ) vsvs.Tom Rampley (Busy BJJ)
175lbs Brown Belt Gi: Peter Straub (Easton BJJ) vs. Jeremy Hastings (Katharo Jiu Jitsu)
170lbs Brown Belt Gi: Tim Galluzi (Easton BJJ) vs. Evan Barrett (Castle Rock BJJ)
170lbs Brown Belt Gi: Brandon Russell (Easton BJJ) vs. Jeremy Adler (The Farm BJJ)
195lbs Brown Belt Gi: Brandon Parker (RFLX) vs. DC Hazen (Way of Jiu Jitsu)
145lbs Brown Belt Gi: Jeremiah Amores (Easton BJJ) vs. Matt Manzanares (Cheyenne BJJ)
155lbs Purple Belt BJJ: Brittney Elkin (Kompound) vs. Ashley Bilak (Jubera Jiu Jitsu
220lbs Purple Belt No-Gi: Dante Florez (Trials MMA) vs. Brian Rogers (Factory X)
125lbs Purple Belt BJJ: Jennifer Perez (Easton BJJ) vs. Tessa Neely (Jubera Jiu Jitsu)
145lbs Purple Belt No-Gi: Tyler Spurlin (10th Planet) vs. Tyler Cutsforth (Warrior Fitness Center)
205lbs Purple Belt Gi: Jesse Franklin (Easton BJJ) vs. Jeremy Osheim (Factory x)
200lbs Purple Belt Gi: Richard Vigil (Kompound) vs. Victor Mcculough (Gracie Barra)
170lbs Purple Belt Gi: Sean Speer (Catalyst BJJ) vs. Matt Cano (Cheyenne BJJ)
155lbs Purple Belt No-Gi: Casey Molina (Edge MMA) vs. Jalen Reyes (Way of Jiu Jitsu)
165lbs Purple Belt Gi: Louis Desantis (Mcmahon BJJ) vs. Keifer Johnson (Darkhorse BJJ)
145lbs Purple Belt Gi: Robert Lamoire (303 Training Center) vs. William Ellis (Pangsuko)
155lbs Purple Belt Gi: Daymar Ortiz (Zingano BJJ) vs. James Mikus (Way Of Jiu Jitsu)
145lbs Purple Belt No-Gi: Robert Parish (10th Planet BJJ) vs. James Rawley (Cheyenne BJJ)
180lbs Purple Belt Gi: Paul Gummerson (303 Training Center) vs. Daniel Neis (Flatirons MMA)
135lbs Blue Belt Gi: Eric Sainz (Zingano BJJ) vs. Darryl Lebus (Team Tooke)130lbs
Teen No-Gi: Avery Harter (Easton BJJ) vs. Jaya Haggerty (Trials MMA)
105lbs Orange Belt No-Gi: Wilson Sojo (High Altitiude ) vs. Ethan Debleak (Gracie Aurora)
95lbs Orange Belt No-Gi: Zayne Garcia (Way of Jiu Jitsu) vs. Kaidon Sullivan (Fusboxe)
70lbs Kids No-Gi: Demarco Cosme (Way of Jiu Jitsu) vs. John Pineda Jr (Team Tooke)
70lbs No-Gi: Diego Garcia (Way of Jiu Jitsu) vs. Emerson Preuss (Catalyst BJJ)