If you’re a grappling fan, then you have probably had this weekend marked down in your calendar for a number of weeks, as it is stacked with grappling action from Friday night right through until Sunday evening, spanning across three different promotions. Fight to Win Promotions kicks the action off on Friday night and Tanko Submission Championship ends the weekend on Sunday night, with a stacked Submission Underground event sandwiched in between. Some of the biggest stars in both BJJ and MMA will be showcasing their talents this weekend and we have made a list of matches to watch this weekend, because to be quite honest a preview for each show would be so time consuming you would miss all the action just getting to the end.
Fight To Win Pro kicks off the weekend and here are our picks of the matches from a card of 20+ matches!
Fight To Win Pro 34
Gordon Ryan faces Eliot Kelly in the main event of a stacked card and this should be a must see for any fan of Jiu Jitsu or grappling. Ryan is a multiple time EBI champion and was victorious in his previous outing on Fight To Win, although he was unable to get the submission against Lucas Barbosa, although not for the want of trying. He may struggle again this time around against Eliot Kelly, a Fight To Win veteran who has had several successful performances for the promotion who will be keen to add Ryan to his growing lists of scalps.
The matchup between Elliot Marshall and Jared Dopp is a titanic No-Gi battle featuring two very seasoned and accomplished competitors. Marshall has had a long association with MMA and as well as competing has also taught several MMA competitors since his retirement. Dopp is an ADCC silver medalist and world champion who shocked the world with his performance in ADCC as a purple belt, since his promotion to black belt, Dopp has continued to showcase outstanding skills and is easily one of the best ultra heavyweight grapplers in the world at present.
15-year old Nicky Ryan will get the chance to showcase his skills on the same card as his older brother when he faces Derek Alumbaugh for the No-Gi purple belt title and after winning a bronze medal in the recent ADCC trials against adults, much is expected of the younger Ryan and it would be no surprise if he walked away from this match with the belt in hand.
Headlining the main event of Submission Underground is a grudge match between MMA veteran and Skrap Pack member, Jake Shields and Conor McGregor’s flunky/Grappling coach, Dillon Danis. This match has caused both competitors to talk plenty of smack about each other, with Danis coming out worse off thanks to Shields photoshopping skills. Antics aside, this is an impossible match to predict, as Shields is now training with the Danaher Death Squad to compliment his wrestling base, it will be interesting to see what strategy he uses against a younger and very athletic black belt competitor like Danis. With the potential for this match to get very heated, it could be the competitor who keeps his cool who ultimately walks away with the win.
After announcing his MMA retirement Urijah Faber is looking to make the move in to submission grappling and he couldn’t have a harder first opponent in Paulo Miyao, who is a dominant force in IBJJF competitions and a world champion. Miyao has recently been banned from IBJJF completion due to a positive drugs test so a move in to sub-only shows is the best way to stay competitive and keep active during his ban. Faber will make a big statement to the grappling world should he get a win over Miyao in this match.
Tanko Submission Championship
Daniel Strauss faces Lucio Sergio Dos Santos in the headline match on Tanko Submission Championships debut show. The event has 15 superfights and a 4-man Grand Prix to keep fans excited, however the Strauss versus Dos Santos matchup is one of the most intriguing bouts on the card. Strauss has been an active competitor throughout his grappling career and is also an accomplished coach, podcaster and commentator. Known for his guillotine choke and top pressure, Strauss is a tough opponent for anyone in the UK, but Dos Santos is no joke. The Brazilian has won world titles at the UAEJJ tournament, as well as the European Championships. Dos Santos has also been a black belt nearly as long as Strauss has been training, so this is a true battle of youth over experience and should be very entertaining to watch.
The recently crowned Densetsu Champion, Lloyd Cooper is no longer facing Paddy Pimblett on this card and instead will face Chris Walsh in his match. Cooper is on a tear at the moment and is the man to beat at UK sub-only competitions so he will be brimming with confidence, especially against an opponent taking the match on short notice. Walsh is a Next Generation brown belt who will be looking to make his mark on the sub-only scene with a win over Cooper and to prove he is more than just a stand-in for Pimblett.