The IBJJF Europeans are currently well underway, with most of the world’s BJJ elite flocking towards Lisbon. The IBJJF might not agree with everyone when it comes to rules, but the Europeans are one of the three biggest events under this organization’s banner. That causes all the highest level grapplers to compete at what is often the tournament with the highest number of competitors in a given year. That said, the Europeans will provide us with a week’s worth of grappling entertainment, but then what? What are the beet upcoming grappling tournaments we have to wait for in 2020?
Let’s face it, open tournaments sare fun and all, but the really exciting fights lie elsewhere. And it is not just enough to offer a cash prize, there has to be an entrainment factor as well for people to watch. A lot of the submission only professional tournaments have got this down, and I see 202 as the year when Pro Jiu-Jitsu will bloom more than ever. We will miss Gordon Ryan’s antics after his retirement, but his departure leaves a void that plenty of people would be happy to fill. AN what better way to see who’s up for it than a few handpicked extra high-level grappling tournaments?
Take Your Pick
A decade ago, the only way to watch a tournament was to be a part of one. Youtube did help a bit when copyright and geographical issues didn’t prevent us from accessing clips of matches. Fast forward to today, and there’s simply n way you can keep up with every tournament out there! IN fac,t only trying to follow the highest level professional grappling tournaments is still a very daunting task. That said, I personally really enjoy the variety and choice we have nowadays.
Let’s try and keep things as simple as possible – Gi and No-Gi. When it comes to No-Gi, let’s leave all the IBJJF and AJP stuff aside. Submission only is the way to go, with things like EBI, Fihgt2WIN and Submission Underground preparing some crazy cards in the very near future. When it comes to Gi BJJ, Kasai, Polaris, FIVE grappling and even the IBJJF events are going to battle it out for the best entertainment factor.
The truth of the matter is, today we not only have the option to take our pick of the best grappling tournaments to watch, but we need to do it. Even though we’re all barely in 2020, there are already a few events on the horizon that promise to be extremely entertaining. In a year with no ADCC, apart from trials, of course, there’s a gap to be filled. Which of these grappling tournaments will be able to step up and claim the title of the best tournament for 2020? le’s take a look at several fo the upcoming best tournaments featuring professional grapplers.
Upcoming Grappling Tournaments You Shouldn’t Miss
With all the possibilities out there, what area the Grappling tournaments that are most worth your time? Well, apart from looking at ht the cards your chosen method of viewing is huge. namely, if you want to see something live, you’ll probably need to pick something in your vicinity. On the other hand, if you don’t mind streaming events, UFC Fight Pass or any other streaming service will more than do the trick. All you need to know is the date and time, and preferably, the card. To that extent, there are some crazy matchups coming our way in 2020 that are promising to be absolute fireworks!
Kasai Pro 7
Kasai Pro 7 takes place in Dallas Texas on February 1st. This time around, it is their World Heavyweight Championship, which, on its own is a guarantee for entertainment. The roster of 8 challengers for the title includes Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, Joao Gabriel, Nicky Rodriguez, Bruno Bastos, Patric Gaudio, Vinny Magalhaes, and Kyel Boehm. In other words, the who is who of grappling heavyweight royalty, without “King” Gordon Ryan, of course.
On the same card, apart from the heavyweight tournament, there are also three super fights to look forward to. namely, Renato Canuto will face off against Dante Leon in a much-anticipated matchup. Pedro Rocha also takes on Mike Perez, and Raquel Canuto will square offa against Gabi Mccomb.
Fight 2 Win 136
Fight2Win is probably the biggest professional Jiu-Jitsu tournament out there. One of the pioneers of high-level pro grappling tournaments, Fight2Win’s upcoming event is going to be their 136th one. The full event card is still not announced to the public. However, the main event is known, with The always exciting Gabi Garcia set to grapple Abu Dhabi World Pro champion Gabrieli Pessanha. Pessanha is a fresh black belt, but that might just be the perfect storm when it comes to upsetting 4-time ADCC champion Gabi Garcia. With such an electric main event, one wonders who else is going to b on this card. It takes place on January 24th, in Los Angeles.
Submission Underground 11
Submission underground started off really strong and was among the first SUbmission only No-Gi grappling tournaments out there. It did have a period of a decline, before founding Chael SOnen decided to amend the rules. Introducing tag team grappling is certainly an original way to promote a sub-only grappling tournament. Suffice to say it worked, and now, we’re staring at a gigantic SUG card about to take place on February 23d in the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon.
Teaming up for the most exciting tag-team grappling matchup yet are Craig Jones and Nicky Rodriguez against Kyle Boehm and Vinny Magalhaes. That’s enough for me to be in a constant mode of impatient anticipation already! The card also features some other great matchups with Al Iaquinta set to grapple Mike Perry, and jake shields welcoming Richie “Boogeyman” Martinez. As per the latest news, Samantha Bonilla and Danielle Perry will also grapple it out inside the cage.
EBI Combat Jiu-JItsu Worlds: Fetghwerweights
Finally, wrapping up with No-Gi tournaments more than well worth our time is the ever-present EBI. To be honest, I really miss the old format of the EBI, when it was Jiu-JItsu only. However, despite morphing into a full-blown COmbat JIu-JItsu event, EBI still remains one of the most exciting grappling tournaments to watch. March 8th brings about the Combat Jiu-JItsu World for the featherweights, with notables like Geo Martinez, Masakazu IManari and Richard Alarcon on the roster.
Finally, when it comes to the “vanilla” scene of BJ Jcomeptition, the IBJJF has all their usual tournaments up and about. The Europeans are underway currently, but you can still watch them via live streams daily. IN fact, the black belts haven’t gotten their chance just yet. The Worlds in both Gi and No-Giare coming up fast (spring and winter respectively), as well as the ever-entertaining Pans, to name just a few worth watching. Or participating in, depending on your choice.
Matches We’d Like To See In 2020
While grappling tournaments are definitely the way forward for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling martial arts in general, we also wouldn’t mind just seeing a few straight matchups, even if there’s no accompanying undercard. the ADCC left many unanswered questions and produced new stars that have been killing it in the aftermath. Conversely, we wouldn’t mind seeing a few of them tangle their grappling horns any time in 2020.
Nick Rodriguez Vs Felipe Pena
This is going to be a No-Gi match, if/when it takes place. Nick Rodriguez is exciting against just about anyone, and he is still just a blue belt! His antics at the ADCC are legendary, particularly against Mahhamad Aly and Cyborg. That said, with several subsequent super fights Nick proved yeat against that he Danaher method of developing BJJ killers works like a charm. Who should he meet next? Why not the nemesis of his training partner Gordon Ryan, the man who beat the “King” twice, Felipe Pena? Pena would definitely look for a hefty payday, but there are promotions out there that can do it. What are you waiting for?
Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa vs. Lachlan Giles
Yeah, this is one matchup everyone is going to watch. Lachlan had a stellar finish to 2019, first by disposing of an entire team single-handedly at Kinektic, and then beating several heavyweights in the ADC absolute to win the bronze. The Aussie leg locks master is not one to shy away from a challenge, and Hulk would bring just that to the table. the fact that Barbosa is competing at heavyweight only makes things more interesting, given Lachaln’s pedigree against bigger opponents.
Tye Ruotolo Vs. Nicky Ryan
Grappling tournaments are great places to uncover new talent. In the case of the ADCC< that would be the understatement of the year. Tye Ruotolo went in as blue belt, and Nicky as a purple belt, both among the youngest to ever compete at the “Olympics of BJJ”. Tye was plain unlucky not to win bronze, only derailed by Paolo Myao’s experience and disturbingly flexible knees. Nicky, on the other hand, Funny enough, it was Miyao that disposed of Nicky as well, although in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Seeing Nicky and tye battle it out, under any ruleset is going to be perhaps the most massive event of 2020. Somehow, I think this one has a great chance of taking place.
Ffion Davies vs. Mayssa Bastos
Let’s not forget the finer half of BJJ as well. If grappling tournaments made a huge leap in one area in 2019, it was in terms of providing chances for grappling women to shine. We expect more of the same, emphasis on more, in 2020 as well. Ffion Davies did a wonderful job beating just about anyone in 2019. Mayassa Bastos is yet another young competitor and fresh black belt that has had an amazing year. matching these two up, in either or both Gi and No-Gi is just a question of time. Why not hurry up and do it? Grappling promotions? Anyone?
While training Jiu-Jitsu is the best part of the art, grappling tournaments also have a lot to contribute. First up, they offer a great alternative to most of the Netflix nonsense available nowadays. Moreover, they are great talking subjects among teammates. Even more importantly, the open up ideas and make people try things and explore, elevating the level of JIu-=Jitsu worldwide. Plus, form time to time the bring about people that like to taunt each other prior to matches, providing an extra entertainment factor. I hope that we’ll see a lot more grappling tournaments in 2020 than we did in 2019. A tall order, I know, but a perfectly doable one.