Two high-level competitions came and went over this past weekend. Sub Stars taking place in Miami Beach, FL and Artista Invitational 2 in Nashville, TN on Friday night. Sub Stars started us off with a long fight list of legendary matchups. The card was structured to put some of the most technical competitors head to head. In addition to the high submission oriented undercard, the co-main event featured a rematch between ADCC champion Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu and former Bellator Middleweight Champion Rafael Lovato Jr. The main event featured the always entertaining Gordan "The King" Ryan taking on a determined Aaron "Tex" Johnson. (SPOILER ALERT) Below is a light breakdown of matchups as well as the outcome of each.
Coming back rather quickly after a high-level win was the young and seasoned Roberto Jimenez. Roberto was able to win via takedown against the tough Dan Martinez. Renzo Gracie standout Ethan Crelinsten took a unanimous decision win over Enrico Cocco. A very technical set up caused Ana Viera to submit Vedha Toscano via kneebar. Nicky Ryan came back to the competition scene for the first time since ADCC. He was able to submit Gesais "JZ" Cavalcante with a tight and well applied outside heel hook. Vagner Rocha defeated Thiago Moises via takedown. An interesting surprise for the grappling community was the introduction to featured SUMO bouts. Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (1-6), Curtis "Razor" Blaydes (2-5), Ryuichi Yamamoto (5-1), and lastly Takeshi Amitani (6-1) fought a round-robin structured SUMO ruleset. The two multiple time SUMO champions ran the arena. The only win either UFC fighter received was against each other.
Nick "Black Belt Slayer" Rodriguez dominantly passed and RNC his opponent Roosevelt Sousa. The female standout and many-time black belt world champion Luiza Monteiro submitted Fight Sports own Maggie Grindatti in under two minutes via outside heel hook. Felipe Andrew took the spotlight submitting Patrick Gaudio via a signature straight ankle technique. Coming to the Co-Main event, we saw a back and forth contest between Cyborg and Lovato Jr. decided by a takedown. The Fight Sports heavy crowd was happy to see their professor take a win over such a game martial artist in Lovato. The main event capped the night off with another impressive win coming from Gordon "The King" Ryan. After much talk leading up to the match, Gordon was able to effortlessly pass the guard of Tex and after a few failed submissions caught him with a head and arm choke.
The Artista 2 Invitational brought its own tournament-style absolute challenge with the winner securing a $1,000 cash prize. The winner ended up being the favorite Tainan Daplra out of AOJ. Tainan forced his way to the number one slot using a very smooth and aggressive style. Only a brown belt under the all-time greats Rafa and Gui Mendes, the future is looking very securing for their prodigy. The main event brought world-caliber Brazilian Jiu Jitsu right to the south. World champion Marcio Andre faced off against AOJ top performing black belt Johnatha Alves. It was a referee decision that handed Johnatha the win after a 20 minute back and forth! Much respect was given by each competitor after each match. The love for the competition and respect is always a great characteristic to see.
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