A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.
One of John Danaher’s brightest stars, Garry Tonon, has been plowing his way through the ranks at ONE Championship and had managed to amass a perfect 6-0 professional MMA record within the promotion. This is what led to Tonon being given the opportunity to challenge their reigning featherweight champion Thanh Le. Although he started out strong, it all went sideways incredibly quickly.
Tonon looked comfortable standing, and when Le countered one of his kicks with a punch, Tonon reacted quickly to drop to the mat and attack one of his legs. Le defended the attack perfectly and landed powerful shots to rock Tonon before seizing the moment and finishing him with strikes.
Since then, the internet has been set ablaze with drama between Tonon and Le’s training partners, Gordon Ryan and Ryan Hall respectively.
Andre Galvao booked to grapple Reinier de Ridder at ONE X
It was huge news when ADCC’s most decorated champion Andre Galvao signed a multi-fight contract with ONE Championship, and now he’s about to make his promotional debut. Galvao is sticking to what he does best for his first outing in the Asian promotion as he will be competing in a submission grappling match against the ONE Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight champion Reinier de Ridder.
His debut will come on the same card as another exciting grappling match, where Danielle Kelly will also be making her promotional debut against Mei Yamaguchi. All signs point to this being a match that Galvao should win, but it’s worth remembering that he’s fast-approaching 40 and hasn’t competed outside of the ADCC superfight in the last few years, so youth and activity will certainly be on de Ridder’s side.
John Combs defeats Bill Cooper at Fight 2 Win 196
The traveling circus that is Fight 2 Win has kept on moving as the promotion has hit Denver, Colorado. As always, the event managed to secure dozens of exciting grapplers to compete against one another across every belt rank. This time the headline match was a battle between two well-known American competitors in former ADCC trials winner John Combs and veteran grappler Bill ‘the grill’ Cooper.
Combs is best known for winning the ADCC West Coast trials in 2019 he’s getting ready to attempt the same feat later this year, so this fight against Cooper was a good opportunity for him to get a run out. The fight lasted less than a minute in the end as Combs immediately latched on to a guillotine as soon as the pair engaged and although Cooper defended well, it wasn’t enough to escape.
Kayla Harrison ends free agency to re-sign with PFL
It’s beenthe most interesting free agency sagas in recent memory for fans of elite grappling in MMA, but it’s finally come to an end. Two-time Olympic Judo champion and two-time PFL Lightweight world champion Kayla Harrison has made the decision to turn down both Bellator and the UFC in order to re-sign with the promotion that she’s spent the majority of her career with on a multi-year contract.
She appeared to come close to signing with the UFC at one point as she was publicly considering dropping all the way down to Bantamweight in order to fight the best that the promotion has to offer. She originally said that she was most concerned with her legacy and PFL would need to offer life-changing money to convince her to stay so the promotion must have stepped up in a big way in order to keep her on board.
Several members of the Gracie family have been named in an expose detailing controversy surrounding the Brazilian government’s social funds.
NCAA standout Pat Downey has had to withdraw from his professional MMA debut at Bellator 277 after suffering a nasty skin condition.
Five-time IBJJF world champion Mikey Musumeci has just put pen to paper and signed a contract to compete for ONE Championship in submission grappling.
Several elite competitors have been announced for the final North American ADCC trials event, including Gianni Grippo, PJ Barch, Kendall Reusing and more.