A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.
Yuri Simoes took on his second professional MMA fight just recently and wasn’t able to get his first win on the board. He lost a pretty clear-cut decision in his debut to Fan Rong at the end of 2020 and Simoes was eager to bring his record back to level in his second fight. Unfortunately he lost another decision to the undefeated Russian Daniyal Zainalov, but this time around was significantly less clear-cut.
Simoes spent most of the first round on his back eating strikes from Zainalov before attacking with a heelhook towards the end of it. The second saw an improvement from Simoes as he took Zainalov’s back and spent several minutes attempting to secure a choke, while the third round saw him struggle on the feet before nearly securing an armbar. Zainalov was awarded the split decision and Simoes was far from happy with the result.
Danielle Kelly gets ONE debut scheduled
It was big news when ONE Championship made the decision to sign rising BJJ star Danielle Kelly with the intention of having her compete in grappling and eventually MMA for the promotion. Apparently Kelly will be sticking to grappling only for the time being and has had her first fight for the promotion announced, against legendary MMA fighter and kickboxer Mei Yamaguchi.
Yamaguchi has been fighting since 2007, when Kelly was just 11 years old. Since then she’s had over 50 professional matches under various different combat sports rulesets, including a pair of grappling matches. If this were an MMA fight then this would be a tough fight for Kelly but seeing as Yamaguchi is almost entirely a striker, a grappling match against her should be relatively smooth-sailing for the Silver Fox black belt.
IBJJF world champion Nicholas Meregali to make no gi debut
Meregali is a two-time IBJJF world champion and very likely have doubled his gold medal haul earlier this year had he not been disqualified from the finals for unsportsmanlike conduct. Almost immediately after he missed out on the finals, Meregali started to look towards a different world championship this year and he was given an invite to compete at the ADCC world championships as a result.
This would have been the first time that Meregali had ever competed without the gi on as he’s specialized in the more traditional form of Jiu-Jitsu up until now. It seems as though Meregali has made the smart choice to get some practice in before the ADCC world championships as he’s going to face IBJJF no gi world champion Arnaldo Maidana at a Who’s Number One event later this month.
Lucas Pinheiro wins big at Fight 2 Win 195
The travelling circus of F2W rolled in to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and brought the same standard of high-level grappling that the promotion has become well-known for. The main event saw Lucas Pinheiro take on IBJJF no gi world champion Estevan ‘the giant slayer’ Martinez in a tough battle at the lightest weightclass. It was as exciting as could be expected and both men went all out to try and take home the win.
In the end, Pinheiro was awarded the judge’s decision and Martinez lost his second superfight of the year so far, after coming up short against Mikey Musumeci at Who’s Number One. Earlier on in the night, Reece Killbrew submitted David Rodriguez with a tight armbar and the young Helena Crevar made a big statement as she continued her winning ways on the F2W mats with a lovely heelhook finish.
South Carolina’s June Welch recently became the first female to win a high school wrestling state championship after taking home the Class AAA 106lbs title.
A criminal attempted to rob an off-duty police officer in Brazil who also happened to be a BJJ black belt and received a triangle choke as a result.
In light of the recent invasion of Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin has been suspended from his role as honorary president of the International Judo Federation.