We are only into the second month of 2020 and already we have been overloaded with BJJ and submission grappling. From IBJJF competitions such as the Europeans to submission grappling shows all over the world. Here are some of the few storylines after just one month in 2020.
Keenan's Return to Gi Competition
Keenan made his return to the Gi after opening his new mega academy Legion AJJ. In his division he had 3 matches, defeating the likes of Jackson Sousa and Adam Wardzinski of Checkmat BJJ to take Gold. While in the absolute division he would win 3 matches, beating 2018 IBJJF World Super-Heavyweight Champion Mahamed Aly, before being caught in a triangle armbar combination by the always dangerous Kingz Athlete Felipe Andrew. A bit of a shock, not that Keenan was defeated but it was the first time he'd been submitted in the Kimono at black belt. However just this past weekend at Flograppling's 'Who's Number 1' Event, Keenan took a shock points defeat to the black belt Neophyte Roberto Jimenez who was making his black belt debut.
The Lighter Weight Competitors steal the show at the euros
This Years IBJJF Europeans saw some amazing results, including the female absolute's being won by Kingz Europe's Ffion Davies, who in turn made history by becoming the lightest competitor to win the Black belt absolute division at the Europeans. While in the Male absolute the rooster/light featherweight World Champion Mikey Musumeci beat two athletes much bigger then him, including Seif Houmine who weighed 160kg !! Mikey would only end up being bested by 2018 World Super-heavyweight champion Mahamed Aly with only Advantages seperating them.
Professional Shows get bigger and bigger
Over in the US, F2W seems to get bigger and bigger with each event, making some quality match ups and having fortnightly events ! With this weekend Progress JJ's Kaynan Duarte facing off with MGA Black belt Vinicius Ferreira in the main event of F2W 136 with other world class athletes such as Kingz Athlete Sergio Rios, Jena Bishop and Miha Perhavec.
Over here in the UK, the two powerhouse promotions of Polaris and Grapplefest continue to grow, announcing mega match ups on their shows. Grapplefest recently announced their Partnership with US Based thirdcoast Grappling, bringing the King Gordon Ryan over to UK facing off against 10th Planets Kyle Boehm for a May Show. While also having Dante Leon, and the Ruotolo brothers competing on their next show at the end of the month. While over at Polaris, they recently announced the 'Polaris GP' an 8 Man Open weight Grand Prix, with Kaynan Duarte, Scramble Athlete Patrick Gaudio, Adam Wardzinski, Mike Perez and Freddie Vosgroene already announced with two more names to be added. We cant wait for either of the two events over here in Europe, with it showing the huge growth of BJJ and submission grappling in the UK and continent.
At this years at black belt we saw more European Medalists then ever, with five Gold Medals staying in Europe, and over 15 medalists hailing from Europe. We had all European black belt finals in the Female Lightweight division between Ffion Davies and Charlotte Von Baumgarten, and in the Male middleweight division you had Tommy Langaker facing off against Pedro Ramalho from Portugal. Year on year it seems more talent arrives from Europe on the black belt scene.