With the world slowly opening up, Grappling competition has made its way back to the world. With F2W leading the way in America, over here in Europe, Polaris and Grapplefest have led the way in bringing Grappling back to our screens. Smaller promotions have also made a comeback. Empire Grappling which runs some of the best competitions in the North of England have come back with their own Superfight show. Since it takes place in our neck of the woods, we thought it would only be right to preview it !
The Empire Invitational takes place in an Undisclosed location in the north of England. The ruleset being used is one which is used by Grapplefest which holds Submission attempts above all other criteria in case of referees decision.
Ellis Younger (ECJJA) vs Jed Hue (Grand Union)
Topping the card is a great match up between two of the top No-Gi Brown belts in the UK. Progress Athlete Ellis splits his time between both NoGi and Gi Competitions at the highest level, with medal at IBJJF Opens in the GI throughout Europe and a IBJJF NoGi World Title at brown belt. Ellis has also competed on many sub only shows including Grapplefest where he has had success. It was at Grapplefest where Jed managed a decision win over Ellis. Jed has more of a focus on the NoGi Side. Most of his success has been in the NoGi theatre, with Superfight wins at promotions such as Polaris, Grapplefest and other smaller shows. He has won tournaments such as the Polaris Contenders to get on to Polaris and multiple Grappling Industries tournaments along with ADCC national tournaments such as the UK open. We expect this to be a close match with Ellis having the better all round Jiu jitsu but Jed having an advantage in the Leg entanglements and rule set. A tough one to call which could go either way !
Liam Cann Vs Ben Hills
Liam Cann from Scramble Academy Leeds, takes on Ben Hills from Next Generation, both are extremely seasoned competitors on the sub-only scene. Liam holding wins at Polaris and Ben being a multiple time Grapplefest winner. Both have extremely submission orientated styles with Ben known for his Guillotine. Liam is the smaller competitor but a very accomplished Jiu Jitsu black belt, who holds a win over Ben's teammate Chris Fishgold, a UFC competitor and BJJ Black belt so Ben will be looking to take the win back to Liverpool !
Tyreeze Cunliffe vs Shane Curtis.
An interesting match up between two up and comers in the NoGi sub only scene, while Shane is a bit more established with more wins on the circuit, including wins at Grapplefest, Pantheon and smaller shows like roll models. Shane would also give a solid account of himself on the recent Polaris Grand prix in a loss to Scramble Athlete Bradley Hill, Shane has also medalled at the UK ADCC championships earning a bronze. Tyreeze is an extremely active competitor competing at Grappling Industries throughout Europe. He also has competed on Sub Only shows such as Grapplefest, recently earning a decision win over a BJJ Brown belt in a tight match. Tyreeze has a win over Shane, with a slick flying triangle and will be looking to get another explosive win.
Best of the rest.
There are 13 other matches in the undercard/Prelims. All are expected to be barn burners but here are our picks of the best of the rest.
Sam Quinn vs. Tom Somerset
Maeda athlete Sam Quinn is known in the north west for helping put on some of the best NoGi open mats in the NW. He takes on Tom Somerset an MMA fighter and BJJ purple belt. Sam has wins at previous Empire tournaments and Grapplefest and his focus is totally Grappling.
Simon Price vs. Jenaid Ebanks
A battle of the big men, Simon Price is a brown belt under Progress athlete Kameron Atakuru, and is well known in the North West grappling scene with wins at Grapplefest and British Championships at Purple belt in the Gi. While Jenaid is a bjj Blue belt but a very experienced Pro MMA fighter with years of experience grappling NoGi.
Andrew Hardwick vs. Alexandre Moura
Andrew Hardwick is another regular across sub only shows, he has wins on shows such as Grapplefest and is also the owner of Brotherhood Health and performance, and works with many of the athletes on the card on their strength and conditioning. He takes on Alexandre Moura of Nottingham MMA a BJJ Purple belt like Hardwick.
Libby Genge vs. Megan Morris
A match up between two of the youngest competitors on the card, Libby Genge is a Kingz Europe athlete who has won medals all over the world, including at this years IBJJF European championships. Megan Morris is a Junior amateur MMA world champion and senior Silver medalist. who trains at Predators MMA under BJJ Black belt Gavin Boardman, so while her official BJJ rank is only a white belt, she will be well versed on the ground in NoGi especially with Gav's tutelage Expect fireworks in this match up !
Marlon Jones vs Jack Fletcher
What promises to be one of the more action packed matches of the day, both Marlon and Jack are known to compete at a high pace. Jack is alot more experienced in the Sub Only scene with wins at Grapplefest, he is also a NAGA and ADCC German National champion while Marlon is known for his promising MMA Career, he is a multiple title holder in MMA in Promotions such as Cage Warriors, he is also a Purple belt under Phil Turner and the the team at Aspire so he comes from a solid grappling lineage.