While most of the American Professional shows are back, F2W, Third Coast grappling Etc, The UK power houses of Grapplefest and Polaris have been relatively quiet until recently, with both now announcing they will be putting on shows. With Polaris promoting a UK Grand Prix, Grapplefest have announced their full 12 match card taking place on the 4th of July. Topping Grapplefest's card is a world class open weight match up between Kingz athlete Ffion Davies and Tayane Porfirio with Jackson Sousa also taking part in an u94kg match up with the Raspberry Ape, Dan Strauss. Its been a while, but as always we at Fighters Market have got your over view of the event along with a look into the extra precautions taking place by the people behind Grapplefest.
We spoke to Grapplefest Co-owner Chris Thompson, who describes the extra steps taken to ensure the event could take place.
'We have had to make sure we comply and meet all the Government guidelines set out in their elite athlete return to sport mandate.
We have also put in out own stringent quality control to make sure we far exceed all health and safety requirements.
Athlete medicals, temperature checks, the disinfection of the competition area in between each match and minimum numbers in the building at all times.
All the athletes we have spoken to were just getting back to training as they are classes in the elite bracket.
But most had been keeping themselves in top shape during the lockdown so we're ready to go.
The main event is the first time ever we have stepped away from our strict weight classes but these are crazy times so we thought why not do this crazy match and both athletes agreed straight away!
I am very proud of this card considering we could only use UK based athletes as we couldn't fly any international athletes into the country, but despite this the card is as strong as usual'
In the Main event Ffion Davies takes on Tayane Porfirio, Ffion was a silver medalist at the ADCC while Tayane took bronze. Both are extremely experienced in the Gi, with Tayane having completed the 'Double Grand Slam' in 2017 where she won her weight class and absolute division at the Europeans, Pans, Brasilieros and worlds. Ffion started the year strong with Double Gold at this years European Championships and a Gold Medal the UAEJJF London Grandslam. This match up as always on Grapplefest in NoGi, where it would seem Ffion has had more success being a Grapplefest winner, a Polaris title holder and an IBJJF NoGi world champion. Size will definitely play a factor, with the current lockdown measures being in place for the past couple of months, will conditioning be a factor ?
An extremely intriguing match up for sure and one we can wait to watch. The Co-main event sees Jackson Sousa taking on Dan Strauss, Jackson is the more accomplished competitor of the pair, winning multiple Major medals in the Gi at black belt, including World NoGi Titles, IBJJF European Champion in both the Gi and NoGi along with a bronze Medal at the 2017 ADCC World Championships. Dan Strauss is highly experienced in the 'Superfight' realm, competing across the world, From the team based Quintet competition, to EBI, Polaris and Grapplefest. With wins in many of these competitions he will be a tough opponent for Jackson Sousa, but we expect Jackson to take this as he has beaten much higher level opposition.
Across the rest of the card there are some extremely competitive match ups, with UK stand out Ashley Williams taking on local lad Kevin Corkhill in an u70kg match up, both known for their craft guards and submission orientated style. While fellow Liverpudlian Chris Walsh takes on Roger Gracie Black Belt Freddy Sykes. Progress JJ's Ellis Younger always a fan favourite takes on Craig McIntosh. Other UK blackbelt match ups include Stealth BJJ's Wing Chau Cheung taking on Elements Martial arts Yousuf Nabi. As always there are some local MMA fighters taking part with Cage Warriors world champion Lee Chadwick going up against Edward Aitken. As always there is a mix and match of top quality grapplers further down the card to always keep your eyes on.