It has been a big year for the Figure4 team who have continued to create some massive events with World class match ups and their event to close out the year promises to be the biggest yet. At the top of the card they have matched up some of this Years ADCC World Championships break out stars. Craig Jones (u88kg silver medallist) takes on Polands Adam Wardzinski. While in the co-main event Dante Leon who had a standout performance at the ADCC defeating the legendary Lucas Lepri, takes on Marcio Andre. While teenage phenoms Tye and Kade Ruotolo both make their way over to the UK to battle veterans Tom Halpin and Jeremy Skinner. As always, Fighters Market Europe are here to provide your preview to the event !
Craig Jones (Absolute MMA/Renzo Gracie) v Adam Wardzinski (Checkmat) u100kgs belt
Craig Jones has made the Grapplefest mats his home, undefeated on the show, he has submitted Gabriel Arges and Miha Perhavec and defeated ADCC World Champion Matheus Diniz. In Adam Wardzinski he faces an opponent in good form who won the IBJJF European NoGi championships and double gold in the Rome Open. Wardzinski is also a ADCC European Trials winner so it won’t be a cake walk for Craig Jones. However this is Adam Wardzinski’s debut on Grapplefest and we expect the rule set and judging criteria to favour Bearfoot JJ athlete Craig Jones.
Craig Jones – Judges Decision
Dante Leon (GF Team) v Marcio Andre (MAJJ) u80kgs
A contender for the fight of the night, Dante Leon takes on Marcio Andre in an u80kgs match up. Both are extremely experienced competitors, Dante Leon in particular is on a tear, putting the grappling world on notice defeating Lucas Lepri at the ADCC and recently submitting current IBJJF World Champion Isaque Bahinese. Marcio Andre has been quiet recently not as active as his opponent, however he is a World Nogi Champion and Berkut NoGi Grandprix champion, he faces an uphill battle being the smaller grappler compared to Dante who puts some impressive lifting numbers up on his Instagram along with his BJJ accomplishments.
Dante Leon – Submission
Tye Ruotolo (Atos) v Tom Halpin (Fight Sports) u73kgs
Tye Ruotolo entered the adult divisions with a bang at the ADCC, putting on an exceptional performance, defeating established black belts such as Bruno Frazzato and Pablo Mantovani in the u66kg division before losing to Kennedy Maciel and being narrowly edged out by Paulo Miyao 4-2 in the bronze medal match. He faces European ADCC trials winner Tom Halpin. After Tye’s brilliant victory over u77 silver medallist Vagner Rocha at F2W pro, we give the edge to Tye.
Tye Ruotolo – Submission
Kade Ruotolo (Atos) v Jeremy Skinner (Absolute MMA) u70kgs
Not Content on having one half of the Ruotolo brother, Grappefest have both brothers competing on the show. Kade Ruotolo is just as successful as his brother Tye and will be looking to make a statement over Bearfoot Oz athlete Jeremy Skinner a successful submission only grappler. Skinner has a win on the Grapplefest mats over Frank Rosenthal, and a Polaris Pro victory, along with recently taking Gold in the NoGi Pan Pacific Open. Due to his experience we give the edge to Skinner but we wouldn’t be surprised if it went the other way.
Skinner – Submission
FME Best of the rest !
Jason Rau (Renzo Gracie) v Bradley Hill (Fightzone) u85kgs
Two very experienced black belts, with Jason Rau from the blue basement taking on Bradley Hill. Jason Rau is a little less notorious then his blue basement counterparts such as Nicky Ryan, Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon but he has great wins over world class opposition such as Mansher Khera and Victor Silverio. Bradley Hill is a decorated UK competitor, recently winning Double gold at the British Nationals and is a European Nogi Champion at brown belt. This will be an extremely close match up which could definitely go either way !
Jason Rau – Submission
Lloyd Cooper (Gripper Jiu Jitsu ) v Marcos Nardini (Checkmat) u80kgs
Uk Submission only specialist Lloyd Cooper takes on Marcos Nardini in an exciting all Black belt match up. Scramble athlete Lloyd has been tearing up the submission only with multiple wins on Grapplefest and wins on shows such as Polaris Pro, hes also experienced on the tournament competition scene winning the ADCC British Open in 2018 and the IBJJF Europeans at brown belt ! Marcos Nardini is a seasoned black belt from Brazil actually being promoted to black belt in 2006 ! While he definitely has more experience then Lloyd we see this rule set favouring Lloyd Cooper.
Lloyd Cooper – Submission
Andy Clamp (Blackledge MMA) v Tom Breese (Renegade) u100kgs
An intriguing matchup between two high level MMA fighters, the UFC’s Tom Breese takes on Andy Clamp in an u100kg match up. Tom has been very active on the IBJJF circuit taking medals at IBJJF Opens such as London and Paris and has also competed on Polaris while Andy Clamp has a win on the Grapplefest mats, Both will look for the takedown and will be aggressively pushing for the win !
Tom Breese – Submission
Lukasz Baranowski (Factory BJJ ) v Lloyd Dean u80kgs
Two people making their Grapplefest debut, newly promoted Factory BJJ Black belt Lukasz Baranowski takes on Lloyd Dean. Lukasz is an experienced competitor both with and without the Gi. In the Nogi Arena he is a Polish National Champion and a Polish Cup Gi and NoGi champion, Lloyd dean is a European NoGi Masters champion along with Gold medals at the London Open at brown belt, this is sure to be an exciting match up with Lukasz’s speed and intensity.
Lukasz Baranowski – Submission
Ellis Younger (ECJJ) v Jed Hue (Gym box) u80kgs
Progress JJ athlete Ellis Younger takes on Polaris Contenders champ Jed Hue. Ellis is a constant presence at all the big competitions around the world and has a lot of experience at the highest levels, winning the European Nogi at Purple belt along with a bronze medal at the World NoGi Championships at brown belt. Recently he has taken double gold at the IBJJF London and Amsterdam Opens! Jed Hue has made his presence known on the Sub Only scene winning the Polaris Contenders tournament and closing out the Victory Grappling tournament with his team mate Ross Nicholls.
Ellis Younger – Submission
Emil Malczewski (Stealth)v Ollie Bates (Goole BJJ) u70kgs
A very intriguing matchup between the veteran Emil and the young neophyte Ollie Bates. Emil is an accomplished brown belt with medals at the Europeans in both Gi and Nogi. He is also a British NoGi Champion. Ollie is a bit of a veteran on the Grapplefest mats, while only a purple belt he trains extensively under one of the best Leg lockers in the country in Lloyd Cooper and has spent an extensive amount of time in California training at academies such AOJ, Atos and Gracie Barra Northridge. However due to his experience we give the edge to the Progress JJ athlete.
Emil Malczewski - sub