After two events filled with exciting matches that saw Gustavo Batista and Victor Hugo take home $10,000 at the Kumite I and Kumite II events, respectively, 3rd Coast Grappling is at it again this coming weekend with their third Kumite event following coronavirus-related shutdowns.
Like their previous Kumite events, 3CG: Kumite III will feature a tournament bracket, plus multiple superfights. Like their previous Kumite events, this one is stacked with some of the top talent in today’s jiu-jitsu scene, with up-and-comers taking on some of the more established black belts in the sport.
In the first round, ADCC standout Tye Ruotolo will be taking on black belt and fellow young star Roberto Jimenez. Ruotolo has shown himself to be a force to be reckoned with since his performance at ADCC, even defeating Vagner Rocha at Fight 2 Win in November of last year. There’s a chance for these two to have a rematch in the finals, but Ruotolo will first have to get past Jimenez, who was the runner-up in 3CG’s first Kumite event and has a win over Keenan Cornelius himself. In our initial bracket announcement, Jiu-Jitsu Times readers favored Jimenez (69%) over Ruotolo (31%).
Another exciting first-round match will take place between Colorado-based ADCC veteran John Combs and Pierre-Olivier Leclerc to see who will face the winner of Ruotolo vs. Jimenez. Combs, an Amal Easton black belt, has defeated Richie Martinez and fellow 3CG veterans Kody Steele and Jake Watson. Leclerc is one of Tristar’s top athletes and won gold at Pans last year.
The presence of Vagner Rocha on the card is, no doubt, a highlight of the event for many people, and it’s no surprise why. An EBI Combat Jiu-Jitsu champ and multiple-time ADCC veteran, Rocha has already tasted victory on the 3CG stage, and he’s not known for taking it easy on his opponents. But local hero Kody Steele, a fellow CJJ champion, is also a force to be reckoned with. Following a decorated colored belt career, he was promoted to black belt in January of this year, and he’ll be eager to make a statement by defeating Rocha and moving on to claim the $10,000 grand prize. Still, Rocha’s name and reputation carry a lot of weight, and JJT readers give him a significant advantage (73%) over Steele (27%).
Finally, Pedro Marinho will face No-Gi World Champion Johnny Tama. Tama made history last year as the first Ecuadorian BJJ black belt to win gold at a world championship tournament in the sport.Though he’s a bit of an underdog going in against Leon, it would be foolish to underestimate him given how much he’s accomplished at his level. Marinho has been on a tear recently, winning the JitzKing middleweight tournament just weeks ago. He’s also competed in both of 3CG’s previous Kumite events and stepped in to replace Dante Leon, who was initially scheduled to face Leclerc in round one of Kumite III. Though Marinho has fallen short of the grand prize in the previous 3CG Kumite events, he’ll be hungry to avenge his losses and take home first place in the third installment.
With superfights that include a match between Maggie Grindatti and Andressa Cintra, this is going to be yet another 3CG event that you can’t afford to miss.
Update 6/24: This article has been edited to reflect the bracket changes shared by 3rd Coast Grappling
3rd Coast Grappling: Kumite III will go down this Saturday, June 27, and can be streamed live on FloGrappling.