With the continued evolution of jiu-jitsu rulesets, the EBI brand stands out as a beacon for submission-only purists. What was once a submission-only grappling spectacle has now evolved into a throwback to traditional vale-tudo rules, an event that rewards the mastery of distance management with regards to strikes, incentivizing those that are after positional progression and submission dominance. Requiring an MMA license from the State of California, in the eyes of the law Combat Jiu-Jitsu competitors are treated the same as legitimate mixed martial arts cage fighters.
EBI rules are continuing to evolve with an emphasis on avoiding stalling positions, an example of such rules being requiring a takedown within one minute of stand-up action otherwise competitors are forced to engage from their counterparts’ guard. Another wrinkle is the implementation of requiring an engagement by the guard passer in an effort to avoid a stalled out open guard battle. Everything from the placement of the hands of the offensive and defensive competitors in overtime to the direction that the guy on defense is facing relative to Head Referee Eddie Bravo were enforced. Bravo ran a tight ship, personally seeing that every round was run to exact EBI CJJ specifications. With 10th Planet Black Belts and veteran EBI commentators Eric “Compella” Cruz and Brandon McCaghren at the helm for UFC Fight Pass, this was surely one event to not miss.
Below are the match breakdowns:
CJJ Round Of 16
Nick Honstein vs. Taylan Yuasa
Taylor “the Bad Guy” Yuasa comes in with a second degree black belt in judo, “Quick Nick” Nick Honstein is the former Combat Jiu Jitsu champion.
The red haired assassin Yuasa executes a smooth drop seoi nage to land on top side, Honstein pushes him into a reverse triangle that nearly lands. Some aggressive slaps free Yuasa as he lands into a triangle opened up by an active guard of Honstein. Honstein cuts a sharp angle, ending this one early.
Maikel Perez vs. Marcelo Cohen
Cohen jumps guard and looks to break the posture early, choosing to standup as Perez breaks away. Perez lands a single leg near the end of the one minute takedown time limit and brings the heat with the slaps, mixing in shots to the body and face, though nothing game-ending. Much of the match repeated a similar pattern, as Cohen held the line with his guard not yielding a pass or any major submission attempt. The two went to overtime as Perez lost the back quickly on an arm triangle attempt. Cohen eats a strong rear naked choke attempt in the second and third rounds to take the match with superior riding time from the back. Cohen displays impressive grit and poise to move on to the second round.
Richard Alarcon vs. Sheridan Moren
Moren initiates early action with a rear clinch take down and subsequent crab ride, displaying impressive back control as Alarcon evades one of the hooks. The two stand up and the sequence repeats, with Alarcon spinning into the guard and beginning his march forward with strikes and strong passing. Despite a brutal guard pass to anaconda transition, Moren neutralizes and the two are sent to overtime. Though both of them display strong body triangles in their overtime back takes, Alarcon takes the match with a lightning quick armbar escape thus significantly minimizing Moren’s riding time.
Spencer Mumme vs. Pablo Alfonso
Alfonso lands an early single leg, ultimately landing in the defensive-minded guard of Spencer. As the two stand back up, they’re forced to go to Alfonso’s guard, standing back up once again.
Explosive double leg by Alfonso lands him in a triangle, Spencer transitions to an armbar as Alfonso throws his legs over and lands a head scissor, clearing the lock and landing on top. He lands back in the guard of Spencer exchanging solid strikes, though nothing serious. The two are sent to overtime, Alfonso taking it home via a rear naked choke.
Ben Eddy vs. James Barnes
Barnes jumps guard early on crowd favorite and CJJ veteran Eddy, holding firm posture. Barnes threatens with an overhook armbar, the resourceful Eddy maneuvering out and the two stand up. Eddy pulls guard and enters mission control in his rubber guard, Barnes wisely traps the overhooking arm of Eddy under his back. Eddy frees it and begins a rubber guard display, threatening with a triangle, dead orchard armbar, omoplatas, and hindulotines as Barnes is neutralized completely in his guard passing. The clock appears to expire with Eddy holding a fully locked in guillotine variation, his own patented ‘hindulotine’ setup and the two are separated, only problem is Barnes is completely unconscious. Eddy is ruled as the winner at 10:00 even with a world-class display of his signature rubber guard choke under the bright lights, cementing the hindulotine as a staple choke in the minds of CJJ fans. The reception from the crowd stamps this moment as a pinnacle in rubber guard lore.
Nick Pace vs. Gabriel Daffron
Pace pushes the action with an early takedown, standing up over Daffron and nearly getting sucked into a heel hook exchange, pummeling out. The two are back on their feet, Daffron clinches low and barrels Pace to the ground, taking his back with one hook. Daffron sinks a deep rear-naked choke, stamping his ticket to the quarterfinals.
Randy Villarreal vs. Jesus Urbina
Urbina takes early top position, electing to exchange strikes and pulling guard only once he has a guillotine sunk. Villareal defends and achieves a back take, Urbina scrambles out. Urbina threatens several times with head shucks and a particularly nasty high elbow guillotine, Villareal displays poise in defending correctly. Despite a challenging guard and another near back take off a dogfight attempt from Vilareal, the two go to overtime after a back and forth battle in regulation. Urbina delivers a strong overtime performance as he demonstrates seasoned back escapes, securing an armbar submission victory to move on in the tournament.
Hideo Tokoro vs. Ara Muradyan
Tokoro gets tripped up but salvages the position by attacking the legs of Muradyan. Tokoro appears to have a heel hook locked in, Muradyan utilizes well-timed spins to free himself and land in closed guard. Tokoro attempts a back take from guard, landing in the guard of Muradyan. He executes a professional level knee cut slice once he achieves the underhook, transitioning to mount and nearly catching an armbar before being neutralized into his guard. He evades Muradyan’s leg lock attempt to land back on top. Tokoro woos the crowd with his creative slap attempts, hopping in place and performing ballerina-quality spins in his search for an opening. Despite the crowd-pleasing positional exchanges, the pair go to overtime. In an unusual twist, both competitors elect to only select the armbar. Tokoro utilizes flexible and rapid escapes, nearly finishing an armbar himself in the top of the third round before taking the match by riding time.
Marcelo Cohen vs. Nick Honstein
Honstein takes early control by getting to the ground into the dangerous guard of Cohen. Honstein has no fatigue in him as he pushes the pace to get to the mount. Cohen, coming off an absolute war in the first round, in unable to fend off the armbar attempt by Honstein. Honstein advances with a submission in regulation.
Pablo Alfonso vs. Richard Alarcon.
With action moving more quickly in the second round, the two come out firing shots from their feet. Alarcon quickly secures the back and sinks in a rear naked choke, ending Alfonso’s run and sending Alarcon to the semifinals. Both matches in the second round are completed within four minutes of regulation time.
Ben Eddy vs. Gabriel Daffron
The trend of quick matches continues as Daffron pulls a rare one and jumps for a flying scissor heel hook. After a brief defensive exchange, Daffron completes the lockup, securing his place in the semifinals.
Hideo Tokoro vs. Jesus Urbina
Tokoro attempts a flying armbar attempt early, barreling to the top and shooting shots before Urbina neutralizes and stands it back up. Urbina attempts a drop seoi nage that is turned into a mount by Tokoro. Tokoro locks up a beautiful rolling armbar off a bridge attempt by Urbina, narrowly losing the submission. Urbina lands on top turtle, pulling guard for a high elbow guillotine. Tokoro appears to pass and nearly clears the legs, the high elbow and tight squeeze of Urbina however forces him to tap.
Richard Alarcon vs. Nick Honstein
Honstein gets an aggressive dogfight going early but the two break it up. This has the feel of a higher level wrestling match. Stellar outside leg trip by Honstein leads him in to the guard of Alarcon. Honstein continues to push the pace as he works towards the back of Alarcon off another takedown, Alarcon reverses to the top position laying down strikes, he sits to a leg lock which is reversed by Honstein. Alarcon works his way to the back and locks in a rear naked choke, continuing his Cinderella run to the finals. The CJJ Qualifier champ continues to gain fan approval as an up-and-coming athlete on the scene.
Urbina vs. Daffron
The two start in Daffron’s guard after a minute of action on the feet. Daffron takes action quickly as he takes the back of Urbina from his butterfly guard. He locks in a body triangle and begins feeding slaps and choke attempts. The body triangle appears tight as the action continues for several minutes. The round ends with Daffron maintaining the same back control he held early in the match. Urbina secures a quick armbar finish in overtime and lands the victory after landing a timely escape.
Urbina vs. Alarcon
Alarcon nearly gets drop seoi nage’d but takes the back off the attempt, sinking a deep hook. A kimura attempt by Alarcon is neutralized and the two are stood back up. A timely single leg by Alarcon as he feeds slaps and forces Urbina to overcompensate on his guard allowing Alarcon to pass. Alarcon achieves a similar low single, landing on top side control forcing Urbina to turtle. Alarcon locks in a guillotine and transitions to d’arce, nearly locking it in before it’s countered and the two are back on their feet. A flying scissor heel hook attempt by Urbina goes south as Alarcon takes the back nearly locking in another choke, it’s neutralized and the two are back on their feet. The two go to overtime as time expires. Alarcon takes control in overtime as he dominates on riding time, displaying stellar armbar defense and taking home the crown as the Combat Jiu-Jitsu Bantamweight Champion.
In a continued pursuit to push the envelope of jiu-jitsu and it’s impact on mainstream society, Combat Jiu-Jitsu looks to build on the impact made by EBI’s of the past and display a style more aligned with the origins of our art. Gasps from the crowd from major slaps were not uncommon, competitors did not hold back, the scrutiny by which stalling is being viewed is at an all-time high.
You get the feeling that any training session with these competitors would bring with it an iron clad pursuit of position, blistering tightness, and fearless encroachment for the submission. As the sport of jiu-jitsu grows, look for EBI to continue to be at the forefront of preserving the purity of jiu-jitsu’s self-defense roots by finding new and innovative ways to highlight traditional components of the art.