In a shocking (and for many, disappointing) development in jiu-jitsu news, Eddie Cummings has had to pull out of tomorrow’s EBI 15 competition due to illness.
Cummings was one of the highlighted competitors at the 16-man 145-lb competition, which also features 10th Planet star Geo Martinez. Fans were hoping for a rematch between the two grapplers — Martinez had previously defeated Cummings at EBI 10 in Mexico City in December of 2016.
Cummings’ replacement will be Jonathan Calestine: a Renzo Gracie standout who recently received his black belt. Calestine is a rising star in the sub-only scene, having won championships in tournaments like Sapateiro, Finishers, the Onnit Invitational, and the Jiu-Jitsu Kumite. Although he took a break from competition after injuring his shoulder in the 155-lb Kumite event in June, Calestine told the Jiu-Jitsu Times in an exclusive interview that he’s “not concerned at all” that it will cause him problems at EBI.
“I’ve learned how to train smart and I’m excited to compete,” he said. “My shoulder feels great.”
Like many other people, Calestine was surprised when he got the news that Cummings would have to pull out of the competition. “When I found out about Eddie, I was bugging out a little; I was very upset that Eddie could not compete. But I know that I have been through every EBI camp with Eddie and been training everyday with Eddie for this during this camp, and I feel more then ready.”
Although Calestine’s name doesn’t yet have the star power that Cummings’ does, his loyal friends and fans have been pushing for him to get on an EBI card for a long time. Many have taken to social media to push for Eddie Bravo to include him on a card, and a few even contacted Bravo directly to express their desire to see Calestine on the stage.
“I appreciate all the support that I have been getting from the jiu-jitsu community,” said Calestine, who is well aware of the magnitude of the opportunity he’ll be getting tomorrow. “The EBI stage is where the best in this sport go to prove they are the best, [and] I want to compete with the best. Everyone in this tournament is very good and I wouldn’t want the bracket to be any other way.”
Jonathan Calestine's new highlight video is 🔥🔥🔥 … shoutout to Saltos Visuals for the awesome work.Check it out and share it around!
Posted by Chris Pagliuca on Thursday, February 15, 2018
Check out Calestine, Martinez, and many more talented grapplers when EBI 15 starts tomorrow at 5:00 pm PST on pay-per-view and UFC Fight Pass.