After a brief hiatus, Fight 2 Win is coming back to Portland with one of their most stacked cards in the event’s history. With a few top competitors making their F2W debuts, this is going to be a can’t-miss event, especially for those who are excited to see more women getting the spotlight in professional grappling.
In no particular order, here are five of the best matches to watch out for on Friday:
1. Gabi Garcia vs. Hillary VanOrnum
The main event of the evening has certainly earned its place at the top. Garcia, a two-time ADCC champ and multiple-time World champ, will be making her Fight 2 Win debut against Portland native VanOrnum. Garcia has only recently returned to jiu-jitsu, having placed most of her focus on her MMA career over the last couple of years. A battle against VanOrnum will make for great entertainment at the evening’s climax, given that the two have shared the podium together, but never competed against one another before. Given that this match will be for the heavyweight gi title, we can expect both competitors to be going all-out in this exciting match.
2. Ffion Davies vs. Catherine Perret
The co-main event also features a F2W debut from another huge name in today’s modern jiu-jitsu scene: Ffion Davies. The Welsh athlete has exploded onto the black belt scene following a great brown belt career, winning both Euros and No-Gi Worlds right after being promoted at the end of last year. Her opponent, Perret, is a F2W veteran and a formidable adversary, with wins at No-Gi Pans and No-Gi Worlds backing up her status as one of the best grapplers in her division. This match will be for the bantamweight no-gi title, and neither athlete is going to claim it easily.
3. Baret Yoshida vs. Hiago George
In this match, one of jiu-jitsu’s all-time best athletes will take on one of today’s most decorated competitors. Yoshida, a F2W regular, has been on the black belt competition scene for about two decades, making the podium three times in the early 2000’s. George may be a bit younger, but his accomplishments show that he’s anything but inexperienced — this year alone, he’s already won Pans and the UAEJJF World Pro, placing third at IBJJF Worlds over the weekend. The match between these two will be an interesting moment between an old-school and a new-school grappler.
4. Claudia do Val vs. Thamara Ferreira
Claudia do Val has won almost everything there is to win in jiu-jitsu, especially where the IBJJF is concerned. Over the weekend, she won her third consecutive world title, and for many, her debut at Fight 2 Win is long overdue. Ferreira may not be a black belt yet, but don’t let that make you think she’s unworthy of a challenge like do Val — she also won Worlds this year (as a brown belt) and is a regular at the top of the podium at big events such as Pans and Euros. Their 165-lb match will be a can’t-miss event.
5. Dustin Akbari vs. Nathan Orchard
Akbari has put on numerous impressive performances at F2W, which have included a win against Bill Cooper and a Submission of the Night moment against Caleb Khan. However, his experience on the stage won’t provide him with invincibility against 10th Planet standout Nathan Orchard (for whom the “Dead Orchard” submission is named). Both of these athletes are creative and quick, and this 165-lb no-gi match is guaranteed to make sparks fly at the event.
Fight 2 Win 114 will stream live on FloGrappling from Portland, Oregon on June 7.