The Eddie Bravo Invitational is back for its third edition on Sunday, March 22nd at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The event will feature a submission only 16-man single elimination tournament with a 10-minute time limit and unique overtime format. Eddie and his team released the names of the 16 participants and I must say that this is easily the deepest and toughest bracket ever at an EBI. The quality of competition was heightened by the addition of an “up to $10,000 cash prize” to the winner if he is able to submit all of his opponents in regulation.
Enrico Cocco, Zen Jiu Jitsu: Black Belt under the Avellan Brothers. Training partner of BJJ legend Cyborg Abreu. Won the 2009 ADCC West Coast Trials. Owner and head instructor of Zen Jiu Jitsu in South Florida. In 2014, Cocco placed 3rd at NoGi Worlds and 2nd at NoGi Pans in the Adult Black Belt Medium Weight Division.
Julio Cordova, Renzo Gracie Mexico: Had a hard time finding information on Cordova. Brown Belt under Mario Delgado in Mexico. Participated in the first EBI, earning a submission victory over Blue Belt Josh Valles, before losing to Jake Swinney in the second round.
Eddie Cummings, Renzo Gracie: Recently promoted to Black Belt by John Danaher. Made a major splash at the 2015 Gracie Nationals with a submission victory over EBI 2 Champion and ADCC Qualifer Denny Propokos. Training partner of EBI Champion Garry Tonon. Instructor at Progressive Martial Arts in Brooklyn, New York. Has won numerous Grapplers Quest and PGL tournaments. Recorded several wins by foot lock in under 30 seconds.
Karen Darabedyan, Gokor Academy: Black Belt in Judo. 10-5 pro MMA record that includes victories over The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 Champion Tony Ferguson and former WEC Lightweight Champion Rob McCullough. Trained under Judo and Grappling legends, Gokor Chivichyan and Gene LeBell . Training partner of UFC veterans Karo Parisyan and Manvel Gamburyan. Also possesses a 12-0 record in amateur boxing.
Joey Hauss, Jean Jacques Machado: Former Marine and currently performs as a stand up comedian. Holds a Purple Belt under Jean Jacques Machado. Participated in the first EBI, losing in the first round to Paragon’s Lance Glynn.
Josh Hinger, Atos: Black Belt under Andre Galvao. Finished 2nd in both the NoGi Black Belt Medium Weight and Open Weight divisions at the 2014 American Nationals. Defeated 2014 NoGi Adult Black Belt World Champion AJ Agazam at the American Nationals in a NoGi bout.
Lauri Karppinen, 10th Planet Tampere: Purple Belt under 10th Planet Stockholm head instructor Magnus Hansson. Is the head instructor at 10th Planet Tampere in Finland. Won his division at the 2013 ADCC Submission Fighting Finnish Championship.
Marcelo Mafra, CheckMat: Trained MMA under Joe “Daddy Stevenson” and holds a MMA record of 6-0 with 3 submission finishes. Won and placed in numerous IBJJF competitions in both Gi and NoGi at the Brown and Black Belt level including winning the 2014 Black Belt Adult NoGi World Championship in the Medium Weight division. He owns a victory over former UFC lightweight Champion Benson Henderson from the 2014 NoGi Worlds.
Richie Martinez, 10th Planet San Diego: Black Belt under Eddie Bravo. Brother of 2015 ADCC qualifier and 2-time EBI Champion Geo Martinez. He and his brother are both accomplished break dancers. Finalist in the first EBI, losing in the finals to Garry Tonon. Owns a pro MMA record of 3-1 with 3 submission victories.
Stephen Martinez, Millennia MMA: Bellator MMA veteran with a 10-3 pro record. All of his MMA victories are by finish with 8 submissions and 2 knockouts. Has trained with both Millennia MMA and CheckMat. In BJJ, he placed third at the 2013 NoGi Worlds in the Adult Brown Belt Heavy and Open Weight divisions.
Darragh O’Connaill, Riberio Jiu Jitsu: Promoted to Black Belt by the Riberios in 2014. Hails from Dublin, Ireland. Participant in Lloyd Irvin’s BJJ Kumite series. One of the top European IBJJF competitors in both the Gi and NoGi, winning both divisions at the Black Belt Adult Medium divisions at the 2014 London Open. O’Connaill was also the subject of a short documentary shown below.
Nathan Orchard, 10th Planet Portland: 10th Planet Black Belt under Eddie Bravo. Head instructor at 10th Planet Portland. Inventor of the Dead Orchard triangle/arm bar hold. Competed in the first two EBI tournaments, finishing in 2nd place at EBI 2 after an overtime loss to teammate Denny Propokos in the finals. Defeated Baret Yoshida in the semifinals at EBI 2 with the Dead Orchard. Won the Black Belt division at the 2014 Gracie Worlds.
Mike Padilla, Renzo Gracie: Promoted to Black Belt by Rich Latta in 2014. Trains out of Renzo Gracie Pennsylvania. Professional Grappling League title holder and has won Grapplers Quest tournaments at the Brown Belt level.
Matt Secor, Spa City BJJ: Hold a 5-2 pro MMA record with all of his wins coming by way of submission. Secor was a member of Team Carwin on Season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson. Holds a Brown Belt in BJJ. His coach Ed Fyvie was a participant in the first 2 editions of the EBI. Secor won the 2011 NoGi Pans at Adult Purple Belt and placed third at the 2011 NoGi Worlds at Adult Purple Belt in both Medium Heavy and Open Weight divisions.
Garry Tonon, Ocean County BJJ: Black Belt under Tom DeBlass. Won the first EBI with a win over Richie Martinez. 2-time Metamoris participant with submission victories over Kit Dale and Zak Maxwell. 2011 ADCC competitor who almost defeated eventual champion Kron Gracie. In 2014, Tonon placed 3rd at NoGi Worlds Adult Black Belt Open Weight and 2nd at NoGi Pans Lightweight. He was also a 2-time NoGi World Champion as a Brown Belt. Pulled off this impressive sequence below at the first EBI.
Josh Valles, Gracie Barra Pasadena: Trains under Orlando Sanchez. 2014 NoGi Blue Belt Adult World Champion. Ranked #1 NoGi Blue Belt Adult Medium Weight in the World and #2 Gi Blue Belt Adult Medium Weight in the World. Recently finished 1st at the Abu Dhabi Pro in Santa Barbara and 2nd at the IBJJF European Open. Competed in the 1st EBI tournament, losing a controversial match against EBI 3 competitor Julio Cordova.