Saturday, March 5th 2016, some of the best lightweight leg lock men in submission grappling from across the nation came to Southwest Florida to compete for cash prizes in the Sapateiro Invitational.
All competitors who won by submission in any match prior to the over time periods were paid a bonus, with double bonuses paid for leg lock submissions.
The champion was also paid a $1,000 prize on top of any submission bonuses.
The cash bonuses for submissions, combined with a rule set that required a submission for the winning competitor to advance in the brackets led to some amazing matches, complete with submission attempt wars.
This tournament was for middleweights and below, and the next Sapateiro Invitational will be for the best leg lock specialists above 175lbs.
In this weekends event, Mr. Gordon Ryan, a protege of Mr. Garry Tonon, ultimately took the grand prize, while Mr. Tonon skillfully coached him. Here is a breakdown of his matches.
Elliot Hill vs Gordon Ryan
This could easily have been fight of the night. Mr. Hill is a Sambo technician who trains under Reilly Bodycomb, so he is very savvy in the leg lock department, and we all know Gordon Ryan is adept at leg locks as well. So this presented an interesting stylistic matchup, which did not disappoint. The match started out quickly with both men attacking the legs and defending well, but due to their high level of leg lock knowledge both competitors attacks seemed nullified. It wasnt until Gordon hit a diving kimura in which he transitioned to the back and a rear mount triangle that the match really got interesting. Gordon attacked an armbar from the triangle that Elliot refused to tap to, no matter how hyperextended his arm got. The crowd was in awe as Elliot finally escaped the position. Unfortunately for Elliot he found himself in the same position towards the end of the period, no matter how hard Gordon cranked the armbar he couldnt get a tap. The reverse triangle was extremely tight, but still no tap, finally Gordon took the arm and attacked an Americana from the reverse triangle to make Elliot, who seemed to be impossible to submit, finally tap.
Gordon Ryan vs PJ Barch
Taking place in the Semi-Finals this match had the crowd going crazy. Gordon Ryan was a crowd favorite going into this tournament, but everyone familiar with 10th Planet knows that Mr. Barch is an expert counter-submission man, quite capable of turning any submission attack from an opponent into a submission attack of his own. Both men exchanged leg locks but it wasnt until PJ caught Gordon in a deep armbar off a reversed kimura that the match got really interesting. Gordon escaped the armbar by a hair very similar to the Garry Tonon vs Kron Gracie situation, and then he went on to submit PJ by kneebar for a spot in the finals. The big takeaways from this match are: both of these competitors have bright futures in the submission grappling circuit.
Gordon Ryan vs Enrico Cocco Sapateiro Invitational Lightweight Finals
Gordon Ryan and Enrico Cocco met in the finals and it was the matchup that everyone wanted to see. Both men started on opposite ends of the bracket as the favorites to make it through to the finals and put on a show. The real question that needed to be answered was whether or not Gordon was ready for the step up in competition that was presented by Enrico Cocco. The match started out with Enrico almost taking Gordons back from standing, and then the leg lock battle began with Gordon pulling guard. The majority of the match was based on Enrico trying to pass while attacking the legs, all while Gordon expertly switched back and forth between Ashi Garami, 50/50, and the Inside Senkaku. Enrico escaped many heel hook attempts but in the end it was Gordons control that really made the difference and allowed him to get the submission. Gordon had such a tight control during all the exchanges that it seemed to be only a matter of time until the submission presented itself, and it did in the form of an outside heel hook a little more than five minutes into the match.
With this tournament win, Gordon will return June 11th to try and claim the 175lb championship against a bracket full of leg lock killers that will be announced shortly!
All in all this was a phenomenal event, all the competitors came to win, and every match was exciting.
The Sapateiro Invitational will look to show case this again on June 11th, 2016 this time in the 175lb division as well as the 195lb division.
The Sapateiro Invitational organizer is Mr. Josh Le Duc.
Josh Le Duc is the head No Gi grappling coach at Bostocks Martial Arts in Bradenton, Florida.
Mr. Le Duc is being trained himself in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, and Judo at the Academia Jiu-Jitsu in Sarasota, Florida.
The tournaments Mr. Le Duc puts on welcome players from all schools of grappling including BJJ, Catch Wrestling, Sambo, 10th Planet, Scholastic Wrestling, and Judo.
Here are the competitors who competed in the last Sapateiro Invitational:
Gordon Ryan Brunswick BJJ
Enrico Cocco Zen Jiu-Jitsu
PJ Barch 10th Planet San Diego
Jason Hayden Gracie Fishhawk
Clayton Lyon Academia Jiu-Jitsu
Ben Zapata Gracie Tampa
Bobby Emmons Nice Guy Submission Fighting
Chase Davis Nice Guy Submission Fighting
Travis Baumgardner Gracie Fishhawk
Spencer Mumme Fight Sports
Elliot Hill Rdojo
Adam Collarile America Top Team
Mike Padilla Padilla BJJ
Ian Murray Gracie Brandon