Kody Steele Submits His Way To Victory, Claims CJJ Welterweight Title

Photo by: Blanca Marisa Garcia

Feeding off the surge of talent in town to attend UFC 241, the Combat Jiu-Jitsu Welterweight Invitational in Long Beach saw several A-list UFC and jiu-jitsu stars unionize in an effort to form a conduit between competition jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts. Sighted amongst others were the likes of Henry Cejudo, Brian Ortega, Chito Vera, Romulo Barral, Ben Saunders, Kelvin Gastulum, Rener Gracie, and Jeff Glover, along with the illustriously vocal creator of the tournament Eddie Bravo coaching and cheering from the sideline.

Streaming off the UFC Fight Pass platform, the matches followed standard EBI rules with 10 minute rounds and overtime rounds that reward those who can maintain offensive control the longest.

Below are your match breakdowns:

Round of 16

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Nathan Orchard (10th Planet Seattle)
vs.
Derrick Kennington (The Next Element Academy)

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The two approach the limit on standup time as Nathan Orchard grabs hold of a single leg. The fight hits the ground as Orchard eats a shot wrapping up the heel. He torques the knee drawing a grimace, another torque garners a quick tap and an advancement to the quarterfinals for Orchard.

Vinicius De Jesus (De Jesus Team/Renzo Gracie NYC)
vs.
Justin Falk (Pete The Greek Jiu-Jitsu)

De Jesus secures a quick double leg and begins to deliver strikes from top half-guard. The too stand back up as Falk eats a takedown looking to wrap the neck. He is unable to hip out to guard and De Jesus secures side control, riding the position for several minutes feeding minor strikes. He pierces inside with a knee on belly, working slowly to mount. The strikes begin to pick up in intensity as Falk gets cut open, he reveals his back and De Jesus finishes the fight with a rear choke.

Tom Gallicchio (Team Quest)
vs.
Ruben Rivera (10th Planet Costa Mesa)

The fight hits the ground quick as the 10th Planet qualifier Rivera secures early back position. He secures a body triangle working the neck and arm in sequence. Gallicchio tries folding Rivera off his back, doing a good job scrambling but Rivera’s back control is too strong. Gallichio holds fort on the defense action as Rivera continues riding the back and feeding strikes. Rivera almost locks up a spider web, Gallicchio spins into his closed guard. The two are forced to overtime, Rivera’s spider web falls short as Gallicchio is able to advance with a strong rear choke from the back.

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Victor Silverio (Gracie Barra Northridge)
vs.
Hunter Colvin (Triton Fight Center)

Silverio secures a takedown into the open guard of Colvin. An exchange of significant strikes ensue as Silverio is able to march his way to mount, BJJ legend Romulo Barral in his corner encouraging him forward. The two get broken up off a scramble and are back on their feet. Some nonfiction on the feet forces the two to start in Colvin’s butterfly guard. Colvin gets back to his feet and lands an explosive double leg, working his way through the positions and getting a fully locked armbar, Silverio being saved by the bell. Colvin lands a rear naked choke in the second round of overtime to secure his advancement.

David Garmo (Assembly-Detroit Jiu-Jitsu)
vs.
Bobby Emmons (Nice Guy Submission Fighting)

Gram starts the action early nicely defending a guillotine to the correct side as he lands in Emmon’s three-quarter guard. A slap to the face allows Emmons to recover full guard, fighting back to his feet from there. The two exchange hand-fight for about a minute before Emmons makes quick work by pulling to a heel hook that advances him to the quarterfinals.

David Farias (Jay Pages Jiu-Jitsu)
vs.
Cesar Arzamendia (Kings MMA El Paso)

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Some nice judo and takedown displays go nowhere as the tow spend most of the opening stanza on their feet. Arzamendia lands a double leg to land in butterfly guard, feeding body and head strikes to a head and arm wrap. Farias works to dogfight from lockdown but can’t capitalize as his guard gets passed, recovering several seconds later. The two work into overtime, Arzamendia finishes the match with a rear naked choke in the bottom of the first.

Jean-Paul Bosnoyan (Gracie Academy/Team Oyama)
vs.
Andrew McInnes (Frontline Jiu-Jitsu)

Bosnian jumps a quick flying triangle landing in closed guard. He feeds a flurry of strikes from his guard, McInnes stays patient and winds up passing to side control. Bosnoyan feeds his frames in and is able to recover his guard, working the lat grip as Rener Gracie and Brian Ortega coach him from the sideline. He wraps the neck and transitions to an anaconda back to an arm-in guillotine. The pressure is too much for McInnes as Bosnoyan cinches up a textbook strangle from closed guard and moves on in the tournament.

Khalil Fadlallah (Detroit Jiu-Jitsu)
vs.
Kody Steele (Rodrigo Cabral Jiu-Jitsu)

The two spend a significant amount of time on their feet wrestling with neither gaining a significant advantage, being forced to start in the butterfly guard off a coin-flip on multiple occasions. The two go the distance in both regulation and overtime, as Steele takes the match by superior riding time.

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Quarterfinals

Orchard
vs.
De Jesus

Orchard looks up an early clinch and pulls De Jesus into his ever dangerous rubber guard. Orchard holds the posture, being coached by Eddie Bravo to remain patient and to play his game. Orchard locks up a high guard as De Jesus works to his feet, this is just the extension Orchard needs however as he finishes the fight with his trademark Dead Orchard armbar, moving on to the semis.

Gallicchio vs. Colvin

After a minute on their feet the two are forced to start in Colvin’s butterfly guard. Colvin reverses with a double leg from his open guard. Colvin works a kimura sequence from half-guard to the back, beautifully controlling the transitions. He maintains control throughout the process as he switches to a rear naked choke six minutes into the match.

Arzamendia
vs.
Emmons

The match barely hits it’s starting point as the two are engaged in a wrestling lock up, Bobby Emmons ends the match at 31 seconds by securing a wicked heel hook.

Bosnoyan
vs.
Steele

The two exchange on the feet to start, Bosnian finds himself on bottom side mount holding the neck. He is able to recover guard and the two are stood back up. After the two are brought to Bosnoyan’s butterfly guard, he continues with his closed guard feeding strikes looking to wrap the neck. As the two stand back up, Bosnoyan pulls off a slick single leg to land in the half guard of Steele exchanging blows. Neither is able to capitilize in regulation as the two go to overtime. Steele moves on as he’s able to finish with a rear naked choke after escaping Bosnoyan’s back control.

Semi-finals

Orchard
vs.
Colvin

A flurry of back and forth action to open as Orchard is looking to wrap the neck. Orchard is aggressive in jumping and pulling guard, at one time looking to lock up another one of his dead orchards on Colvin. Colvin sits to butterfly guard drawing Orchard into his closed guard. The two move to overtime, Orchard moves on to the finals after securing a quick submission in overtime

Steele
vs.
Emmons

Steele continues his consistent performance by making his way onto the top of the fight, controlling the majority of the action. Although the two stand back up on occasion, there is little gambling on either player’s part as they appear conservative in attacking. Despite some leg lock attempts by Steele, the two are sent to overtime with Steele taking the match by securing a submission.

Finals

Orchard
Vs.
Steele

Orchard jumps guard a minute in looking to clear Steele’s hands to the mat. Orchard looks to swim under and reverses the position from the leg lock threat, falling back in his guard to no avail. The two stand back up. Orchard jumps guard again working a sit-up sweep and kimura combo. A couple more guard spells lead to little more than an exchange of striikes as the two go to OT. Steele steals the victory in OT after securing superior riding time to take home the inaugural CJJ Welterweight crown.

With a star-studded scatter of fighters in attendance trouncing that of previous CJJ events, consistent California State Athletic Commission support, an agreement for continued future streaming on UFC Fight Pass, a wealth of exciting up-and-coming talent, as well as a firm foundation as a bridge between MMA and sport jiu-jitsu, Combat Jiu-Jitsu will continue to put on shows as the EBI brand of tournaments is set to make a return in 2020. The CJJ and EBI events will look to perpetuate the beauty of submission-only grappling, maintaining the consistent overtime rule set that rewards those that have the most finely tuned submission games. Time will tell where the trajectory will go, but if tonight is any indication, there is a lot to be excited about with regards to the progression of submission only combat events.

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