Luke Rockhold’s disdain for leg-locking new school grappling didn’t stop relative newcomer Nick Rodriguez from coming out of their match victorious…or Michelle Nicolini from using a toehold to take her win over Vanessa English.
The Rockhold vs. Rodriguez match basically ended up being a beefy wrestle-off, with two heavily muscled athletes tying and untying and working snap downs but not getting down into much technical jiu-jitsu. Rodriguez took the victory by decision. More exciting was ADCC winner and female force Nicolini’s submission win over English, who tangled with Nicolini (literally–it was difficult to tell the two apart in head to toe blacks and greys) adeptly before landing in a leg entanglement which delivered one foot to the wrong place at the wrong time. Ash Williams caught Richard Alarcon similarly, turning Alarcon’s pressuring and takedown attempts into a broken arm (really) via one quick armbar off a kimura. Devhonte Johnson’s matchup was Ayra Esfandmaz was something of a wrestling stalemate, with Johnson squeaking out the “W” by decision. PJ Barch started the card of mostly decision victories by defeating Marcin Held, though the pair put on a solid show with a string of high energy scrambles and submission attempts.
Perhaps the most exciting performance of the night came from Tommy Langaker, who pulled off a surprising but impressive decision win over absolute killer Gilbert Burns in a match that demoed Langaker’s impressive guard and escape-into-submission attempt transitioned against Durinho’s brutal passing game. ( Watch Polaris Professional Jiu Jitsu Invitational 12 – Prelims FREE Live Stream Here ) The list of undercard winners can be found here.