The Jiu-Jitsu Kumite 16 was packed once again with talented grapplers from all over the United States (and one from Canada), and when it was all over, a new 155-lb champion had been declared.
The finals bracket was a three-person round-robin between Jordan Holy of Victoria, Texas; Wade McGrew of Yale, Oklahoma; and Pierre-Olivier Leclerc of Montreal, Canada. McGrew and Leclerc had the first match, which ended in Leclerc winning by submission. The second match of the finals, which featured Leclerc and Holy, again ended in a submission by Leclerc, making him the champion and the winner of the $1,500 cash prize.
The event also featured standout grapplers Jams Partridge, Ben Eddy, and former 155-lb champion Jon Calestine, who had to pull out due to a shoulder injury after winning his first two matches. Promoter Bruce Sek had already faced struggles before the event when numerous competitors pulled out at the last minute, but managed to pull together a very successful tournament anyway.
Tristar Gym’s Leclerc was especially pleased to be crowned the 155-lb champion because his friends Ethan Crelinsten and Oliver Taza occupy the 145- and 170-lb champion spots, respectively. “I’m feeling great,” he said. “It was a great thing, a lot of rolls, and it just feels good to be the 155-pound champion.”
The 155-lb division was preceded by a 125-lb teens’ division, which saw fourteen-year-old Andrew Tackett of Team Rabadi win the $500 prize. This was the Austin, Texas native’s third time winning the Kumite.