Third Coast Grappling has been causing a stir since its first event, and their knack for drawing in big-name competitors has a lot of people hyped up about their big upcoming event in June. The promotion isn’t just trying to feature the Craig Joneses and Josh Hingers of the sport, though. Next week, on March 29, they’ll be hosting a qualifier event that will see a bracket of -180 lb purple belts and a bracket of +180 lb blue belts competing for a spot on their huge summer event. And they’ll be letting people see it go down for free.
Promoter Ryan McGuire has revealed that the first 500 people at the event will be allowed in free of charge, and VIP tables (which are normally sold for $200-300) will be discounted to $100. “It really touches on our mission to spread BJJ and put the fighters first and really push and innovate and bring BJJ to the masses,” says McGuire.
The idea came to McGuire when he was trying to “think outside the box” to bring people’s attention to an event that didn’t have a big name as the headliner and didn’t require athletes to sell tickets. “I came up with a sponsorship package between people we work with and got the event plus some covered,” he says. “[Our plan is to] pack the place out and really showcase our brand and the up-and-coming talent on the card. We didn’t have the guys [at FloGrappling] streaming this one, so I started thinking of alternate ways to really get people talking, and I kept coming back to a free event like Limp Bizkit did with Napster: Give out tickets, only require an email address, and then once inside, have sponsors set up to demo products, do giveaways, and really dress it up a bit. Still have our concert vibe and DJ and cool walkouts, but basically comp the whole event so that we can give people a shot to come who couldn’t normally.”
Here are the brackets and superfights scheduled for the event:
Purple Belt -180 lbs
Blue Belt +180 lbs
- Brown belt, 190 lbs: Kody Steele vs Justin Renick (No-Gi)
- Blue belt, 135 lbs: Mackenzie Manteris vs Ieshia Alladin (No-Gi)
- Brown belt, 220 lbs: Diego Almeida vs Dinko Bektic 220 Brown Belt (Gi)
- Blue belt, 135 lbs: Andrew Tacket vs Victor Seabra (Gi)