Berkut BJJ: The Next Big Thing?
One of the best and upcoming Jiu Jitsu organizations in the world is coming from an unlikely place…Russia. Russia is no stranger to combat sports. They consistently put out great athletes in Sambo, Judo and Wrestling. Because of the Russian people being very nationalistic, no one thought that Jiu Jitsu would gather any respect in the region. But it certainly has, and they are quickly catching up in the BJJ world. There is an exciting organization simply named Berkut BJJ that has put on some fantastic events in the last two years.
The events regularly contain homegrown talent from the Dagestan region, and also BJJ legends from Brazil and the USA. Their last event, Berkut BJJ 3 had some highly technical matches with some truly world class competitors. While there was a whole card of great matches, there were three bouts that really took the cake when it came to Jiu Jitsu awesomeness.
One of those matches included one of the best BJJ champions of all time, Caio Terra against one of the best (yet unknown internationally) that Dagestan has to offer, Yusup Saadulaev. The match went how many thought it would go. Caio was aggressive right out of the gate, attacking nearly the whole match. He used his back attacks and De La Riva guard to keep Yusup at bay. But, the tough black belt from Dagestan would never give up and tap. He played some great defense, and the match went the distance. At the end, Caio would take the victory by ref’s decision.
But Terra vs Saadulaev was not the only great match put on that night. Felipe Pena took on Jackson Souza in one of the next gi matches of the night. Souza who is known as one of the best guard passers in the biz, attempted to do just that, to pass of the guard of Pena. Throughout the match, he made attempt after attempt, but Pena had an answer for every pass attempt. It looked like it was going to go the distance, but with less than a minute to go, Pena took Souza’s back and got him to tap from a strong choke. It was one of the few finishes of the night!
The big match of the night had two of the best and most well known competitors face off. Yuri Simoes, a Caio Terra black belt took on the recently retired, Romulo Barral. The two displayed some of the best aspects of their perspective games. Barral playing off of his back, and Simoes trying to pass guard with his strong, pressure filled passes. The match was slow, but anyone that appreciates the technical aspects of the match would surely appreciate what was happening. Both were nonstop in trying to implement their skills. At the end of the match, Simoes was awarded the ref’s decision.
With every event, Berkut BJJ seems to get more interesting. Their match ups are always pretty even, and they keep getting the big names to come out to Russia to compete. If they can keep this up, they will be one of the premier non-IBJJF organizations in the world, right along with EBI and Polaris. Keep an eye out for the next Berkut event!