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Kinektic Submission Grappling Preview: Team BJJ Fanatics
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Kinektic Submission Grappling Preview: Team BJJ Fanatics

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Kinektic Submission Grappling takes place August 16, 2019 from Anaheim, California live on UFC Fight Pass and features some of grappling and MMA`s elite in a new and exciting format. 

The event will feature four competing teams, each with five world class grapplers and MMA stars in a tournament consisting of semifinals and a championship final. Also on the event bill, there will be numerous super fights featuring top echelon athletes from various combat sport backgrounds. Although not officially released just yet, the rules or Kinektic are projected to resemble the same team format as QUINTET, another team grappling event also aired on UFC Fight Pass. 

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In the event`s teams, which are all captained by elite grapplers and mixed martial artists, consist of: 

  • Team Lionheart. Captained by UFC Light Heavyweight Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
  • Team SUG. Captained by retired UFC/Bellator fighter Chael Sonnen.
  • Team Lights Out Urban Achievers. Captained by UFC alumni Chris “Lights Out” Lytle. 
  • Team BJJ Fanatics. Captained by world class submission grappling stud Craig Jones. 

Team BJJ Fanatics consists of a distinguished amount of top level submission grappling/MMA talent including Edwin Najmi, Gordon “King” Ryan (replacing the injured Jake Shields), Nick Rodriguez, Lachlan Giles, and the captain himself, Craig Jones

Now we will have a closer look at the competitors on Team BJJ Fanatics. 

Team Captain: Craig Jones

Australian black belt and BJJ great Craig Jones received his black belt from fellow teammate Lachlan Giles after an epic performance at IBJJF No-Gi Championships in 2015. Jones trains out of both Absolute MMA in Australia and Renzo Gracie Academy NYC. Jones massively burst onto the scene at the 2017 ADCC finals by submitting the #1 ranked Leandro Lo, and has since made history in large promotions such as Polaris, where he became their first ever “champ-champ”, holding their middleweight and light heavyweight titles at the same time. Jones is regarded to many in the BJJ world as one of the best submission grapplers of recent time and is world renowned for his leg locks and Z guard techniques, as well as his triangles. Craig is without a doubt a juggernaut of a grappler who deserves this position at the top of an ultra-talented team.


Gordon Ryan:

The King needs very little to no introduction around these parts. Gordon Ryan has been destroying the submission grappling world since his breakout year in 2015, where he won the ADCC East Coast Trials and the IBJJF No-Gi World Championship, to name a few. He then went into 2016 with a head of steam and dominated everyone, winning EBI absolute titles twice, and every other super fight including appearances at the Onnit Invitational, Sapteiro, and Grappling Industries. Jump into 2017, Gordon won EBI twice, and then went on to demolish everyone who wasn’t called Felipe Pena at ADCC, taking gold in his division and silver in the absolute. In 2018 he won 4 gold medals at the IBJJF Pan No-Gi/No-Gi World Championsips level, capping off a stellar year. At his super fight earlier this year, Gordon won the fight however it was not without despair, as he suffered a nasty knee injury while in transition against Joao Gabriel Rocha back in February. “King” is coming off of a gnarly injury that had him rehabbing the majority of this year so far, however when you have an athlete of his caliber and his unwavering confidence, there is never doubting the man himself. The King is back and we are barely worthy of watching such a fast transition of injured to ready to jump in last minute from such an incredible grappler.


Nick Rodriguez:

This young man has taken the BJJ world by storm. He is currently the Fight 2 Win Pro purple belt champion, he took gold at the West Coast ADCC Trials, and has no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Rodriguez has been wrestling since the 6th grade, and uses his tireless work ethic, incredible skills, and ruthless pressure to translate major success in the sport of submission only BJJ. His attitude is brash, he trains with other killers like Gordon Ryan on the regular at Renzo Gracie Academy NYC, and the sky is the limit for this young, hungry lion. 

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Edwin Najmi:

Mr. Edwin Najmi is a BJJ black belt under Romulo Barral and is and has been one of the premier lightweight competitors of his generation. Holding 45 wins in grappling with 24 submissions, and now holding the Fight 2 Win Pro middleweight title, his stock is continuing to rise by the year. From 2016 until now, Najmi has been in the top 3 of basically every tournament or event he has graced his presence with, and the California native is focused and I believe a wonderful fit to this new, exciting world of team grappling. 


Lachlan Giles:

Australia’s Giles, also known as the “Velachiraptor” is the instructor at Absolute MMA in St. Kilda and trainer of the great Craig Jones, holds numerous titles including 1st place (3 times) ADCC Asia and Oceania Trials and 1st place IBJJF Pan-Pacific Championship (2 times). With a grappling record that has 15 submissions, Giles is a nasty leg locker and will be a large part of Team BJJ Fanatics.

This new and exciting style of submission grappling is what the sport is all about: Evolution. The constant evolution into the world of the unknown is what BJJ is all about in the first place, having that the sport seems to never settle in one spot too long. The concept behind this new style will test the skills, conditioning, and focus of all competitors and we should all be lucky to watch it unfold in front of our eyes. May the health and wellness be with all athletes as they push themselves once again into the crazy depth and constant surprise that is submission grappling. 


Gordon Ryan has already changed the course of Jiu-Jitsu with his Guard Passing DVD now he is set to do the same with the Closed Guard! Systemizing Closed Guard will provide the road map to success when in Closed Guard. Update your classic Closed Guard technique with a modern HIGH PERCENTAGE approach to attacking from Closed Guard!

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