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The Kings of Eddie Bravo Invitational: The Danaher Squad

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With eight EBI events in the rear view and a ninth one upcoming, let’s take look back at the best of the past EBI champions. At the Eddie Bravo Invitational, the sub only format can either help or harm a competitor. Either they can rightfully adapted to the rules, or they won’t. Three competitors in particular can be called the best of EBI. Those three also happen to be from the same team, which is the Team Danaher from Renzo Gracie’s in New York. Eddie Cummings, Garry Tonon, and Gordon Ryan all have taken more than one title at the EBI events. Here are small breakdowns of these champs.

Eddie Cummings –

Rank: Black belt

EBI titles won: EBI 4 (featherweight) & EBI 7 (featherweight)

Techniques used most: Outside heel hook, inside heel hook, rear naked choke and butterfly guard

Best wins at EBI: Enrico Cocco, Baret Yoshida and Bill Cooper

Summary: Eddie Cummings, nicknamed the Wolverine is one of the best EBI champions there is to date. He has competed at three EBI events. Eddie first competed at EBI 3, in the welterweight division even though he is a natural featherweight competitor. He made it to the semi finals before being beaten by teammate, Garry Tonon. Eddie then returned at EBI 4, finishing every opponent with a heel hook, including legend, Baret Yoshida. At EBI 7, he was invited back to defend his featherweight title. He would finish two opponents by heel hook and two by choke, including American BJJ star, Bill Cooper.

Garry Tonon –

Rank: Black belt

EBI titles won: EBI (welterweight), EBI 3 (welterweight) and EBI 5 (lightweight)

Techniques used most: Outside heel hook, inside heel hook, rear naked choke, guillotine choke, and the truck

Best wins at EBI: Richie Martinez, Eddie Cummings and Josh Hinger

Summary: Garry Tonon, also known as The Lion Killer is a black belt under Tom DeBlass and a three time EBI champion in two different weight classes. Tonon won the welterweight title at the inaugural EBI event, defended and retained that title at EBI 3 and then won the lightweight title at EBI 5. Garry has taken over at EBI, having a huge finish rate like his teammate, Eddie Cummings, mainly by heel hook or choke. He is also known for his use of acrobatic takedowns such as the flying scissor and Imanari roll. His wins at EBI have been a big part of the highlight reels made of his work. In his time at EBI, he has beaten such Jiu Jitsu stars such as 10th Planet black belt Richie Martinez, Atos black belt Josh Hinger and his own teammate and fellow EBI champ, Eddie Cummings.

Gordon Ryan –

Rank: Black belt

EBI titles won: EBI 6 (absolute) and EBI 8 (middleweight)

Techniques used most: Outside heel hook, inside heel hook, rear naked choke and butterfly guard

Best wins at EBI: Yuri Smoes, Rustam Chsiev and Josh Hayden

Summary: Gordon Ryan is Gary Tonon’s first black belt student and the youngest EBI champion so far. Competing almost exclusively in the submission only scene, he has taken the world by storm at a young age. His first EBI was EBI 6, the first time the event decided to hold an absolute division tournament. He was a very late replacement for teammate, Eddie Cummings who was injured in training. No one expected him to go far, so he surprised everyone. He won the tournament, beating ADCC champ Yuri Simoes, and Russian heavyweight terror, Rustam Chsiev among others in a single night to win the title. He would return to his natural weight class at EBI 8 and would go on to easily win that tournament, defeating tough competition and an excellent leg locker in Josh Hayden.

These three are the kings at EBI. Their collective use of leg lock attacks, back attacks and endless set ups have proved their supremacy over other grapplers in the sub only rule set. As more EBIs are announced, you can guarantee that these champion grapplers will be invited back to defend and win more titles.


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