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Ultra-Heavyweight Division at 2018 No Gi Pans Gets Leaner
Gordon Ryan's entrance brings the competitors to the division, temporarily
Perenniaal BJJ buzz-maker Gordon Ryan recently created a disturbance in the jiu jitsu Force by signing up for the 2018 IBJJF No Gi Pans coming up this weekend. The ADCC gold medalist had been extremely outspoken about his plans to focus on Gi jiu jitsu and compete in upcoming high-profile IBJJF Gi competitions in the near future. The entrance into the ultra-heavyweight division came as a bit of a shock to the grappling world.
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Right away, Atos Heavyweight Kaynon Duarte made the move to the ultra-heavyweight division. Surprisingly, so did lightweight Gianni Grippo, who seemed to do it a bit facetiously. It was when Gracie Barra drama starter AJ Agazarm decided to sign up for that division that the world took notice. AJ doesn't seem to get along with many of his peers in the BJJ world, so it's no surprise that Gordon Ryan is no different.
Surprise signups scurry back to lightweight division
But most recently, both Gianni Grippo (who anyone with a sound mind expected) and AJ Agazarm both vacated the division and moved back down to the lightweight division. Gordon Ryan took this opportunity to call them out for what he saw as their attention seeking and trying to "build a name off the King" approach. What do you think? What were they hoping to accomplish? Did it work?
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Is the sport of BJJ and submission grappling starting to catch the WWE disease that we have seen overtake and plague the UFC for the last 5-6 years? Will it increase viewership for the events broadcast on the various media channels like FloGrappling? If so, what is the cost? Is this approach to match making and tournaments going to help or hurt BJJ? As fans and consumers, we have the power to decide. How mainstream do you want BJJ?
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