This Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT, the Eddie Bravo Invitational returns to the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles for its 13th event. The event will feature a 16 man lightweight bracket with 4-time EBI champion Garry Tonon defending his belt as the current lightweight champ, along with a 4-man welterweight combat jiu jitsu bracket to crown the first welterweight CJJ champion. You can stream the event on UFC Fight Pass or go to inchbyinch.tv for the PPV. Check out a full list of the EBI13 competitors below.
FAVORITE TO WIN: Garry Tonon, current champion
It’s pretty obvious why many assume that Garry will go home with his lightweight belt around his waist, including me. Garry is a 4 time EBI winner and widely thought of as one of the pound for pound best submission grapplers in the game right now. He already holds the EBI lightweight belt and 155 is a good competition weight for him, where he won’t be competing against much larger guys like he was when he won the EBI light heavyweight belt. Chances are high that he takes the belt home with him again.
DARK HORSE PICKS: Tie – John Battle and PJ Barch
This one was a hard one to pick because there are just so many great competitors in this tournament, particularly those making their debut, but I was at least able to narrow it down to two. This will be the first time competing in EBI for both of these two, but Battle and Barch are both no stranger to the EBI ruleset and high level tournaments. I can see both of these two making it far in this tournament and putting their names on the map in their debuts.
Battle, a brown belt under Pete McHugh and a coach at McHugh BJJ, is widely known on the east coast for his entertaining style and impressive technique. He’s made appearances in events such as the Finishers Sub Only, where he made it to the finals in their third event, as well as Sapateiro Invitational, Fight to Win Pro, and any other local tournament he could find to jump into. Some of his strengths are his ability to invert for guard play and his leg locking experience, along with being one of the taller competitors at 155 lbs.
Barch, a 10th planet black belt and head coach at 10th Planet Spring Valley, has come out on top in a good few high level EBI rule tournaments, including winning the Finishers Sub Only 2 at 155 lb, the Onnit Invitational at 170 lbs, and the Sapateiro Invitational 10 at 160 lbs. Just looking at his current competition resume, if anyone can upset Garry Tonon and take his lightweight belt this weekend, my prediction is that it will be Barch. Some of his biggest strengths are his kimura trap and back control game, which will be particularly helpful if any of his matches end up going into overtime.
LIGHTWEIGHT (155 lb) TOURNAMENT
Garry Tonon – Ocean County Jiu Jitsu (Defending Champion)
John Battle – McHugh Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
PJ Barch – 10P Freaks
Nathan Orchard – 10P Portland
Mike Padilla – Padilla BJJ
Lucas Valente – Gracie Barra Texas
Vagner Rocha – Vagner Rocha Martial Arts
Jason Soares – Freestyle Fighting Academy
Ross Keeping – Gracie Jiu Jitsu Las Vegas
Bill “the Grill” Cooper – Goodland Jiu Jitsu
Andreas Achniotis Perales – Renzo Gracie Cyprus
Issa Able – One Love Martial Arts
Chance “the Prodigy” Braud – Blacklist Jiu Jitsu
Mike Main – Pure MMA
James “Speedy” Gonzalez – Serra Longo
Brandon Walensky – Clark Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team
Breaking up the rounds of the 16 man tournament will be the combat jiu jitsu matches for the welterweight belt. Combat jiu jitsu uses the standard EBI rules with the addition of open palm strikes to the face and body when your opponent is on the ground, making it a nice stepping stone for those who want to test their jiu jitsu in a more realistic self-defense situation, or even transition to MMA. The only catch is that palm strikes are only allowed in the first 10 minutes of regulation and are not allowed in overtime.
At EBI 11, Eddie introduced the first combat jiu jitsu bracket which included JM Holland, Chad George, Nick Honstein and Sheridan Moran competing for the Combat Jiu Jitsu Bantamweight Belt, with Honstein eventually being crowned champion. EBI 12, which was the first EBI event to feature a 16 woman tournament, also included a 4 woman combat jiu jitsu bracket at flyweight (125 lbs), where Ilima-lei MacFarlane ended up taking home the belt after submitting Brooke Mayo and Celine Haga. This weekend’s combat jiu jitsu bracket will now be the third time that an EBI card has featured a mini combat jiu jitsu tournament, but all signs point to combat jiu jitsu becoming its own event, with Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds right around the corner.
Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds will be held on November 12, 2017 and will be the first event where the combat jiu jitsu ruleset will be the main feature, with palm strikes being legal during all of the tournament matches. Rather than the previous 4 man brackets that were added into EBI events between tournament rounds, there will be two 8 man combat jiu jitsu brackets, one at lightweight and one at bantamweight. All four of the inaugural bantamweight combat jiu jitsu competitors, Holland, George, Honstein and Moran, will be back for Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds, as well as many other big names such as Garry Tonon, AJ Agazarm, Cole Miller, Diego Brandao, Wilson Reis, and the list goes on.
Interestingly enough, Eddie Bravo has said that one of the two 10th planet representatives competing this weekend in the 16 man lightweight tournament, either PJ Barch or Nathan Orchard, will also earn a spot in the lightweight combat jiu jitsu bracket in November, depending on whoever makes it further at EBI13.
COMBAT JIU JITSU WELTERWEIGHT TOURNAMENT
Richie “Boogeyman” Martinez – 10P Freaks
Bobby Emmons- Nice Guy Submission Fighting
Thiago Moses – American Top Team
Max Rohskopf – Xtreme Couture
Alternate Match – Denny Prokopos v. Kevin Widdoes
The alternate combat jiu jitsu match between Prokopos and Widdoes will also be at 170 lbs and will be held to determine who will be on standby in case one of the main four competitors were to get injured during the tournament.