This Saturday, March 2, 2019, beginning at 6:00 p.m. CST Sub Spectrum will be holding its 7th event at the Adventureland Palace Theatre in Altoona, Iowa.
The event will feature a superfight main event between black belts Matt Leighton of Citadel BJJ and Tex Johnson of Unity Jiu Jitsu, as well as a co-main event superfight between John Battle of McHugh BJJ and Keith Krikorian of 10th Planet Freaks. In addition to the main and co-main event, Sub Spectrum 7 will also include other superfight matches and two 8-person 135 pound tournaments – one for men and one for women. You can watch the live stream of the event for free by going to the Sub Spectrum Youtube page and subscribing to get notified when the stream goes live. The stream will also be embedded on the Sub Spectrum Facebook page.
Sub Spectrum is the brainchild of Jordan Peitzman who trains out of No Coast BJJ, which is the primary sponsor of the promotion. Sub Spectrum’s secondary sponsor is Mouce Images, which provides the live stream, photo and video content, and podium photos, among other things. Other sponsors include Black Belt CBD, Fuji Mats, Elite Edge Transformation Center, Electrum Performance, and Engel and Maharry Legal Services. Peitzman, an avid competitor himself, was generally unsatisfied with the typical local tournaments and wanted there to be more opportunities for competitors to make money doing what they love. He also wanted to be able to have more opportunities to train with some of the best in the world without having to travel, so he created his promotion Sub Spectrum. For the Pro events, Sub Spectrum matches all utilize a 6 minute submission-only regulation round where no points are scored. If there is no submission at the end of the regulation period, the match moves to a 3 minute overtime round scored using the ADCC points system. Jordan has also added some interesting wrinkles to prevent stalling that include a well-known position from folkstyle wrestling – the Referee’s Position. You can check out the full rules on the Sub Spectrum website.
In addition to Sub Spectrum 7, this is the second time Sub Spectrum will also be running an open tournament to coincide with the pro event. Jordan recently told me that “the open tournament is a great way for up and coming competitors to prove themselves in a competition setting and begin building their resume to qualify for Pro events!” The Sub Spectrum Des Moines Open will take place the same day as Sub Spectrum 7 prior to the pro event, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and it will be held at the same venue, Adventureland Palace Theatre. Going forward, Jordan plans on using the Adventureland Palace Theatre as the official home of Sub Spectrum, however he also is going to be taking Sub Spectrum on the road later this year. He is currently considering locations such as Chicago, San Diego, Houston, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.
As you can probably tell, Jordan’s passion for jiu jitsu is boundless and one of the other unique things about Sub Spectrum is that he typically also hosts a seminar in conjunction with the pro events. This weekend there will be a Super Seminar featuring Tex Johnson, Matt Leighton, Keith Krikorian, John Battle and Junny Ocasio, who are all competing on Saturday’s card. The Super Seminar will be on Sunday, March 3, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost will be $40 per session or $100 for all five instructors, which is an absolute steal considering the jiu jitsu stars involved.
Speaking of which, this event has been flying completely under the radar which is insane considering the competitors that are involved in this card. Both the main event and co-main event are rematches, so it should be interesting to see if the results are the same the second time around.
Aaron “Tex” Johnson trains out of Unity Jiu Jitsu and although he has previously lost by submission to Leighton before, Johnson has been on an absolute tear lately. He earned his spot at ADCC by tearing through four opponents in under four minutes the east coast trials. He also just secured a big win over Ricardo Abreu at the Kasai Super Series earlier this February. With that said, Matt Leighton has gone 6 and 1 in his Fight 2 Win Pro matches and will surely be looking to prove that his first win over Tex was no fluke.
Keith Krikorian is probably one of the more well-known names on the event at this point because this guy just never stops competing. Keith is no stranger to Sub Spectrum having earned the title of champion three different times, twice at 155 pounds and once at 145 pounds. Keith earned second place at both the east and west coast ADCC trials in the past year and is the 155 lb Onnit Invitational Champion. Both Keith and John Battle are EBI veterans and both regularly compete on the Finishers Sub Only events. In fact, their first match was at the Finishers Sub Only 3 way back in January of 2017 before Keith really started making a name for himself. Keith and John were matched up in the first round of the 145 pound tournament and John won fastest submission of the night for his 8 second kneebar on Keith. Since then, Keith has come back to win both the 155 pound and 145 pound title at Finishers Sub Only 6 and 8 respectively. Oddly enough, both the Finishers 6 and Finishers 8 featured John Battle in a main event superfight, so Battle has continued to be a very active competitor himself. Just this past weekend was the Finishers 8 where Keith won the 145 pound title and John swiftly submitted Rey DeLeon of 10th Planet HQ/NYC via armbar. It is long past time that these two get their rematch and this co-main match up will be sure to entertain.
Outside of the superfights, the tournament brackets are both stacked as well. Tex Johnson’s teammate at Unity Jiu Jitsu, Junny Ocasio, has been a regular on the competition scene appearing in events such as Kasai Pro, EBI and the Finishers Sub Only. Austin Daffron is another one to watch out for, as he recently won the Finishers Sub Only 125 pound title with some insanely quick leg locks. Stepping up a division in weight here, speed is sure to be one of Daffron’s advantages. Chris Crawford is another tournament competitor that just competed last weekend in two separate superfights on the Finishers 8 card. He is constantly putting himself out there in competitions and is also very adept at the leg locking game.
In the female tournament bracket we also have some big names, such as Invicta FC mma contender Miranda Maverick, although her first round opponent Jessica Vann is no joke either. Vann seems to have more competition experience when it comes to higher level jiu jitsu events, having appeared in the Bullpen Submission Series, where she holds the 135 pound title and on High Rollerz BJJ. Other stand outs in the women’s bracket include Hannah Sharp, who recently took third place at the ADCC west coast trials. Sharp is also the 2018 IBJJF No Gi World Champion. Taylor Biagi will be another one of the ladies to look out for, as she is a 4-time IBJJF Pan American Champion. Truly all of the competitors in these two tournaments are absolute killers with impressive credentials and it should prove for an extremely exciting event.
EVENT LINE UP
Matt Leighton (Citadel BJJ) vs Tex Johnson (Unity Jiu Jitsu)
Keith Krikorian (10th Planet Freaks) vs John Battle (McHugh BJJ)
MEN’S 135 LBS FIRST ROUND MATCHES
Junny Ocasio (Unity Jiu Jitsu) vs Alex Weaver (Tri-City Jiu Jitsu)
Shaun Richmond (Carlson Gracie Aurora) vs Justice Bibbs (10th Planet Omaha)
Austin Daffron (Kindred Jiu Jitsu) vs Timmie Carpenter (The Academy of Combat Arts)
Chris Crawford (The Training Yard/10th Planet) vs Nate Williams (The Warrior Academy)
WOMEN’S 135 LBS FIRST ROUND MATCHES
Hannah Sharp (Renzo Gracie Portland) vs Sandy Salazar (Columbus MMA)
Kristine Campbell (10th Planet Omaha) vs Taylor Biagi (New Breed Training Center)
Jessica Buchman (Comprido) vs Mackenzie Manteris (The Darkside)
Jessica Vann (10th Planet Portland) vs Miranda Maverick (Springfield Fight Club)
Hunter Colvin (Brother’s Jiu Jitsu) vs Adam Bradley (Atos HQ)
BROWN BELT FEATURE (GI)
Nate Fenton (Breaking Point BJJ) vs Ramses Bugarin (Comprido)
BROWN BELT FEATURE (GI)
Jace Vevera (Tipping Point BJJ) vs Anthony Bell (Kansas City BJJ)
PURPLE BELT FEATURE (NO-GI)
Stephen Gladhill (Carlson Gracie Sauk Valley) vs Jose Urbina (Kansas City BJJ)
PURPLE BELT FEATURE (NO-GI)
Derrick Flaig (Heel Hookers Anonymous) vs Jake Bower (Alliance)
TEEN FEATURE (GI)
Claire MacDougall (Gracie Humaita Winnipeg) vs Brooke Crawley (360 BJJ)
Laura Kent is a 10th Planet jiu jitsu brown belt who trains at 10th Planet Bethlehem and 10th Planet Allentown under the Finishers MMA banner. She competes regularly and is an avid follower and fan of the submission only competition scene. Laura tries to make an effort to cover some of the local submission only events that get less coverage from mainstream MMA and jiu jitsu news outlets and will regularly cover the Eddie Bravo Invitational and Combat Jiu Jitsu events. Laura is an MMA fan as well, which is a large part of what led her to start her jiu jitsu training.