When Eddie Bravo first proposed EBI he did it with the mind of revolutionizing Jiu-jitsu competition. Taking some of the sport’s top athletes and pitting them against one another in a sub-only venue, and offering up a belt and a hefty sum of money. Sunday night was the EBI’s sixth event and its first open weight competition.
For those who remember, this card was initially set to feature Andre Galvao and Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu. Galvao withdrew with the intent to compete and coach for the then upcoming Abu Dhabi grappling championship; Cyborg withdrew to compete in the World Pro. The two would be replaced by Jimmy Friedich and Amir Allam respectively. Then Vinny Magalhaes was forced to withdraw due to injury and replaced by Felipe Fogolin. A few weeks prior to the event Eddie “Wolverine” Cummings was injured and replaced by teammate, and Garry Tonon black belt, 20-year-old Gordon Ryan. Cards are always subject to change, but with the loss of four of BJJ’s top competitors, the odds had begun to shift.
Garry Tonon and Yuri Simoes from Caio Terra academy were picked as favorites to win. Garry is a two-time EBI champion and is familiar with the sub-only venue while Yuri possesses a dynamic style of grappling and a strong frame that was crucial to his wins in the tournament. Tonon moved on to the quarterfinals with a heel-hook win over Felipe Fogolin, and would face Simoes after his win in overtime against Evandro Nunes. When the two squared off in the quarter-final, it would be Simoes who moved on to the next round after a win due to escape times in overtime. With this victory over Tonon, it seemed that Simoes may go all the way.
Compared to some of the other men on the card, Gordon Ryan was somewhat unknown. A fairly recent black belt under Garry Tonon at 20-years-old, Ryan was considered the “dark horse” of the competition. Following two decisive wins by heel-hook and knee-bar, and then submitting Yuri Simoes in overtime, the dark horse had made his way to the finals. He would face the dominating wrestler that is Rustam Chsiev. Chsiev advanced into the EBI 6 finals following his wins over Amir Allam and DJ Jackson.
The match between Ryan and Chsiev was a fast paced exchange of positions. Ryan’s technical guard work and inversions made it difficult for Chsiev to actively pressure and attain a dominant position. After some brief exchanges, it would be Ryan to walk away victorious with a win by rear-naked choke in overtime.
Despite some changes to the card, the event lived up to the hype and solidified Gordon Ryan’s title as the first EBI absolute champion.
Garry Tonon def Felipe Fogolin via Inside Heel Hook
Yuri Simoes def Evandro Nunes in Over Time
Gordon Ryan def Jacen Flynn via Rear-Naked Choke
Marcello Salazar def Fabian Bolaños via Armbar
Richie Martinez def Jimmy Friedrich in Over Time
Matheus Diniz def Lucas Rocha in Over Time
DJ Jackson def Bruno Bastos via Arm-In Guillotine
Rustam Chsiev def Amir Allam via North South Choke
Yuri Simoes def Garry Tonon in Over Time
Gordon Ryan def Marcello Salazar via Kneebar
Matheus Diniz def Richie Martinez via Straight Armlock
Rustam Chsiev def DJ Jackson in Over Time
Gordon Ryan def Yuri Simoes in Over Time
Rustam Chsiev def Matheus Diniz in Over Time
Gordon Ryan def Rustam Chsiev in Over Time
Photo: BJJ Heros