The fights at BOA Super 8

First impressions of the venue

Walking into the arena the first thing I saw was the 5-foot platform that held the matted area. I realised that this is where the fighters would be competing. My first impressions were “Is that going to be safe?”, “Is someone going to get injured?” and “That’s actually pretty cool!” The matted platform was connected to a runway with a large screen in the background that would have a feed of the live stream that was also available for viewing to those unable to come to the arena. This event hadn’t begun and I was already having the feeling it was going to be a great night ahead.

Shantelle Thompson X Demi Butler

The event started off with a bang in the first match featuring Demi Butler and Shantelle Thompson. Shantelle stood across from Demi as they were being introduced to the crowd motionless and staring intimidatingly towards Demi. I mean it was really intimidating. I was standing five feet below the platform behind her and I was scared of making a noise in case she saw me. As soon as the match started I knew it was going to be a good event. The six-minute time limit would prove to encourage the fighters to take action throughout the duration of the match. Both girls took charge and looked to come on top; Shantelle with a kimura attempt and Demi attacking from her guard. In the end Demi took the victory via points.

Dustin Brown X Kane Gehling

Next up was a match I had been anticipating since it was announced earlier in the year. Brown belts Dustin Brown and Kane Gelhing both started strong in the match, both looking to initiate their games. Dustin look good playing from guard and going inverted, at one point looking to secure a lapel choke from underneath but eventually succumb to a reverse triangle from Kane.

Craig Jones X Burak Sarman

The hits just kept coming in the third match of the night between Aussie purple belts Craig Jones and Burk Sarman. This match was sure to be a fast paced and well matched bout. Burak speed in his top game passing would be challenged by Craig’s long legged open guard game. It was certainly an exciting fast paced match. At one point I saw Burak twist out of one of Craig’s guard entanglements and I could of sworn that his shin went in the complete opposite direction of the rest of his body. Clearly this was not the case as I noticed I was the only one around cringing.

Eventually Burak was able to pull off a super slick guard pass to armbar, which I have seen him do a few times before. And it was fast man…really fast. Both guys put on a really show and should be proud of their efforts.

Kate Wilson X Livia Gluchowska

Up next we saw a great match featuring Arruda BJJ’s Kate Wilson against Maromba athlete Livia Gluchowska. Livia was working her spider guard well as Kate used grips to counter. Later Kate had the chance to work her own guard skills when she almost hit a really nice sweep from her De La Riva guard. Livia was able to base out with her left leg in time and then countered any further attempt at this sweep by ensuring Kate’s right leg couldn’t push against her hip to stretch her out again. It was great to see a battle of wits and technique as they tried to solve the puzzle of each others guard.

The match ended with Livia fighting to score points from the back but not before the timer sounded. Kate Wilson takes the match 2 – 0

The line up

Following the conclusion of the first four matches it was time for the competitors of the middleweight super 8 tournament to step out onto the mats for the line up and introductions. They did so with “stuck in the middle” by Stealers Wheel serving as the soundtrack. Which actually made me laugh as I saw Kit Dale pointing to the other competitors as the song reached the part “Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right…”. But this didn’t actually happen, I just imagined it….. Anyway moving on.

Australia’s top competitors were out on the mat at this moment and one international fighter in the form of Marcos Souza training out of Bonsai Jiu Jitsu, Japan. The addition of Marcos to the card stirred up a lot of interest in the event as we had the opportunity to see some of our home grown talent compete with world class international athletes in our own back yard. Not surprisingly Kit Dale was greeted with a lot of support from the crowd though it seemed that Lachlan Giles and Michael Tohme were given the most support from the crowd.

Angus Friend X Rodney Ellis

Before the quarterfinals for the Super 8 tournament began we were treated to another gi super fight, this time featuring black belts Angus Friend and Rodney Ellis. This was another great fight to watch as Rodney and Angus opened up their games and traded techniques on each other. Two times I saw Angus hit a sweep only for Rodney to then lock on an omoplata. Angus defended each Omoplata attempt and moved to an attack of his own. This was a great match to watch as it illustrated the idea that being swept or passed or having a submission applied on you doesn’t mean you are not able to attack back during the transition. The end of the match saw Angus Friend winning 9 – 5.

The Boa Super 8 tournament Quarterfinals

Kit Dale X Bruno Alves

When this match was announced I thought “Man, we have a final match already.” Two highly talented BJJ competitors about to make an impact on the crowd in a display of technique and guts. But unfortunately this match ended in controversy.

The first engagement saw Bruno Alves attempting to sweep Kit by under hooking his leg and bumping his hips towards the secured leg as Kit stood in his closed guard. The sweep was unsuccessful but Bruno was able to secure an omoplata. The competitors ended up on the perimeter of the mats and the referee signalled for them to restart from the same position in the middle of the mat. As they reset the position the referee allowed Bruno to restart with a lapel grip around Kit’s neck, which had previously not been there. This lead to Kit subsequently tapping out after the restart. Around me I could hear members of the crowd arguing the legitimacy of the lapel grip.

Though the grip had not existed in the position before the restart does not mean Kit wasn’t in a bad position. Anything could have happened if that grip had not been placed; Kit could have escaped or Bruno could have submitted him with the shoulder lock. Either way it was controversial indeed.

Thiago Braga X Marcos Souza

This match really proved that the six-minute rounds encourage competitors to put it all out there and fight consistently for each and every minute.

Thiago and Marcos were constantly moving and striving for better positions, both on the ground and standing, in the fashion usually seen in lighter weight divisions. The match ended 4 – 0 in Souza’s favour.

Lachlan Giles X William Dias

This match was no different to the earlier great matches in that it supplied a great technical game and strategies from each fighter.

Lachlan secured an omoplata early in the match, which Dias escaped by standing and shaking Lachlan off. Lachlan fell down and began to work his De La Riva guard, which Dias moved to pass with the knee slide position. Giles regains his guard switching to the reverse De La Riva and utilising the leg lasso. It was really great to see the two posing these technical problems for each other to solve in retaining/attacking from guard and the other passing.

It seemed as if Dias had succeeded to pass to the knee ride position and awarded two points. But this was quickly turned over as it became apparent that Giles still had his left leg between his belly and Dias knee.

Giles then attempts a sweep gaining Dias single leg but the two end up out of bounds and Giles is awarded an advantage, which was later removed from the scoreboard.

The last 40 seconds saw Lachlan fighting to pass Dias guard though unsuccessful before the bell.

The match ended in a ref’s decision to Dias.

Lee Ting x Michael Tohme

This match saw Ting attempting a sweep from the single X guard but not scoring points as Tohme returned with his own sweep before Ting could secure the position.

Tohme moves in to pull guard but Ting catches his leg before they hit the ground.

The match concluded with Tohme sweeping Ting in the last 10 seconds to win 4 -2.

Richie Kua x David Younan

A match featuring brown belts Richie Kua and David Younan filled the intermission between the quarterfinals and the semi finals. Both of these guys came out with a lot of energy. I mean a lot of energy even before the match had even started. I sat on the side of the platform as they introduced Richie, he was psyching himself up in a way that resembled Blanka from street fighter in idle mode. The fact that he was looking in my direction while he was doing it kind of made me believe he was going to fight me for a brief moment. I was busy trying to think of anything I could have done in the past for him to want to beat me up when the match suddenly started. Phewwww lucky it wasn’t me!

The boys went hard right from the get go in a double guard pull position fighting to establish the first berimbolo. The action was great and with no stalling usually seen in double guard situations. Eventually David came up on top earning two points from the position. There was some more action to come as the pair were instructed by the referee to retie the belts. Richie began psyching himself up again before they engaged for the second time. I thought to myself “This guy is an absolute legend” and I found myself cheering for him. As they engaged David Younan was able to initiate the guard and play from, what looked to be, his preferred position. David Younan then finishes Richie via triangle choke from his guard to take the win.

Paulo Polimeno x Miles Ivankovic

The second bout in the intermission period featured lightweight black belts Paulo Polimeno and Mile Ivankovic. Paulo is a seasoned veteran in the sport with a great history of matches and wins against well known high level BJJ athletes. Miles Ivankovic is young black belt with a solid and dangerous guard game. The match began with Paulo pulling half guard on Miles and looking to sweep. Miles did well to limit the attacks from Paulo in this position and work for the pass. Eventually Paulo scores a nice sit up sweep utilising a grip on the lower part of Miles pants to prevent him posting and creating a base when they came up, taking him down. The remainder of the match was a battle of guard attacks but Polimeno was able to shut them down in time to take the win 2 – 0.

Super 8 Tournament Semi-finals

Bruno Alves x Marcos Souza

If there was a match to take fight of the night… This was it! Six minutes, flat out, action.

Early in the match Alves is able to pass Souza’s guard. Souza is frantically moving to prevent the point being awarded but to no avail. Alves, after receiving the points, allows Souza to escape to his knees in order to take his back but was not able to secure both hooks before they touched the perimeter of the mat and were restarted back in the centre. Alves attempts another omoplata but Souza denies it. As they both stand Souza is hungry to catch up on points and shoots a double to takedown Alves, but the pair are close to the edge of the mat. Both fighters tumble off the edge of the platform falling 5 foot to the ground. … Do you think that stopped them? Nope! Straight back on the mat and straight back into the action. Later Souza snares a quick toehold and Alves forces the pair to roll from one end of the mat to the other where the referee instructs them to stop. The action continues and it is now the last few seconds of the match where Souza latches on to a super tight armbar. He put everything he had into it but the timer cut the submission short. Alves wins 4 – 3 in one of the best matches I have ever seen.

William Dias x Michael Tohme

The second semi final to decide who would face Alves in the final finished at the 3 minute mark. Dias hitting a very nice flower sweep to a super tight armbar on Tohme.

Murat Besnek x Lucas C Santana

Intermission before the final match was a nogi black belt bout. The boys started at a fast pace but Besnek was able to catch Santana in a super tight choke. Santana looked to keep calm and work his way out of the choke but eventually was choked unconscious.

Super 8 tournament 3rd and 4th place

Marcos souza x Michael Tohme

The match for third place was taken out by the international visitor; Marcos Souza. Marcos was able to reach a score tally of 12 – 0 before finishing the match via choke.

Super 8 tournament FINAL

The final match was upon us as we watched to see who would take home the $5,000 purse and the massive Championship belt on offer. I will admit this fight had me confused. I saw Bruno Alves working hard for the win against William Dias. The score had reached 3 – 2 in Alves favour when the confusion happened. As far as I can gather the rules in this tournament state that a fighter will receive a negative point for stalling and on the 4th negative point 2 points will be awarded to the opponent. Both fighters were situated at the perimeter of the mat in a 50/50 type position. Alves was awarded negatives in this position and apparently reached the limit for negative points but no points had been awarded to Dias. As the match finished Alves was up on points 3 – 2. While he celebrated the referees altered the score to give Dias the two points, leaving the score 3 – 4. Much controversy arose as both fighters and teams argued with all three referees about the situation. The audience looked at the score board as it changed up and down from 3 – 2, to 3 – 4 then, 3 – 2, 3 – 4 and so on. Then for some reason (I put it down to Aussie humour) the scoreboard hit 99 – 3 much to the amusement of the crowd. Finally a decision was made and Bruno Alves was announced the winner.

Conclusion

Apart from the incidences of controversy the event was a success. The six-minute time limits proved to improve the excitement and conditions of the bouts.

The match making for each fight couldn’t have been more perfect. Honestly before the event had even been announced I had always wondered how these competitors would fare against each other in a tournament like this. Thankfully I can cross that off my viewing list now. By far, in my opinion, this event was more exciting than the usual BJJ tournament format. I can only see this event improving the level of Jiu Jitsu and interest within the sport in Australia. The event was well worth the trip down from the Gold Coast to Melbourne and I am really really looking forward to the next one and to find out who will be on the next card?????

Article by: Cristiano Del Giacco

About The Author

Cristiano Del Giacco
Co-Founder & Lead Editor

Co-Founder of howweroll.com.au. BJJ enthusiast based on the Gold Coast and collector of Kimonos, travelling the world training with some of the worlds best.

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