Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen an increasing number of Australian grapplers feature on invitational and professional grappling cards. We saw Kit Dale on Metamoris, a team of Aussies represent at Copa Podio, Lachlan Giles, Livia Gluchowska and Craig Jones on EBI, and more recently we’ve seen the likes of Craig Jones and Mikael Yahya feature on Kasai Pro.
This trend continues this weekend with Liverpool based Figure4Promotions bringing us the second instalment of GrappleFest. GrappleFest 2 features three Australians on the card - Craig Jones, Ben Hodgkinson and Tom Everett.
GrappleFest 2 Rules: The event features a submission only rule set, with three judges to determine a winner should there be no submission in regulation time. All matches, other than the main event, feature 10 minute matches with all submissions legal. Although the same rules apply for the main event, the match duration is 20 minutes.
GrappleFest 2, which will be streamed live on Flograppling, features a main event matchup between Craig Jones and Matheus Diniz. Kasai Pro 2 saw both Jones and Diniz competing for the Middleweight Championship where they were in separate brackets, however the match that many thought could have been the final didn’t eventuate. The final ended up being contested between Matheus Diniz and Atos', Mike Perez, with Diniz being crowned the Middleweight Champion.
Thanks to Figure 4 promotions, the highly anticipated Jones vs Diniz match will go ahead at Grapplefest 2. This match is sure to be action packed, with Diniz known for his aggression and Jones for his submission game. We look forward to seeing Jones back at it after the disappointment of the Palhares match, where grappling fans were left wanting more.
With Jones’ rise since his performance at the ADCC finals, it comes as no surprise that he has been headlining events around the world. Grapplefest 2 however, sees two other Australians feature on the card in Ben Hodgkinson and Tom Everett.
Ben Hodgkinson, a black belt under Lachlan Giles from Absolute MMA St. Kilda, has competed overseas on several occasions including representing Australia at Copa Podio. He also claimed bronze at the Europeans at brown belt, has competed twice on Boa Super 8 and secured his ticket to the Abu Dhabi Pro on several occasions. At Grapplefest his opponent is Ash Amos, a purple belt fighting out of Tillery Combat. Although a purple belt, Ash’s background is as a no-gi specialist, and he has won the Europeans at both blue and purple belt. Ash’s main focus is currently MMA where he’s the Cage Warriors Heavyweight Amateur champion and in the process of turning pro.
Tom Everett, a purple belt also under Lachlan Giles from Absolute MMA St. Kilda is set to make his debut on the big stage. Although a regular on the mats at St. Kilda, Tom’s work schedule prevents him from competing locally as much as he’d like. Tom recently picked up bronze in the -70kg professional division of the Australian ADCC competition held in Sydney. Tom’s opponent is Mark Lindars, a purple belt no-gi specialist that was won many local competitions and is known as one of the top emerging talents in the north west of England.
We wish all three the best of luck this weekend! If you’re game, Australians can catch all the action live on Flograppling at 0230 AEST on Sunday 16 September.