Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone.  As this Friday (today) there’s no PGF, it seems like a good time to look forward to next week. It’s either that or grab a beer and head to the computer, constantly refreshing the YouTube feed, looking at it devoid of new matches and doing my best Nancy Kerrigan impersonation: “Why? Why? WHYYYYY? *sob* *sob* *sob*” (In case you’re too young to get the reference, feel free to google that stuff (GTS).

So here’s some methadone for you PGF-addicted folks like myself.  A little something to whet the appetite for next week’s PGF action. 

Bonus Match: Matt “Scarecrow of Doom” Harrison (brown) v Mike “Manscape” Richey (white).  I think this match will crown the toughest guy to submit (obviously excluding the top guys in the PGF). The SOD has been submitted by Dallas Sharp in one of the best matches in the PGF (great comeback by Sharp), Jonathan “Elbow Genie” Roberts, and Matt “the Mane” Elkins.  I’m not counting the Knee Barrista because I believe he tapped first. Manscape has only been submitted by Nilo and Elijah (two of the top four competitors in the league). Both these guys are TOUGH to submit.  I think the question is whether the SOD can get Manscape into his guard.  If the SOD gets you in his guard, it’s nightmare time.  Manscape is a super strong man. Can he overwhelm the SOD with his strength and wrestling?  The SOD has no problem sitting guard and catching opponents in his web.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this match went to a draw, but it will be entertaining the whole time.

5. Caleb McAllister/Elijah Carlton v Moises Carrasco – Moises is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.  Heck, I still don’t know what BJJ rank he is.  I’ve found stuff online about him as a MMA competitor, tracked down the promotion he fought in recently, but I can’t even see if he won.  Let alone find any footage.  I do know he’s pulled off some nice chokes including a very solid darce and a dang Peruvian necktie (I’ve never got that dang thing to work). Being an MMA competitor like Matt “the Mane” Elkins should show he has athleticism and endurance.  But will his MMA background and bjj skills stand up to the challenge of facing two of the best competitors in the PGF?  Is Moises even healthy enough to compete in the PGF after his match?  Who knows, but I am very eager to find out.

4. Mario Gaor (purple) v  Seth Tatum (blue) – This match is a “I deserve my purple belt” match for Seth Tatum.  Seth hit the ground running in the PGF putting on display his strong triangle game.  His lankiness gives him great options for triangles and darces. He has a very strong guard.  Mario will be giving up a good deal of weight at Seth is near the limit.  Mario has energy but we’ve seen him susceptible to a quick double leg (against Roger Coehlo) and to a strong arm-in guillotine from Mike “Manscape” Richey (though they ended in a draw).  This match is very winnable for Seth.  If he does win, he can say I took down a 10P O’Fallon purple belt, might be time for that promotion.  On the other hand, Mario is on the bubble as the 8th place person in the Eastern conference.  He should have plenty of motivation to keep the likes of Diaddario and the Grey Goose at bay so he can make the tournament.

3. Joe “Cobra” Kai (brown) v Blake “Boy Wonder” Randall (blue) – Joe Kai started off the PGF with a bang then had a few weeks off.  Recently, he’s come back with a vengeance, darcing folks left and right, even calling his shot on a flying triangle.  Kai has been the subject of both an interview on Matt Skaff’s Grappling Discourse podcast and the PGF Youtube profiles.  He’s a very thoughtful competitor, but what we see every week is a dynamic, high-paced grappler.  Kai’s standing at 3rd in the Western Conference.  Blake “Boy Wonder” Randall came into the PGF looking like a Boy Wonder.  The 16-year-old used great wrestling, good footlocks, and his high motor to make an impact.  Lately, Randall has fallen upon tough times, running into fellow wrestlers who were much larger men and losing to a number of the top competitors in the league.  His losing streak aside, Randall faces an opponent who is much closer to his size in Kai.  This match should be blur of activity as both men try to weaponize pace.   In the end, you have to put your money on the brown belt with the better record, but it should be much closer than what you imagine if you just thought of #2 going against #10.

2. Matt Anderson (beast) v Mike “Manscape” Richey (white). This match moved up a spot to second most anticipated roll. More waiting equals more anticipation I guess. This match should be the Hulk vs the Thing matchup I was expecting when Anderson faced Elkins.  In that matchup, I didn’t appreciate the craftiness of the brown belt.  Here, we have a white belt behemoth battle. Anderson is a national-level powerlifter, posting truly high-quality athletic stats at the combine.  That said, the commentators last week said Mike “Manscape” Richey is stronger than Anderson.  Chiseled from granite and meticulously manscaped, Richey has proven to be a very tough competitor to submit.  He even made Elijah Carlton settle for a break instead of a kill (the only other opponent to only suffer a break was Nilo Bergener who is only one point behind Elijah for the Eastern Conference lead).  While Anderson is a judo brown belt, Manscape has shown great wrestling.  I think we could be in for a match highlighting the respective opponents’ athleticism and grit.  Part of me really wants them to stand up at the end of the match and do an old school WWF/WWE test of strength with the interlocked fingers.  That’s the only way we can know who’s the strongest, right?

1. Jonathan “Elbow Genie” Roberts (brown) v  Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau (purple). Two candidates who should go far in the tournament collide for our most anticipated match.  Until last week’s loss against the Matt “the Mane” Elkins, the Elbow Genie had submitted every opponent, including top contender Nilo “the Mop” Bergener.  His loss could have gone either way; Roberts almost had the Mane in the first 60 seconds with a heel hook.  The Liquid Terminator’s only loss was to Elijah Carlton who is currently the top overall ranked competitor.  Primeau took Caleb McAllister to a draw. Primeau is currently 10 points behind McAllister for the Western Conference top spot.  Primeau has one more match left than McAllister, who will be seeing the Elbow Genie in the final week.  If Primeau can get a kill on Roberts, it would go a long way to setting him up to overtake McAllister for first in the West. In this match, Roberts almost certainly will sit guard.  Primeau refuses to sit guard.  So the question is whether Primeau can pass Roberts’ guard.  Primeau needs to put Roberts on the defensive if he wants to walk away with all his limbs attached.  Even then, we saw Roberts execute a bottom side control escape right into a heel hook for his win against Nilo.  When this season is over, I’m hoping they put together a series of top moves.  If so, that escape to heel hook will have to be on the list.  So on the 11th, two very bad men are going to face off and I can’t wait to watch. I hope you like the roll-up of my most anticipated matches for Week 8.  I will push out my Week 8 fantasy analysis on Wednesday.

In case you’re wondering where I’ve been, I got word from my dad’s doctor he had a week to live, so I hopped a flight back to Kansas. We’ve got everything ready to honor his last wishes, but he’s stabilized a heatbeat away from death so it’ll be a number of weeks before I have to spread his ashes. I didn’t share on greater facebook, etc. but if you’re actually reading this post, I figure who cares. I already lost my mother six years ago, so I’m a little spent. The PGF and my hobby of writing about it for fantasy etc. has been a hobby that has helped me deal with stuff. As a great man once said, all we need is something to be enthusiastic about (see Waterbabies). Thank you for the PGF and giving me something to urge me to start writing again and giving me something to take my mind off my father.


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