PGF Season 2 Week 1 was a great success. It already has 4300+ views when Season 1, Week 1 only has 4851 as of the posting of this blog post. The competitors are not only larger, but of a higher caliber than last season. The production value has gone through the roof. It was just a great, overall super enjoyable time. Season 2 got some outside love in the press, but is still largely a grass roots promotion. So, if you are reading this blog, you’re already at least somewhat of a fan, don’t forget to pay it forward by sharing the feeds to all your friends, family, and training partners. If you have contacts in the media, any media, let’s see if we can get them some press releases. Any media can take my content for free with just a little attribution. Similarly, I know Walo and Chris of the McDojo show would be willing to share their awesome photography with attribution to support the PGF cause. Someone out there can help us get the word out more than we can dream, if it’s you, hook it up.
NOW FOR SOME REVIEW OF LAST WEEK’S PREDICTIONS AS WELL AS HOW THEY PANNED OUT (I’m tied for the lead in fantasy, btw – dang you McWhorter):
PGF Week 1 Matchups (predictions with UPDATES/comments on actual results):
1. Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton vs Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster – DUNK – Elijah gets the 7. Grayson Webster seems like a really cool guy. His Dad is a martial arts beast who like to do forms in the snow (true story). Still, Grayson’s main focus is his more traditional martial arts. He just got his blue belt recently. Elijah is a killer. He eats blue belts for breakfast (still, much love Grayson, I’m a blue belt as well, even calling my fantasy team “Blue Belts Are People Too”). But, this match was meant to make a splash and it will.
UPDATE: ELIJAH GOT 4 POINTS AFTER SITTING, GOING FOR A SWEEP, THEN GETTING A QUICK HEEL HOOK. ELIJAH ADMITTED HIS MISTAKE IN THE POST-MATCH INTERVIEW. IT’S FUNNY, BUT HE GOT NILO WITH THE TRIANGLE ARM BAR INSTEAD OF TRIANGLE IN HIS FIRST MATCH OF SEASON 1. IN THE HOME STRETCH, I THOUGHT GIVING UP THOSE EXTRA POINTS PUT HIM IN DANGER OF NOT SECURING THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP – WITH THIS SEASON’S KILLERS, THOSE LOST POINTS COULD BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT.
2. James Regina vs Kemoy “RatedR/the Bully” Anderson – Oooh interesting. Both these competitors are new to me. I only have tape of one Regina match. He seems to be a big leg locker/rubber guard guy (huge limbs being 6’5”), but Kemoy is a BEAST. Both have fought MMA. But, seeing Kemoy go against other 10th Planet competitors from the team duels makes me think he’ll win. Kemoy also has six (6!) fights in the Fight to Win promotion in the last year – he’s game and focusing on jiu jitsu now. While Kemoy seems like he loves to tear off folks’ arms and take them home (kimuras everywhere), I think he might find a way to a kill with his bullying pressure.
UPDATE: DRAW-NO POINTS AWARDED. I’VE MADE IT KNOWN I’M A BIG KEMOY FAN. I REALLY LIKED HIS SHOWING IN THE 10TH PLANET TEAM DUEL. BUT, HE HAS A NUMBER OF MATCHES OUT THERE WHERE HE WENT TO THE DRAW AND WON THE DECISION. IN HIS POST-MATCH INTERVIEW, KEMOY SAID EVEN WHEN HE GETS DRAWS, HE STILL DOES A GREAT JOB OF PASSING, ETC. THE QUESTION GOING FORWARD IS WHETHER KEMOY’S EXPERIENCE IN RULE SETS WHERE YOU CAN WIN A JUDGE’S DECISION HAS LULLED HIM INTO THE COMFORT OF SHOWING THE BETTER JIU JITSU BUT NOT SECURING THE SUBMISSION. REGINA IS SHOWING HIS LENGTH AND GUARD WILL MAKE IT HARD TO SUBMIT HIM. REGINA HAD A MMA FIGHT ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER FILIMING FOR THE PGF SO YOU KNOW HE HAS PLENTY OF CARDIO GOING INTO THE PGF. IT WAS A GREAT MATCH.
3. Matt “the Mane/Fade” Elkins vs Randy “Blue Blood” Roden – Roden wrestled for Duke (D1/AAC). He’s obviously a smart guy, getting into Duke and being a NHS scholar in high school (as well as being undefeated his junior and senior years in high school). The Mane (dammit, why did you get a haircut?) has the better jiu jitsu as a brown belt and has great wrestling of his own (co-owner of Ironclad Wrestling and wrestled in college as well). Elkins should know how to get the kill; he rattled off 11+ in a row after a rough first week in PGF season 1. Still, Roden is game. Everyone associated with the PGF says to watch out for him. He’s a D1 wrestler and works as a wrestling coach at a BJJ school. I have to think Roden might just pull off the upset (no, not winning), he may force Elkins to not get any points. I have concerns here and my concerns make the premium $20 price for Elkins a questionable investment. I’m all about Elkins, but I’ll admit I’m hesitating until I see Roden’s game (and it’s a salary cap issue).
UPDATE: DRAW – NO POINTS AWARDED. HERE WAS OUR AMUSE-BOUCHE FOR THE UPCOMING WRESTLING EXTRAVAGANZA WE WILL WITNESS WHEN JAKE ELKINS AND RANDY RODEN FACE OFF. THE WRESTLING WAS GREAT TO SEE AND MATT ELKINS DID GET TO APPRECIATE RODEN’S “MAJESTIC AFRO” AS RODEN EXECUTED A DOUBLE-OVERHOOK SUPLEX. EVERYONE INTERVIEWED HAS BEEN SINGING RODEN’S PRAISES – AND I HAD A FEELING HIS ATHLETICISM COULD SAVE HIM FROM SUBMISSIONS. WE’VE SEEN THE WAY TO WIN AGAINST RODEN IS THE LEG GAME, BUT HE’S SMART SO WHO KNOWS HOW LONG IT WILL WORK. ELKINS TWEAKED HIS KNEE AND WALKED OFF A LITTLE GINGERLY WHICH WORRIES ME.
4. Evan “8 mile” Stapler vs Hunter Colvin – Colvin is better known for his leg locks than chokes. Still, we have the most pedigreed PGF competitor, a black belt, against a blue belt. C’mon. Again, we have a designed dunk to open the competition. Stapler allegedly has killer cardio, so he may be able to make Colvin work for it, but the Colvin’s getting the kill. This prediction doesn’t keep me from listening to Stapler’s music video daily (ok, maybe multiple times a day – seriously, it’s a masterpiece).
UPDATE: COLVIN GETS 6 POINTS FOR THE KILL. EVAN TRIED AN IMANARI ROLL, BUT COLVIN STUFFED IT. COLVIN GOT A KIMURA TRAP AND USED IT TO GET EVAN’S BACK. BUT GIVE IT TO 8-MILE, HE GOT A SMALL VICTORY IN HOLDING OUT TO MAKE SURE COLVIN DIDN’T GET THE BONUS POINT FOR FINISHING HIM IN THE FIRST MINUTE. I HOPE EVAN TOOK THIS MATCH AS A WAKE-UP CALL LIKE KEVIN PRIMEAU DID AGAINST ELIJAH CARLTON – ACCORDING TO THE COMMENTARY SKAFF THINGS EVAN NEEDS TO BE ON TOP. IF EVAN’S GREATEST ASSET IS HIS CARDIO, HE NEEDS TO PUSH THE ACTION ON THE FEET AND TIRE OUT OPPONENTS.
5. Jake Elkins vs Justin “Judo” Williams – I’m a big fan of judokahs. One of my main training partners when I first started bjj was a brown belt in judo – a great guy (cheers to you Armbar/Otter!). Judokahs do practice ground fighting or Newaza as they call it; they’re normally great at arm bars (think Ronda Rousey). Still, Jake is a beast. He’s a high-caliber wrestler and purple belt under BMAC (which says a lot because 10th Planet Decatur is self-admittedly stingy with the promotions). Jake took down a Gracie black belt in the semifinals of the inaugural 225 lb bracket. I think Jake’s taking down this judokah with a kill.
UPDATE: JAKE ELKINS GETS 6 POINTS FOR THE KILL. JAKE TAKES DOWN WILLIAMS REALLY QUICKLY, THEN GETS TO MOUNT AFTER WILLIAMS GIVES UP ON HIS LOCKDOWN. AFTER WEATHERING THE MOUNT STORM A WHILE, WILLIAMS IS ABLE TO ESCAPE A MOUNTED TRIANGLE ATTEMPT BY JAKE. JAKE ROLLS RIGHT INTO A DARCE, FINISHING WILLIAMS. WILLIAMS SAID HE WAS HESITANT ON THE FEET DUE TO A KNEE INJURY, AND HE DIDN’T WANT TO RISK TWEAKING IT WITH AN EXPLOSIVE JUDO MOVEMENT. AS A GUY WHO HAS HAD FOUR KNEE SURGERIES, I WILL NEVER BEGRUDGE A GUY BABYING HIS KNEES, BUT WILLIAMS IS IN FOR A LONG SEASON IF HE’S LIMITING THE ONE AREA WHERE HE MAY HAVE AN ADVANTAGE (REGARDLESS, I WOULDN’T BE ANY MONEY ON JUDO JAKE HAVE ANY LUCK AGAINST MATT ELKINS OR RANDY RODEN – THEY’RE WRESTLING IS TOO GOOD).
6. Mega Mike Johnson vs Samuel “the Good Guy” Barbosa – Mega Mike Johnson is a social media black hole. He’s got that stuff on lockdown. He doesn’t have any searchable matches. All I know is he’s a purple belt from SBG in Birmingham and is very strong. From the promo videos, you can see him and he is built like Kirby Puckett (old school Minnesota Twins baseball player – or as my dad would say “like a spark plug”); basically ole boy has no neck and is thicc as the kiddos would say. While Mega is strong, Sam is renowned as ridiculously strong. During an interview of Barbosa in which I participated, I had issues resolving the Nice Guy he clearly is with the BEAST he turns into when competing. Sam suggests he may have some demons in there – well, those demons are going to propel him to a kill here. Sam might need a little time, but I’m thinking the promoters scheduled another dunk to kick things off.
UPDATE: THE GOOD GUY SECURES THE KILL FOR 6 POINTS. “MEGA” MIKE “SANDBAGGER” JOHNSON, WHOSE ONLY SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPPLING RELATED MEDIA WAS POSTED AFTER I SENT OUT MY LAST PREDICTIONS (IBJJF ATLANTA 2019 PURPLE BELT DOUBLE GOLD PIC), GAVE SAM A GREAT MATCH. AFTER WRESTLING WASN’T GOING ANYWHERE, SAM SAT AND MEGA MIKE WAS GIVING SAM SOME SERIOUS PRESSURE. SAM WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE, EVENTUALLY TAKING MIKE’S BACK AND GETTING THE RNC. MEGA MIKE DID SHOW US WHAT HE WAS ABOUT IN THIS MATCH. AS CAN BE SEEN THIS WEEK, MEGA MIKE MAY BE ONE OF THOSE HIDDEN GEM GUYS WHO CAN HELP US BREAK AWAY FROM THE PACK.
7. Joshua Gibbs vs Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau – I used to call Primeau the Pete Rose of the PGF because for a while in season one he was leading the fantasy standings. Of course, it was all live so it was fair-ish. Now, he can’t participate since he knows many of the outcomes of matches. And, to be fair, allegedly he’s the “liquid terminator” because he sweats a lot – as another aside that’s kind of the way many aviator callsigns are made (even the cool ones are actually a dig at the pilot – I knew a pilot with the callsign “Virus” which sounds pretty b.a. but then he told me it was because he was sick a lot as a young pilot). Okay, enough preamble, Primeau is a pressure/Sao Paolo passing monster. Gibbs is a purple belt, but with a solidly traditional, mostly gi bjj background. I can only find two Gibbs competition videos, both no gi, but neither seem to suggest he can stand up to Primeau. Seriously, Primeau went for 1:10 (that’s one hour, 10 minutes plus) in the PGF season 1 final playoffs/tournament. Primeau knows the scoring/the game; he gets the kill and is a bargain.
UPDATE: DRAW- ZERO POINTS AWARDED. COVID IS A HELL OF A VIRUS. PRIMEAU DIDN’T ADDRESS IT DIRECTLY IN THE POST-MATCH INTERVIEW, BUT HE ALLUDED TO HIS LACK OF ENDURANCE IN THE MATCH. HE SAID AROUND THE 2 MINUTE MARK, HE DIDN’T HAVE THE OLD LIQUID TERMINATOR STRENGTH. COMING IN AT 210, PRIMEAU WAS A GOOD SIZE FOR THIS COMPETITION, BUT WITHOUT HIS GRINDY ENDURANCE, IT COULD BE A ROUGH SEASON. GIBBS WEATHERED THE STORM AND SHOWED SOME REAL GRIT BY NOT TAPPING TO THAT HEAD AND ARM CHOKE PRIMEAU ALMOST FINISHED AT THE END OF THE MATCH.
8. Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards vs Stephen “the Spoiler/the Dream” Eakin – Very interesting. Eakin said words to the effect at the beginning before the match both of them agreed to not hurt each other. That acknowledgement shows respect for the capabilities of each other. Edwards is a self-admitted leg-locker. He sells out for leg locks. Edwards received his brown belt in 3 years (RIDICULOUS) from 10th Planet Bethlehem – the folks who brought us Jon “Thor” Blank and Grace Gundrum (two HUGE name in bjj). 10th Planet Bethlehem folks know their leg locks. On the other hand, Eakin is one of two black belts in this competition (seriously, when is someone going to give Elijah his black belt?). Eakin received his black belt from 10th Planet San Diego (the Freaks) head Richie “Boogeyman” Martinez. The FREAKS are known for their ridiculous leg lockers as well. I have to think Eakin will be able to defense Edwards’ leg locks. Does Eakin get the kill? I think it’s very possible. Eakin in his podcasts and on his Facebooks seems very happy/proud with how PGF season 2 finished. Still, this match has too many variables involved for me to make a bet on either of these guys (especially in this matchup) just yet.
UPDATE: DRAW – NO POINTS AWARDED. PROBABLY THE MATCH OF THE NIGHT. THE TWO ARE FRIENDS AND BOTH VERY GAME COMPETITORS. ZACK SITS GUARD. STEPHEN GETS THE BULLY PASS. JOE KAI WAS IMPRESSED WITH STEPHEN’S PACE, SAYING HE WAS DEFINITELY “NOT LETHARGIC.” [NOTE: KAI DIDN’T SAY THAT, BUT STEPHEN HAS FIXATED ON MY USE OF THAT WORD. IT MAY BE POSTED ON A BOARD SOMEWHERE GIVING HIM MOTIVATION, OR WRITTEN NEXT TO MY NAME ON THE WALL IN LIPSTICK (BILLY MADISON STYLE) WITH STEPHEN JUST WAITING TO DESTROY ME ON THE MATS] BACK TO THE MATCH, STEPHEN PUT ON A CLINIC OF GUARD PASSING AND HOW NOT TO FALL PREY TO LEGLOCKS. ZACK EVEN SAID HE WAS GOING TO SHOW THE TAPE TO FOLKS TO SHOW HOW IMPORTANT KEEPING YOUR WEIGHT DOWN IS FOR NOT GETTING LEGLOCKED (LINK TO DREAM SHOW LIVE UNAVAILABLE, IT WAS MOVED TO PRIVATE). STEPHEN ALMOST GOT ZACK WITH A KIMURA/STRAIGHT ARM BAR NEAR THE END. ZACK SAID HIS ARMS ARE USUALLY LONG ENOUGH TO NOT HAVE AN ISSUE BUT STEPHEN GOT HIS WEIGH OVER THE ARM ENOUGH THAT IT GOT TWEAKED. BOTH COMPETITORS ARE AWESOME, I STAND BY MY CALL NOT TO BET ON EITHER, BUT IT LOOKED LIKE STEPHEN IS GETTING READY FOR A RUN…RIGHT AFTER HE GETS DONE FACING BARBOSA NEXT.
OVERALL UPDATE: BLUE TEAM GOT THE TEAM WIN FOR BLOCK 12, NETTING EVERYONE ON THEIR TEAM A POINT. THIS TEAM WIN, GOT ME EXTRA POINTS FOR BARBOSA, COLVIN, KEMOY, AND KEVIN PRIMEAU. TEAM POINTS REALLY SHOULD ONLY BE CONSIDERED WHEN IT COMES TO A TOSS UP FOR A MATCH/WHO TO PUT ON THE ROSTER. I’LL TRY TO TRACK IN MY PREDICTIONS, BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE TOO SIGNIFICANT. LOOKING AT THE POINT TOTALS, WE ALSO SEE THAT SAM BARBOSA, EVAN STAPLER, JUSTIN WILLIAMS, AND GRAYSON WEBSTER WERE THE ONLY PARTICIPANTS IN THE COMBINE, NETTING THEM EACH TWO EXTRA POINTS (ALMOST A BREAK). OF NOTE IN THE COMBINE, GRAYSON WEBSTER CAME IN AT 222, THE HEAVIEST, BUT HE PUT UP SOME NICE NUMBERS, SHOWING HE’S GOT SOME ATHLETICISM WE MAY NEED TO CONSIDER FOR LATER MATCHES.