PGF SEASON 2 WEEK 2 FANTASY ANALYSIS

First, a quick announcement: dammit McWhorter, stop reading this analysis. You’re the Newman to my Seinfeld. I see we’re tied for first and I have a feeling you’re reading my blog again. I’m going to quickly rename it the “No McWhorter Club.”  But seriously, thanks for being a fan and good luck.

I’ve included my estimates of value of competitors with point values and a breakdown of matches. I did not include my ideal team setup. You’ll have to wait for the McDojo Show (whether I’m in the comments or on live) for my suggested ideal lineup. Or you could take the provided intel and build your own Excel spreadsheets. If you do want to get the most up to date advice, check out the McDojo Show on Fridays at 4:30pm Eastern Time.

A quick note on nicknames: Nicknames are fun. Case in point, my nom de plume is Egghead Warrior, a nickname given to me around 16 years ago by one of my best friends after assessing my “20lb brain” and choice of profession. I think I’m pretty good at nicknames. A few known rules about nicknames are they are not to be chosen by the individual to whom assigned. And the can either be acknowledgments of perceived excellence or avenues for taking folks down a notch who need it. I always think it’s funny when folks talk about the cool “callsigns” pilots have, as in those in the movie Top Gun. Call signs are normally given through a “kangaroo court” of other aviators, where they assign names mostly in the spirit of inside jokes and keeping egos in check.  I’ve tried to keep my nickname assignments in the same spirit of the k-courts, but with some names signaling due deference to character of that competitor. As I previously pointed out, I did coin the very popular nickname for Matt Elkins in season one of the PGF (PGF Season1, Week 2 –  1:26:49 – “someone” nicknamed Matt Elkins “the Mane” but then Matt shaved his locks for this upcoming season).  I thought it was a pretty good nickname. I’ll “try on” nicknames from time to time. As you might have gathered, I think Kemoy Anderson’s pressure style earns him the nickname “the Bully.”  But one of my new favorite nicknames “grew” out of an episode of the McDojo Show in which I was but a mere spectator. At 6:03 of The McDojo Show Ep #44 – Jake Elkins became: Jake “Head” Elkins. His younger brother Matt Elkins kept pointing out how Jake’s Head was so huge compared to the rest of the talking heads of the podcast. Jake didn’t have any comebacks other than to justify his HUGE HEAD due to xyz attributes. Chris and Walo of the McDojo Show kept bringing up the issue in later episodes in which I was involved with shooting. After looking back at the Elkins’ episode, I can see why. So, I’ve nickname Jake “Head” Elkins as such. It makes me think of “So I Married an Axe Murderer” with Mike Myers. Sadly, most of you reading this post or those competing in the PGF might not remember the movie, so I linked a good clip above. Okay, I’m going too long on this Orange on a toothpick issue. Sufficed to say, I like nicknames. Let me know if you like them or have better ideas (I think 8-mile is a winner, do you?).

Back to business: there are some matches with very real implications for PGF Season 2 rankings this week. We should find out where a number of competitors shake out in the rankings of the PGF this week. Be sure to watch this week – live if possible, let’s get the live numbers to 300+ this week.

Big shout out to Mark McEathron who is the man behind the PGFhome.com website redesign. He really knocked it out of the park. Lots of great functionality to the site, including player pages, easy to read/navigate fight schedule, nice rules graphic, etc. The redesign really improves the overall PGF experience. Great job Mark!

I’d also like to give a big shout out to all the lower belts who showed up and participated in the PGF Season 2. Guys, who in the spirit of Keahi Makekau, the other Mike Johnson, and Canaan Brooks continually showed up despite giving up size and experience. Lord knows, if I had received my vaccinations in time [I have a very susceptible person at home], I would have looked to take off a week for this fun…knowing I would be the dunkee, not the dunkor in oh so many matches. BTW, Canaan owes the McDojo Show crew and myself beer for PGF Season 1 – we’re not forgetting.

If you haven’t already, consider supporting Mat Viper, the folks that brought us the PGF rashguards. You missed out on the PGF rash guards from season 1, but they do have a t-shirt available. You can see Chris from the McDojo Show modeling it in episode 46.  I’m trying to get them to put out a PGF hoodie. I really could use another hoodie or two. The Commish supports it. I’m hoping for the pullover type with the big pouch in the front.  Regardless, support Mat Viper if you can. We need to support those folks who help defray the expenses for BMAC.

Now on to the analysis for this week:

For your consideration, each fantasy team has 7 possible spots with a total salary cap of $120 for the week.  Any left-over funds do not carry over to the next week. While one could hypothetically maximize their chances at success at playing all 7 roster spots, we often found during season 1 that sacrificing a roster spot to secure more “sure things” was the way to go.

SUPER PREMIUMS (you’re going to offset the expense by dropping a roster spot)

Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton (brown) – $25; faces Evan “8 Mile” Stapler [KILL] and Jake “Head” Elkins [BREAK] – 9 points. Elijah sits in both matches.  The Bad Guy catches 8 Mile in one of his patented triangles for the kill, but smartly settles for a leg lock against the “Head” Elkins. Sure, we might be overpaying for the points, especially if Elijah settles for a break against Evan, but with Elijah you know you’re going to get some points.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Elijah got two submissions in under a minute here to try to make up for only getting the break against Grayson Webster.

Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa (brown) – $25; faces Stephen “the Dream” Eakin [DRAW] and Randy “Dump Truck” Roden [DRAW] – 0 points. I could be wrong here. I want to be wrong here. I don’t think I’m wrong here. We’ve heard that if Sam gets on your back, you’re getting submitted. In the promo video(at 0:15), it shows Roden hitting a duck under on Sam, but Sam gets a guillotine. Sam later mentioned him “locking up” a guillotine on the McDojo Show (at 28:11). If Sam is as strong as Matt Skaff said in his PGF 2 Preview (at 06:14, feels like a gorilla; insanely strong), can Roden get out of that guillotine? Roden was able to get out of Matt Elkins’ headlocks and guillotines and his are legit. Likewise, while Eakin is a 10th Planet Freak Black Belt, he is around 15 years the elder of Sam. In his match with Eakin, Sam’s greatest strength (his defense) could be his greatest weakness. It seems Sam isn’t afraid of bad positions because he’s so good at defense. I forget which match it was, but Sam gave up his arm to a black belt who had a win over Sam’s coach.  Sam calmly took his arm back and submitted the black belt. Against Eakin, if Sam gives up a good position, he could face a submission. Sam doesn’t want to let Eakin paint a pretty picture using him as a canvas. Honestly, not going with Sam on my team could cost me $1,000 as I look back on it. I’ll definitely reevaluate this call a few times before Friday.

Hunter Colvin (black) – $22; faces James Regina [KILL] and Matt “Maneless” Elkins [BREAK] – 9 points.  Colvin has the best competition pedigree in the PGF.  Until someone takes him to a draw, I’m going to say Colvin gets the submission every time. Colvin’s a legit black belt; Regina is a purple belt.  They’re both MMA fighters, but Colvin looks to be climbing the ranks faster than Regina. I think Colvin uses that kimura trap to get to the back again and finished Regina. Multiple folks have mentioned Colvin is smart.  If he’s smart, he watched PGF season 1. While Skaff mentioned Elkins has been working on his leglocks, we saw from his match against Roden that Ekins is still working on that part of his game. Colvin probably saw Elijah Carlton take out Elkins quickly with a leglock.  Elkins already tweaked his left knee in his match against Randy Roden.  I’d be surprised if Colvin doesn’t target that knee in their match for a quick break. If Colvin goes for the kill, it’ll be to prove a point and that would be very interesting to watch.

PREMIUMS

Stephen “the Spoiler” Eakin (black) – $20; faces Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa [Draw] and Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau [Draw] – 0 points. Eakin’s first day reminds me of Matt Elkins’ first day of season 1. Elkins had a bad showing after going against the top competition, then rattled of more than a dozen consecutive kills. Here, Eakin already had to face Zack Edwards (resulting in a draw).  Now, Eakin has to face the reigning champ and a man who went >1:11:00 in a match for the PGF Season 1 Playoff Tournament. I’m a real fan of Eakin. I catch his PGF behind the scenes Youtube videos; I hit up his Saturday live broadcasts.  His philosophy and viewpoints are awesome. But this schedule is rough. I’m calling the Eakin v Barbosa match a draw. It could go either way. If Barbosa gets Eakin’s back, Barbosa gets the kill. If Eakin passes Barbosa’s guard, I have to think he’ll get the break. But, ultimately, I think they cancel each other out. When top competitors face each other in timed matches, a draw is the most likely outcome. Six minutes isn’t enough time for either of these guys to bake the other for that submission. Now, in a no-time-limit, sub-only match, who knows (but it would be awesome)? Normally, I would think Kevin Primeau would go all terminator and power through anything Eakin put on him. Primeau is known for his insane grit and endurance. However, we saw how COVID-19 affected Primeau in his match against Gibbs. There’s a real probability Eakin gets a kill or break on the weakened Primeau, but my heart is telling me Primeau gets the moral victory of taking Eakin to the draw. Primeau does have the luck of only facing Eakin after what will likely be Eakin enduring two six-minute draws.

Matt “Maneless/the Fade” Elkins (brown) – $19 ; faces Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson [Kill] and Hunter Colvin[loss] – 6 points. I am a huge Matt Elkins fan. I thought he was funny on “Not the BMAC show,” gave him the nickname “the Mane” in season 1 of the PGF, and continue to hope he does well. But I think we’ll see mixed results at best this week.  First, we need to consider Elkins tweaked his knee against Randy Roden.  Even though he walked off the mats under his own power, his gate was affected. In the final two matches of that night, Colvin takes out Elkins with a leglock – that’s my best guess.  The bigger question is Elkins v Kemoy. Kemoy has some wrestling and mma in his background just like Elkins. Kemoy is a brown belt just like Elkins. But Kemoy doesn’t appear to be injured or hurt. I think a non-injured Matt Elkins submitting Kemoy would say a lot about the strength of the top contenders from season 1 of the PGF. If Elkins gets Kemoy in a front headlock, I think he could legitimately get the kill. I think the kill is the best possible outcome (obviously, right), but the more realistic outcome might be a draw.

Jake “Head” Elkins (purple) – $17; faces Grayson Webster [Kill] and Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton [loss] – 6 points. The HEAD Elkins has an extremely mixed bag for tonight, facing one of the lowest ranked and one of the highest ranked PGF competitors. Jakes wrestling will smother Grayson, leading to a head and arm triangle for the kill.  But against Elijah, Head Elkins will quickly face a seated opponent, partially mitigating Jake’s wrestling. Elijah will likely seek a leg lock rather than risk the Head Elkins’ wrestling and heavy top pressure.

Kemoy “RatedR/the Bully” Anderson (brown) – $17; faces Matt “Maneless” Elkins [loss] and Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards [loss] – 0 points.  Kemoy could make a HUGE name for himself with these matchups.  If he could take out Matt Elkins and Zack Edwards, he would really shake things up in the PGF. Unfortunately for the Bully, Maneless is an impressive competitor.  He may be coming off a draw and a possible knee injury, but Elkins is still a beast himself.  Matt Elkins could make a big statement by scoring a kill on Kemoy – a fellow brown belt and someone who competes on the big-time stage frequently. I think Matt Elkins motivation may propel him past his injury to secure the kill, or at least the draw. Edwards is likely the best pure leg locker in the PGF. Kemoy has shown the ability to work against leg lockers in the 10th Planet Team duel and against Regina in his first match. But will Kemoy be able to keep his weight low enough against a leg locker who is at least another level if not two better than Regina (sorry Regina, Go Chiefs?). I think Edwards wears down Kemoy and gets the leg lock in the last couple of minutes in the round.  If Edwards can take the topside pressure of Stephen Eakins, he can withstand the Bully and make him pay.

AVERAGE

James Regina (purple) – $15; faces Hunter Colvin [loss] and Evan “8 Mile” Stapler [break] – 3 points. Colvin and Regina are both MMA athletes as well as jiujitsu players, so any perceived MMA athlete advantage is neutralized. Colvin is the higher-belted and pedigreed competitor. I’m sticking with Colvin until someone proves me wrong. Stapler is a blue belt but this match could be one where he surprises us. While I’ve seen Regina throw in the rubber guard in a MMA match, he has seemed to be a majority leg locker in straight jiu jitsu. Even when he got in top position on Kemoy, he eschewed the darce, in favor of a back-step 411 setup, going for the leg lock. Going into the second night of competition, we could see Regina’s team urging him to go for more kills, but we’re still on the first night and he likely gets the break.

Joshua “Shipmate” Gibbs (purple) – $15; faces “Judo” Justin Williams [KILL] and Grayson Webster [KILL] – 12 points. Blocks 2 and 3 are Gibbs’ best shots at making fantasy gold in the PGF. Even though Gibbs just got done with a grueling six minutes with Kevin Primeau, Gibbs faces two newly promoted blue belts. Gibbs should be a level above his competition this week. Gibbs comes from a more traditional bjj school just as Williams and Grayson do, so he should not be surprised by any techniques coming out of left field. To be fair, Gibbs two matches prior to the PGF available online have him going to EBI overtime so one might be concerned with his ability to get the submission in regulation. I could be wrong here, but my gut says go with Gibbs.

Kevin “Liquid Terminator/Pete Rose” Primeau (purple) – $15; faces “Mega” Mike Johnson [loss] and Stephen “the Dream” Eakin [loss].  COVID-19 is a hell of a virus.  It took my father and many of our family and friends.  But even for those whom it did not take, it diminished their athletic capacity at least temporarily if not permanently. Primeau had not fully recovered from COVID when PGF season 2 commenced (he was clear of the virus, but not recovered). He admitted as much in his post-match interview from week 1. Both BMAC and Matt Skaff had mentioned Primeau’s struggle with COVID.  They both said it did diminish him, but we shouldn’t forget he’s always going to be the Liquid Terminator. All this said, we all know Primeau has a workhorse attitude.  He shows the heart of a warrior every time he’s on the mat. But Primeau is going up against two of the biggest bodies of PGF season 2 this week. He faces Mega Mike Johnson who has drawn analogies to “Manscape” Mike of last season (as one of the strongest competitors, but this time with more skill, being a purple belt) and a gym owner and black belt in Stephen Eakin. Primeau’s just wasn’t setup for success this week. Tip of the cap to you Pete Rose of the PGF; however the matches end up, we know you’ll leave everything you have on the mats.

“MEGA” Mike Johnson (purple)– $15 – aka the world’s most mysterious man; faces Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau [KILL] and “Judo” Justin Williams [KILL] -12 points – This week, “Mega” Mike will shine.  He faces the Covid-compromised Kevin Primeau and “Judo” Justin Williams. I would really like to see Mega against a fully functioning Primeau – I think it would be a great match even if Primeau was giving up weight. But in this match, Primeau is not himself. Mega will get the kill. Judo could threaten with an arm bar, but Mega is a purple belt and should be able to defend against the arm bar, eventually smashing Judo before getting the kill.

Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) – $15; faces Randy “Dumptruck” Roden [BREAK] and Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson [BREAK] – 6 points. Does “Squidbilly” become the foot genie of PGF season 2 this week?  Anyone with some sense wouldn’t want to face Roden in any sort of wrestling after seeing his match against Matt Elkins (well, maybe Head Elkins would want to impose some Ironclad avenging). So, Edwards will sit right away against both opponents. Roden has the best chance to fall quickly.  Roden showed that Woodley v Maia sprinters pulse move to remove his legs from Elkins, but Edwards is at least two levels above Elkins on the leg game. It’s not going to work this time. Kemoy has faced some serious leg lockers, but I don’t think the level of leg lock game that Edwards brings to the table. Yeah, I know he faced 10P SD in the teams match, but Edwards came up from the 10P Bethlehem crew, facing the likes of Thor and Gundrum all the time. I have to think Edwards brings a different, east coast 10P leglock look as well as some serious skill, leading to the break. If Edwards takes both their legs, it’s likely he’ll be crowned the “Leg Genie” (much love to the original Genie, the “Elbow Genie” Jonathan Roberts who received his black belt after last season…probably overdue you joint-locking sandbagger! Hahahaha!).

BELOW AVERAGE

Randy “Dumptruck” Roden (blue) – $13; faces Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards [loss] and Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa [draw] – 0 points.  Roden is such a beast.  His match against Matt Elkins showed us why every interviewed participant of season 2 has said to watch out for Roden. But Roden was given a hard night. Edwards is likely the best leg locker in the league (tip of the hat to Elijah and Colvin). Having seen Matt Elkins face Roden, Edwards will want none of that wrestling.  Edwards will sit, elevate, and snatch a leg against Roden. The worst Sam will do is a draw; he’s just too good. I still can’t tell in my gut whether Sam locks up that guillotine for the kill. I’m starting to think he does. Regardless, Roden’s not submitting Sam. I just can’t wait until block 7 when we can see Roden face Jake “Head” Elkins for some insane wrestling action. With the right matchups, I really think Roden will be a quality, value pick. We’ll have to see how the season pans out for him.

PENNY STOCKS (NOT LIKELY TO MAKE YOU MUCH, BUT IF YOU HAVE MONEY LEFT IN YOUR POCKET…) – a reminder to all competitors, don’t take my comments personally. If I was competing, I would be squarely at the bottom of this category.

Evan “8 Mile” Stapler (blue) – $11; faces Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton [loss] and James Regina [unknown]. 8 Mile gets killed by the Bad Guy – sorry, but it’s science. Regina might be an opportunity for Evan to shine. Both Regina and Stapler lost a significant amount (~100lb) in their jiu jitsu fitness journey; they’re both long as well. Can Stapler handle the leg attacks of Regina?  While Stapler is a blue belt, 10th Planet Decatur is well known for being stingy with their promotions (looking at you Mr. Seth Tatum who finally got your purple belt after having an awesome showing in season 1). If the combine stats are correct, Evan is only 20 years old. That blows my mind. While he may have the youthful energy, the relative old age and deceit of Regina should carry the day.

Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster (blue) – $10; faces Jake “Head” Elkins [loss] and Josh “Shipmate” Gibbs [loss].  The Southern Samurai a good athlete according to the combine, but he’s facing a D1 wrestler purple belt and another purple belt.  Grayson’s best shot is against Gibbs, but it’ll be tough after Elkins smashes him.

Justin “Judo” Williams (blue) – $10; faces Josh “Shipmate” Gibbs and “Mega” Mike Johnson – two losses, 0 points. Judo’s best shot is an arm bar against Gibbs, but I think it’s long shot. I think Gibbs and Mega get the kills.

PGF Week 2 Matchups

BLOCK 2:

Evan “8 Mile” Stapler v Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton – DUNK, kill 6 points Red. Elijah saw Hunter Colvin get the kill on 8 Mile. I think Elijah gets his head right and steps up to get the kill as well. There’s an outside chance Elijah feels he has something to prove and gets it done within a minute. Also an outside chance that Elijah has to settle for a break.  If 8 Mile can only give up 6, it’ll be a win for him. The schedule makers really fed Stapler to the wolves on the first day.

Hunter Colvin v James Regina – Kill, 6 points Blue. Colvin is a legit black belt with a serious pedigree of competition. Regina has a warrior’s heart and skill, but Colvin gets it done within regulation.  Regina’s length may give Colvin some trouble, but picking against Colvin right now is a bad idea. Regina seems like a really genuine, cool guy.  

Randy “Dumptruck” Roden v Zach “Squidbilly” Edwards – Break, 3 points Red team. Everyone in the league just saw Roden handle all of Matt Elkins’ choke attacks and wrestling. Elkins had a couple of chances at leg locks, but he’s still working on his leg entanglement game. Zack is likely the best leg locker in the league. Zack sits to mitigate the wrestling advantage and gets the leglock on Roden. Zack very well might get it done within a minute, but I’ll just take that as gravy on the biscuit.

Kevin “Pete Rose of the PGF” Primeau v Mega Mike Johnson – Kill, 6 points red. It pains me to say it, but after having BMAC and Skaff mention Primeau having COVID recently before the PGF, as well as Primeau in his post-match video talk about his lack of energy, I have to jump off the Liquid Terminator train. Primeau is a helluva guy, but COVID is a helluva virus. The general side effects of COVID (empirically) has been a reduced athletic/cardio performance. Primeau is still a beast, still a bad man. However, Primeau isn’t Mega. Primeau is coming off a six-minute draw. Mega Mike Johnson was breathing hard in his match against Sam Barbosa, but only went five minutes. Mega Mike has some weight on Barbosa.  The normally grind-y Primeau is likely to get out ground by Mega Mike.  Voting with my brain and not my heart, I have to think Mega Mike gets his chance this week to shine. 

Grayson Webster v Jake “Head” Elkins – Dunk – Kill, 6 points Red team. Grayson showed some athleticism at the combine, but Jake is a stud wrestler. Jake will take Grayson to the ground and punish him until he gets the kill. We saw how Elkins uses all his weight on his opponent in his mount.

Sam Barbosa v Stephen Eakin – Draw – If Sam gets Stephen’s back, it’s a kill. Sam is too well known for being a gorilla-strength beast and deadly from the back.  But, Eakin is a LEGIT black belt from the 10P Freaks in San Diego. Now, Stephen has 15 years on Barbosa and just faced a full six-minute match against Zack Edwards.  Barbosa has allegedly only been submitted four times in the last how many years because his defense is super ridiculous. But his super defense could be Sam’s weakness. I’ve seen Sam give up his arm and position against black belts in the past, only to reverse them and win. While it worked in the past, it might have emboldened him to give up bad positions to Stephen Eakin. I don’t think anyone in this world wants to give Stephen Eakin an advantageous position. If Sam is lulled into confidence in his defensive abilities, he could have a harsh wake-up call against Eakin.  But, at the same time, in Sam’s post-match interview, he said he wanted to reserve his strength and energy for “those who deserved it” or words to that effect.  One can only surmise Sam knew Eakin was coming. Sam is legitimately “the Good Guy” and you really don’t have a soul if you cheer against him.  At the same time, I am really a big fan of Eakin’s philosophy and just about everything he’s putting out there in social media.  We also need to add that Stephen Eakin put on a promotional tournament in which Sam Barbosa won – which should give Eakin some insight into Barbosa’s game.  But does knowing a man’s game mean you can best it? Honestly, I can’t pick a winner in this match. If you choose to put Sam on your roster due to the possible kill against Roden, you better hope for some points in this match to make it worth your while. But you may take a flyer on Eakin, trusting him to kill the COVID-compromised Primeau and hopefully pick a submission here. Sorry, folks…may the odds be ever in your favor in picking this one.

“Judo” Justin Williams v Joshua “Shipmate” Gibbs – Kill, 6 points Red. Put simply and nicely, Gibbs is a purple belt and Williams is a baby blue belt. Gibbs should get the kill. Rest assured, I’ll make sure I only wear attire with no real grips around Judo Justin Williams after my commentary for this season.

Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson v Matt “Maneless” Elkins – Kill, 6 points Red. – I mentioned it above, but it’s worth repeating. This matchup is an indication of the level of competition found in PGF Season 1. The Maneless Elkins finished second in the regular season of the inaugural season of the PGF. He’s a solid wrestler, with serious jiu jitsu, especially some serious chokes off the front headlock. Kemoy has been featured on many a high-profile streaming competition. Both are former MMA fighters and brown belts. Seriously, I’m a big fan of both. I’ve watched every available online roll from both and some mma fights. This match should be fireworks, but if you put a gun to my head, I’m going Elkins by choke.  HOWEVER, it’s hard for me to account for how injured Elkins’ left knee is after the Roden match.  He was a little gimpy walking off. Was it a ice it and good to go thing? Did he borrow Eakins’ Normatec compression stuff in between rounds?  Who knows?  But, Matt Elkins is tough. So this match will be tough to call.

TEAM WINNER OF BLOCK 2: I think RED takes it this time. I have a good feeling Colvin gets the kill, but other than him, I don’t have super confidence in any other Blue team submission in block 2. Why does this matter? As we saw in Block 1, the team who has the most points, earns an additional point for each member. Team Winner projections should only be used in a tie breaker scenario between two possible competitors for a roster spot.  A Team Winner point is a nice to have, not a game changer.

BLOCK 3:

Joshua “Shipmate” Gibbs v Grayson Webster – Kill, 6 points Red. Purple belt vs athletic blue belt. Purple belt wins via kill. It’s the best week we’ll see for Gibbs. Believe me, I believe #bluebeltsarepeopletoo, but I’m playing the odds here. Gibbs is not just a purple belt, but an instructor at a BJJ gym. The best way to learn something is to teach, so Gibbs should be mastering his art.

Stephen “the Dream” Eakin v Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau – Kill, 6 points Blue. It was already going to be an uphill battle for Primeau to face Eakin. Eakin actually said he didn’t look forward to the match against Primeau; Eakin was a fan of season 1 and knows how tough Primeau can be. But Primeau contracted the Rona and it messed him up as so many others. It’s a testament to his character, to his grit, Primeau continued with the tournament and has performed so well thus far. I’m a big fan of the Pete Rose of the PGF and Stephen Eakin.  Here, the more extensive experience, the greater size, and the lack of COVID in the recent past, has Eakin getting the kill in the match.

James Regina v Evan “8 Mile” Stapler – Draw – Both are long guys. Both lost more than 100 lbs, I believe, in their bjj journey. Regina is a mma athlete, so should have some serious cardio. According to Matt Skaff (10P Decatur black belt, PGF commentator, and Grappling Discourse Podcast host), Stapler has some serious cardio as well. Regina could get Stapler in a leg lock, but 10P Decatur is stingy with its belts. To get a Blue Belt, they need to be able to defend the legs. This match is a serious opportunity for Stapler to get a submission.

Matt “Maneless” Elkins v Hunter Colvin – Break, 3 points Blue. Matt Elkins is a great wrestler. If you look a Colvin’s ears and know he’s from Oklahoma, you should believe he’s a solid wrestler as well. Colvin has the best pedigree on the roster. He has high level leg locks so I have to give him the break. Of course, it doesn’t help Maneless tweaked his left knee. Elkins may be more hesitant or less explosive due to his first-round injury.

Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa v Randy “Dumptruck” Roden – Kill, 6 points Blue. In the intro, Sam looks to lock up a guillotine after Roden tries a duck under. Getting a guillotine on a wrestler may be a bit on the nose, but still very believable. Roden powered out of Matt Elkins front headlocks and setups for chokes, so maybe Roden can’t be choked. It really does look like Sam has it locked in, so I have to go for him.

“Mega” Mike Johnson v “Judo” Justin Williams – Kill, 6 points Red. Mega Mike gets a dunk here as long as he doesn’t let Judo get a random arm bar. Ultimately, I think Mega Mikes’ size and strength secure the kill. Now that we know Mega Mike won the IBJJF Atlanta Open Purple Belt double gold, how can we not pick him? (dang sandbaggers).

Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton v Jake “Head” Elkins – Break, 3 points Red. Elijah doesn’t want any of Jake “Head” Elkins’ wrestling. Elijah might do some wrestling off his butt (ala Nilo Burgener), but you have to think Elijah is going to be smart and go for the leg lock. Elijah has that Sean Applegate, 10P Atlanta, deadly leg lock action going. But here’s the fun part, Elijah is awesome from bottom for both leg locks and triangles. Head Elkins has reputed black-belt level top game. This match could be really good.  Still, I have learned not to bet against Elijah (dang final week of season 1; dang you McWhorter!).

Zach “Squidbilly” Edwards v Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson – Break, 3 points Red. As mentioned previously, Squidbilly is one of the most serious leg lockers in this season. Kemoy has great, grindy top pressure and some good wrestling. They both compete a lot. My gut says Edwards gets the leg lock. Kemoy was really grinding on Regina almost the entire first match, but he allowed himself to end up on bottom. Then Kemoy allowed Regina to get him in a 411. Edwards is a better leglocker than Regina. Edwards is a little less long than Regina which should help him have a little more strength behind his levers to elevate or otherwise manipulate Kemoy into Edwards’ desired leg lock entry.

TEAM WINNER OF BLOCK 3: This one is close. If all my prognostication is correct, Red will win this block by 3 points.  That’s not a lot of margin, only one break or three matches where submissions occur in the first minute. Again, this estimation should only be used as a possible tiebreaker when trying to figure out a roster spot…better than flipping a coin?

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