What did we learn in Week 6? Instead of just being a recap of the week and how awesome my predictions were (which they were), I think I should put some extra analysis into these pieces. So, what did we learn this week?
- Zack Edwards IS A WARRIOR!
- Elijah Carlton is FOR REAL
- Rand Roden is THE FUTURE
Zach Edwards IS A WARRIOR!
Zack Edwards has been fighting with injury this entire season. You could see his pain in matches against the likes of Evan Stapler and definitely at the end of his match against Sam Barbosa. But Zack has some rest and recuperation time (maybe that time in the hot tub with MEGA Mike from the previews?) and was reinvigorated by the lessons taught by Lonnie Jones. So, Zack comes out and gets a choke on Primeau (not an easy feat) and gets a break against JUDO Williams. Zack is back. The Zack we knew could get things done in the PGF. We’ll see if he can keep the momentum going, but this bounce back exemplifies his spirit. You’re good stuff, Edwards!
Elijah is FOR REAL.
Elijah took out Sam Barbosa. I don’t think Elijah was in any real defensive position the entire time. Elijah was going for the choke for most of the match then switched to the leg lock and get a quick tap (after a couple of pops….it’s okay, Sam says he’s had both ankles broken multiple times). Regardless, Elijah just took out the 225 Champ with authority. Elijah’s a bad man in this rule set.
Roden is THE FUTURE.
Here’s some serious props: Stephen Eakin sat the fastest in PGF history against Roden and Elijah Carlton settled for a break with TONS of time left. Both have given mad props to Roden. EVERYONE I’ve interviewed or been a part of interviewing has pointed out Roden as the most surprising, most improved, etc. of PGF Season 2. Randy “The FUTURE” Roden is going to be a big name in this sport in the very near future.
One last thing I learned, or a thing that really crystalized in my mind this week, these competitors are LEGIT and GREAT PEOPLE. Seriously, we haven’t heard of any drama except maybe a little grief for Stapler’s goon tactics. We have a great group of diverse, skilled, knowledgeable competitors. If you watch Eakin’s behind the scenes footage it shows what Roden talked about (the way these guys talk about jiu jitsu is amazing). You have many gym owners and coaches who are competing here. If you listen to their coaching of their teammates or friends, it’s eye opening. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a nasty blue belt – and I aspire to see jiu jitsu the way these guys do. To be able to coach from the sidelines the way they do, it would be amazing.
It frustrates me the PGF hasn’t taken off as much as I thought it would this season. But, I know all of us who have seen it believe in the product. BMAC has some genius going on here and Conscious Keelan is still knocking out of the park with his filming. I think Stephen Eakin brought up a good point on his “live-ish” video this weekend. I think the commentators should be watching the matches live. You’re talking only three more people knowing results, but their reactions would be more immediate and they would have a sense of “the room.” I figure the commentators should either be commenting live with us fans watching or live with the competitors. If it’s live with us fans, I can send dumplings and they can interact with family members of competitors again. If it’s live with the competitors, they have more insight into what’s going on. Either option is better (but sadly I think the latter is the way). The commentators being hermetically sealed in this post-match, pre-stream situation doesn’t seem to add a lot of value.
Okay, that’s enough preamble. I had the guts of this recap done yesterday but wanted to be able to watch all of Eakin’s behind the scenes and live before posting this blog. Again, if you don’t like what I’m typing or saying, you might be able to take it to me on the 10th Planet Decatur mats shortly before the Season 2 finale…just maybe.
PGF Week 6 Matchups (predictions with UPDATES/comments on actual results):
Joshua Gibbs (purple) v faces Hunter “the Professional” Colvin (black) – KILL, Blue 7. DUNK. I think the professional gets it done in less than one minute. Gibbs is one of those competitors who keeps a good spirit regardless of the situation. He knows what/who he’s up against and will give it his all.
UPDATE: DUNK/KILL COLVIN, BLUE 6. Gibbs tried flying guillotine and got slammed for his effort. Colvin used his kimura to take Gibbs back (it’s like the Elijah Carlton triangle setup from Season 1 – they all know it’s coming, but have problems stopping it). Colvin gets the RNC for 7 points.
Matt “Maneless/the Fade” Elkins (brown) v Justin “Judo” Williams (white) – KILL, Red 6. Judo has really stalled out some competitors. But Elkins knows he needs the kill. He’s on the outside of the money and in the last tournament spot. He needs this kill to help secure his spot in the finale tournament. Elkins uses his “profesh” front headlock game to get the kill.
UPDATE: ELKINS KILL. Matt sits as required by his injury. Matt gets an ankle pick from bottom and comes out on top. It looks like Matt has that Darce locked in with 23 seconds to go for the super dunk, buuuuuuut JUDO DEFENDS! Matt gets to the mount then JUDO escapes it. JUDO tries a rolling kimura and gets Matt on top. Matt stays in control the entire match. Eventually, Matt gets the head and arm triangle. Matt celebrates by showing us all his “Christmas Pants” which were “majestic.”
Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) v faces Kevin “Liquid Terminator/Pete Rose” Primeau (purple) – KILL, Blue 6. I feel kinda bad picking this match. Edwards is powering through an obviously agonizing lower back injury and Primeau is still trying to find his cardio/power after the Rona. I’m going to pull a McDojo Show and go with my heart. Primeau gets his Sao Paolo pass early when he still has his cardio (remember first match of the night) and gets a head and arm triangle.
UPDATE: KILL EDWARDS. WHAT? Edwards starts wrestling? Kevin shows his favorite throw. Edwards works the scissor sweep. Edwards kimura grip to sweep. Back to Kevin on top standing. Edwards pops this triangle and gets a quick sub. He said it reminds him of some flograppling footage (Felipe v Barbosa?). Is Edwards back to normal? Could he fulfill the promise he had coming into this league? We’ll see.
James Regina (purple) v Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster (blue) – BREAK RED 3. Regina is a leg locker. Grayson fell to Elijah in a handful of seconds to a leglock, but that’s Elijah. Still, other than schools who just love to leg lock (looking at you 10P Freaks), most schools/students are hesitant to work leg locks for a while. While I say that, JUDO had some good leg lock defense against Regina, forcing Regina to get that sweet wristlock/straight arm bar. I have to think Regina collects himself on the day off and doesn’t get too excited on his leg entanglement entries, securing the break.
UPDATE: BREAK+ REGINA. Regina pulls guard. Grayson keeps putting himself into triangle situations, looking for the bully pass. He does it a second time and Regina triangle arm bar within the minute to get the bonus point.
Sam “the Kingpin” Barbosa (brown) v Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton (brown) – BREAK RED 3. The match of the night. I don’t want to put the results on it, but this match is Barbosa’s first one after suffering that “I can see my bone” injury during the paintball match. As I’ve pointed out before, Barbosa was scheming with Colvin and Eakin on how to take out Carlton. Elijah sits immediately – he knows Sam is too good to try to wrestle. Sam may try the rolling kimura but it didn’t work out for Caleb McCallister in the PGF Season 1 Finale Tournament (3:31:25 start). Honestly, I went back and watched that match because I was trying to think of who may have had Elijah in a bad spot. Elijah was in the superior position or neutral position the entire match. We have two competing PGF Fantasy Rules (publication forthcoming) – (1) You don’t bet against Elijah until someone beats him, and (2) If you don’t cheer for Barbosa, you don’t have a soul [his main goal is to open an orphanage]. So, I guess we put our fantasy dollars on Elijah, but cheer for Barbosa.
UPDATE: BREAK CARLTON. WOW. WOW. WOW. Barbosa said there’s no way Carlton taps him – he said Chase Hannah tried for XX minutes and that guy can tap Carlton. Elijah’s prefight interview was PURE CONFIDENCE. The chat during this match was QUIET. I think most of us were holding our breath. Honestly, too much here for me to recap. It was insane. Of note, Barbosa shut down Carlton’s triangle setup multiple times. Eventually, Carlton gets the straight ankle lock with multiple pops allegedly.
Jake “Head” Elkins (purple) v faces Evan “The Bad New Guy” Stapler (blue) – KILL RED 6. Papa Bear Elkins avenges his younger brother. Evan tried some of his uchi mata takedowns against Sam Barbosa and ended up on the bottom for his trouble…and that’s with Sam’s casual demeanor wrestling. I think Jake takes down Evan and puts the pressure on him. Again, I think there could be some of that 52 weeks of payback Matt Elkins promised given a little early here. Elkins got the 7 against Grayson and Gibbs, but I think 8-Mile has too much heart. Stapler lasts past the minute mark, getting a moral victory.
UPDATE: BREAK, ELKINS. The Head Elkins was way nicer than anyone would’ve guessed. The Bad New Guy tried to stand with Elkins. Elkins could’ve slammed Stapler, but was gentle about it. At that point, Elkins was in a solid arm bar situation and chose to just take it for the four points rather than improve his position and go for the choke. I’m surprised he didn’t spend the whole round punishing Stapler, but we all have to remember Block 12 is this same night. Papa Bear might have been saving himself for the scrap with his little bro.
“MEGA” Mike Johnson (purple) v Kemoy “RatedR/the Bully” Anderson (brown) – KILL, BLUE 6. I think a lot has to do with who ends up on top. I like Kemoy’s ankle pick takedowns. Kemoy is coming off a nice win against Joshua Gibbs via triangle. MEGA is coming off that frustrating draw with Randy Roden. Yeah, I think Kemoy has the wrestling advantage and gets on top. He bullies MEGA a bit and gets the mounted triangle…which is a way of me hedging because I think there’s a chance MEGA could sweep, but still end up in a triangle. Kemoy loves the kimura, but I don’t think going for the kimura on MEGA is a great idea. I’ll stick by my gut and say KILL, KEMOY.
UPDATE: DRAW. Walo Jay was right in his call of the draw. Kemoy seemed hesitant for the blast double. MEGA does the arm drag attempt getting Kemoy to pull guard. Kemoy goes from butterfly to closed guard. Kemoy tries an arm bar and gets bully passed for it. Kemoy gets a slick sweep, it looks like he’s trying to just get a butterfly hook in and MEGA’s weight is just right so Kemoy is able to topple MEGA. MEGA puts in the defensive lockdown, just stalling out. They get back to their feet. Kemoy shoots the blast double and MEGA tries to reverse. Kemoy scrambles on top. Kemoy gets to side control but can’t secure the submission in time. Kemoy didn’t get the submission but was happy dominating a “BIG ASS GUY.”
Stephen “the Spoiler” Eakin (black) v Randy “Dumptruck” Roden (blue) – KILL, BLUE 6. Eakin knows Roden’s game by now. I think Eakin guaranteed the fastest sit to guard in the PGF during this match. Eakin sits guard and starts working his lockdown game. I’m excited to see the black belt’s lock down game – where folks can see it’s an attacking/at least sweeping position. Once Eakin gets that sweep and gets on top of Roden, he’ll keep that pressure on and secure the win. Eakin has to push hard for this kill. He’s only six points above Kemoy and 14 above Primeau. 14 points might seem like a lot, but that’s two quick kills. There’s a chance Roden uses his athleticism to avoid Eakin’s submissions, but I have to give it to the black belt in this one.
UPDATE: EAKIN, KILL. In the running for the best match of the season, it highlighted the athleticism of Roden and the skills of Eakin. Eakin sat IMMEDIATELY (but Roden had a hand on his leg so Eakin gave him congrats on the takedown). Eakin was working that old school, dog fight, double dog fight game. Roden was showing insane athleticism WORKING that whizzer and at one point trying to lift Eakin to his feet off some double over hooks on the ground. It was insanity in the last minute. Eakin had what appeared to be a solid straight ankle lock but Roden escaped. They stand back up and Roden goes for his patented double overhook toss, but Eakin drops immediately, tucking his chin. Roden landed flat on his back with Eakin on top of him. Eakin goes for the head and arm with FOUR seconds left and gets the submission with TWO seconds left. WOW.WOW.WOW.WOW.
Team Winner: I have Blue by 6, but I also gave Primeau the kill when Edwards could catch Primeau in a leg lock. So, I’m really calling it a toss-up/within the margin of error (i.e. don’t pick players for the team points this week based on this block).
UPDATE: RED by #ALOT.
Evan “the Bad New Guy” Stapler (blue) v Joshua Gibbs (purple) – KILL, RED 6. I think 8-Mile’s aggression and pressure secures him the win via head and arm triangle. Gibbs might use his extra experience to trick Stapler, but I just think Stapler’s going to continue his march to BLUE BELT GLORY! (gotta give a fellow blue belt some love). I’m actually almost more interested in seeing if he can get that uchi mata takedown to work on Gibbs.
UPDATE: KILL, STAPLER. Gibbs might be the nicest guy in the league. Evan was trying to punish Gibbs. He was being a little dirty. He used an ear grind, used his chin on Gibbs’ face and eyes, etc. C’mon man. The Bad New Guy got the kill via head and arm triangle. Allegedly, Evan became a marked man after this match.
Kevin “Liquid Terminator/Pete Rose” Primeau (purple) v Sam “the Nice Guy” Barbosa (brown) – KILL, BLUE 6. Primeau could have made this match hard for Barbosa if he wasn’t recovering. As it stands, Barbosa will wear down Primeau and get the RNC.
UPDATE: KILL, BARBOSA. Primeau sat. Barbosa got a Japanese necktie/darce setup vice grip pretty quick. Primeau defended and almost got the sneaky straight arm lock but Barbosa got a leg in there. They roll and Primeau gest a sneaky, very sneaky Americana look and Barbosa YELPS. Primeau let go and asked if Barbosa was okay. Barbosa got back to the vice grip and got the submission. Many folks in the comments were asking if there was a verbal submission rule. Yelping on a pop…well, that’s good guy rules to stop, but the both played on so I guess it’s okay?
Kemoy “RatedR/the Bully” Anderson (brown) v Stephen “the Spoiler” Eakin (black) – KILL, BLUE 6. This night may be harder than night one for Stephen Eakin. Eakin has Roden, Kemoy, then Colvin – GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN! Luckily for Eakin, Kemoy has MEGA Mike in his first match of the night and he should be tired from dealing with that side of beef. Eakin knows if he wants a shot at any money, he needs to win out the season. Kemoy wants to show everyone the hype he had coming into the PGF was warranted. I can’t say how this match is going to play out, so I’ll again take a page from my McDojo Show buddies and pick with my heat. Eakin gets the kill. Either Eakin gets on top and does the head and arm or he has to work his lockdown game to sweep, then get a choke.
UPDATE: DRAW. So Eakin’s best wrestling is getting wrestlers to shoot and taking advantage of them. Kemoy seemed hesitant to fall into black belt traps. So, with 2:46 left, we finally get a blast double with a little left foot sweeping Eakin’s right foot takedown by Kemoy. Neither of these guys are the type to get submission quickly. Eakin working the lockdown game. Eakin looking to get the old school, gripping Kemoy’s toes, but Kemoy has the underhooks. It would have been a better match to watch if they’d just started on the ground. Eakin gets that beautiful dog fight sweep with less than 30 seconds left. Eakin tries for the head and arm, but doesn’t have enough time.
Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster (blue) v Matt “Maneless/the Fade” Elkins (brown) – KILL, RED 6. The difference in BJJ time is key. Elkins sits to protect his knee and save himself for BLOCK 12!!! (If you know, you know). Elkins finds a way to sweep and gets a choke off his front headlock game. I don’t think he goes for the leg lock again. Elkins has been battling through his leg injury all season. He should know if he can secure that fourth spot on the red team, he’ll have time to heal up and show what he’s about in the PGF Season 2 finale tournament. I think Elkins knows he needs this kill to help cement his spot in the tournament.
UPDATE: KILL, ELKINS. The smaller Elkins is no less of a handful as Grayson found out. Matt sits automatically. He tries for a bit of a leg lock then realizes he’s stressing his bad knee, then sweeps. Eventually, Elkins “activates front headlock mode” as Joe Kai said and gets the kill via guillotine. The Elkins brother got a new customer as Grayson had some very congratulatory words for them, showing some enlightenment for how important wrestling is in the submission grappling game. Grayson’s a serious class act. I’ll let Matt’s words on his appearance stand for themselves.
Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton (brown) v Randy “The FUTURE” Roden (blue) – KILL, RED 6. Elijah sits guard, nullifying Roden’s wrestling advantage. The Bad Guy finds a way to his patented triangle attack and executes beautifully. Roden might have seen the triangle attack before but still succumbs to it. Roden might be strong enough to push Elijah to force him to settle for a break (ala Mike “Manscape” Richey in season 1), but my money is on Elijah getting that triangle.
UPDATE: BREAK, CARLTON. His nickname is now THE FUTURE. We’re going to see Roden skyrocket up the rankings over the next handful of years. As the match starts, Elijah wants to wrestle a bit. Roden goes for the ankle pick but Elijah escapes. After about 12 seconds, Elijah decides to sit. They roll for a bit with Roden doing some very nice defensive work. Finally, Elijah decides it’s not worth trying for the kill and gets the leg lock. Elijah immediately gives props to Randy “THE FUTURE” Roden. Seriously, Roden’s going to be a force in the very near future.
Justin “Judo” Williams v Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) – BREAK, RED 3. JUDO has shown some good leg defense against Regina, but Edwards is on the next level of the leg game. Edwards sits guard, nullifying any JUDO throws/trips. Edwards gets the leg entanglement and the leg lock.
UPDATE: EDWARDS, BREAK. Zack gets to the top from the get go. Edwards works a little punch choke to get to the back take. JUDO defends against the RNC and gets past the one-minute mark. Edwards gets the reverse triangle, then forces the break.
Jake “Head” Elkins (purple) v James Regina (purple) – KILL, RED 6. Elkins is going to overpower all but the top of the top in this league. Regina will probably sit guard but Elkins trains under 10P Decatur and their purple belts have plenty of leg lock defense. Allowing Jake Elkins top position (if you had a choice) is probably a poor decision. Elkins likely gets to full mount and gets the head and arm triangle.
UPDATE: KILL with bonus, ELKINS. Regina tries to stand but has a lazy collar tie and Jake executes the pass/slide by. Note: I wrestled one year varsity in H.S. because the needed a guy for the 189 lb division. I would weigh in with my baggy jeans and doc martins after having biscuits and gravy at my favorite breakfast joint. So, all my wrestling lingo is stolen from the commentators and the pre- and post- fight interviews. I just wanted to come clean on that one. That one year wrestling has paid dividends for so many years – it was worth getting my butt handed to me time and time again. I did get one pin (unfortunately the one match my dad couldn’t make) and I had some pretty impressive “strength moves” which showed my football and not-too-far-off-the-farm strength, but it was mostly learning by humility. Oh, wait, I was summarizing a match from the PGF….So, Elkins gets to Regina’s back and gets in the body triangle. Jake tries the short choke. Then he uses his outside hand to push off the defending hand and finish the RNC for the extra point.
Hunter “the Professional” Colvin (black) v “MEGA” Mike Johnson (purple) – KILL, BLUE 6. The Professional knows it’s way better to be on top of MEGA than below him. They stand for a second but Colvin gets a double leg to put MEGA on his back (50 seconds in). MEGA probably tries for his half guard game after first being in butterfly, but Colvin passes and gets the RNC.
UPDATE: Seriously, this is the face of a killer. He’s just figuring out how he’s going to get the finish. There’s no emotion in those eyes. I know we can see the color in his eyes, but this little bit of interview made me flash back to Jaws. Elijah has the sports player’s bravado, but Colvin is just a PROFESSIONAL. Okay, back to the match. Imagine that, Colvin got the double leg. He went for the kimura to try to get to the back. MEGA defends. Hunter looks to play knee on belly, then chair sat to the back take. MEGA hand fights to defend. Colvin gets the RNC just eight seconds past the extra point. This man is legit. Kemoy, I might be riding nuts here, but I think I’m right.
Team Winner: Red team takes it by 9 points. Red is ahead enough to have a complete flip of a kill and still get the team points.UPDATE: Red got it again.