Okay guys, this PGF season is almost over. I’ll probably put out one more blog post for the finale, but otherwise I’ll chill until the season 3 qualifiers start. This season has been awesome. The interviews pre and post match, the Lonnie Jones intermissions, the higher caliber of competitors – it’s all been goodness. Thanks to BMAC and his team, we’ve had another great season of submission grappling.
As we enter the final week (and last two blocks), let’s look at the current standings:
Okay, so what do we know currently?
- The top four on the Red Team are set – Elijah, the Elkins Bros (season 3 coaches), and Evan 8-Mile Stapler are making the playoffs.
- Hunter Colvin, Sam Barbosa, and Stephen Eakin will be in the playoffs for the Blue Team.
What are the storylines to follow in week 8?
- Who gets the final playoff spot for the Blue Team?
We discussed this issue at length on the McDojo Show this last week, but I’ll run through it again. Kemoy “RatedR” Anderson is currently in the fourth spot for the Blue Team, but he’s only five points ahead of Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau. Primeau faces Grayson Webster and Jake Elkins in the final week. If Primeau gets the kill against Webster, he can slide into that fourth position at the end of Block 14. Kemoy faces Hunter Colvin in block 14 (loss) and will face Evan “8-Mile” Stapler in block 15. If Primeau gets the kill against Webster, Kemoy will have to score a submission against Stapler, who has shown himself very capable of fighting off submissions. Here’s a more sinister question – if Primeau’s last match is after Kemoy v Stapler, does Jake enter into a little COLLUSION and let the fellow Southerner get a submission on him and get the ticket to the playoffs? Primeau is very, very sneaky and could pull out some prison rules action against Jake without any assistance. Regardless, it will be very interesting to see who gets that last playoff spot.
2. Which Elkins will be on top after the regular season?
Big brother is on top of the standings, but only by 3 points. Matt faces MEGA Mike Johnson [KILL] and Stephen “Shoeless Joe” Eakin [KILL] which should mean 12 points. Jake faces Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa [loss] and Kevin “the Liquid Terminator/Prison Rules/the Pete Rose of the PGF” Primeau [KILL] which would mean 6 points. If I’m right with these predictions, the Maneless one will pull ahead of his big brother and secure the second spot on the Red team.
3. WHO SHALL REIGN SUPREME????
Last season going into the final week, it was crazy – Nilo Burgener, Matt “the MANE” Elkins, and Elijah Carlton all had a chance at winning the regular season. Matt “the MANE whose middle name is WAYNE” Elkins snuck into that second spot. Elijah came out, even being sick and got the kills to win it all (and letting McWhorter take the damn fantasy title – MCWHORTER!!!!!). Currently, Hunter “the Professional” Colvin is the leader with 78 points. Elijah Carlton is in second, just a kill behind, at 72 points. Sam “the Kingpin” Barbosa is another kill behind Elijah at 66 points. Both Colvin and Elijah should get submissions in their Block 14 matches – with Colvin submitting Kemoy and Elijah submitting JUDO. If Hunter submits Elijah, he wins outright. If Hunter and Elijah get their kills in block 14, then Elijah gets the kill against Colvin, it would be a tie (I’m guessing Elijah would be on top with the head to head win). Then there’s a bunch of other permutations out there, but I won’t go into all of them. Sam can’t get the #1 spot unless he can get a super dunk (7) and another kill and Hunter doesn’t get any points. But, Sam could get the number two spot if Elijah settles for a break against Judo and Sam gets two kills. Again, I won’t go into all of the permutations, but it will be fun to see how this all works out.
FINALLY, let’s talk the fantasy standings
Okay, the COLLUSION beneficiaries will have to lay some eggs for Egghead to be victorious this season. I feel like the Dang Buffalo Bills over here (for you youngsters, they went to four straight superbowls with Jim Kelly as their QB from 1991-1994 and lost all of them). I can feel good knowing McWhorter will not be victorious this year, but I’ll probably have to get my vengeance on Rudy Michaud next season. (seriously, who puts a clearly injured guy on their fantasy squad absent…COLLUSION?). Phillip Matthews got some double collusion with the blue team sneakiness early in the season and not updating his team so he could have a budget busting team later in the season – but he has to live with choosing to be in the chair force as opposed to being a real warrior, so that’s a bad enough fate and I won’t pile on (btw, the red crayons are the tastiest). So putting Stephen Eakin on my fantasy team cost me a grand, no biggie. I just hope Rudy Michaud does some serious super chats with his winnings. Congrats Rudy, you earned it.
Now onto the fantasy analysis for this week:
For your consideration, each fantasy team has 7 possible spots with a total salary cap of $119 for the week (UPDATE: THE COMMISH TRIED TO MAKE IT HARDER ON US BY REDUCING IT A DOLLAR – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED COMMISH!). 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)
Hunter “the Professional” Colvin (black) – $34; faces Kemoy “RatedR” Anderson (brown) [KILL] and Elijah Carlton (brown) [KILL] – 12 points. The “walking, breathing back take” will continue his dominance. Yeah, I’m calling his match against Carlton a kill.
Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton (brown) – $32; faces – JUDO Justin Williams (white) [KILL] and Hunter “the Professional” Colvin (black) [LOSS] – 7 points. Elijah finds a way to get the dunk on Williams but loses to Colvin.
Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa (brown) – $29; faces Jake “the Head” Elkins (purple) [BREAK] and Joshua Gibbs (purple) [KILL] – 9 points. Sam repeats his kimura victory against Jake Elkins and gets his RNC against Gibbs.
Jake “Head” Elkins (purple) – $27; faces Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa [loss] and Kevin “the Liquid Terminator/Prison Rules/the Pete Rose of the PGF” Primeau [KILL] – 6 points. The wrestling exchange could be fun with the first match, but Barbosa dispatched Elkins handily in the season 1 finale. Elkins wears down the Rona-diminished Primeau and gets the kill.
Stephen “the Spoiler” Eakin (black) – $25; faces James Regina (purple) [KILL] and Matt “Maneless” Elkins [LOSS] – 6 points. After Eakin helped dash my fantasy championship hopes last week, I’m tempted to say two losses or draws. But, I’m still a big fan of Eakin – his style, his viewpoints, his philosophy. If you aren’t checking out the Dream Show and the Dream Live Show, you’re missing out. As a true blackbelt, Eakin not only knows a lot, but is constantly learning and adding to his wisdom. It might sound odd, but Lonnie Jones was right last week when he said the ragtag group of grapplers were very articulate. As one of the elders, it makes sense Eakin has a refined (and constantly evolving) viewpoint. Anyway, I have to say he knows how to smash Regina. As I said in my recap, I think Matt Elkins has been sandbagging us and might just have a sneaky answer for Eakin [it’s called the front headlock play, son! – please re-read that in a Matt Elkins accent].
Kemoy “RatedR/the Bully” Anderson (brown) – $21; faces Hunter “the Professional” Colvin [LOSS] and Evan “8-Mile” Stapler (blue) [KILL] – 6 points. Colvin is not a puzzle to be figured out, like Carlton’s guard; Colvin is a force of nature to be weathered. If you win, it’s by forcing a break instead of a kill. Kemoy is fierce, but Colvin is “the Professional.” I’m still a fan of Eva Stapler who has taken up for blue belts everywhere, but I have to admit, I’m kinda hoping Kemoy gets in there and takes all his frustrations from this season out on Stapler. I know Stapler has shown remorse, but a bit of “RatedR” Purgatory could be good to burn away the goon sins of Stapler’s past matches.
Matt “Maneless/the Fade” Elkins (brown) – $18; faces MEGA Mike Johnson [KILL] and Stephen “Shoeless Joe” Eakin [KILL] – 12 points. The Sandbagger will continue his dominance in the late frames of the PGF. Matt and MEGA train together regularly, I’m sure so they should know each other’s games. If Matt can choke out his brother, he can kill a MEGA. Shoeless Joe hurt me last week, so I’m counting on Matt to get some payback for me (HAHA, just kidding, but Matt is dangerous and used to the PGF format). Eakin could force the draw, but Matt really could pull out the kill.
Evan “8 Mile” Stapler (blue) – $17; faces Randy “Dumptruck/the FUTURE” Roden (blue) [LOSS] and Kemoy “RatedR” Anderson (brown) [LOSS] – 0 points. Okay, so maybe I got a little sadenfreude going on with picking a fellow blue belt who has received acclaim to get a double loss. 8-Mile has shown great grit and determination throughout the season, even with some goon moves. Even when the mat enforcers came for him, Stapler acquitted himself well. Eakin actually told BMAC he’s stealing Stapler, involving him in the latest MidSouth Classic. So, back to the matches. The Battle for Blue Belt Badassery (like the alliteration?) should be pretty great. If Evan tries to stand with Dumptruck, we could see another throw like Matt Elkins experienced. I’m calling it for Roden because he’s got the mat hours (I’m counting wrestling mats) and athleticism. Kemoy hasn’t delivered on the promise we all saw in him coming into this season. I think Kemoy may channel that frustration/cognitive dissonance into a smashing of a certain blue belt.
Kevin “Liquid Terminator/Pete Rose” Primeau (purple) – $16; faces Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster (blue) [KILL] and Jake “the Head” Elkins (purple) [LOSS] – 6 points. Grayson is a beast and could force a Rona diminished Primeau to a draw, but I feel Primeau has something he wants to prove to himself and will take this opportunity to get the kill. Jake is just too physical for Primeau in his condition. Grayson will likely tire out Primeau, then he’ll still be tired heading into the match with Jake. Jake’s pressure will be too much at this time.
Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) – $16; faces Joshua Gibbs (purple) [BREAK] and MEGA Mike Johnson (purple) [DRAW] – 3 points. Hopefully, Gibbs learned his lesson from trying a leg lock shootout against Regina. Still, Edwards will likely get Gibbs in a leg lock entanglement and score the break, even money on it being in the first minute. MEGA has a very similar game to Stephen Eakin’s. MEGA should be able to bring enough pressure to keep Edwards (who is still injured but soldiering through) from elevating him for leglocks. But we’ve seen MEGA have problems finishing matches and even Stephen Eakin had problems finishing Edwards, so I’m calling it a draw.
“MEGA” Mike Johnson (purple) – $14 – aka the world’s most mysterious man; faces Matt “Maneless” Elkins [LOSS] and Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) [DRAW] – 0 points. MEGA is a game competitor but he’s facing two serious brown belts this week. He could get the submission against Edwards if Edwards inverts and hurts himself further, but I think MEGA doesn’t gain any points in the last week.
Joshua Gibbs (purple) – $12; faces Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) [LOSS] and Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa (brown) [LOSS] – 0 points. Gibbs is a great guy but he faces two very game brown belts this week. Gibbs will keep fighting but have to settle for learning.
Randy “the FUTURE” Roden (blue) – $12; faces Evan “8-mile” Stapler (blue) [DRAW] and James Regina (purple) [KILL] – 6 points. I think we’ve only seen a head and arm triangle from Roden thus far. Stapler has been very hard to kill with the head and arm, so a draw is very possible. Roden should be able to overpower Regina and get the kill.
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.
James Regina (purple) – $11; faces Stephen “the Dream” Eakin [LOSS] and Randy “Dumptruck” Roden [LOSS] – 0 points. Regina has had great spirits this season, but I think he’s been holding back in favor of his upcoming MMA match, but as it turns out, it seems Regina withdrew from the March 5th match anyway.
Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster (blue) – $10; faces Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau (purple) [LOSS] and JUDO Justin Williams (white) [BREAK] – 3 points. Grayson faces a very tough Primeau. Grayson’s youth and strength could wear down Primeau, but old “Prison Rules” Primeau likely has a solution to the problem. Grayson should have faced Williams many times before and should have a solution to JUDO’s defense.
Justin “Judo” Williams (white) – $8; faces Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton [LOSS] and Grayson “the Southern Samurai” Webster (blue) [LOSS] – 0 points. JUDO has been a great competitor this season, showing very strong defense throughout. This week he’s facing one of the PGF’s best and a frequent training partner. It’s just not JUDO’s week.
PGF Week 8 Matchups
Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) v Joshua Gibbs (purple) – BREAK, Red 3. Edwards gets the footlock. Gibbs faced Regina, a lesser leg locker and made the poor decision to go to a leg lock shootout. I don’t think Gibbs makes that same mistake here, but Edwards is a leg lock killer. He’ll get to that 50/50 and secure the break.
Randy “Dumptruck/the Future” Roden (blue) v Evan “8-Mile” Stapler (blue) – THE BATTLE FOR BLUE BELT SUPREMACY!!!! DRAW. HARD TO CALL. Stapler has that dog/dawg in him, but Roden is a BEAST, son. I think the only submission we’ve seen from Roden has been the arm triangle. We’ve also seen Stapler withstand the arm triangle from both a purple and black belt. I think Roden controls the match, but neither can secure the submission.
MEGA Mike Johnson (purple) v Mat “Maneless” Elkins (brown) – KILL, RED 6. These two roll regularly in Birmingham. Jake Elkins handled MEGA handily, so one has to think Matt will do the same.
Stephen “the Dream” Eakin (black) v James Regina (purple) – KILL, BLUE 6. Eakin smashes Regina and gets the kill. They’re both mma fighters, so they both have the killer instinct. Regardless, Eakin’s a bad man. He knows it and Regina will know it if he pushes Eakin. Eakin showed against Edwards that he knows how to handle the leg attack. Against a lesser leg locker, Eakin will smash the legs, pass and get that choke.
Kemoy “RatedR” Anderson (brown) v Hunter “the Professional” Colvin (black) – KILL, BLUE 6. Last season, everyone said Elijah Carlton was two levels above everyone else. Well, Kemoy is legit, but Colvin is probably a level above him. Colvin finds a way to Kemoy’s back and gets the kill.
JUDO Justin Williams (white) v Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton (brown) – KILL, RED 6. JUDO has shown some serious choke defense. Carlton’s best chance at a kill might be to sit and attack JUDO with one of his triangle setups. Absent that strategy, I think Carlton could easily get frustrated by JUDO’s defense and settle for a leg lock. Plus, he knows he’s not winning on points for the regular season, so he might get the quick leg lock to save energy for Colvin.
Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa (brown) v Jake “the Head” Elkins (purple) – BREAK, BLUE 3. We saw this matchup to crown Barbosa the inaugural 225 champ. I haven’t seen any reason to not believe the same thing will happen again. It could be fun to see a little wrestling at the beginning of the match. I’m a big fan of both these guys, but when it comes to jiu jitsu, Barbosa gets the win.
Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau (purple) v Grayson “the Southern Samurai” Webster – KILL, Blue 6. Kevin could go prison rules and settle for a break or Grayson could tire out Primeau and get a break himself. But I have a feeling Primeau will want to finish strong this season. Primeau needs this kill to have a shot at the post season. He’s called the Pete Rose of the PGF not only for betting on his competition but also for being Charlie Hustle. You got this Primeau.
Team Winner: I have the Blue team winning this one but it’s close.
James Regina (purple) v Randy “Dumptruck/the Future” Roden (blue) – DRAW. Squidbilly said if he’d faced Roden at the end of the season, he wouldn’t have been able to catch Roden in a leg lock. Either that’s a compliment or possibly also based on seeing Regina not being able to secure the leg lock. I don’t think Regina can finish Roden and I don’t think Roden has the solid subs to finish Regina, so I think it’s a draw. Of note, Roden is still the future and will be deadly as the PGF crew mentors him in the next few years.
MEGA Mike Johnson (purple) v Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) – DRAW. Zack will likely sit or be taken down by MEGA. MEGA has great pressure and should be able to fight Edwards, keeping Edwards from elevating MEGA. I also factor in this match as the third match of the night. Even though Edwards is a warrior and will know it’s the last match, he’s likely also dealing with a roughed up back. I don’t see MEGA finishing because he has issues finishing. I don’t see Edwards finishing because of MEGA’s pressure and strength. So, I’m calling it a draw.
Matt “Maneless” Elkins (brown) v Stephen “Destroys Egghead’s Dream” Eakin (black) – KILL, RED 6. I think it’s a fairly even match, but since Eakin made me a fan then dashed my fantasy hopes, I’m calling it for Elkins. Sam Barbosa’s coach told him not to let Eakin on top of him. Elkins needs to pull guard. We could see why Barbosa’s coach said not to let Eakin on top. That said, Elkins has that wrestling from the ground. I’m a fan of both these guys and really appreciate all of Eakin’s extra media, but I’m going to have to pick against him for grumpy reasons.
Joshua Gibbs (purple) v Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa (brown) – KILL, BLUE 6. It’s only a matter of time until Barbosa gets Gibbs’ back and secures the kill. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. Gibbs is the type of competitor we need in the PGF. He’s a great guy who gives some defense, but learns a lot from the competition. I think we see some nascent great qualities in him, but he needs some more seasoning as a young purple belt.
Grayson “the Southern Samurai” Webster (blue) v JUDO Justin Williams (white) – BREAK, BLUE 3. Grayson is the superior athlete and grappler and should be able to handle his often time training partner.
Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton (brown) v Hunter “the Professional” Colvin – KILL, BLUE 6. I’ve believed from the get go – Colvin finds a way to get the kill against Carlton. They’ve been talking mad sh!t to each other both on the videos and on social media as of late. In the end, I have to go with the opinion of the PGF competitors and the knowledge that Colvin’s black belt equals “experience” (nod to you mig-E). Congrats to Carlton on his HIGH ROLLERZ win, but he’s not beating the black belch.
Evan “8-mile” Stapler (blue) v Kemoy “RatedR” Anderson (brown) – BLUE KILL 6. Stapler is coming off a very tough match against Roden. Kemoy is a beast and more experienced in grappling than Stapler. Kemoy gets the ankle pick and gets on top of Stapler. Kemoy finds a way to get the kill. It’s a bittersweet end for Kemoy. He had a lot of promise coming into this season. I was touting him as a contender for the championship. But Kemoy’s experience with different rule sets likely caused him to go for the superior positions/passing vice going hard for the submission. Kemoy has the capabilities, but another season might be necessary for him to unleash his “instant kill” mode ala Spiderman. Primeau will be rooting for 8-Mile to grit out a draw. If Stapler can get a submission or a draw, Primeau could sneak into the post season tournament.
Jake “the Head” Elkins (purple) v Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau (purple) – BREAK, RED 3. Primeau is a beast, but Elkins will wear down the Rona-diminished Primeau. My bet is a kimura, but Elkins could get to mount and secure a choke.
Team Winner: I have the Blue team winning this one handily.