From the event’s promoter Kipp Kollar:
Orlando, FL-On January 27, 2001, the North American Grappling Association took some pointers from the migrating birds of New England and flew south for some old fashioned Florida fightin’. The NAGA joined forces with World Extreme Fighting Promoter, Jamie Levine, and hosted the Sunshine State Submission Championship near the world capital of family entertainment, DisneyWorld. The tournament was the NAGA’s first foray into the Deep South and competition proved to be fierce and entertaining.
The competition also marked another first for the NAGA-traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rules for the Gi divisions. Historically the NAGA has preferred to use its own, well-established submission rules over the BJJ rules. But after considering a great deal of feedback from NAGA members who prefer the BJJ rules, the NAGA decided to break from the norm and honor the fighters’ requests.
Just under 150 fighters from as far as Massachusetts traveled to Florida top compete. Here are the results:
ADULT TEAM CHAMPIONS:
1st Place Team Marcio Simas – 69 Points
2nd Place Team Popovitch – 45 Points
3rd Place Team Renzo Gracie – 42 Points
4th Place Team Relson Gracie (Jax) – 39 Points
KIDS TEAM CHAMPIONS:
1st Place Tiger Schulmann’s Karate
2nd Place Performance Jiu-Jitsu
3rd Place Tong Dragon
4th Place Avellan Grappling
Other tremendous team efforts included Team Avellan, Team Tampa, Team Manimal, Team Savannah Goshinbudo, Florida Fight Team, Team Internal Power, Team Conan & JBA!
MOST TECHNICAL FIGHTER:
Leonel Perez from Team Relson Gracie tore through his competition in both the Heavy and Light Heavy Advanced No-Gi Divisions. On his path to victory were some of NAGA’s best, Anthony Argynos & David Tirelli who both made the trip down from the Northeast. Dave and Anthony will hopefully get another chance at Leonel when Rival Fight Gear offers Leonel a free trip to CT to compete in our 8-man competition in May.
Pablo Popovitch vs. Mat Santos
2000 North American Grappling Middleweight Champion Pablo Popovitch made quick work of Team JBA’s Mat Santos winning by arm bar submission from the guard in 33 seconds. Pablo fights out of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Mat Santos, another NAGA champion, flew to Florida to compete in the light heavyweight advanced division. But Mat jumped at the chance to face the chiseled champion when Pablo’s original opponent, Charles De Anjos, pulled a no-show. Look for Santos in the Feb 17th Absolute Division against Jeff Monson. Look for Pablo in the upcoming NAGA Mat Madness event on May 19th in Danbury, CT.
Paul Rodriquez vs. Rodrigo Ramos
While Paul Rodriquez is primarily an NHB fighter competing in WEF matches across the country, his pure grappling skills shined through in his 10-minute match against Rodrigo Ramos. While most of the match was fought from the stand up position, Rodriquez racked up advantages from numerous takedowns throughout the match. Ultimately when time ran out, the unanimous decision went to Paul Rodriquez.
We had a great time in Florida and are looking forward to returning at the end of the year. I want to thank all of you who traveled from the Northeast and from neighboring states like MS, AL, SC, LA. Also a special thanks for the teams who made the 4 or 5 hour trip from Northern/Southern parts of Florida.
Click here for full results