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Veteran black belts will line up to face the newly promoted. Local favorites will take on long-distance challengers. With 24 black belt matches lined up for Fight 2 Win 126, the card is set to be their deepest card yet and it goes down on Friday, September 20, in San Diego, California.
Over half of the matches are black belt matchups that could each act as a main event. But that’s what you get when you hit the mecca of jiu-jitsu and payout like F2W does. Here's a peek at five of the must-see matchups this weekend.
In the last year, Marcio Andre has become a father, started an affiliation (Marcio Andre Jiu Jitsu), opened a gym, and although he took some time off early in 2019 the No. 3-ranked featherweight has maintained a successful competitive year taking silver at this year’s Worlds. He even managed to keep his undefeated record at F2W, winning his last superfight on the F2W stage against Kennedy Maciel.
His opponent is new black belt Guthierry Barbosa, who destroyed the opposition in the colored belt ranks. Since earning his black belt in June (after winning Worlds, Pans, and Euros as a brown belt), Barbosa has topped the podium in his weight class and absolute divisions at various open tournaments. Guthierry frequents the middle and lightweight divisions, so the 170lb main event is closer to his normal competition weight, while Marcio will be going up a weight class.
King of the Mat vs A Heavyweight Challenger
The indomitable Gustavo “Braguinha” Batista is already back at it after being crowned the 85kg King of Mats last weekend. He is coming off an incredible performance and didn't concede a single point in that entire tournament, taking a 14-0 victory over Tinoco, and submitting both Diego Ramalho and Mix Lindblad via choke on his way to gold.
Ranked No. 2 at medium heavyweight, he is one of the most consistent and well-rounded athletes of this era, and will be taking on Checkmat's Felipe Bezerra in a 215lb gi match. The much-bigger Bezerra, who competed at ultra-heavyweight at Worlds, is recognized not only for his accomplishments in jiu-jitsu but also his extensive judo career, which could make this an exciting matchup.
Three Standout Women's Matches
Thamara Ferreira has been killing the gi-game, and she's already ranked No. 3 among the black belt middleweights. She received her black belt in June after becoming the brown belt World champion and didn’t skip a beat when she leveled up in the competition scene. Last weekend she earned her first title at black belt becoming the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam champion in the brown/black belt submitting two of her three matches.
This will be her first appearance in a no-gi competition format since being promoted, and it will be no easy feat taking on IBJJF Hall of Famer, former ADCC champion, and IBJJF No-Gi World Champion Luanna Alzuguir, who returns to Fight 2 Win for the first time since F2W 106.
No. 3-ranked lightweight, Gabi Mccomb hails from the renowned women’s team of Gracie Humaita under Leticia Ribeiro, in San Diego. She made waves as a colored belt, winning all the majors on her way to black belt. In her inaugural year at black belt, she has already become the Pan Am Champion. This will be her first time appearing as a black belt on the Fight 2 Win stage. She will face Tubby Alequin, a frequent face on Fight 2 Win flying in from Florida to take on the hometown favorite.
Of all the new black belts on this card, Janaina Maia is probably the freshest and she’s already hit the top five in the lightweight ranking. If you haven’t heard of her yet, you definitely will. She made herself known as a brown belt winning just about everything: Pans, Worlds and more, all with her aggressive top game. Just last weekend she fought No. 2 medium heavyweight Luiza Monteiro at the AJP Tour Grand Slam Los Angeles and lost by two points to the two-time World champion.
They'll face off again, but this time under sub-only rules. Monteiro's game should transfer into the sub-only format well as she is able to find submissions from anywhere, especially her infamous leg attacks. Passers beware.
Other notable matches:
*There will be 40 matches and over half of them are black belt matches.
185lbs Black Belt Gi: Ronaldo Junior (ATOS) vs Matheus Luna (Checkmat)
195lbs Black Betl Gi: Nisar Loynab (Atos) vs Nicholas Greene (Ralph Gracie)
175lbs Black Belt No-Gi: PJ Barch (10th Planet) vs Sergio Rios (99 HQ)
165lbs Black Belt No-Gi: Johnny Tama (Alliance) vs Kevin Berbrich (10th Planet)
125lbs Purple Belt No-Gi: Nadine Mandiau (Victory MMA) vs Jessa Khan (ATOS)