Fight to Win will see two no-gi grappling titans face off on Friday, February 19, 2021 as Vagner Rocha moves up in weight to take on two-time ADCC champion Yuri Simoes in the main event of Fight to Win 164.
The submission-only event takes place in Dallas, TX and also features elite black belt matches with Dante Leon vs Manuel Ribamar, Pedro Marinho vs Oliver Taza, Gianni Grippo vs Gabriel Sousa and more.
Vagner Rocha has twice made the podium in ADCC's -77kg division and signaled last year that he would seek new challenges against heavier grapplers. He did this with matches against Xande Ribeiro (a draw), Gabriel Almeida (a win via heel hook) and Jon Blank (a win via decision). Yuri Simoes will be the biggest grappler he has faced. Simoes took gold in both the 88kg and 99kg divisions at ADCC, and competed in the +99kg division in 2019. Whereas Rocha has a silver and a bronze at ADCC, Simoes is a two-time champ and will enjoy a +20lb weight advantage. We've been told Rocha does not lack for strength, and this will only be Simoes' second grappling match since 2019 as he spent all of 2020 focused on his MMA debut.
Dante Leon and Manuel Ribamar are both IBJJF World No-Gi champions, although in different weight classes. Leon took middleweight gold in 2019, while Ribamar won the medium-heavyweight division in the same year. Now they'll meet in a no-gi catchweight bout. Leon’s wrestling advantage and tricky guard game will need to be point against Ribamar’s pressure from top, although don’t rule out the Brazilian playing from bottom either as he is equally adept at fighting from his back.
Pedro Marinho of Gracie Barra returns to the F2W stage for the second time in as many weeks to take on Danaher Death Squad member Oliver Taza. Marinho earned a decision win over the tough and elusive Matheus Luna at Fight to Win 163 but will face a very different opponent in Taza, a Lebanese-Canadian from Montreal who is well-versed in the DDS leg lock system. Marinho's deadly guillotine choke is no secret and both will look to implement their A-game first.
Gianni Grippo has a score to settle with Gabriel Sousa of Zr Team, who twice beat him in IBJJF competitions in 2020. Sousa won in both gi and no-gi matches, once in January at the European Championships and again at the Pan No-Gi Championships. As is often the case with featherweights, their matches usually become hyper-technical contests focused on small exchanges of grips and trading sweeps. With F2W scoring submission attempts everything else, the result of this match is less certain.
How to Watch Fight to Win 164:
On Your TV: Now Available on Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast & Apple TV.
Cast: Cast to your smart TV including Vizio, Samsung and LG TVs.
On The Go: Download the FloSports app on iOS or Android.
On Demand Replays
Video footage from the event will be archived and stored in a video library for FloCombat subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscription.
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