Oceania No Gi Championships 2010

On Sunday myself and a number of other Lion’s Den team mates competed at the 1st Oceania No Gi Championships run by Events BJJ. Personally, I really enjoy the no gi competitions more than the gi ones, so when this came up, I made sure I got in.

My usual fighting weight is 61kg, however because of the limited number of entrants at my belt level, they had only two weight classes – Under 73kg and Over 73kg. This to me isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I normally only get maybe one match at my normal weight class, so this ensured I had more people to compete against (if I win my matches of course).

My first match was against Philip Marciniak who was probably the tallest and heaviest of the competitors in my class, weighing in at just under the allowed 73kg mark. I did notice how long his neck was before my match, which made me confident that I would have a good chance at choking him out if i got my arms around it. :) After a bit of hand wrestling, he shot in on me, which I initially was able to stuff, but then on his second attempt he got me down as I was trying to avoid not falling onto the hardwood floor. I managed to secure his neck on the way down. We restarted in the middle, and from there I was able to re-adjust to a better grip and eventually got him to tapout via guillotine choke.

My next match was against Nick Pudney. After a couple minutes of feeling him out on the feet with my wrestling, I eventually got a good snap down on his head, which allowed me to shoot in for a single leg and take him down. From there I worked a guard pass to side control, and got to mount and held that position for a bit. Nick bucked me off, and during the scramble he attempted an armbar off his back. My elbow was out a safe distance, so I didn’t panic and just pulled my arm out. Now I think it was that pulling out of the arm that injured my rib. I felt a popping feeling in my rib, and immediately grabbed it with my hand. However, knowing I was still in a match, I dropped into my opponent’s guard. I asked the ref for a quick timeout to check if I had done any serious damage to my ribs. I moved around and played with it, and didn’t feel any significant pain, so I said I could continue.

After that, there was a scramble, and I took his back, and secured hooks in a few times to score more points. The pain from my ribs was getting worse and worse, and I eventually lost back control and was on my back with Nick in my guard. Being up 19 points to 2, my plan was to just wait out the remaining 2 minutes to take the win, and that’s what happened.

After my second match, I had decided not to proceed to the final as I didn’t want to injure myself more. After a bit of a think, I decided to compete anyway, and if the pain was too much, then I could simple stop.

So the final commenced against a guy name Hadi, and the first few minutes was just clinching on the feet. My plan was to keep it on my feet for most of the match, and score a takedown with 2 minutes to go and wait it out. Things didn’t go to plan as he eventually pulled guard halfway into the match. I stayed in his guard for a while, and then he eventually went for an attack, and when I defended it, I felt my ribs overlap and a huge amount of pain hit me. I immediately called a stop, and the ref called it stopped too. So I walked away with a Silver medal.

I wasn’t too disappointed, as I was feeling very good in all my matches, and deep down I believed I could have won it all – if I didn’t injure myself of course. I was happy with my performances.

The rest of the Lion’s Den crew did well too with a couple silvers and bronze as well. Congrats to all of them anyway, as getting out there and just competing is always good.

As for me now, I’m off to Japan for 10 days for work, and then when I get back will probably take the rest of the year off to rest this injury and come back after the new year and see how it’s feeling. With my recent MMA win, and this silver medal in a higher weight class, it has been a good end to the year.

Bronze decided not to collect his medal :)

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