Written By: Hector Silva
Saturday April 9th, 2011 brought us the annual instalment of the Texas International Grappling Festival, a tournament stacked with a great 8 man superfight card and a turn out of over 450 people. The superfights consisted of 2 no-gi fights starring Hector “Winnerbyvomit” Silva v.s. Matthew Kim and Gracie Barra Texas’s world no-gi champion Brandon Mullins v.s. Spencer Gilliam a brown belt from the Solis Martial Arts Academy. There were also 2 Gi fights Featuring Gold Team, Paradigm, and Team Gacho’s Raul “Gacho” Jimenez v.s. Paul Thomas brown belt Jeremy Loflin. The main event of the day was a fight between 2 Brazilian National Champions, GF Team’s Igor Santos vs. Alejandro Siquiera the head instructor over at Gracie Barra Champions Forrest. After these action packed superfights competitors filled the mats in hundreds of awe inspiring matches.
[Editors Note: Hector was too modest to write about his own superfight with Matthew Kim. It was a very entertaining match. Kim won via armbar, although Silva never tapped. In the interest of safety, the referee stepped in and stopped the match.]
Up next was a hard fought points battle with Raul “Gacho” Jimenez versus a much bigger opponent in Jeremy Loflin. Jiminez stuck to his game and interestingly enough decided to play top game, although it is usually a bad idea to play bottom with a larger opponent “Gacho” showed that the BJJ philosophy is still alive and well shooting up triangles with B.J. Penn like dexterity. Although Jeremy was able to hunker down and weather the bottom attacks of Jiminez and stay safe from any submissions, “Gacho” was able to score with a take-down off a failed omoplata attempt, and after a sweep he took Jeremy’s back. Jeremy was able to sweep “Gacho” twice but was unable to capitalize and Jiminez would win on points.
Following next was the much anticipated Brandon “Wolverine” Mullins vs. Spencer Giliam mach. Spencer took this fight on short notice since Renan Chavez had to withdraw. Spencer shocked the crowd as he took the back of the heavily favored Mullins after a slow start to the match. Mullins showed his world class talent and maneuvered out of the bad spot and swept and passed Spencer’s guard and went on to dominate the fight and win by points.
The main event of the super fights was between Igor Santos and Alejandro Siquiera. It started off with an intense stare down as the two brazilian technicians stared into each others eyes. There was a brief pause in the action when Igor pulled guard and bounced his head on the mat. When the action re-started Alejandro fought to get out of Igors vice grip that he calls a guard. When Alejandro was finally able to find a chink in Igor’s guard and pass to half guard Igor was able to pull the fabled “cyborg” sweep. Altough the sweep would have done his job, Igor decided to end the fight there and transitioned into a beautiful knee-bar that forced Alejandro into a quick tap. This match lived up to its hype and showed 2 masters of technique do what they have dedicated their life to.
Overall the Texas Internation Grappling Festival was a HUGE success that showcased hundreds of competitors pur their hearts out on the mat! Whether it was was the super fighters or the tournament participants, every competitor showed how great the spirit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is in our city.
Enjoy the pics and videos.