Nashville Grappling 2003

Happy to report that some things never change, like good old fashioned southern hospitality and a big plate of Corky’s Ribs with a side of Hush Puppies and Sweet Tea. It’s been several months since we’ve last visited Nashville and the Grappling scene out on in the South Eastern United States. Happy to report that some things never change, like good old fashioned southern hospitality and a big plate of Corky’s Ribs with a side of Hush Puppies and Sweet Tea.

Some things however, get a lot better, and the grappling and jiu-jitsu scene is growing by leaps and bounds in the centered on the tournaments that Ed Clay throws twice a years at Franklin Road Academy in Nashville. The addition of two prominent black belts to the area, Luis Palhares at the Nashville Mixed Martial Arts school and Helio “Soneca” Moriera to Knoxville will certainly increase the level, and joining their academies in competition was Jacare with Alliance and Eddie Camden and the Pedro Sauer Team. A number of other students and academies also attended, some from hundreds of miles away to make this the largest tournament in Nashville yet.

Well over 200 competitors attended, many of them competed in both the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling divisions.

If the report seems a bit Spartan right now, In addition to serving as reporter and videographer, I was also a ref for many of the matches! This gave me a good opportunity to see the skill level and the sportsmanship first hand. (I was almost a competitor as well, however my division only had two people so I bowed out).


ABSOLUTE 1ST Place – Eamon Colpher (Alliance) 2nd Place – Ryan Ellison (Alliance) 3rd Place – Chris Monatti (Alliance)

White Belt Under 150 1st Place – Josh Kuku (Palhares/Nashville MMA) 2nd Place – Thiago Peres (Alliance) 3rd Place – Floyd Eason (Palhares/Nashville MMA) 3rd Place – Brad Debusk (Knoxville Barra)

151-163 1st Place – Carson Williams (Alliance) 2nd Place – Mike Colley (Popovitch) 3rd Place – Roderick Sellers (Tiger Academy) 3rd Place – Steve Durany (Tiger Academy)

163.1-175 1st Place – Joseph Young (Rising Phoenix) 2nd Place – James Hagen (Knoxville Barra) 3rd Place – Damon Sullivan (Palhares/Nashville MMA) 3rd Place – Blain Riley (Tiger Academy)

175.1-187 1st Place – Robert Butturni (Knoxville Barra) 2nd Place – Nick Albin (Popovitch) 3rd Place – Sam Sanford (Palhares/Nashville MMA) 3rd Place – Matt Ruskin (Full Mount)

187.1 – 205 1st Place – Patrick Hefferman (Tiger Academy) 2nd Place – Blair Patterson (Knoxville BJJ) 3rd Place – Andy Renner

205.1-215 1st Place – Thornhill Wyatt (Dan’s fitness) 2nd Place – Steven Floyd (Extreme Karate) 3rd Place – Patrick Henry (Palhares/Nashville MMA) 3rd Place – Josh Cheatwood (Tiger Academy)

215 and up 1st Place – Mark Fugate (Hatchers/Palhares) 2nd Place – Jonathan Tooker (Alliance) 3rd Place – Jeff Ogborn (Palhares Nasvhille MMA) 3rd Place – David Hewitt (Tiger Academy)

OVER 30 WHITE BELT 150 and Under 1st Place – Eddie Hidalgo (Palhares Nashville MMA) 2nd Place – Levaughn Smart (Vaghi)

151-163 1st Place – James Hallums (Tiger Academy) 2nd Place – Kenne Shipman (Alliance) 3rd Place – Joe Privitera (Tiger Academy) 3rd Place – Adam Avebola (Caique)

175-187 1st Place – Brian Hager (Tiger Academy) 2nd Place – Jamey Garrett (Tiger Academy)

187 – 205 1st Place – Mark Lamelza (Palhares Nashville MMA) 2nd Place – Dale Edwards (Alliance) 3rd Place – Gary Lewis (Tiger Academy) 3rd Place – Michaels Neals (Tiger Academy)

205 – 215 1st Place – Scott Hewlett (Four Seasons) 2nd Place – Rodney Kiser (Extreme Karate) 3rd Place – Patrick Henry (Palhares Nashville MMA)

215 and above 1st Place – Shawn Goins (Palhares Nashville MMA) 2nd Place – Brad Sperry (Tiger Academy) 3rd Place – James Carrigan (Alliance) 3rd Place – Geno Parton (Indiana BJJ)

BLUE BELTS – UNDER 30 Under 150 1st Place – Raphael Assuncuo (Alliance) 2nd Place – Chris Pudilla (Alliance) 3rd Place – Doug Tran – (Tiger Academy) 3rd Place – Steven Aikens (Relson Gracie)

150 – 163 1st Place – Ian McPherson (Alliance) 2nd Place – Kyle Watson (McVicker) 3rd Place – Scott Penny (Palhares Nashville MMA)

163.1-175 1st Place – Troy Thomas (Alliance) 2nd Place – Chris Favaloro (Knoxville Barra) 3rd Place – Frank Marysca (Tiger Academy) 3rd Place – Josh Robertson (Hatcher/Palhares)

175.1 – 187 1st Place – Omar Lira (Tiger Academy) 2nd Place – Brian Jones (Four Seasons) 3rd Place – Terry Chandler (Knoxville Barra) 3rd Place – Bob Johnson (McVicker)

187.1 – 205 1st Place – Damian Stelly (Alliance) 2nd Place – Cliff Fonsaco (Palhares Nashville MMA) 3rd Place – Gene Williams (Tiger Academy) 3rd Place – Anthony Baker (Alliance)

205.1 – 215 1st Place – Mike Isreal (Alliance) 1st Place – Puli Tullis (Alliance)

BLUE BELT OVER 30 150 – 163 1st Place – Jimmy Salamanca (McVickers) 2nd Place – Leopold Lopez (Palhares Nashville MMA) 3rd Place Bobby VanHuynh (Alliance) 3rd Place – Arthur Ramos (Alliance)

163-187 1st Place – Troy Thomas (Alliance) 2nd Place Greg Owen (Alliance) 3rd Place – Steve Hannah (Palhares Nashville MMA) 3rd Place – Mike Horihan (Knoxville BJJ)

PURPLE BELT 163 – 175 1st Place – Casey Oxendine (Barra) 2nd Place – John Hosford (Knoxville)

175 – 187 1st Place – Ryan Allison (Alliance) 2nd Place – James Clingerman (Indiana BJJ)

187 – 205 1st Place – Shawn Hammonds (Palhares Nashville MMA) 2nd Place – Kyle Cannon (Carlson Gracie

205 – 215 1st Place – Chris Moriarty (Alliance) 2nd Place – Joe Hoffer (Knoxville Barra) 3rd Place – D.J. Farmer (Alliance)

215 and Up 1st Place – Mike Yanez (Popovitch) 2nd Place – Eamon Copher (Alliance)

PURPLE BELT – OVER 30 1st Place – Jimmy Salamanca (McVickers) 2nd Place – John Hoffer (Knoxville Barra)

WOMENS 1st Place – Jamie Copher (Alliance) 2nd Place – Laura Uria (Alliance) 3rd Place – Laura Cox (Knoxville Barre)

KIDS 14 AND UNDER 1st Place – Andrew Uria (Alliance) 2nd Place – Max Watts (Palhares Nashville MMA) 3rd Place – David Brownell (PMA)

KIDS 13 AND UP Lightweight 1st Place – Michael Chester 2nd Place – Nick Browned

130-145 1st Place – Mitch Fridelsson 2nd Place Robert Copher 3rd Place Seth Harkins

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Gumby is the co-founder of back in 1997 with Scotty Nelson.