The Ultimate Man`s WeekendCharlotte, North CarolinaSeptember 30-October 1, 2005
The Ultimate Man`s Weekend is a Sports and Fitness extravaganza which seeks to bring together a variety of events and competitors under one convention center roof. As such there were fitness and body building competitions, a DodgeBall tournament, nutrition vendors, inflatable rides for the kids, and of course, a Jiu Jitsu and Grappling tournament. Promoter Joe Hurst was asked to promote the grappling portion because of his success with the Budweiser Championships, and the Jiu Jitsu portion of the UMW turned out to be the most successful, exciting well attended part of the entire show!
When I first arrived on the convention center, I stood in amazement at two things. First was the size and spectacle of the entire set-up; the promoters obviously were planning for an enormous event to rival any fitness expo in the country. Secondly was that the Jiu Jitsu space held a very prominent position within the tournament and everyone attending would have a chance to see our favorite sport on display. Promoter Joe Hurst has always talked about his five year plan with the Budweiser Cup to bring more prestige and sponsors to the sport, but the UMW was definitely a huge opportunity for everyone involved.
The first day of the event was actually weigh ins and having the competitors getting into town, so an impromptu Jiu Jitsu demonstration was held on the competition mats with Joe Hurst, Poppa John, and your truly in street clothes playing the clueless attacker who`s about to learn why jiu jitsu is the most effective fighting art in the world. It was quite a bit of fun and we got to show off Jiu Jitsu to a crowd that`s never seen it up close before.
The second day of the event was the actual tournament itself and it began with the gi competition. As always the level of competitors seems to go up with every event and the UMW was no exception. In the blue belt division Ryan Hall has been pegged as a young up and comer and he did not disappoint winning all of his matches by submission. In the purple belt division Butch Pendergrass took first in the featherweight division, but unfortunately opponent Guy Pendergrass somehow got hurt. In the lightweight division Andrew “JudoGoat” Smith looked barely awake as he submitted his first opponent via kneebar, however he had an exciting match with good friend and traveling buddy Seph Smith in the finals (Check out Andrew`s journal at http://www.nhbfights.com/v2/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=124) in which Seph pulled off the submission victory. Chris Moriarty entered the Light Heavyweight division and to no one`s great surprise rolled through the competition. Chris has emerged as one of the most active grapplers in 2005 and has simply been on a tear as of late.
A few brown belts stepped up to the plate as well, with Fernando Salvador fighting in two separate weight classes, winning a close one over a game Dennis Hayes and then losing to a very tough Noah Booth. Scott Davis defeated Jerry Moreno in a masters match.
Then came the no gi divisions, which saw some very competitive matches in the beginner, and intermediate divisions. For some people it was there very first competition, for others they were veterans of a few, but everyone came to compete hard. In the advanced divisions the cast of characters and the winners came out very much the same as the gi winners, with Noah Booth taking the Featherweight division, Ryan Hall looking tough in taking the lightweight, Seph Smith and Andrew Smith once again meeting in the finals of the welterweight division, with Andrew injuring his ankle badly on a Seph takedown (“some tape and he`d probably be back to rolling much sooner than he should”, figured Andrew), Chris Moriarity submitting all comers in the cruiserweight and David “Caveman” Jackson looking impressive winning the Superweight and taking second in the Heavyweight, actually pulling out due to exhaustion, giving Chris McCourt the title.
Later on it was a night on the town that provided much merriment and camaraderie among the competitors and event staff. Of course I know better than to publish TOO much of what happened that night, but suffice to say that it was a good time. Joe Hurst definitely goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone has a good time, which I most certainly did.
The next event coming up will be the fourth annual Bud Cup coming up on January 14th and 15th. The competitor pre registration price has been dropped $10 to $50 and the spectator fee has been dropped to just $5 per day. There will be a professional grappling division that will surely attract competitors from around the country and abroad. More information at www.budworldcup.com
Full results available on www.GrapplingRatings.com