Above: Nino Schembri and Bill Cooper will compete in a superfight at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.
LONG BEACH, California — Last month, the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo announced that Nick Diaz vs. Braulio Estima, Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Kayron Gracie, and Kron Gracie vs. Victor Estima superfights will be taking place at their inaugural event this month in southern California.
Now it appears the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo, led by event president Renzo Gracie, will be adding two more world-class superfights to go along with their recent addition of the highly-anticipated Jeff Glover vs. Caio Terra grudge match.
In a gi match, attendees will get to see one of the the true legends of the sport return to the mats he made famous dating back to the 1990’s. Nino "Elvis" Schembri is credited for his influence on many jiu-jitsu stars, including Eddie Bravo and what is now his modern day Rubber Guard system. Known for his creativity and amazing flexibility, Schembri became famous for using his guard game to attack offensively, which included revolutionizing the use of the Omoplata and the Gogoplata in jiu-jitsu competition.
Schembri will be facing an equally impressive and stylistically pleasing jiu-jitsu master in Bill "The Grill" Cooper. Cooper stormed onto the jiu-jitsu scene with a fury as a teenager with the likes of Ricardo "Franjinha" Miller and Jeff Glover guiding him on his prodigious path. After submitting everyone in his brown belt division at the 2007 World Championships, he was awarded his black belt by Franjinha at the age of 20. This made him, at the time of the promotion, the youngest American to have ever received a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The other superfight added to the stacked event will feature two of the deadliest women in the world, as ADCC 2011 champion Kyra Gracie is set to meet Strikeforce top-contender Alexis Davis.
Kyra Gracie is the very first female black belt of the legendary Gracie family clan. She is the niece of black belts Ralph Gracie, Renzo Gracie, and the late Ryan Gracie. Kyra is also one of the top female jiu-jitsu black belts in the world, a multi-time World Champion, and a multi-time ADCC champion. She is considered by many to be the face of the sport for women among the mainstream media in Brazil.
She will be squaring off with another decorated female grappler in Alexis Davis, who is widely considered one of Canada’s top female jiu-jitsu players, submission grapplers, and MMA fighters. Davis is a 4-stripe brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Cesar Gracie and a black belt in Japanese Ju-Jutsu. Davis is a Canadian Open grappling champion and she’s best known as being a top-contender in Strikeforce, which is the leading women’s MMA promotion owned by Zuffa.
Above: Kyra Gracie and Alexis Davis will compete in a superfight at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.
The World Jiu-Jitsu Expo, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 12th, 2012 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California, will be the stage for all things Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
In addition to the superfights, the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo will offer free jiu-jitsu seminars with some of the greatest black belts on the planet. The roster of seminars includes, Roger Gracie, Robert Drysdale, Rodrigo Comprido, Andre Galvão, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Ricardo "Cachorrão" Almeida, and Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu.
The World Jiu-Jitsu Expo also partnered with the IBJJF to host a tournament, which is the IBJJF’s first-ever Long Beach Spring International Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
In what will be an unforgettable Festival of Jiu-Jitsu, gentle art aficionados in attendance will also be able to network with some of the biggest companies in the business, buy and sell the best BJJ gear on the market at various vendor booths, attend autograph sessions, and engage in Q & A segments with some of the biggest names in Jiu-Jitsu.
To get more information on the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo, visit their official website: World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.