Make sure to watch Submission Series Pro: THE CONQUEST

In case you missed it: there was an amazing submission only invitational “The Takeover” on June 20th. Submission Series Pro’s second event was a huge success, with a lively crowd, and some of the best matchups in invitation sub only history. But here’s the thing: event planner extraordinaire Cat Clarke is just getting started… His unique brand of sub only is putting on their third stacked event on July 11th and this card is just as good if not better than the last…

We had a chance to catch up with Cat and discuss his experiences with his first two events, as well as his thoughts on the upcoming ones.

Cat’s upcoming event has him very excited: “Nathan Dos Santos vs. Estefan Joseph will be a barn burner along with Jon Taine Hall vs. Matt Bagshaw.”

Here’s the thing that makes Sub Series Pro so special: the willingness to put together mismatches. On the one hand the chances for a spectacular finish go up, on the other the crowd will inherently root for the underdog (just watch the June 20th event

“I love a good mismatch – that’s what this is all about – excitement – guys who are mismatched in size – belt level, whatever – it’s got to be exciting for the viewers, period.” As viewers saw, the main matchup (Tinoco vs. Liera Jr.) was the most even matchup and thus was the slowest, most plodding match with both competitors vying for position rather than going for the kill. Most of the other matches, however, ended in visually stunning submissions.

Like the Halifax event, July 11th’s co-main event will feature a bit of a mismatch “Obviously the main event and co main event should be interesting – Igor Mocaiber has his hands full with Edwin Najimi – but again – this is submission only and a totally different format – I have seen it again and again – when it comes time to perform, it’s a tad different for them – as it’s on a theater stage in front of everyone looking at them.” Edwin Najimi has made a name for himself with his crazy flying submissions at IBJJF tournaments; the Romulo Barral/Gracie Barra product is one of the biggest names in the sport right now.

While “The Takeover” was a huge success, there are always behind the scenes issues from which event planners like Clarke can learn “We had some camera issues and sound issues with our commentators. We have to keep them in a separate room; however we wanted to try the approach of having them right on the stage – but it was far too loud and had a lot of complaints about that… So definitely will be fixing that – some dead time in between fights for the viewers in the audience along with the faulted camera that didn’t follow the fights in house; but overall I would give it a 6/10 from my perspective. The fights were great – everyone gave it an amazing performance – they are what truly make these events.”

Being such a young organization with such a fresh business model, Submission Series Pro is developing their own “structure” or “routine” of how they run their events. “The key to any great product is consistency. We are starting to develop a routine and structure for the show. We have to pay close attention to the stream and live audience and balance both to ensure top customer experience.”

The main event, Tom Deblass vs. Joao Assis, is an absolutely monstrous matchup. Both competitors are considered to be at the very top of the game, both having enjoyed a lot of success at the international level.

There is one other matchup that has Cat particularly excited “Matt Bagshaw vs. Jon Taine Hall… Big (20lbs) weight difference there.” The key to Cat’s entertaining events is mismatches. Far too many events try to pit an unstoppable force against an immovable object resulting in a standstill. Cat goes a different route making his events absolutely spectacular.

All that being said, make sure you catch Submission Series Pro: THE CONQUEST!




Emil Fischer is an active blue belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training with Strong Style Brasa and is sponsored by Pony Club Grappling Gear and Cruz Combat. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at and


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