Matheus Diniz, Edwin Najmi, Meregali, and Nathalia Santoro Stand Out at Third Coast Grappling

It was a night of rock star grappling on June 21 as Third Coast Grappling mounted its sold out submission show in Houston. Vagner Rocha, Edwin Najmi, Jonathan Dowdell, and Kody Steele all dominated their way to the winners circle, but Matheus Diniz, Andressa Cintra, Lucas Valente, and “Nat” Santoro topped the night’s most memorable performances.

In a showdown between world champs Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu (replacing Keenan Cornelius, out due to injury) and Nicholas Meregali, young gun Meregali prevailed with one of his deadly loop chokes for the tap–then immediately called out Cornelius for a battle of long arms and legs that we really hope goes down.

The rematch between Matheus Diniz and Craig Jones showcased Jones, one of the world’s deadliest butt-scooters, on his feet and wrestling like a biped. There were even foot sweeps and shots, and, like, standing up in OT. The “W” ultimately went to Diniz, however, who scored a takedown in overtime to tips the scales to victory.

As exciting as the men’s matchups were, the speed and thrill of women’s BJJ was on full display in Texas, with world champion Andressa Cintra showcasing exactly why she’s earned gold in her first full year at black belt. She threw flying triangles and armbars at competitor Nina Moura, eventually getting into a leg entanglement that ended the match by quick and miserable-looking toe hold.

And shining on the undercard was Nathalia Santoro vs. Stephanie Trevino, a match fans called “Fight of the Night.” After some confusion about legalities of heel hooks (okay for high belts, illegal for lower belts), Santoro found herself down 11 points to Trevino’s strong top game…then fought back to take the back and win by RNC in the final second of the match. Coach Gordon Ryan was not unhappy with the performance, nor was the crowd:

All in all, a blowout night for submission and combat sports.


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