SubStars is coming back after a successful event back in November, and they’ve made it clear that they’re not messing around when it comes to backing up their name with some of the best talent in grappling.
SubStars’ next event, which takes place on February 21, has already caused a lot of buzz with a main event that will see Garry Tonon go up against former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier. With Tonon’s thus-far successful foray into MMA, one could argue that this match is technically between two MMA fighters, but we all know that at his core, Tonon will always be a grappler first. Still, it will be interesting to see if Poirier can out-BJJ the ADCC bronze medalist in the main event of the evening.
The card will have multiple co-main events, with Rafael Lovato Jr. facing off against Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and Gordon Ryan going up against Tex Johnson. Keenan Cornelius will also have a gi match against Patrick Gaudio.
Interestingly, this event won’t just feature jiu-jitsu, either. They’ll also be branching out to host a “celebrity sumo” bout, which will declare a winner following a round-robin tournament. UFC veteran Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, UFC heavyweight fighter Curtis Blaydes, Yamamotoyama Ryūta (the heaviest sumo wrestler in history), and 210lb Japanese sumo champion Takeshi will all take part in the sumo competition portion of the event.
Preceding the sumo event will be a variety of both gi and no-gi matches featuring some of some of the jiu-jitsu world’s top and up-and-coming athletes, including Vagner Rocha, Ethan Crelinsten, Luiza Monteiro, Nick Rodriguez, Enricco Coco, and Maggie Grindatti. You can view the full card here.
The February card is a massive step up from what was already an impressive card back in November. The first event featured many of the same athletes who will be competing later this month, such as Rodriguez. But this time around, the promotion has made it clear that they intend to stick around and make a serious impression in the grappling scene.
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