Talk to any coach and they’ll confirm the incoming generation of fighters and grapplers are coming into the sport with a level of savvy and Fight IQ the OGs, who had less access to nuanced cross training and zero access to tape archives pre-internet, just didn’t at the same ages. A few cases in point: Nicky Ryan, Akira Bua, and now MMA newcomer Aviv Gozali.
Gozali, age 17, made his pro debut at this weekend’s Bellator 209 in Israel, submitting opponent Anton Lazebnov at 4:25 of Round 1 with a chain of submissions terminating with the winning armbar. (He appeared on the card alongside his father, longtime BJJ black belt and Bellator veteran Haim Gozali.)
Watch the younger Gozali’s flow from kimura to triangle and then to armbar–it is a thing of beauty. Appreciation points awarded for his weighing in in this batshit Louis Vuitton for Jason Voorhees look.