On Wednesday, October 20th, Damien Anderson faces Estevan Martinez, aka the Giant Slayer at the WNO preliminaries.
Damien is the No.7 ranked 145-pound grappler in the world. Estevan is the No.1 ranked No-Gi rooster weight in the world and although 6 inches shorter and 25 pounds
lighter, a man who never feared his opponent’s size, aka he is down to scrap at most weight classes.
Will Anderson vanquish a man who recently won gold at the IBJJF No-Gi World Championships? Or will Estevan fall prey to Anderson’s infamous Outside Ashi heel hook…
On October 20th, at FloGrappling’s WNO, we find out!
… But until then, let’s dive deeper to see how this match may play out.
- Height: 5’7” | Weight: 145 | Age: 24
- Noticeable Wins: Richard Alarcon, Gabriel Sousa, Luiz Quinones
- Noticeable Losses: Andrew Tackett, Joshua Cisneros,
- Current Ranking: #7 FeatherWeight
Like many other members of New Wave Jiu-Jitsu, Damien Anderson’s schooling began in the blue basement with the legendary John Danaher.
For much of his early career, he specialized in a particular leg lock system which propelled the rest of his career.
It’s only been a few years since Anderson started honing other parts of his game which is why many of his submission victories come via heel hook.
Areas of his game that are approaching his superb bread-and-butter lower body submissions are his wrestling and guard passing.
During his match against Andrew Tackett and Joshua Cisneros, you notice he relies on his guard retention and leglock entries (because they’re strong) more than his ability to take his opponents down and pass their guard.
Anderson’s is currently working on honing the aforementioned areas, so may we see a new style of play from him against the Giant Slayer.
Damien Anderson is competent in lower body submissions, back control/attacks, and guard retention.
One of the reasons why he gives up takedowns is because his guard retention is high class. Although this strategy does not fare well in IBJJF tournaments, in EBI or WNO rulesets, his guard retentions are brilliant and cut like a diamond.
Additionally, Anderson has a pervasive back system. If he manages to get to his opponent’s back, he will have a good chance of either submitting them or holding them in that position for the duration of the match.
And if all else fails, Damien Anderson can always rely on his lower body submissions. This leg lock system centered around heel hooks is what his team is known for.
- Height: 5’1” | Weight: 120 Age: 28
- Wins: 15 SUB, 2 points, 1 OT
- Losses: 3 SUB, 15 points, 1 Decision, 2 Advantages
- Noticeable Wins: Cameron Melott, Gabriel Fernandes, Zachary LeCates
- Noticeable Losses: Gabriel Almeida, Keith Krikorian, Oliver Taza, Junny Ocasio
- Current Ranking: #1 Roosterweight | Last match: Kalel Santos
The Giant Slayer’s main disadvantage is his diminutive size, which cannot overcome equally skilled, but physically
If you watch many of his matches, he is an athletic, technical guy with proficient fundamentals. He beats bigger opponents if they lack the technical proficiency he has.
However, Estevan Martinez’s standard strategy does not work against larger opponents like Luiz Quinones or Oliver Taza. Why?
Because Quinones and Taza were not only larger than him but just as technical (if not more technical).
Additionally, Martinez’s style of play is based on the size, speed, and length of his limbs. He can throw his body weight around, go for cartwheel passes, and backflips because his relatively shorter limbs offer less length for
his opponents to grab.
Whenever larger players grapple smaller guys, it’s difficult for them to submit these smaller players unless they get to the back or a front headlock position.
Ultimately, the Giant Slayer’s weakness is a double-edged sword.
Estevan Martinez is one of the most respectable guys in combat sports. He’s a man who goes into the absolute division and wins (sometimes).
Martinez is a half-foot shorter than most of his opponents but has all the attributes of a great, technical, Jiu-Jitsu player, Gi or No-Gi. He knows how to pass guard and finish his opponents in style!
… And style plays a significant factor in becoming well known in the martial arts world.
The Giant Slayer can wrestle and pass, submit and escape, and throw his body weight around into dangerous lower body submissions with the utmost confidence.
Honestly, when you watch Martinez’s matches, you’ll notice he puts a pace on his opponents like no other; the guy is mighty.
A Points Victory Goes To….
I predict Damien Anderson will defeat Estevan Martinez via Rear Naked Strangulation or by points. I doubt Anderson will be able to heel hook Martinez, but he will be able to pass him because of the size difference and similar level of technical prowess.
If Anderson can get to an advantageous position, either mount, back mount, or side control, he will neutralize the Giant Slayer.
Damien Anderson is more technical in submission grappling and has more experience under the WNO ruleset, than most of Estevan Martinez’s past opponents.
Ultimately, Anderson poses a significant threat to the Giant Slayer’s game. That’s my prediction, what’s yours?