Matheus Diniz won the middleweighttournament at KASAI Pro 2.
In 2017 KASAI Pro jumped into the competitive grappling industry with a splash, putting on an exciting event with a varied rule set. On Saturday, that trend continued with KASAI Pro 2 that featured upsets, big moments, and the crowning of the organization’s first middleweight champion in Matheus Diniz.
Diniz established dominance throughout the entire showcase, as he pushed his way toward the title without giving up a single point to his opponents. Diniz did have to go through some tough competition in order to reach and obtain the championship. His group included some experienced opponents in Richie Martinez, Felipe Mota and Oliver Lecierc.
His first victory came against 10th Planet standout Martinez. Diniz’s size, strength, and wrestling abilities proved vital here as he earned a victory by a 7-0 margin. Mota was his second opponent, and this was a much tighter battle in which Diniz was victorious 2-0. In the final group match, Diniz defeated Lecierc with his only submission of the event when he finished the contest via a choke. Michael Perez advanced from the Group A but was unable to defeat Diniz in the finals as the Marcelo Garcia competitor walked out with the KASAI Pro title belt.
2017 breakout star, Craig Jones was also competing and he earned a third place finish when he defeated Martinez via a heel hook. Jones was a part of Group A but he fell to Perez on points. Perez also defeated Dante Leon via a heel hook in his opening matches.
The co-main event of the night featured Danaher Death Squad competitor, Eddie Cummings faced off against the winner of the first KASAI Pro tournament, Renato Canuto. Cummings found a way to come out on top in the superfight,; winning by a single point which came via a penalty that was charged to Canuto. This win gave Cummings the KASAI Pro lightweight title.
Cummings played his dangerous butterfly guard game from the moment he latched onto Canuto’s legs. Cummings attacked time and time again from bottom, but was never able to secure a finishing position. At the very end of the match he held onto a leg lock that forced Canuto to defend up until the very final bell.
That wasn’t the only moment of the day as 16-year old Nicky Ryan defeated Geo Martinez. This was a match that had been talked about on social media for years and KASAI Pro was able to get the bout booked.
Martinez, a multiple-time EBI champion, came out of the gates with aggression and looked to push his will on the younger athlete. Ryan stayed composed in those moments as he remained out of danger, playing both the top and bottom game. The submission-only ruleset called for a referee’s decision if neither man got the tap. In the final moments of the bout Ryan found his way to a dominant position, locking in a rear triangle as the match ended. This was enough to get the nod in the in the eyes of the judges. The crowd responded with a standing ovation for the competitors.
KASAI Pro continues to build its place in the competitive grappling industry. The second event brought out some of the biggest names in the sport and gave spectators a number of moments worth talking about in the coming days and weeks. KASAI Pro 2 is available for replay streaming on the FloGrappling platform.