David Garmo breaks down what to look out for in QUINTET.2, as teams REEBOK (Sakuraba), Tiger Muay Thai, 10th Planet, and VAGABOND are in Tokyo set to face each other under the promotion’s next installment of its unique rule set.
10th Planet vs. Vagabond
The first round match ups will see Eddie Bravo’s Team 10th Planet taking on the line up from Satoshi Ishii, Team VAGABOND. This will be an interesting match up for a number of reasons: first of which being the two most decorated submission grapplers in the event may face each other straight away. The veteran and ADCC World Champion Joao Assis will be representing Team VAGABOND, and 3-time EBI Champion, Geo Martinez, will represent Team 10th Planet.
Team 10th Planet is one of two teams in QUINTET.2 whose five competitors actually train together. This proved invaluable for QUINTET Fight Night winners, Team Carpe Diem, in June this year. Creating a line up based upon strategic awareness of your grapplers’ skills and weaknesses is an asset that cannot be overlooked. Team 10th Planet may want to put one of their stronger competitors towards the beginning to start the match with a bang. A high energy and high level wrestler like PJ Barch would be a good first bout choice. Someone with a lot of competition experience may have the hustle and impact from the get go. Eddie might go with either Geo or Richie Martinez next, to further their potential lead in terms of Ishii’s team members eliminated. The third player may be one of their heavier competitors such as Amir Allam or Adam Sachnoff. I would put Allam in third and keep Sachnoff until fourth as he is difficult to submit and can be used to eliminate the extremely tough Joao Assis. Number 5 will be the Martinez brother who has yet to compete. With both of them having extremely dangerous guards, and gunshot quick submission reflexes, having them as the anchor may garner them the submission they need in the last moments of the match.
Team VAGABOND’s top grapplers are Satoshi Ishii and Joao Assis, and both are BIG. This can hurt them or help them. We may not see either player being submitted on this day but that does not mean that they will be able to finish their opponents either. Assis will most likely have to fight 4-minute matches (due to the 20kg+ weight difference) with no less than 3 grapplers on Team 10th Planet. Setting up and executing submissions on any of Team 10th Planet will be challenging, but if anyone can do it, it will be the extremely talented Assis. Satoshi Ishii, a QUINTET.1 competitor and 2008 Olympics Judo gold medalist cannot be underestimated. He made quick work of Hideo Tokoro from inside the closed guard at QUINTET.1 and it is possible he will approach the rubber guards of his opponents with similar power. Andrei Kazusionak is world class Sambo and Judo player that, with his size, strength and skill set, may swing this match up in Team VAGABOND’s favor. Polish BJJ player, Krzysiek Suchorabski, and Mikheil Dopidze, a Georgian national Judo champion, are wild cards, with not much info in the public about them, but QUINTET likes to throw out mystery and intrigue!
Team Tiger Muay Thai vs. Team REEBOK
The other first round match up pits Tiger Muay Thai against a star-studded line up of Japanese MMA veterans on Team REEBOK under Sakuraba. Eight of the ten grapplers in these teams are MMA veterans, which makes things exciting from a movement point of view. These athletes will not likely give up submissions and positions without making a valiant effort to defend. Watch for fast-paced scrambles here.
Team Tiger Muay Thai will be looking to come out strong against Sakuraba’s Team REEBOK. With the considerably younger team, look for them to push the pace directly out the gate. How they may line themselves up is a difficult call, but they will be the lightest team by far. With no player over 90kg (200lbs), they will have to make good use of their speed and skill. Christophe Vandijck, Tarek Suleiman and Alex Schild all have multiple submission wins on their pro MMA records. Their grappling experience and skills will prove invaluable when attempting to lock down the legends they face on the Dollamur mat. Stuart Cooper is a physical specimen as well as a famous BJJ videographer and documentary film maker. It will be interesting to see him fresh off a 1-1 showing at the extremely tough Boa Super 8 in Melbourne, Australia. Viking Wong is another long-time grappling competitor, and has a badass name! Let’s see if the ADCC competitor can translate his Gi game over to QUINTET.
Team REEBOK, the team of legends. First of all: Hideo Tokoro. If there was ever someone who competes above his perceived ability, it is this Tokoro. Something about competition brings out the absolute best in this man. In QUINTET.1, he was able to hit an absolutely insane Imanari roll armbar that no one saw coming. Look for him to make a difficult night for anyone he faces. Daisuke Nakamura is a former Japanese MMA Champion with a strong and persistent grappling game. With a lightning fast armbar and strong resilience, with the right match ups, he could take out some key players on the opposing team. Dong Sik Yoon is a Korean Judoka who competed in QUINTET.1 on Team Judo. His experience in that event will do him well here and Sakuraba has been singing his praise for some time now. Along with Tokoro, I have trained with Haisam Rida. Although still relatively unknown, this man is the most athletic competitor on the field of this event. Lightning fast, incredibly strong and has technique to match. He is undefeated in competition in Japan as a Brown Belt representing Team Carpe Diem. Keep your eyes peeled while he is on the mat – things will progress quickly with this tall Ghanaian. Last but not least, the Captain and namesake of the team: Kazushi Sakuraba. No one knows the rules of this event better than its founder. Look for Sakuraba to align his team in the best possible way to come out victorious. In QUINTET, tactics are everything.
This guest article was kindly submitted by David Garmo, one of the QUINTET Fight Night in Tokyo Team Carpe Diem winning members.