LAS VEGAS: Team rosters have been announced for the inaugural Kinektic submission grappling event, streaming exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, live from Anaheim Business Expo Center on Friday, August 16, at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
All Kinektic team formatted events will feature four competing squads, each comprised of five world-class grapplers, in a tournament consisting of semifinals and a championship final. Additionally, all events will feature a grappling Super Fight, which will feature additional participants not already competing in the tournament.
Co-founded by UFC® Hall of Famer Urijah Faber, Las Vegas entrepreneur Keith Veltre, and award-winning combat sports announcer Sean Wheelock, Kinektic is a unique, tournament-style promotion that will feature athletes from various combat sports disciplines, including mixed martial arts, grappling, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and more.
“As a hardcore fan of MMA and submission grappling, I’m extremely psyched about this incredible level of talent on our inaugural Kinektic event,” Wheelock said. “I want great matches, but I also want really fun and unpredictable matches. The fact that we have competitors as diverse in their athletic backgrounds and grappling styles as Craig Jones, Joe Warren, Rico Rodriguez, and Vinny Magalhaes, clearly illustrates what Kinektic is all about.”
The captains of the four star-powered teams are UFC veteran and MMA media personality Chael Sonnen (Team SUG); world-class grappler Craig Jones (Team BJJ Fanatics); UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith (Team Lionheart); and former UFC welterweight Chris Lytle (Team Lights Out Urban Activities). Team Captains had the option to compete for their team, Jones and Lytle are competing for their respective teams.
Joining Jones on Team BJJ Fantatics are UFC athlete and former Strikeforce Welterweight World Champion Jake Shields, ADCC Trials bronze medalist Nicky Rodriguez, IBJJF World Champion Edwin Najmi, and ADCC Asia and Oceania gold medalist Lachlan Giles.
Veteran UFC athlete and former WEC Middleweight Champion Joe Riggs, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Rico Rodriguez, Polaris Welterweight Champion Mansher Khera, and Grapplers Quest Champion and BJJ black belt Will Weed join Lytle on Team Lights Out Urban Achievers.
Team SUG has veteran UFC athlete and ADCC gold medalist Vinny Magalhaes, former WSOF Featheright Champion Alexandre Almeida, former UFC veteran athlete and PFL light heavyweight Ronny Markes, IBJJF World Championships bronze medalist Rafael Domingos, and LFA veteran and BJJ black belt Gabriel Checco.
Former Bellator Featherweight and Bantamweight Champion, and Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion, Joe Warren, Pan-American gold medalist Scott Morton, ADCC US Trials gold medalist Enrico Cocco, IBJJF No-gi World Champion James Brasco, and Fight 2 Win Champion Brian Sparrow comprise Team Lionheart.
Faber, who also serves as Kinektic’s Vice President of Business Development, will be the mat-side and backstage interviewer. Joining Faber will be UFC women’s flyweight Paige
VanZant, who is the lead color commentator, and play-by-play announcer Wheelock.
TEAM BJJ FANATICS (Captain Craig Jones)
Jake Shields San Francisco, California, USA
Nicky Rodriguez Dayton, Ohio, USA.
Edwin Najmi Tarzana, California, USA
Lachian Giles Melbourne, Australia
Craig Jones Adelaide, Australia
TEAM LIGHTS OUT URBAN ACHIEVERS (Captain Chris Lytle)
Rico Rodriguez Staten Island, New York, USA
Joe “Diesel” Riggs Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Mansher “Munch” Khera Queens, New York, USA
Will Weed San Diego, California, USA
Chris “Lights Out” Lytle Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
TEAM SUG (Captain Chael Sonnen)
Gabriel “Zangief” Barbosa Checco . Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Rafael Domingos Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil
Alexandre “Capitao” Almeidia Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Ronny Markes Natal, Rio Grande Do Norte, Brazil
“Vicious” Vinny Magalhaes Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
TEAM LIONHEART (Captain Anthony Smith)
Brian Sparrow Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA
Joseph “The Baddest Man on the Planet” Warren Denver, Colorado, USA
Scott Morton Omaha, Nebraska, USA
James Brasco Delray Beach, Florida, USA
Enrico “Teen Phenom” Cocco Miami, Florida, USA
BJJ Fanatics vs. Lights Out Urban Achievers and Team SUG vs. Team Lionheart are the semifinals match-ups with the winners meeting on the same night in the championship final.
The one-night tournament consists of bouts with eight-minute time limits. Losers of the semifinal matches are eliminated; draws result in the elimination of both athletes; and the first team with five members eliminated will be out of the competition. The surviving team will be declared the winner. A feature unique to Kinektic Grappling is that the order in which athletes compete is not predetermined. There are thirty seconds between each bout and each team captain will be responsible for strategically deciding which team member will participate next. All members of each team must compete at least once.
A SuperFight will soon be finalized and announced.