LAS VEGAS: UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber strongly believes that the time is right for the inaugural Kinektic submission grappling tournament this Friday (Aug. 16) in Anaheim, California.
All the exciting grappling action will be streamed exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, live from Anaheim Business Expo Center.
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. A grappling Super Fight, featuring additional participants not already competing in the tournament, will be held between the final semifinals match and championship final.
Kinektic is the brainchild of Faber, Las Vegas entrepreneur and boxing promoter Keith Veltre, and award-winning announcer Sean Wheelock.
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.
“We’re bringing unity to the grappling world,” Faber said. “There have been other grappling organizations, but we’ve made some twits to get the top talent in the world, and that makes us unique. We’ve absolutely put it all together with great grapplers, coaches and announcers to showcase this great product. There have been a lot of grappling tournaments, but we’re getting the public interested, entertainment-side, like never before.
“They’ve been others, but Kineckic is unique because of our relationship with UFC, streaming on FIGHT PASS, my connections all over the world and Keith Veltre’s experience promoting makes it a great combination. The world is ready for Kineckic!”
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.
Former Strikeforce Welterweight World Champion Jake Shields has been forced to withdraw from competition due to injury. He has been replaced by former ADCC World and IBJJF Nogi World champion Gordon “The King” Ryan, who has joined Jones as a grappler on Team BJJ Fanatics, along with ADCC Trials bronze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 Featherweight 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.
BJJ Fanatics vs. Lights Out Urban Achievers and Team SUG vs. Team Lionheart are the semifinals matchups with the winners meeting on the same night in the championship final.
The world-class grappling SuperFight, contested at 155-pounds, will be held between the final semifinals match and championship final, when two-time NCAA Division II All-American wrester Raufeon “Supa” Stots takes on another former collegiate wrestler, Anthony “El Toro” Birchak.
The one-night Kinektic 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 cve 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.