it’s fair to say the JitzKing Middleweight Tournament delivered some serious results. The tournament brought out all of the drama and action we’ve come to expect from JitzKing, and the super fights broke up the action nicely. After the success of their inaugural Featherweight tournament in January, the promotion is setting themselves up for a big future.
The finals of the JitzKing Middleweight tournament saw Pedro Marinho take on one of the predicted favourites, Oliver Taza. Marinho’s path to the final was extremely impressive. His first round match-up against David Garmo saw Marinho latch onto and ride out a beautiful guillotine choke to proceed into the second round, where he defeated Jason Rau on points. His third match of the night came against the widely regarded favourite, Roberto Jimenez. Marinho pushed a serious pace and ultimately snatched a gorgeous outside heel hook to punch his ticket to the finals.
Taza’s path to the finals was arguably a bit easier. His first match of the night against Gabriel Castro ended in a tight kneebar from 50/50 in overtime, after attacking the legs relentlessly in regulation. His second match of the night was possibly the fastest submission of the night as he quickly secured an inside heel hook against Benji Silva. Taza ran up against the brick wall of BB Monstro in his third match. Taza did well to stay on the offense throughout the match, threatening with leg entanglements while doing a beautiful job of rebuffing Araujo’s aggressive passing. After a clash of heads in overtime and a continued stalemate Taza was rewarded with the referee’s decision and a shot to the finals.
The final’s match was a scrappy affair, with a fair amount of wrestling and cautious strategic play from both men. Marinho was hunting for inside trips on the feet, hoping to repeat his beautiful guillotine sequence from earlier in the night. Taza elected to pull guard often but found his way to his feet just as often. Neither man found much success on the feet until Marinho hit a clean double leg to go 2-0 on the score board. There was minor controversy as detractors felt that Marinho hadn’t cleanly secured the takedown before points were awarded, but the ref’s call stood. Marinho spent the remainder of the match very loosely engaging, conscious of his points lead. After repeated warnings from the referee Marinho committed to passing and very nearly secured a north-south position just prior to time expiring. Marinho won the match 2-0 and is your new JitzKing Middleweight Champion. He also copped a cool $5k cash for his efforts.