Tournament Review Tuesday: Buckeye Border Grappling Championship

by Dan Smith

I competed in the Buckeye Border Grappling Championships this past Saturday in Toledo, Ohio. The tourney director Deon Thompson was a recent guest on The FightWorks Podcast. I’ve competed in all 3 events Mr. Thompson has run and each year it improves. He puts a lot of work into running a first class event. I believe there was somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 competitors. The venue was very nice, with more than enough room for competitors and spectators alike. The event ran more or less on time. There were no incidents that I’m aware of regarding any blatant mis-calls on the referees’ parts. I was really impressed with the levels of the lesser-experienced fighters. One of the kids matches (and please forgive me I cannot remember the names of the 2 boys) had my jaw dropping with the way one of them was able to spin out of a tight armbar. I also saw blue belts submitting high-level purple belts on a number of occasions.

The highlight of the show for me was the 4 man Black Belt Grand Prix featuring Sean Bansfield (Saulo Ribeiro), Robin Geisler (Relson Gracie), Don Richard (Caique), and Rodrigo Botti (Brasa). All four men put on phenominal performances. I think the presence of local television really had everyone wanting to put on a good show. A televised BJJ tourney is something you very seldom see in this part of the country. TV coverage will go a long way towards exposing our sport to a much wider audience.

Overall I had a great time and I wish Mr. Thompson nothing but success in his future endevours!


Dan Smith is a purple belt from Focus Jiu-Jitsu in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This is an installment in our Tournament Review Tuesdays column, where FightWorks Podcast listeners submit reports about Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling competitions that happened the weekend prior. Through the rest of 2009, if you submit a Tournament Review Tuesday piece, you might win an Isami gi!

The opinions expressed in Tournament Review Tuesday pieces do not necessarily represent those of The FightWorks Podcast.

– Caleb

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