Garry Tonon tapped out UFC veteran Javier Vazquez at Gracie Nationals 2015. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
It was the proverbial passing of the torch in the main event of the Gracie Nationals 2015 as Garry Tonon submitted Javier Vazquez in their no-gi match with a superb triangle choke.
Tonon, a black belt in jiu-jitsu under Tom DeBlass, has been tearing apart the grappling world these past few years and is among the elite of the newer breed of submission artist. He is coming off submission wins in both Metamoris and Polaris, but today on the mats of the LA Fitness Expo in the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Brunswick BJJ fighter took his first major step toward greatness with his victory over “Showtime.”
The two wasted little time in getting down to business, but Tonon was more aggressive early on. Vazquez defended everything his younger opponent threw at him, but the former World Extreme Cagefighting, Shooto and Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran couldn’t get into the sort of rhythm he coveted. Tonon, the heavier of the two at 170 pounds, eventually opened up his arsenal fully and continuously shifted from high to low attacks, leaving Vazquez vulnerable.
Tonon achieved mount, hunted for key locks, switched to leg locks, back to side control and mount, and then back down to foot and leg locks. “The Lion Killer” was all over Vazquez, who could only defend at this juncture. Eventually, Tonon switched a leg lock attempt into a side triangle choke, where Javi mistimed his defense and found himself stuck. The Carlson Gracie (via Rodrigo Medeiros) black belt rolled over onto his knees but was unable to posture up or escape. Eventually, Vazquez had no choice but to tap out, awarding Tonon the sensational victory, among the greatest of his career.
In the co-featured bout, Renzo Gracie black belt Eddie Cummings was extraordinarily patient during his conquest of Denny Prokopos, eventually submitting him with a leg lock. Cummings spent most of the time on the seat of his trunks, trying to sucker his 10th Planet BJJ foe into a trap.
Prokopos was more aggressive throughout their encounter, but he suddenly found himself stuck in a tight body triangle and forced to fend off a rear-naked choke attempt for a few minutes. Cummings wasn’t able to quite get the choke latched on and his opponent eventually slinked himself out and back onto his feet.
After several moments of wrist play and arm drag attempts, the two 155-pound men were briefly in 50/50 guard, where Cummings ended the contest.
Cummings switched from an ankle lock to a heel hook, both of which the Southern California fighter escaped. But once Cummings transitioned back into the straight leg lock, Prokopos couldn’t free himself and had to tap.
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