Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 20 - Gianni Grippo vs. AJ Agazarm - 2014 New York Spring Open

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Welcome to the twentieth edition of Match of the Week! This week’s match is Gianni Grippo vs. AJ Agazarm from the black belt absolute finals of the 2014 New York Spring Open.

Gianni Grippo is a black belt under Marcelo Garcia and fights for the Alliance team. Up until brown belt, Gianni trained under Renzo Gracie but changed to Marcelo's team in March, 2013. Gianni is known for his 'modern' style of Jiu-Jitsu and has built himself a considerable reputation at the lower belts and continues to do that today in the black belt division. 

Gianni is a three time World (2013 brown, 2011 purple, 2009 blue), Pan American (2014 black, 2012 brown, 2011 purple), and Pan American NoGi Champion (2013 & 2012 brown, 2010 purple), and a two time World NoGi Champion (2010 purple, 2007 blue). He is also a two time Pan American silver medalist (2013 brown, 2010 purple), and a one time World (2012 brown), European (2013 brown), and Pan American NoGi silver medalist (2011 brown).   

As I said earlier, Gianni is best known for using 'modern' Jiu-Jitsu techniques. He is known as being part of what’s being called the 'berimbolo generation'. Throughout his matches, you will see Gianni play a lot of de la riva guard and using the berimbolo to great effect. Even though Gianni is very effective off his back, he is also great on top, commonly using the leg drag pass to take his opponents back. 

Gianni Grippo
Source: Mike Calimbus

AJ Agazarm is a black belt under Eduardo de Lima/Carlos Gracie Jr. and is a member of Gracie Barra. AJ comes from a very strong wrestling background and is a former division 1 wrestler. His aggressive, fast paced style made him quite well known during his time at the lower belts, winning numerous titles along the way. In June, 2013, AJ was promoted to black belt by Eduardo de Lima and Carlos Gracie Jr.

AJ is a three time European NoGi (2014 weight & absolute) and American National NoGi Champion (2013 weight & absolute, 2012 brown), and a one time World (2007 blue), Pan American (2012 brown), American National (2012 brown), World NoGi (2014 black), Pan American NoGi (2013 black) and Brazilian National NoGi Champion (2013 black).  

As AJ comes from a wrestling background, it's only natural that this would reflect in his style of Jiu-Jitsu. In particular, AJ favours the single leg takedown over all other takedowns. Even though he has a strong top game, AJ is quite well rounded as a fighter. At blue and purple belt you saw him go for takedowns and mainly play on top, but throughout brown belt you saw him play a lot more guard, especially the lasso guard.

AJ Agazarm

From 2014, this match sticks out in my mind as one of my favourites. The most memorable part of this match is definitely the ending. It's very exciting! Right off the bat Gianni pulls guard and AJ tries to work the double under pass for the first five minutes or so. Then things begin to open up and Gianni starts to play his signature de la riva game. This is where the excitement really starts! 

The video of the match can be found below. I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)


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