KASAI Elite Grappling Championships 3:
Sam Stewart vs Franco Libano
Written by Rome G. Lytton IV
"Stewart sees Libano’s right foot floating and attacks it with an Estima Lock. But Libano was fishing. He used his right foot to lure Stewart in. Libano slides his left knee under Stewart’s right leg and then over with his left leg to start attacking Stewart’s heel. So slick."
The match starts with both athletes fighting for grips in the center of the mat. They’re head-to-head, like two Bighorn rams in contention for the same territory.
Libano briefly establishes a collar-tie with his right hand and faints an armdrag to a leg tap. He wants to see how Stewart will react. Stewart kicks his right leg back and circles out.
Libano gives chase and gets another collar tie. Stewart’s feet are planted on the mat, his weight shifted heavily on his right leg. He’s practically glued to the mat. Libano capitalizes and easily sets up a single leg to take Stewart down.
Stewart frames and shrimps to keep Libano from passing to side control. The referee stops them just before they move out of bonds and restarts the action back in the center. Libano up by two points.
Stewart instantly sits up. He does not wait to play off his back against a larger opponent. Libano steps between to attack Stewart’s left leg. Stewart has good hips and moves them like a turntable to stop Libano from advancing.
Libano is able to keep up with Stewart’s hips, and it looks like he’s able to establish control with his right knee onto Stewart’s right hip. Stewart is able to find Libano’s left leg and roll over his left shoulder to set up a single leg on Libano. Back and forth, back and forth.
Libano bases out with his right arm and balances on his hand to avoid getting taken down. He gives himself one more hop, then turns and front rolls to escape Stewart’s single leg attempt.
Stewart gives chase and both athletes find themselves scrambling off the mat before the referee restarts them in the center again.
Both athletes fight for control with collar-ties and break apart. Libano faints for a takedown. Then he shoots into Stewart with an Imanari Roll which looks to be on, but Stewart threatens Libano’s neck, forcing him to release his attack.
Stewart is now standing, and Libano is on his back playing open guard.
Stewart sees Libano’s right foot floating and attacks it with an Estima Lock. But Libano was fishing. He used his right foot to lure Stewart in. Libano slides his left knee under Stewart’s right leg and then over with his left leg to start attacking Stewart’s heel. So slick.
Stewart swings his leg over to escape but Libano rolls to counter. It looks like Libano is switching to a toehold, but he switches back to attacking the heel instead. Stewart tries his best to roll out, but Libano sinks the heel hook in tight to submit Stewart.
Excellent. Just a fun match to watch.