Over the weekend, Chael Sonnen and the team at FloGrappling.com closed the books on another successful Submission Underground (SUG) event. SUG4 brought with it star power, top-level grappling, and a bit of drama. Urijah Faber was as charismatic as anyone who has ever competed at SUG, Phil Schwartz of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu secured the most exciting submission of the night, and Jake Shields versus Dillon Danis came down to just an 8 second difference to declare a victor. Through all the action, Faber, Schwartz, and Shields stood out as competitors who gained the most at SUG4.
Faber Left with Something to Prove
Urijah Faber was certainly the fan favorite of the night. The “California Kid” was welcomed with open arms by the Oregon crowd who even sang the recent UFC Hall of Fame inductee Happy Birthday (Sunday was Faber’s 38th birthday). All of that support did not help Faber out grapple his opponent, two-time Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, Paulo Miyao. While Faber was able to avoid the leg lock attempts of Miyao early, his use of pure power and speed did not put him in position to have Miyao in any danger in regulation. With regulation a stalemate, the overtime periods began and this was where many expected Faber to shine, as escape time often relates directly to explosiveness, which he has in spades. Miyao’s technique proved too strong even for the athleticism of Faber, however. After the match, Faber said he would love the opportunity to train with Miyao and pick his brain a bit. Going further, he seemed very enthusiastic about the potential of returning to the SUG cage. He expressed a desire to have a more focused training camp and seemed motivated by the loss. With more time to prepare and knowing better what to expect, don’t be surprised if Faber returns to SUG to right the ship.
***Potential Matchups – AJ Agazarm, Gordon Ryan
Phil Schwartz’s Star is Rising
10th Planet Portland standout Phil Schwartz undoubtedly took home the submission of the night at SUG4. Schwartz squared off against Torryn “The Falcon” Heffelfinger in a match that was pure action from the very start. The two traded positions until Schwartz was able to secure a triangle choke. The sequence that followed was masterful by the 10th Planet brown belt. Schwartz pulled down on his shin before switching back to his opponent’s head. He then shifted his hips to tighten the triangle and hooked Heffelfinger’s outside leg, forcing a sweep to the mount. Schwartz made an adjustment on the arm from mount, falling back and extending the arm for what appeared to be an arm bar and forcing the tap from Heffelfinger. After the match, I had a chance to speak with Schwartz, who told me it wasn’t an arm bar at all; it was actually a move that he created called the Schwifty Lock. This lock is a modified Americana that Schwartz sets up by making space in the choke for his opponent and freeing up the arm. He then torques the arm to out and back to create pressure on the shoulder. This was Schwartz’s third appearance in the SUG cage and he has only been more impressive each time back. Expect a huge step up in competition for Schwartz on the next SUG card; the undercard can’t contain him much longer.
***Potential Matchups – Bryan Nuro, Dante Leon
Jake Shields Secures His Place at the Top
Jake Shields proved once again that he is one of the best grapplers on the planet. He outworked Dillon Danis to secure a win via fastest total escape time. Not that the match wasn’t close; Shields only bested Danis by an 8 second difference. Danis did get a hold of Shields’ neck and worked the squeeze on a tight guillotine, but it was not to be. Shields and Danis spent much of the opening frame in a classic wrestling standoff looking for dominant positions. For Danis, this was a huge mistake as Shields has a fantastic wrestling pedigree. For all the hype surrounding Danis, no one took him more seriously than Shields, who repeatedly praised the skill of the recent Bellator MMA signee. After the match, Danis fled the ring and then the building, answering no questions and making no statement. Shields has now won two SUG main event slots and is in position to ask for just about any opponent he chooses. When asked about who he’d like to face Shields, said his dream scenario would pit him against former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
***Potential Matchups- Jon Jones, Georges St. Pierre