Portland is widely considered a sports starved crowd when it comes to professional athletics. There isn’t much here, but what exists is beloved by the city and consumed by it’s hunger. The Blazers are the hometown team and the people love them about as fiercely as humanly possible. Second up are the Timbers. It was no sooner than the MLS was adopted in Portland than the Timbers went from minor league sideshow to full on fanatical craze. If you give Portland the best, the citizens will eat it up. This past July, Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground (SUG) created a buzz amongst local fight fans that was overwhelmingly positive. The event sold out, received record numbers for their partner Flo-Sports, and the announcement of the second show drew huge applause from fans throughout the state. Thanks to Sonnen, Portland fans have been given another sport to satisfy their hunger.
Submission Underground has gone from hugely successful ‘new kid on the grappling block.’ to ‘king of the streets’ for many fans of jiu jitsu and submission wrestling. With Sonnen as a front man, SUG had star power from the very beginning. Then, he brought in a slew of former UFC fighters, jiu jitsu world champions, and even Olympic medalists. He brought the heat and sold out the Roseland Theater almost immediately in the promotion’s first ever event. With SUG a proven success, Sonnen has had to up the ante to feed the appetite of the Portland fans. This week, he blew the lid off the pot when he announced that SUG 2 would be headlined by two of the greatest fighters of all time – former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson and former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Portland fans are sure to be out in full force for this card and tickets are expected to sell out rapidly for the December 11th event.
With this monster of a main event lined up and a co-main event that features former UFC champion Miesha Tate and UFC veteran Jessica Eye, expectations for the rest of the card are especially high. There has been no other main event matches officially announced just yet. However, confirmed to be on the card is 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu standout Nathan “Dead” Orchard. Fresh off his win over grappling legend Masahazu Imanari at Polaris 4 this past month, Orchard should have a good head of steam behind him leading up to the card. In his match at SUG 1, Orchard, submitted jiu jitsu world champion Guilherme “Bomba” Vasconcelos in dramatic fashion late in the third overtime period. Thanks to his recent successes and his win over “Bomba”, people will be expecting big things from Orchard. The rest of the main card, including Orchards opponent, will likely be announced later this week. However, in a piece of breaking news, we here at Oregon Sports News have learned the entirety of the undercard for SUG 2. As expected, it features a slew of local talent. The full 17-match undercard is listed below.
Gus Bessa vs Phil Schwartz
Kyle Ellsworth vs Rick Bell
Jose Rodriguez vs Chris Folsom
Devin Cole vs Josh Bennett
Andrew Alexander vs Tryree Freshner
Brad Pole vs Lee Flores
Charles Batey vs Chris Martin
Mike Currier vs Kris Reid
Katie Ericson vs Sam Robinson
Chris Bauer vs Nicholas Mximov – GI Match
Carsten Carlsen vs Robert Wolf
Dylan Lariaux vs James Gamet
Matt Howell vs Michael Amador – GI Match
John Diggins vs KC Thompson – GI Match
Jeffery Pelton vs Marques Daniels
Devin Roan vs Ben Egli – GI Match
Niko Hughes vs Stryder Davis
**BOUT ORDER NOT YET DETERMINED – CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Some notable standouts on this undercard include John Diggins, Phil Schwartz, and Ben Egli. John Diggins is a mainstay in the Portland jiu jitsu scene and a very talented competitor. He has won countless matches and has even won gold at the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation’s Las Vegas Open in the absolute division. Diggins has been training jiu jitsu for over a decade and the fans at SUG 2 will welcome his experience.
Phil Schwartz is a brown belt in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu under Eddie Bravo. Schwartz has the advantage of training regularly with not only Nathan Orchard but also many of the top MMA prospects in the state. Schwartz was not victorious at SUG 1 and he will certainly be looking to rebound from the loss with a big win in his second straight showing for the promotion.
Lastly, Ben Egli will be competing in what will surely be a technical affair against Devin Roan. Recently, Egli has taken to producing a series of jiu jitsu breakdown videos in which he takes a closer look at techniques his used in past fights. The Gracie Technics brown belt is a very analytical competitor both in jiu jitsu matches and MMA fights. He will most certainly bring a skill set to the event that is focused and detail oriented. Jiu jitsu nerds will be delighted to know this match will take place in the GI, adding to the technical side of things.
Be sure to check back with Oregon Sports News for updates on this card as they become available.