Chatham Kent and Gracie Barra fighter Josh “The Ripper” Rich won the TXC 135-lb title in a tough fought main event in Michigan on the weekend. Rich battled 4-2 local fighter Dan Winston out of MASH, one of the top mixed martial arts training facility’s in Michigan. The Ripper won via unanimous decision.
Rich dominated the fight for all three rounds using aggressive takedowns and top control, and Winston had no answer for Rich’s strength and wrestling. Winston, a blue belt in BJJ did have answers for Rich’s submissions and Josh was unable to secure a finish on the Michigan fighter. This fight marks the only time that Rich has had to go the distance and was a very good test for the Dresden native.
Josh also showcased his stand-up as well and according to his coach Thomas Armstrong, it was his toughest test to date. Rich improves to 5-1 in his amatuer career and has now won two fights in a row in 2012.
There is no date set for his first title defense, and Rich will be looking to apply for his Pro application in the next few months.
Steele Takes Another Gold at The Ontario Open
Another jiu-jitsu competition on the weekend for Justin Steele, another gold medal. Such has been the ho-hum year for the 16-year old Gracie Barra Chatham star.
Steele competed in the prestigious Ontario Open BJJ championships this past weekend in Toronto in the Adult Blue Belt division.
There were 34 competitors in the division and Steele went an incredible 5-0 to take home the gold medal. He won three fights by points and two via submission finish on his way to taking home the top prize.
Steele went on to compete in the the Absolute division and beat the heavyweight silver medalist via triangle choke. He then found himself up against a man much bigger and heavier than he is in facing the Ultra Heavy Gold medalist. Steele did not shy away from the much bigger man, narrowly missed two sweeps and attempted three triangle chokes but was unable to put the big man away, eventually losing the match 4-0. His opponent went on to win Gold in the Absolute division.
Steele continues an incredible year on the mat and will now focus on the World Championships in Long Beach California at the end of the month. Two other Gracie Barra grapplers will join Steele at the worlds as Zach Fournier and coach Thomas Armstrong will also be competing in the event that takes place from May 31 to June 2.