Chatham-Kent Success at ICAD Jiu-Jitsu Competition

Armstrong Submissions / Gracie Barra Chatham played host to approximately fifteen jiu-jitsu fighters from throughout Ontario at its Richmond Street facility this past Sunday.

The fighters were divided into 4 weight divisions 145 lb, 155 lb, 175 lb and 200 lb and under. Round robin and playoff competition was held for each as well as an absolute division open for all the top fighters at each weight class to determine the best of the best at the end of the day.

Fighters came from as far as London and Woodstock to compete with fighters from the two solid Chatham-Kent gym’s, host Gracie Barra Chatham, and Chris Kimmerly’s Redemption MMA.

The competition was fierce and Chatham-Kent fighters were strongly in the mix all day long.

Gracie Barra Chatham stalwart Justin Steele had a strong day going undefeated in competition as he took both the 175 lb title as well as the title in the open Absolute division. Justin is an excellent guard fighter with a lightning fast triangle.

Gracie Barra’s Matt Todd competed in the 175 lb division and had a strong match with Mitch Blondeel of Redemption MMA. There were various transitions in the match and Todd sustained an unfortunate arm injury when escaping a kimura attempt by Blondeel and wisely took the rest of the day to recover.

Chris Kimmerly’s Redemption MMA fighters had an incredible day as well, with all three reps fighting strong all day.

Redemption MMA fighter Tyler Kirk was impressive in the 145 division gaining two solid submissions before falling by guillotine choke in the finals. Kirk was locked up with Paul Dacosta and gained a beautiful trip takedown but landed directly in a Dacosta choke where he was forced to tap out. Kirk is a extremely quick and shifty in his game.

Redemption’s tough and ripped fighter Steve Eldridge battled the top guys all day and had a strong day and was able to defeat all competitors in the 175 lb and absolute division except for Steele. Eldridge was right there all day and delivered “Fight of The Day” in my opinion as he battle Mitch Beakman to two extra rounds in the Absolute semi-finals where he finally won on points.

Matt Blondeel of Redemption also had a strong day with a great match against Matt Todd and he gave eventual division winner Tom Doyle all he could handle in their match up as well.

It was an excellent event for these fighters to get some solid work in and the level of competition was extremely solid and deep for an ICAD competition.

Gracie Barra and Redemption are building an excellent reputation for quality fighters in Ontario, and Chatham Kent has some great athlete’s to watch for coming out in this sport.

Official results:
145 pound winner – Paul Dacosta
155 pound winner – Mitch Beakman
175 pound winner – Justin Steele
200 pound and under – Tom Doyle
Absolute winner – Justin Steele

Below are video highlights from the event:


Dwight Wakabayashi is a Featured Columnist at  (Also a Featured Columnist for Bleacher
MMA and a correspondent for

Catch him on Twitter @wakafightermma


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    Thomas Armstrong 10 years

    Just a little correction: Matt Todd of GB Chatham had 2 fights, first won by kimora. Second fight was with Matt Blondeel of Redemption who he beat by points.

    Overall was great competition thank-you too all clubs who came out to support!