January 16, 2018 7:50 pm

RISE Invitational 3: Two Champions Crowned; Action-Packed Superfights



RISE Invitational held its third event last night at The Space in Westbury, New York, presented by Lou Neglia, and Matt Culley of New York Fighting. Rapidly establishing itself as one of the premier submission grappling events, this edition of RISE featured many of the top grapplers in the Northeast, and the action did not disappoint. Fans were treated to three main event superfights, as well as a four woman 125 lb tournament that saw Danielle Kelly crowned as the first female RISE champion, and an eight man 145 lb tournament where Frank Rosenthal returned to RISE to claim the title.


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The final superfight of the evening was not without controversy, as MMA standouts Sidney Outlaw and UFC veteran Chris Wade tangled in a heated 10-minute submission-only clash at 175 lbs. Both competitors were supposed to fight each other in MMA in the Ring of Combat promotion, but the fight was cancelled so there was unfinished business between these two. Tensions ran high, as both athletes showcased their considerable wrestling skills, mostly neutralizing each other except for a single leg takedown by Outlaw early in the match. After one scramble, Outlaw continued working near the edge of the mats, driving Wade off the stage. Wade continued unabated as the two exchanged hard slapping collar tie-ups and occasional shoves. Although Outlaw had some moments of control and top position, Wade had his moments as well and the match ended in a draw.

RISE 170 lb tournament winner and Serra BJJ black belt Jason Rau returned to the stage in a superfight to take on late replacement Jon “Thor” Blank, a 10th Planet representative. Blank put up strong resistance to Rau’s well-reputed leg attacks, but surrendered his back at one point, allowing Rau to secure a triangle from back mount. From there, Rau looked to attack the powerful arms of “Thor,” eventually securing an armlock from the reverse triangle position.




In the first of the three main even superfights, Sergio “Da Savage” Da Silva made his return to RISE after his battle at RISE 2 with Aljamain Sterling, to take on another UFC veteran in Alp Ozkilic. Ozkilic showcased a strong wrestling game and attacked for head-and-arm chokes, while Da Silva, a BJJ black belt under Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, attempted to work a Z-half guard game. Both competitors showing excellent defense, the match went to a draw.


The 145 lb men’s EBI-rules tournament saw Renzo Gracie Academy representative and John Danaher student Frank Rosenthal work through a field of game challengers to claim the championship belt and $1,000 prize. It was not an easy road. After finishing Gracie Barra Princeton’s Nick Manela – a fellow RISE veteran – in the first round with an armbar, Rosenthal went through all three EBI-rules overtime rounds against Julien Banner, eventually emerging victorious by achieving more control time in the overtime rounds. In the finals, Rosenthal faced Mike Davila who was representing Marcelo Garcia Academy and had finished his first two opponents, Vincent Moro and JM Holland, with heel hooks. The two combatants spent much of the match entangled in the 50/50 leg lock position, with Davila showing more aggression early and Rosenthal turning up the heat in the second half. In the first overtime round, Rosenthal was able to secure a rear naked choke for the tap, and then escape the back mount position when Davila had his chance, to earn the victory.

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Between tournament matches, fans were treated to a stellar display of wrestling technique in a 6-minute submission-only match between UFC veteran Merab Dvalishvili and Nekruz Mirkhojaev. Both fighters displayed some impressive high amplitude throws and single-leg takedowns but ultimately fought to an exciting and high-paced draw.

The women brought the action in the 125 lb tournament, where brown belt Danielle Kelly from Renzo Gracie Philadelphia/Semper Fi MMA showed both heart and skill to emerge victorious in the finals over Amanda Kramy of Gracie Barra Princeton. Kelly secured an armbar over Serra BJJ’s Lauren Braccia in the first round, while Kramy submitted a game late replacement in Liz Cornejo from Vamos BJJ, with a D’arce choke to reach the finals. Kramy seemed to be the stronger of the two in the finals and looked to impose her will over Kelly, who hung tough and increased her output late in regulation time. In the first two of three overtime rounds, Kelly selected back mount and transitioned for deep armbar attacks which Kramy fought through and eventually escaped. Kramy selected back mount and was able to maintain superior riding time and appeared to be well on her way to an overtime victory if she could survive the final round. Kelly opted for the “spiderweb” position to start the round, and locked in a fully extended armbar. After what seemed like an eternity and an endless series of rolls and transitions, Kramy tapped out and Kelly claimed a come-from-behind victory.

RISE also presented a full undercard which was full of action. Results were as followed:
-Mike Elshamy (Madama BJJ) defeated Chris Cope (Team Extreme/Monster BJJ) by heel hook
-Aldo Oranville (BK MMA) defeated Ash Elbanna (Lionheart MMA) by heel hook
-Zach Maslany (10th Planet Bethlehem) and Jesus Malaga (Madama BJJ) fought to a 6-minute draw
-Mateo Martinez (Matteo BJJ) defeated Dave Oliveira (Marcelo Garcia) by kneebar
-Drew Hooper (Renzo Gracie NYC) defeated Jon Potts (Monster BJJ) by heel hook
-Sam Micale (Tai Kai BJJ) defeated Jared Torres (Tiger Schulmann’s) by heel hook
-Adam Collarile (914 Krav Maga) and Mike Sullivan (Serra BJJ) fought to a 6-minute draw
-Daniel Hernandez (Renzo Gracie Bronx) defeated Ceasar Munoz (Tiger Schulmann’s) by heel hook
-Kevin Smith (Budokan Martial Arts) and Greg Schiller (LAW MMA) fought to a draw in a gi match
-Andy Segovia (Tiger Schulmann’s) defeated Jon Ritter (LAW MMA) by straight foot lock
-Nick Fiore (Gracie Barra NHP) defeated Mike Casill (Alpha Omega) by twister


Photos by Angelo Carchesio

Written by Kyle Antonelli

Commentators Kyle Antonelli and Randy Brown


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