This fall of 2014 has been a great one! As many of you may know my wife and I were fundraising in order to get to the 2014 FILA Pankration Submission Wrestling World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
After some intense matches I emerged with the silver medal. It was great to have my wife and baby boy there with me as part of my support team. We also were able to spend some time with a friend in Budapest and saw some of the sites. It was a wonderful trip and great experience to win another world medal and have that time with my family.
Although I was grateful for that opportunity I still felt like I had some unfinished business. I had not trained to lose and the match that I lost at the FILA Pankration worlds kept a fire burning inside me.
I had already set my sights on the SJJIF No-Gi Jiu Jitsu world championships and only had to have a couple things fall into place to get to that event. I was able to have my wife and baby boy with me again. The tournament consisted of some tough athletes and I was looking forward to the challenge.
I had a tough Brazilian opponent, Victor Barreto, in the Ultra Heavyweight final. I was able to neutralize his attacks and sweeps and pushed the match into overtime. In overtime I again neutralized his game and was able to use one of my “unstoppable” moves and gain the mount position and win the match. I won the SJJIF Ultra Heavyweight No-Gi world title!
In the Open Weight (absolute) division I was able to win again in overtime in a very back and forth final match against Bellator MMA fighter, Steve Martinez. The match went back and forth with me taking him down and then sweeps back and forth with me finally ending up on top to end regulation. At the start of overtime I used my wrestling advantage and executed a bulldozing double leg to end the match 6-4! That win gave me the Open Weight division title and I finished the tournament with double gold medals!
Brynne and I had a great time and we very much enjoyed being able to share those moments together. We’ve had a great fall and I’m happy about my performance this year, especially considering some of the setbacks and trials that we had faced since 2013.
In 2013 I herniated a disc in my back right before the 2013 FILA Grappling world championships. Then that fall we lost Brynne’s brother to Leukemia. The winter of 2014 we lost my grandfather to stroke. Then in the spring I had a retina tear. It had been a rough 9+ months.
It wasn’t all gloomy during that time. We were blessed with the birth of our fifth child, a baby boy, the start of 2014. But it did take a while for things to recalibrate with all of the major events during that time.
We felt extremely fortunate to have been able to compete and travel this year and we are happy to have been successful in those events. Thanks for all of you who helped support us in this.