The 2018 Unified Catch-As-Catch-Can World Championships – My Take

WorldsTo watch video of all the bouts, scroll down.

I’ve dedicated the last twenty years of my life deliberately studying and reviving the sport of catch-as-catch-can wrestling and last weekend was a spiritual experience for me. I am so unbelievably grateful to have witnessed what I did in New Jersey on July 14th, 2018. The sheer amount of heart shown by every wrestler on the card last night was unearthly. If you love CACC like me I sincerely wish you could have been there to witness it in person. It was truly special.

Jacobs

Big congratulations to Curran Jacobs. He’s normally a handsome actor but this is what he looked like, after winning. His tenacity and grit was unreal. He executed the prime strategy of basic catch-as-catch-can perfectly;  i.e., “conditioning is your greatest hold”. That doesn’t mean just conditioning the heart and lungs, but inoculating the body against pain too. Jacobs withstood the onslaught of larger, very skilled, violent grapplers for a hellish 19, 5-minute rounds to execute the catch-as-catch-can equivalent of Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy. Once his opponents tired or made a mistake he’d slide behind them for a tight sleeper hold. Here is the champ himself telling the tale:

Congratulations to every man and woman that wrestled at both the open and the invitational. Everyone was on the edge of their seat all night. I know Billy Robinson, Karl Gotch, and all the old timers that loved this sport would have been tickled to see this. Everyone had enormous heart. Beefs were squashed through the love of this sport tonight. Hats off to Joel M Bane (and his incredible wife) Anastasia for pouring their hearts into the show. I hope everyone gets to see a show like this sometime in their life. Honestly, you had to have been there. Can’t wait for everyone to see it. A sincere thank you to everyone who was there in NJ in person to support the most prestigious event in CACC in nearly a century; The 2018 Unified Catch-As-Catch-Can World Championships.  

The stars of the show shined bright; Brandon Ruiz, Kenny Faafetai Lester, Erik Arevalo, Johnny Buck, Patrick Stano, Jon Zang, & Nick Caggia really gave their all. People came from all over the world (as far as Japan) to witness the complete rebirth of this sport, plus to have MMA legend Josh Barnett in attendance supporting was incredible! Also thank you Jim McCann for being a gracious host.

After this show, I would put the sport of catch-as-catch-can wrestling (and our no-holds-barred ruleset in particular) up against UFC or WWE anytime (we are looking for investors/producers that share our passion and vision for the sport so please email any leads my way)There is absolutely no reason CACC couldn’t be bigger than both MMA and “Sports Entertainment” combined. I mean this with all my heart. I have a renewed vigor to continue growing this sport and I am truly optimistic, maybe for the first time in 20 years, for CACC unity and the future of catch-as-catch-can wrestling.

As Billy used to say, “Do it again!”

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Quarterfinals: 

NICHOLAS CAGGIA v. KENNY LESTER

 

JON ZANG v. BRANDON RUIZ

 

PAT STANO vs. ERIK HAMMER

 

JOHNNY BUCK v. CURRAN JACOBS

 

Semi-finals: 

KENNY LESTER v. BRANDON RUIZ

 

ERIK HAMMER v. CURRAN JACOBS

 

Finals:

BRANDON RUIZ vs. CURRAN JACOBS

 

Ps. Another epic tale from this event that should not go unnoticed were the efforts of Mary Almario from California (UWFxUSA). This game-as-hell athlete was the ONLY woman to enter the Billy Robinson Classic open tournament and she did an amazing job fighting all male opponents! Hope we get more tough female talent like her at the next event!

maryalmario

Pps. For me personally, the most amazing aspect of the evening was how our brutal sport of CACC lead to respect and love afterward (note: there was real bad blood and acrimony prior).

RuizJacobs.pngThese two top-tier athletes at opposite ends of their wrestling careers showed the world what real guts looked like in a final that truly deserves to be in the history books.

Please read these great blog posts by Brandon “The Strangler” Ruiz after the event (not only can he strangle you silly but he can write like a freakin’ poet too:

Jake Shannon: A Praise to the Man

Curran Jacobs: 2018 Catch Wrestling World Champion

This post by Erik Hammer was great too:
hammer

Ppps. Last, but certainly not least, I want to express my gratitude to SnakePit USA Head Coach Joel Bane. I am so proud of what he has accomplished and what he had to overcome to make this show happen. I was thrilled when he asked for my help organizing and booking. After the smashing success of this event, we are committed to unifying the sport via the first joint promotions so that CACC will advance together under proven leadership. Stay tuned!

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