Fight to Win Pro’s first foray into Austin features high level main event, interesting matches galore
AUSTIN, TX – The long-awaited Austin debut of the Fight to Win PRO series hits the Delco Center tonight with the first matchup kicking things off at 6:30pm. A relatively new entrant into the world of professional grappling, Fight to Win Pro aims to provide both exposure and financial rewards to those willing to showcase the art. The series has already hosted successful events in Denver, CO along with Houston, TX with plans to hit a multitude of additional cities before year’s end and into the future.
Headlining the Austin card for Fight to Win PRO 3 is a light heavyweight matchup between one of the most decorated American grapplers of all-time, Rafael Lovato Jr. taking on an old nemesis in UFC fighter and ADCC veteran Ricardo “Demente” Abreu. These two have met earlier in their careers and it was close. Given the venue and the unique no-points, submission-focused format, tonight should be no different.
Here’s one of their matches before:
In the co-main event of the evening, Elite MMA’s Robert Yamashita travels to Austin fresh off an impressive performance at F2W PRO 2 against one of Texas’ best, Inacio Neto. He now takes on San Antonio representative Rodrigo Pinheiro, an experienced grappler in his own rite who’s taken on some of the best of the best. Rodrigo no doubt has the experience edge here but Yamashita is a gamer with a polished competition game so this one should be no easy money for either man.
There are four other black belt matchups on the card and there’s no shortage of interesting storylines here:
Travis Moore will walk into his match with Derrick Garza with a noticeable size advantage but Dark Clan Derrick doesn’t really care about size and will look to make this a fun scrap as he looks to vindicate himself from his quick match at Onnit 1, Thiago Macedo will take his unpassable guard into a bout against Army veteran Zachary Rapadas while Bellator vet Toby Imada of inverted triangle fame (see below) will look to show off his grappling once again vs. San Antonio’s Gleidson Poney.
Last but not least at black belt, Onnit Invitational winner Jose Portillo will make his F2W Pro debut against a relative Texas newcomer in Wilson Feu. Jose has grown a lot recently and Feu is a wildcard so this one could be interesting.
As for the rest of the show, there’s no shortage of interesting matches to look out for at all belt levels. The show features 25 matches and some of the combatants are notable for sure.
Here’s some of the grapplers that stick out to us:
Matthew Fox – a perennial IBJJF medalist out of TLI, he’ll be looking to showcase his stuff vs. Austin-based MMA fighter Kevin Troyer.
Lucas Valente – another top player with many IBJJF golds to his credit, the Draculinho-trained Gracie Barra rep will look to showcase his game vs. Jimmy Altman.
Dallas Niles vs. Eddie Wittern – both high-level brown belts, this match will feature an interesting contrast in styles with Eddie looking to impose his top game and Dallas with his half guard expertise. It’s one of our contenders for match of the night.
The list goes on and on…. There’s some awesome women’s matches includ. Laura Heiman Martins taking on Victoria Maciel and Valerie Covey taking on Ketra Bartek. There’s Damion Oranday stepping in on short notice to take on Anthony Leon in an Austin vs. Houston clash. There’s high level teens like Roberto Jimenez rematching one of the few teen opponents that have beaten him in Brandon Gutierrez plus lot’s more.
Show up to the Delco Center this evening and watch it all play out.
Fight to Win Pro 3 – Final Card for April 4, 2016
Rafael Lovato Jr vs. Ricardo Abreu (main event, black belt)
Rodrigo Pinheiro vs. Robert Yamashita (black belt)
Travis Moore vs. Derrick Garza (black belt)
Thiago Macedo vs. Zachary Rapadas (black belt)
Gleidson Poney vs. Toby Imada (black belt)
Wilson Feu vs. Jose Portillo (black belt)
John Ramsier vs. Christopher Clifton (brown belt)
John Barrera vs. Lin Hughes (brown belt)
Randy Vera vs. Garrett Scott (brown belt)
Ben Snow vs. Dan Rodriguez (brown belt)
Matthew Fox vs. Kevin Troyer (brown belt)
Alex Henley vs. Tommy McCay (brown belt)
Lucas Valente vs. Jimmy Altman (brown belt)
Ighor Luis vs. Tom Conner (brown belt)
Dallas Niles vs. Eddie Wittern (brown belt)
Victoria Maciel vs. Laura Heiman Martins (purple belt)
Valerie Covey vs. Ketra Bartek (purple belt)
Damion Oranday vs. Anthony Leon (purple belt)
Christopher West vs. James Overton (purple belt)
Ryan Ben David vs. Kody Steele (purple belt)
Michael Esquivel vs. Christopher Hinojosa (purple belt)