This article and the accompanying footage of Bill Cooper vs Renato Canuto from Proving Grounds Invitational 1 is part of Free Fight Friday, our ongoing project to bring the best in professional Jiu-Jitsu competition to everyone. To avoid spoilers for the match, scroll directly to the footage below.
Proving Grounds Invitational 1 took place on September 10th, 2016 and the promotion put together three different exciting eight-man tournaments for the event. Their lightweight tournament featured several talented grapplers on either side of the bracket and one of the opening round matches saw Renato Canuto taking on Bill Cooper.
At that point in time, Cooper was the veteran competitor who had already reached the podium of both the IBJJF world championship and the IBJJF no gi world championship several times. In fact, Cooper finished in second place at EBI 7 just a matter of weeks before the match took place and the 29 year-old was still in the prime of his competitive career. He was coming into this event as one of the favourites to win the lightweight tournament thanks to his previous experience of competing at the highest levels.
Canuto on the other hand was just 20 years old and a brown belt in BJJ at the time, as he was still a few months away from being promoted to black belt by his father Valdir. After winning this match, Canuto continued his run through the lightweight division to win whole tournament at the first Proving Grounds Invitational event. Since then, he has gone on to win an IBJJF world championship, multiple Kasai tournaments, and has become both an ADCC and a ONE Championship veteran too.
Subscribe to the official JitsMagazine YouTube channel for more Free Fight Friday footage, and the full match between Bill Cooper and Renato Canuto can be found below: