The first Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI 1) took place on June 2nd, 2014 and it really did change the way that professional grappling worked. It build upon the success of some of the other events that took place before it like Metamoris, and marked the next step in the evolution of professional grappling. BJJ was originally such a niche sport that the opportunities for highly-paid competition simply didn’t exist. The IBJJF World Championship didn’t even have prize money at all to begin with and for most BJJ competitors, the only ways to get paid with their skills was to teach or make the transition to MMA.
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The First Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI 1) Arrives
World champions weren’t making much money, and in truth they still aren’t really, so the first Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI 1) presented an incredible opportunity for elite competitors to get compensated for their skills. That alone has had a huge impact on the sport and has pushed major tournaments to increase their prize money, but the true benefit is in the number of events that now exist. Major promotions like Who’s Number One and Polaris owe a lot to the early pioneers like EBI, and the moves that Eddie Bravo made in the early days are a huge part of the reason why BJJ competitors can get paid on a regular basis throughout the year.
The Idea Behind It
Not only did the first Eddie Bravo Invitational change the way that BJJ competitors are compensated at the highest level, but it also introduced the world to EBI rules. Until this point in time athletes generally only competed under either IBJJF or ADCC rules, unless they wanted to have a submission-only match without any time limit. Eddie Bravo tried to move away from points systems and encourage matches to end in a submission, while not allowing matches to last for hours. Not only did he tie the competitor’s pay to the number of submissions they got, but he also created a ruleset that uses an overtime period where athletes are given strong finishing positions.
First Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI 1) Full Results
Geo Martinez defeats Tony Pinedo via Submission – Heel Hook
Geoff Real defeats Jeff Willingham via Submission – Heel Hook
Alex Ecklin defeats Javier Cardenas via Submission – Toehold
Brandon Walensky defeats Jose Gutierrez via Submission – Triangle Choke
Jeff Glover defeats Sergio Hernandez via Submission – Triangle Choke
Eric Medina defeats Alexis Alduncin via Submission – Armbar
Victor Henry defeats Randall Dolf via Submission – Armbar
Ben Eddy defeats Kyle Koenig via Submission – Hindulotine
Geo Martinez defeats Geoff Real via Submission – Twister
Brandon Walensky defeats Alex Ecklin via Submission – Heel Hook
Jeff Glover defeats Eric Medina via Submission – Kneebar
Ben Eddy defeats Victor Henry via Submission – Hindulotine
Geo Martinez defeats Brandon Walensky via Submission – Calf-slicer
Jeff Glover defeats Ben Eddy via Submission – Kneebar
Geo Martinez defeats Jeff Glover via Decision – Ride-time in EBI Overtime
Geo Martinez becomes the first Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI 1) Champion
The first Eddie Bravo Invitational event was an incredible success, and 14 out of the 15 matches at EBI 1 ended in a submission. The whole event took just a little over an hour and a half to come to an end, including the time between each match. The longest match of the night was the final between Geo Martinez and Jeff Glover, and Eddie Bravo really couldn’t have designed a better storyline for his debut as a promoter. Both men put on exciting performances in all of their matches leading up to the final, showing a wide variety of skills and finishing their 6 opponents with 5 different submissions.
That led up to the final, which was a tense and exhausting battle between two of the most exciting competitors in the sport at the time. It also showcased just how exciting the EBI ruleset could be, as they went through every single overtime round and were incredibly evenly matched. Neither of them got the finish but Geo Martinez managed to rack up the most ride-time and was declared the winner, taking home the title and grand prize. It was immediately clear that this was going to be the first of many events, but nobody could have predicted just how big the Eddie Bravo Invitational would become after EBI 1.
Eddie Bravo continued staging exciting events and the EBI ruleset has even been used in many other grappling promotions all around the world. Not just that but he used EBI 11 to test out his new Combat Jiu-Jitsu ruleset, before eventually starting the Combat Jiu-Jitsu World Championships. They are both huge presences in the professional grappling world, and the EBI ruleset is on full display constantly. It really isn’t an exaggeration to say that grapplers and promoters everywhere owe a lot to Eddie Bravo and his decision to take the leap with the first EBI event.