By: Jackie Campbell
On May 20, 2017, three competitors from Team Tri-Force MMA arrived in Springfield, MA to take part in the King of the Mat 10 Grappling Championship. This no-gi tournament accommodates for all levels of adult and youth divisions. Dion Rubio, Toby Oden and Dylan Chase came to compete, each earning a podium finish in their respective divisions.
The tournament places competitors based upon gender, age, weight and experience. Once organized, grapplers competed within a round-robin style event where the participant who won the most matches within their division wins gold.
Dion Rubio took home a second place finish in the Men’s 170lbs Beginner Division, proving that his strength and skills combine for him to become a formidable opponent. Competing against three other participants within his division, Dion won his first two matches and made it to the final match, where he took second place based on points.
“My strengths in the tournament were my takedowns. I was able to execute multiple takedowns within the first two matches,” says Dion.
Dion’s experience of wrestling certainly contributes to his success within Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but he does not intend for that to define his style of grappling. “I would like to utilize throws to get the takedown rather than sticking to the conventional wrestling-style of shooting to the legs,” explains Dion. “I attempted a Drop Knee Seoi Nage, but it was not executed well and I had my back taken.”
As a dedicated student, Dion also plans to reinforce his control within positions such as mount and side control. “In my second match, I was trapped and rolled twice due to being too tightly clasped onto my opponent’s head and shoulders. That allowed him to trap my arm and rotate his hips to sweep me over,” says Dion.
Competitor Dylan Chace finished in third place within the Men’s 180lbs Advanced Division. Dylan agreed that his strengths were in his takedowns during his matches. He also attributed his success to his cardio and no-quit mentality while competing.
When assessing areas to focus on going forward, Dylan pinpointed aspects of his offense. “I think I need to be more aggressive and not play into people’s games,” explains Dylan.
As an advanced competitor, Dylan is no stranger to competitive grappling and is always looking to improve his skill set through frequent competition. “The importance in competing is to test your skills and to see where you can improve. It also pushes you to get better both on and off of the mat,” says Dylan.
Also competing was professional mixed martial artist, Toby Oden. Taking to the mats just one week after his return to the CES Welterwieght Division, Toby showed once again his dedication to the sport and competitive grit.
Toby competed within the Men’s 190lbs Advanced Division, taking home a third place finish. Toby’s work ethic is amongst the best within Team Tri-Force MMA, and he continues to prove that dedication by not skipping a beat in both training and competing.
For more information on the King of the Mat tournament, follow King of the Mat on Facebook. Stay tuned to Tri-Force MMA News for more information on upcoming events and competitions on the schedule for the coming months.