CES MMA’s Heavyweight Champion and Tri-Force’s own, Greg “Ribz” Rebello, is set to compete on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series once again on June 26th, 2018. Greg is a long time coach at Tri-Force and quite honestly, a local MMA legend with a very impressive record of 24-8. It’s becoming more common in the young sport of MMA to see fighters with over 30 fights and the fighters at that level have immediate respect within the community. It takes a lot of dedication to step into the cage over 30 times as a professional.
Greg Rebello had his first professional fight at Mass Destruction 19 in February of 2005 where he won by knockout in the second round. This match would be telling of Greg’s future career over the next 13 years as he has amassed fifteen knockouts throughout his career. To put into perspective how exciting his fights tend to be here are a few stats about his record:
· 75% - Win ratio
· 62.5% - Knockout ratio amongst his 24 wins
· 59.375% - Overall chance of someone getting knocked out in Greg’s fights
· 0% - Boring fight ratio
So, that last statistic is obviously a personal opinion, but ask around the local MMA scene in New England and you’ll get the same opinion repeated back to you as if you’re an idiot for not even knowing who Rebello is in the first place. Again, he’s the CES MMA Heavyweight Champion and Greg is just a flat out fun fighter to watch. He’s a slick southpaw with a massive left hand due to him being a long time student of “Diamond” Dave Keefe, who has a very impressive coaching resume within boxing and MMA along with fight experience of his own. Rebello has also been a long time member at Sityodtong in Boston working with Kru Mark Dellagrotte. This coaching staff has created a fighter with quick, subtle footwork and excellent timing. He reads the fight well and you can guarantee if the opponent leaves an opening, Greg will him pay for it.
I hear the question coming from your head right now: “What if the opponent just doesn’t leave anything open?” A concern that no Rebello fan ever has really. He creates openings with subtle feints and once that timing is down, he’s putting you to sleep. Then he’s helping you up because he’s one of MMA’s most likable fighters. Watch any of his interviews and check out his social media game by following him on Instagram “@gribz23” and you’ll see a dedicated martial artist and proud father who likes to stir up light hearted trouble with his fellow training partners.
The next question I’m sure you’re thinking is, “What about his ground game?” Well, I’ll tell you about his ground game. Ribz is a recently promoted brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Pete and Keith Jeffrey at Tri-Force MMA. These two coaches are becoming very well known in the area for their prowess in Jiu-Jitsu. What makes them unique is that they stay ahead, and even create, new trends within Jiu-Jitsu.
Jeffrey Brothers Jiu-Jitsu is at the forefront of innovation for a realistic, usable adaptation of grappling for a real fight. They both have extensive MMA experience and still regularly compete in BJJ tournaments. Check out “Fight to Win Pro 80” in Boston for Pete’s next match. They also train with their fighters so they have an accurate feel for what works and what doesn’t. It allows them to better understand where their students are to adapt their overall coaching strategies, which results in a very unique coach to student relationship that feels custom tailored to each fighter. It’s a different level than a coach who doesn’t mix it up with his students in grappling and striking. It’s a bespoke training regimen, if you will.
Greg has faced very few that were able to implement their own game plan, especially if that plan involves getting him to the ground. He does have two losses to submission but they were from 4+ years ago and the amount he’s learned over those four years has kept almost all of his fights primarily standing.
One recent fight to note is his match against Kevin Sears where Sears was forced to shoot for a takedown after Rebello landed a flurry of strikes. Ribz easily reversed for top control, moved to full mount, pounded down some hammers, and then attempted a choke that was interrupted by the second round bell. The next round was more of the same story with Greg dominating the grappling to get full mount and then chaining together multiple submissions to finish a D’Arce choke in the third. The performance was more than enough to see that Rebello is very competent on the ground.
On top of all that Greg implements a unique strategy in MMA by being a natural heavyweight. That term may be confusing because of the deep integration of weight cutting within MMA, but it basically equates to this; Greg doesn’t have to cut a bunch of weight for fights. He’s fight ready all the time and considers it a massive advantage to not have to deal with cutting and the scientifically proven negative impact that it has on performance. This allows him to be completely clear headed during his fights with no thought whatsoever leaning toward, “I’m tired from the cut.”
This thought may seem small to most but as soon as that tiny bit of doubt creeps into a fighter’s mind he gives himself an excuse to lose. It happens all the time, but Greg eliminates that possibility from ever happening by not participating in the insane weight cutting that most fighters do today. I believe this strategy will add to his longevity, which is already at 13 years of professional competition. He’s still got plenty of gas in the tank for a long UFC run.
The strategy isn't something he’s done from the beginning either. He made the move to heavyweight in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. His fight statistics are even more impressive at heavyweight:
· 75% - Win ratio as a heavyweight
· 77.7% - Knockout ratio amongst heavyweight wins
· 88.8% - Finishing rate amongst his wins
· 91.6% - Chance of someone being finished in Greg’s fights (only 1 bout to decision)
Greg did have a chance last year on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS) against Zu Anyanwu, but he was caught with an overhand that dropped him in the second round. It’s the heavyweight division and the smallest mistakes can be devastating. Dana White and his team have recognized that and given him another chance this season because they have been so impressed with Greg’s career. How could they not with Greg’s run after the show too?
Greg accepted that loss, brushed himself off, and knocked out his next two opponents in the first round. One of those knockouts was UFC veteran Travis Wiuff (record, 75-22) in 23 seconds to obtain the Heavyweight strap for CES MMA. He’s obviously not effected by the loss and he’s ready to prove he belongs in the UFC. He was originally scheduled to face Oscar Ivan Costa, but Costa was forced to withdraw due to visa issues. The UFC found a replacement in less than 24 hours with Angel DeAnda.
Angel is no easy bout for anyone with a record of 18-6. Deanda also took a loss last year on DWTNCS with a quick submission in the first round. Before that fight he was on a six fight win streak and he’s ranked as the #1 light heavyweight in the US West region, according to Tapology. Deanda hasn’t fought since that last loss though so the question of how he’s taken that loss hasn’t been answered yet. There is only one way to find out though!
To watch Rebello’s next fight, tune into Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series on UFC Fight Pass on June 26th, 2018 at 8:00 PM EST. Also follow @gribz23 and @triforcemma on Instagram for updates throughout Greg’s journey to Vegas leading up to the fight.
Long live the king of New England MMA!