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Coach Ben Podcast

Sep 17, 2020

Main Event:
### Edwin Najmi (-125) vs Michael Liera Jr. (+100)
* GI Match
* 10 Minutes
* 170LBS

The main event of F2W152 features Edwin Najmi taking on Michael Liera Jr. Edwin is one of Gracie Barra’s top competitors and likewise Michael Liera Jr. is one of the top competitors from ATOS.

Edwin’s game involves aggressively attacking for submissions and the F2W rules favor this style since submission attempts are scored. Liera Jr. is considered the more fundamentally sound athlete and may be more technical. I favor Edwin in this match-up for several reasons. He has been the more active competitor and has fought several times recently at F2W. He should also have a slight size advantage. Liera Jr. is also a F2W veteran but we haven’t seen him for awhile in competition. He recently opened his own academy and his access to quality training partners is an unknown. Edwin also runs his own academy but he is very close to his home gym Gracie Barra Northridge where he has the highest level training partners including his teacher Romulo Barral. This is a tough one to call but I favor Edwin and expect him to win by judges decision.

Edwin Najmi -125 / 1.8 / 56% implied probability to win
Michael Liera Jr +100 / 2.0 / 50% implied probability to win
*Prediction: Edwin Najmi by judges decision.*
### Johnny Tama (-110) vs Johnatha Alves (-110)
* GI Match
* 8 Minutes
* 170LBS

The co-main event of F2W152 features Johnny Tama of Alliance taking on Johnatha Alves of Art of Jiu-Jitsu. Both men are black belts and veterans of F2W with both competing recently against other opponents.

Johnny Tama is a dangerous submission artist with an exciting style. His style better suits the F2W judging criteria. Johnatha is a rising star but most of his experience doesn’t come from submission-only rulesets. He may be the more technical fighter, but F2W is about submissions and submission attempts. I favor Tama under this ruleset but there are a lot of unknowns with Johnatha which explains why Tama is not the betting favorite. For one, Johnatha is young and can be making big improvements training with the Mendes Bros (his teachers). Also, due to his name value I believe he will end up as the betting favorite anyway. I consider Tama a great bet at any +money odds. I can see Johnny Tama winning by judges decision via more submission attempts in this match.

Johnny Tama -110 / 1.91 / 52% implied probability to win
Johnatha Alves -110 / 1.91 / 52% implied probability to win
*Prediction: Johnny Tama by judges decision*
### Romulo Barral (-240) vs Gabriel Almeida (+195)
* GI Match
* 8 min
* 200lbs

Gracie Barra Northridge’s Romulo Barral is back again and this time taking on Gabriel Almeida of CheckMat. Most fans of jiu-jitsu recognize Romulo as one of the greatest competitors of his generation. Gabriel Almeida is one of CheckMat’s most active competitors at the moment.

I think Gabriel Almeida is live here in this match-up especially under F2W rules. He knows this ruleset very well and understands the judging criteria. However, I do expect Romulo to win and the GI does favor him greatly. Romulo is a legend but he is aging and Gabriel is a rising star with several big victories in F2W. I know that Romulo was somewhat disappointed in his last performance and he could come out looking like a -500 favorite if he outclasses Almeida. It is a possibility and Romulo does have that capability. I see Romulo Barral winning a judges decision here, 8 minutes is not a lot of time for either man to secure a submission.

Romulo Barral -240/ 1.42 / 71% implied probability to win
Gabriel Almeida +195 / 2.95 / 34% implied probability to win
*Prediction: Romulo Barral by judges decision*