I thought I would try to break up some of the MMA monotony by posting an article about submission grappling. The Gladiators 48 card in December featured its first ever submission grappling bout. The Eric Schafer vs. Jesse Veium match pitted two of the state’s top 205lb MMA fighters and grapplers against each other. The Gladiators 49 show in February is going to feature two more submission grappling matches on the bout card. One of the matches is going to feature Travis Hanson of Team Vaghi/Fox Valley Grappling Club vs. Scott Huston of Henry Matamoros Jiu-Jitsu. Here’s a preview of the competitors:
Travis Hanson of Neenah, Wisconsin sports a (26-12) grappling record in tournament matches. Despite being a white belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Hansen competes in blue and purple belt divisions at grappling tournaments. Bill Krieg of Fox Valley Grappling told me that Hanson hasn’t gotten a lot of face time with their black belt in the past year or so and therefore remains at white belt when he really should be a blue belt.
At the King Grappler tournament in Madison last fall, Hanson took second place to Milwaukee’s Eric Schafer in an Absolute tournament of ten competitors. In that same tournament he also placed third in the purple/brown belt heavyweight division, tapping purple belt Bruce Hoyer of Nexgen in the process. At the Arnold’s in Columbus, Ohio last March, Hanson took second place in the blue belt division and third in the advanced no-gi division. Hanson is an electrician by day and trains about 3 to 4 nights a week. He has been a member of Fox Valley Grappling Club for a couple of years and plans to compete again at the Arnold’s this year. This match should be a good warm-up for the tournament in Ohio.
Scott Huston began grappling in 2002 while stationed in San Diego, California. For two and a half years Huston trained under Master Odie Neto. He returned to Milwaukee after his military service with the Marines and continued BJJ under the watchful eye of Henry Matamoros in 2005. He has compiled a grappling record of roughly (28-3) in tournaments and is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Huston is a 3-time NAGA Champion, a 2-time Milwaukee Challenge Champion, and a Corral Combat Classic (C3) Champion. He has also won several other large tournaments. Here’s a quote from Huston regarding his influences: “My biggest grappling influences are my first two BJJ instructors, and all of my brothers that I train with day in and day out. Aside from them, my biggest BJJ influences are Marcello Garcia, Ronaldo "Jacare" Dos Santos and Leo Viera.”
Both grapplers have over 30 tournament bouts so the experience level is roughly the same. On paper it may appear that Huston has an advantage in rank and tournament championships. He is however, going to have to deal with a size disadvantage. Travis Hanson weighs roughly 225 pounds and Scott Huston weighs roughly 205 pounds. That size advantage may be the equalizer Hanson needs. It also makes this match up extremely interesting. How is Hanson going to deal with the experience advantage Huston holds? On the other hand, how will Huston deal with the size advantage of Hanson?