This match happened just yesterday. When I learned the result, I knew it was going to be worthy entry into MFM. I believe these gentlemen are the next generation of players who will be occupying most of the podiums for the next 4 to 5 years.
Nicholas Meregali (Black Gi) has already established himself during his short tenure at Black Belt. In his first year after his promotion, he upset the infamous Leandro Lo to become the 2017 Heavyweight World Champion. He also won his weight at the 2018 Brazilian Nationals.
Kaynan Duarte is also on a recent tear. Since he was promoted to Black Belt last year, he has placed 1st or 2nd in everything he has entered. So far in 2019, He has won Europeans, Pan, and Abu Dhabi World Pro.
These two have met before and they will certainly meet again. I hope we are witnessing the beginning of a nice little rivalry.
2017 Sport Jiu Jitsu International Federation (SJJIF) World Championships
Long Beach CA
Keenan Cornelius vs Erberth Santos
Erberth makes his second appearance in MFM having been introduced here . But this will be our first introduction of Keenan Cornelius (here in the white Gi).
Keenan is internationally known for his unconventional and unique guard play. He has created a whole style (and list of new position names) by using opponents Gi tails and belt for additional grips. Keenan had a very successful lower belt competition record, basically he was unstoppable at purple and brown belt. He was promoted to black belt in 2013 and has added European, Pan, and No Gi titles to his resume. But, a world championship and an ADCC championship still escapes him.
This match is a good display of Keenan’s current M.O. of using Gi tails and the belt to his advantage. Erberth does a nice job at neutralizing those grips (for a brief time they were teammates at Atos. This may have been around that time where Erberth had some inside experience against him in the practice room). But, as always with MFM, there is a move, technique, or a moment where everything turns. So, stay until the end.