This is a historic match in that it is the first time that a non-brazilian won a world title in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. What is interesting as well is the backstory on BJ’s rise in BJJ.
BJ Penn (facing the camera at the start) started training in late 1997 or 1998. He is on record as winning a silver medal, as a blue belt, in the 1998 world championships. Two years later, in what is believed to be his first event at Black Belt, he wins a world championship. This is why they nicknamed him “The Prodigy.” After this event, I don’t believe he entered a competitive grappling match again. He went on to do that UFC thing and I guess he was pretty good at it.
Edson Dinitz was living in Florida around the time of this event and I knew him from watching him in local tournaments and regional MMA events. Edson was a favorite amongst all of us, regardless of affiliation, because he is a super nice guy, super talented, and always game for a match.
Knowing how good Edson was says something about BJ with his dominance in this fight. Take note also that this is one of the earliest uses of the body triangle as a means for controlling someones back that I have seen.
Kron (on the right) is the grandson of Helio, son of Rickson. In his lower belt experience, Kron was a terror – he had a streak of 51 straight submissions in competition, amassing world championships at Purple (2006) and Brown (2007). This match with Chris would be his last at Brown Belt as he would enter the 2008 World Championships at Black Belt. His Black Belt IBJJF experience would not be as decorated as he would manage a 2009 European Championship and a silver at 2011 Worlds. His success would come in submission grappling – Metamoris events and ADCC where he submitted his way through the -77kg bracket to become 2013 ADCC champion. Since then, he retired from competitive grappling to focus on MMA.
Chris Moriarty was a very talented grappler from the Alliance Team in the early 2000’s. He was the 2007 Heavy Weight Brown Belt World Champion (where he defeated Bernardo Faria). In this event, he had already won the Heavy weight division when he collided with Kron in the Absolute final.
Watching Kron fight, you can see that he throws caution to the wind. He does not care about points, only the submission (he has epic matches with Marcelo and Buchecha that are worthy of separate posts). Even with a substantial weight difference, he attacks.