AVA Victoria: The Pros Recap
May 24, 2023 AVA
Written by Ryan Plessl
All VS All (AVA) grappling competition made their return to Victoria, British Columbia (B.C) this past weekend. The event was packed with competitors, spectators, and some of the island’s top teams. Every single bracket was must-see, but as per usual the Pro Division stood out from the rest.
The Pro Division is a open weight, any belt division, where competitors compete for title belts, medals, and ranking points to try and better their chances at the cash prize for the end of the season. This past AVA event saw some competitors starting to stand out and make a run for the title of season champion. Here’s some of the competitors that started to climb the pro rankings at the latest AVA tournament:
David Cliffe is a brown belt out of Pure Martial Arts. David has been training for thirteen years and coaches six days a week. David put on a very impressive performance this past weekend, winning the Gi Pro Division with three submissions. David was previously un-ranked in the pro standings but quickly jumped to third place after his impressive performance.
Kenny Blicharski won the last Gi Pro Division title at the AVA Vancouver Grappling Championship on March 4th and was hoping to repeat his performance at this tournament. While Kenny won every single match in the Gi division, including beating David Cliffe, he missed out on the title due to not having more submissions than David. He did, however, move up to second place in the pro rankings, jumping ahead of David in the standings and bettering his chance at the cash prize come the end of the season.
Both David and Kenny fell short in the No-Gi Pro Division. Giulio La Fauci came seemingly out of nowhere and dominated the competition with five wins over tough opponents, three of those wins coming by way of submission. Giulio has only been training eight years which is a crazy short time to win the pro division. It’s even crazier to consider that only four of those years were more consistent and serious training. With his impressive win of the No-Gi Pro Division, Giulio, who was previously un-ranked, jumped to second plan in the no-gi standings.
Maggy Meier was the star of the event. Maggy is a athlete out of Kuzushi Grappling, training under local grappling superstar Ben Dyson. Maggy has been training for the last ten years but has really started to become a breakout star in the past year, winning the ADCC Open, Battle Grappling 135 lbs championship, and getting double gold in the Pro Divisions at the most recent AVA. Maggy won six fights on her way to double gold, beating tough competitors along the way. With her dominant wins Maggy moved up to first place in the no-gi rankings and third place in the gi. It is more than likely that Maggy will compete more throughout the AVA season to better her chances at the prize money.
Professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Alana Cook, also partook in the pro division. While Alana is still a blue belt, she dominated her division in the gi, walking away with three wins and a silver medal. Alana jumped up the rankings to fourth place overall with this performance and will hopefully mix in more AVA tournaments with her professional MMA career.
Talia Anderson made her presence felt in the no-gi division, winning two fights by submission and facing Maggy for the gold medal. Talia walked away with second place and moved up to second place in the rankings.
It will be very interesting to see how these rankings change by the end of the season in October, and if any of these men can climb the rankings even more to secure first place in the season rankings. Stay tuned to see how the rest of the AVA season plays out!
This post was written by Ryan Plessl.