Dec 11, 2017
Garry Tonon has been most exciting to watch through the years. From his breakout performances at ADCC 2013 against Kron Gracie and the Kit Dale Metamoris 4 match through current day Tonon has been a joy to watch.
He even had his own BJJ Scout study!
Many of us first saw Garry in the many times viral video of his amazing armbar defense against Kron Gracie:
A performance he followed up with Metamoris 4:
Interestingly the Danaher star pupil displayed no fear and was all too often willing to put himself in the line of fire. In many ways Tonon has inherited the place in the community that belonged to Jeff Glover – who is perhaps a tad more reckless in the way he grapples. While Tonon’s persona is often silly he takes his grappling very seriously.
At the dawn of his career also came one of his more interesting losses – a wristlock loss from Marcelo Garcia Dream Team’s Matheus Diniz.
June 1st 2014 Garry would make an appearance at inaugural EBI – where he would secure the welterweight title. He defeated Ritchie Martinez for the title. 3 out of 4 submissions came by way of heel hook. A new age was dawning.
But Tonon showed rapid growth – which he showcased at ADCC 2015 defeating Dillon Danis with ease with an inside heel hook.
He still had no answer for Lucas Lepri who won 10-0 against the Lion Killer. Sadly the ADCC medal would keep avoiding Garry even this year – but this is getting ahead of ourselves.
One man Garry still couldn’t heel hook was Paulo Miyao!
Sometime in 2015 Metamoris was still going strong- or strong ish and at this time they tried to lock up Tonon in an exclusive agreement which he wouldn’t go for.
“There’s been a lot of speculation about my participation, or lack thereof, in Metamoris 6,” a portion of Tonon’s statement reads. “I was asked to do Metamoris 6 competing against Joe Lauzon under the pretense that I would sign an exclusive contract with Metamoris. In my opinion, this offer neither benefited myself nor the growth of our sport. Thus, I declined the offer.
“There has also been speculation about other people signing exclusive contracts,” Tonon’s statement continues, “it is confirmed to me that Dillon Danis has signed one. It is not confirmed to me that Marcelo Mafra has signed one. As far as I know, his lack of participation in EBI could be for any number of reasons.”
In 2015 Tonon would score his 2nd Eddie Bravo Invitational appearance and victory! He became a Welterweight champ again with an overtime submission win of Atos’ Josh Hinger. Interestingly Tonon dueled Eddie Cummings in the semi finals making one of the most interesting matches for leg lock enthusiasts to date.
Along the way came also an appearance in Firas Zahabi’s MMA vs BJJ experiment which went viral and infused a good dose of publicity and interest into Tonon and the gang.
One other can’t miss highlight was the Polaris 5 match up against Rousimar Palhares. The incredible Toquinho had quite the reputation and a good bit more of muscle on Tonon – still Tonon took it to heart and produced an all time classic jiu jitsu match that undoubtedly introduced some new faces to jiu jitsu.
What quickly followed was the fanfare of the Metamoris 7. Disgraced owner Ralek Gracie would pit himself against much smaller Tonon once the idea of a Roger Gracie Buchecha rematch fell through due to unsavory business practice by Metamoris and Ralek. The community rallied and Tonon even famously declared he would tattoo G in a Gi on his butt if he were to lose. Some were still skeptical – Ralek was a Gracie and a good bit larger Gracie at that. He towered over Tonon – Ralek notably fights in MMA at 86kg! (Tonon competed at ADCC at 77kg although he has slimmed down some occasionally)
There he would execute a crafty setup and quickly sub Ralek earning the respect of few doubters left.
At this point he and his one two team with Gordon Ryan were all the rage on the sub only scene – but what came next still surprised some. After Ryan had to pull out of EBI set at 93kg – Tonon filled in for him – and won scoring 2 subs and outsmarting the 2 other opponents!
In the finals he faced ADCC vet Vinny Magalhaes and managed to win in overtime.
Still ADCC was on the list of goals – and one that had evaded Tonon to this point. For ADCC 2017 Tonon would prep vehemently alongside the rest of Danaher death squad.
This would be one of the more important tests of his career but it was far from easy – and the ruleset did not favor Tonon.
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Even though he put on a good performance he was first stopped by JT Torres who went on to win gold – only to be outplayed by Vagner Rocha for the bronze medal.
Tonon would quickly even up the score defeating Rocha for the hefty money prize in the EBI 13 finals via quick heel hook.
Of course there are many other bouts and details that make Tonon an enthralling grappler to watch. Still he’s now opted to focus on MMA declaring a brief hiatus from bjj competition:
Congratulations to @gordonlovesjiujitsu and @nick.ronan on dominant performances and wins over their opponents in @kasaigrappling. Thanks to #biggord for the greatest pre fight pep talk I’ve ever received 😂😂. Thanks to @danaherjohn @tomdeblass @shy_ace for the cornering. I’m excited to announce I will be taking no grappling matches until after my first fight in @onechampionship, it’s been real BJJ world, I’ll see you again someday soon, but now it’s time to learn to beat someone up in a cage.👊👊
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