TXMMA – Texas Mixed Martial Arts

2012 TXMMA Awards Official BJJ / Grappling Edition Winners

It’s been another great year for consistent growth in MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,and Submission Grappling in 2012.

For us here at TXMMA.com (Texas Mixed Martial Arts), we’ve taken great joy in watching the sport (all three) continue to evolve as our mission has always been about furthering combative sports and submission grappling here in the lone star state.

Recognizing the growth, we saw the need for recognizing individuals assisting to it and also wanted to recognize outstanding achievers as well given that we cover a large part of the scene. Hence we started the TXMMA Awards in 2011 as a means to publicly recognize all these individuals.

Our process and procedure continues to evolve but our goal is to create the most fair and consistent way to have these awards – with a focus on merit as the primary factor – taking all the drama out of it and using statistical evidence as we can we find and what is provided to us as the deciding factors in placing our winners.

There’s a community piece to it also where voting and popularity factor in with the People’s Choice Awards – also a great honor – but for the official winners we definitely utilize a more-complex results-driven formula. Feel free to read more on the election process at your leisure of just trust that we do our best and check out the official results bow!

Without further ado we present to you our 2012 TXMMA Award Winners for the BJJ and Grappling Edition.





2012 TXMMA Association of the Year – Official Award


196296_10201096111784011_1963356356_nThis award is meant to recognize the association who had the most successful year overall in Texas during 2012.

The official award this year goes to the Gracie Barra Texas contingent led by Vinicius “Draculinho” Magalhaes. The team had a very successful year including team wins at the IBJJF Houston Open and a second place finish at IBJJF Dallas. In addition, they had several team wins on the regional circuit and also sent several athletes to place and win at prestigious competitions like the Pans and Mundials. These athletes included Brandon Mullins and the Cordova brothers (Kevin and Andy) amongst others. Immediately following GB are the Nova União Texas contingent led by Bruno Bastos and the SMAA network led by Alvis Solis.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Gracie Barra

1st runner-up – Nova União

2nd runner-up – SMAA

3rd runner-up – <TIE> Paragon Texas, Team Tooke, Alliance

2012 TXMMA Academy of the Year – Official Award


ddThis award recognizes the team / organization for the most successful competition year overall in Texas during 2012. This award also replaces the coach of the year award for 2012 as whoever wins this will assume that award de-facto.

This was one of the closer categories with the 2012 individual academy consideration being a very close race between Draculinho’s Gracie Barra Texas and Alvarez BJJ led by Mr. Daniel Alvarez. Both contingents scored admirably in 2012 winning well in most competitions they entered. GB Texas scored some huge wins on the national scene as mentioned before. Likewise, Alvarez BJJ represented as well with big IBJJF wins by Alvarez, his daughter Danielle Alvarez and some of their other students as well (Cardinale, Sandhagen, Biasca, etc.) In the end the distinguishing factor here aside from IBJJF glory was the sheer output on the local circuit with Team Alvarez winning big specifically in the junior categories with team titles at NAGA, Gracie Grappling Cup, Europa, S7, AGF, and more. For that they with the 2012 distinction but congrats to all team nominated here for all their accomplishments.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Alvarez BJJ

1st runner-up – Gracie Barra Texas

2nd runner-up – BJJ Revolution

3rd runner-up – Solis Martial Arts


2012 TXMMA Black Belt Competitor of the Year – Official Award


65342_422207361167731_243683006_nIn another close Category, Alvarez once again went head-to-head with someone formidable in his own instructor Bruno Bastos. Daniel scored six IBJJF wins (includ. Euro, Pans, Masters, No GI Words, San Francisco, Las Vegas) along with several silvers (Rio, Chicago) while Bruno also won at Pans and No-Gi Worlds and also competed in the IBJJF Pro League in 2012. Both guys deserve recognition here but Daniel Alvarez is our 2012 black belt of the year.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Daniel Alvarez (Alvarez BJJ / Nova Uniao)

1st runner-up – Bruno Bastos (Bruno Bastos Midland / Nova Uniao)

2nd runner-up – Brandon Mullins (Gracie Barra Texas)

3rd runner-up –  Carlos Diego Ferreira (Team Ferreira)


2012 TXMMA Brown Belt Competitor of the Year – Official Award


12783_420598551328612_186891983_nWinning the 2012 honor at brown belt is Luis Rubalcava of Arsenal BJJ / Alliance. He scored a silver in the Houston Open absolute division (along with bronze at weight) and medaled again in the Dallas Open. Meanwhile his biggest accomplishments during the year included a double gold at the IBJJF Pan-Ams and a bronze at the IBJJF World Championships – all while competing and winning on the regional circuit as well. Coming in behind him are his Alliance teammate Raul Jimenez (who also had an amazing year nationally and regionally but fell to Rubalcava head-to-head) and Mike Harmon of Paragon Austin (who won gold at No-GI world and scored a few other IBJJF wins but otherwise did not have as busy a competition year as the other two).


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Luis Rubalcava (Arsenal BJJ / Alliance)

1st runner-up – Raul Jimenez (Team Gaucho / Alliance)

2nd runner-up – Mike Harmon (Paragon Austin)

3rd runner-up – Robert Yamashita (Elite MMA Baytown)

2012 TXMMA Purple Belt Competitor of the Year – Official Award


529909_10151405998789293_1049448368_nWinning at purple belt in 2012 is Rilion Gracie Academy’s Pedro Migliano. He scored some big finishes in 2012 including a third place finish out of 100+ division competitors at the IBJJF Pan Ams. He also medaled at the American Nationals, Miami Open, Rio Open, and scored double silver at the Houston Open. Meanwhile he scored golds (a few of those doubles) at Europa, Summer Classic, Texas Open, etc. all while fighting everything in the adult division. Coming in behind Pedro are Masters World winners Jeremiah Matthews and Brad Barnes along with another top up-and-comer in Braden Masters (who grand slam winner Keenan Cornelius said gave him a really good battle this year).


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Pedro Migliano (Rilion Gracie / Gracie Elite)

1st runner-up – Jeremiah Matthews (Gracie Barra)

2nd runner-up – Brad Barnes (Bastos BJJ / Nova Uniao)

3rd runner-up – Braden Masters (Genesis)


2012 TXMMA Blue Belt Competitor of the Year – Official Award


734179_458507307537736_2095730920_nWinning at blue belt for 2012 is Cooper Cardinale of Alvarez BJJ. His annual accolades include medals at the IBJJF San Francisco Open (gold + bronze in open), a silver place finish at the Worlds, and numerous medal finishes on the regional circuit. Following Cooper here is No-GI Worlds winner Kevin Cordova (GB Texas), Corey Bacack (GB Woodlands), and Bobby Alexander of Team Lutter.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Cooper Cardinale (Alvarez BJJ)

1st runner-up – Kevin Cordova (Gracie Barra Texas)

2nd runner-up – Corey Bacack (GB Woodlands)

3rd runner-up – Bobby Alexander (Team Lutter)


2012 TXMMA Female (Purple+) Competitor of the Year – Official Award


23321_10151405793379293_928585847_nWinning the purple-black women’s award for 2012 is Lora Hallock of Paragon Texas. This was a close choice in this one with several of the women listed doing really well but in the end Lora (Laurah) wins out due to her dedication and sheer competition output in addition to her numerous medals on the regional circuit. Her medals include gold at TOC 9 and many other tourneys including some wins in the men’s purple belt division as well as she likes to test herself there also.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Lora Hallock (Paragon Texas)

1st runner-up – Fabiana Borges (Gracie Barra North Austin)

2nd runner-up – Lana Hunter (Soul Fighters)

3rd runner-up – Sue Ausman (Travis Lutter)


2012 TXMMA Female (White/Blue) Competitor of the Year – Official Award


224297_10151113165369293_1986708972_nIn another close category, Danielle Alvarez wins the female award for the second year in a row ove Alvarez BJJ teammate Natalia Biasca. The Texas State student only competed for about six months this year but took gold in most every tournament she entered – including the IBJJF Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago Opens.  She also competed admirably losing only by decision to IBJJF black belt no-gi world champion Tammy Griego when the two met at Europa in Dallas this past summer.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Danielle Alvarez (Alvarez BJJ / Nova Uniao)

1st runner-up – Natalie Biasca (Alvarez BJJ / Nova Uniao)

2nd runner-up – Veronica Mota (J. Messina / BJJ Revolution)

3rd runner-up – Gabriella Muller (Team Gaucho / Alliance)


2012 TXMMA Teen Competitor of the Year – Official Award


395392_559162924113722_337762573_nIn a repeat of the people’s choice voting, Andy Cordova of Gracie Barra Texas narrowly beat out Alvarez BJJ’s Justin Rebolloso for the official award – proving once again that the people’s choice vote can be a tie-breaker in close categories like this one was. Justin and Andy had probably 30+ gold medals between them last year including wins at the highest level (IBJJF Pans, World, No-GI Worlds, etc. etc.)  As for the winner Cordova, he can hang his hat on the merit of his No-Gi World and Pan-Am champion status as the deciding factor but we can’t say how so very close this one was. Congrats to both Andy and Justin on one heck of a year in 2012.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Andy Cordova (Gracie Barra Texas)

1st runner-up – Justin Rebolloso (Alvarez BJJ / Nova Uniao)

2nd runner-up – Mark Lozano (RPBJJ)

3rd runner-up – Jay Gloria (Alvarez BJJ / Nova Uniao)


2012 TXMMA Kids Competitor of the Year – Official Award


554385_10151369563874293_997980027_nThis was a very close category and a tough one for our panelists to consider. In the end, the official award mirrors our people’s choice voting with Fitness Fight Factory’s Dillinger Kovach winning again in the official vote due to his outside year in three places – BJJ, No-GI, and scholastic wrestling (where he is a nationally-recognized competitor).  Congrats to all the kids nominated though as there really are no losers in this one with all of them surely doing well in 2012. Next year (2013) we request that parents and supporters really provide us with a detailed statistical breakdown (competition records, etc.) so we can really refine our process for how to choose a winner here.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Dillinger Kovach (F3)

1st runner-up – John Abney (SMAA / Ground Dwellers)

2nd runner-up – Cora Sek (Team Tooke)

3rd runner-up – Jaden Two Lance (Aloiso Silva)


2012 TXMMA Referee of the Year – Official Award


419702_10151230773027610_1668290652_nRenan Chavez wins this year’s award due to his sheer output of tournaments refereed. It was close between him, Brandon Quick, and Eric Lincoln for this honor but the Peruvian edged it out due to the fact that he refs more tournaments than the other two and is also IBJJF certified to work all their tournaments here in Texas along with Grappler’s Quest, UAEJJ, GPG, Fight to Win, etc.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Renan Chavez

1st runner-up – Brandon Quick

2nd runner-up – Eric Lincoln

3rd runner-up – Alejandro Siqueira


2012 TXMMA Submission of the Year – Official Award


62209_10151242178339293_565221601_nThe purpose of this award is to recognize the best submission in a BJJ/Grappling match that we were able to capture in the state of Texas during the 2012 year.

Fabiana Borges wins this year’s submission of the year award for her quick armbar victory over Christy Thomas in what was a historic first-ever female black belt superfight at the Gracie Grappling Cup. Watch the video to see more.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Fabiana Borges (Gracie Barra) vs. Christy Thomas (Relson Gracie)

1st runner-up – Chris Spicer (Relson Gracie) vs. Nael Chavez (Enlightened Warriors)

2nd runner-up – Cruz Ybarra (BTT) vs. Jordan Burton (GB Texas)

3rd runner-up – Robert Yamashita (Elite MMA) vs. Raul Jimenez (Gaucho / Alliance)


2012 TXMMA BJJ Match of the Year – Official Award


This award will decide what the TXMMA Community saw as the most notable match that we were able to capture this year.

Clay Copeland (TPC) and Julian Vega (Elite MMA) win the official award this year for their awesome match at the 2012 IBJJF Houston Open. No need to say more. Just watch the video!

2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Clay Copeland (TPC) vs. Julian Vega (Elite MMA)

1st runner-up – Carlos Diego Ferreira (Team Ferreira) vs. Rafael Lovato (Lovato)

2nd runner-up – Roman Hernandez (Arsenal) vs. Emmanuel Martinez (Atos)

3rd runner-up –  Albert Hughes (Genesis) vs. Chris Westfall (Lutter)


2012 TXMMA No-GI Match of the Year – Official Award


This award will decide what the TXMMA Community saw as the most notable match that we were able to capture this year.

Brandon Mullins (GB Texas) and Jason Soliz (TX3C) win the official award this year for their finals match at the 2012 Texas Open. The two went through a very impressive field to get to the final chess match and it delivered for everyone watching in attendance. Watch it to see more.

2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Brandon Mullins (GB Texas) vs. Jason Soliz (TX 3rd Coast MMA)

1st runner-up – Carlos Diego Ferreira (Team Ferreira) vs. Bill Cooper (Paragon)

2nd runner-up – Gustavo Carpio (Marra Senki) vs. Spenser Gilliam (SMAA)

3rd runner-up – Erik Wanderley (Gracie Barra) vs. Colton Smith (AFC/SMAA)



2012 TXMMA Women’s Match of the Year – Official Award


This award will decide what the TXMMA Community saw as the most notable match that we were able to capture this year.

Talented Texas grapplers Danielle Alvarez (Alvarez BJJ) and Lora Hallock (Paragon) take home the official award for their early January 2012 matchup at Tournament of Champions 9.

2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Danielle Alvarez (Alvarez BJJ) vs. Lora Hallock (Paragon)

1st runner-up – Fabiana Borges (Gracie Barra) vs. Christy Thomas (Relson Gracie)

2nd runner-up – Tammy Griego (Gracie Barra) vs. Danielle Alvarez (Alvarez BJJ)

3rd runner-up – Ketra Bartek (Gracie Humaita) vs. Gabriella Muller (Tem Gaucho)


2012 TXMMA Youth Match of the Year – Official Award


This award will decide what the TXMMA Community saw as the most notable match that we were able to capture this year.

This year, Justin Rebolloso (Alvarez) and Matthew Hernandez (Paragon TX) take home the award for TOC 9 but these two met often in 2012 including other matches at NAGA Houston, Gracie Grappling Cup, etc. Definitely a great rivalry and we’re sure these two will meet again many times in the future.

2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Justin Rebolloso (Alvarez) vs. Matthew Hernandez (Paragon)

1st runner-up – Julie Rodriguez (Paul Thomas) vs. Kayla Deleon (Revolution)

2nd runner-up – Cain Menn (Paul Thomas BJJ) vs. Justin Rebolloso (Alvarez)

3rd runner-up – Jay Gloria (Alvarez) vs. Austin Dill (Paradigm)


2012 TXMMA Tournament of the Year – Official Award


556157_371888962866238_1671293309_nThe purpose of this award is to recognize the best overall tournament of the 2012 year that was held in Texas by Texas-based promotions.

The judges saw this one as a very subjective vote and hence we have a repeat with the people (and the panelists) voting Fight to Win / World Grappling Circuit’s Summer Classic as the official 2012 tournament of the year.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – 2012 Summer Classic

1st runner-up – Texas International Grappling Festival 2012

2nd runner-up – 2012 Europa Torque Tour

3rd runner-up – Gracie Grappling Cup – San Antonio


2012 TXMMA Non-Local Tournament of the Year – Official Award


IBJJF-Houston-Open-Day-One02122011_315The purpose of this award is to recognize the best overall tournament of the 2012 year that was held in Texas by out of state promotions.

Similar to the people’s choice votw, the 2012 IBJJF Houston Open runs away with the official award in 2012 with a lineup that included Andre Galvao and the Mendes brothers alongside a plethora of other young talent including out-of-towners Keenan Cornelius and Gianni Grippo.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – IBJJF Houston Open

1st runner-up – IBJJF Dallas Open

2nd runner-up – Grapplers Quest – Houston

3rd runner-up –  NAGA World Championship


2012 TXMMA Tournament Venue of the Year – Official Award


Don Coleman Coliseum wins the official award for 2012. Great location, lots of parking, stadium seating, well-maintained, and easy access to the mats and bathroom. What’s not to ask?


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Don Coleman Coliseum – Houston, TX

1st runner-up – Delco Center – Austin, TX

2nd runner-up – Legends Sports Complex – Spring, TX

3rd runner-up – NYTEX Sports Centre – Richland Hills, TX


2012 TXMMA Seminar of the Year – Official Award


543813_10151290834014293_448368263_n-198x300Rubicon Fightsport’s red belt seminar featuring Deoclecio Paulo wins the official award this year  over Nova Uniao’s Worlds Training Camp. Definitely well-earned considering it was the very-first red belt seminar in Texas BJJ history.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Deoclecio Paulo at Rubicon Fightsport

1st runner-up – Leticia Ribiero Women’s Grappling Camp

2nd runner-up – Nova Uniao Worlds Training Camp

3rd runner-up – Roger Gracie RGA Seminar


2012 TXMMA Favorite GI Brand of the Year – Official Award


syrShoyoroll wins the GI brand category this year considering overall popularity. In the end, the judges looked at the question “What do we see most players wearing the most” and “what is the most anticipated brand” as the primary factors for this decision. With that being said, DKFC, DOM, and FENOM also deserve honorable mention here along with up-and-coming national brand (and another proud sponsor to several top Texas athletes) in Do or Die Hyperfly.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Shoyoroll

1st runner-up – Da Firma Kimono Company

2nd runner-up – Do or Die Hyperfly

3rd runner-up – DOM Fight Gear


2012 TXMMA BJJ Sponsor of the Year – Official Award


imagesDOM Fight Gear wins the sponsor of the year award for their support of tournaments and athletes statewide. You can find DOM at pretty much every tournament around and they’ve been consistent in their support for a long time now. Coming in right behind them is newer entrant Da Firma Kimono Company who has been doing likewise as of late, specifically with athlete sponsorships.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – DOM Fight Gear

1st runner-up – Da Firma Kimono Company

2nd runner-up – Fear Tapping Out

3rd runner-up – Honor Fight Gear



2012 TXMMA YouTube Video of the Year – Official Award


In one of our “just for fun” categories, Shoyoroll x Budovideos.com x WANTVSNEED Presents: World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2012 HL win this award as one of the consistently and constantly replayed highlights we’ve seen on YouTube in reference to the BJJ World. Watch all the others on the list also. All of them are great!

2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Shoyoroll x Budovideos.com x WANTVSNEED Presents: World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2012 HL

1st runner-up – Kurt Osiander – Escape from Side Control

2nd runner-up – Rolled Up Episode 32: Draculino – Where the old school meets the new school

3rd runner-up – Greatest BJJ Match ever! “Buchecha” Almeida vs Rodolfo Vieira 2012 worlds


2012 TXMMA BJJ/Grapping Community Service Award


196378_10151369580794293_1349795134_nThis award is in recognition for outstanding community service in 2012. Consideration given to those mentioned during our end-of-the-year nomination period.

Enlightened Warriors takes the official award this year for their Austin-area youth program that’s been opening a lot of young eyes to Jiu-Jitsu all while helping keep them focused on the positive aspects of martial arts as opposed to being out on the streets.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Enlightened Warriors – Youth Program

1st runner-up – UFFL Grappling – Fight for Cash

2nd runner-up – Alvarez BJJ – Komen Race for the Cure / Mission Arlington


2012 TXMMA Lifetime Achievement Award


65287_454750907913376_546187764_nThis award is in recognition for the following individuals’ lifetime achievements in furthering the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specifically within the state of Texas. Achieving this official award places the winner into our TXMMA Hall of Fame.

Carlos Machado (the first black belt who opened up in Texas) takes the well-deserved official award win this year and is now officially in the TXMMA Hall of Fame along with MMA winners Saekson Janjia (2011) and Steve Armstrong (2012). Congratulations to the pioneer Mr. Machado on his induction and best of luck for a ton more great years furthering the sport here in Texas.


2012 TXMMA Award Winner – Carlos Machado

1st runner-up – Alvis Solis

2nd runner-up – Eric Williams

3rd runner-up – Joseph D. Shelley