PGF S5: Auction Draft Results-Your Teams!
The Professional Grappling Federation Season 5 Live Auction Draft did not exceed expectations, IT BLEW THEM AWAY! Rather than just a normal draft like the National Football League or a snake draft like so many fantasy football leagues, the PGF held an auction draft. The auction added multiple new dynamics, leading to an exciting event you can watch on Brandon Mccaghren's YouTube Channel. Any fan of sports and jiu jitsu will enjoy going to YouTube and watching the event, but to prepare your Fantasy picks for today, we need to discuss how the teams shook out (spoiler alert).
The four teams had one mission: assemble the best five-competitor team possible. The four teams are Team Epic Roll led by co-owners of Epic Roll Matt Wahlstrom and Zoltan Bathory; Team Toe Hold Red led by the 10th Planet Black Belt Matt Skaff; Team Level led by the first female champion of the PGF Nekiaya Jackson; and Team Toe Hold Blue led by PGF know-it-all Jackson Spry. UFC commentator and podcaster T.J. Desantis presided over the event. With PGF Co-founder and Commissioner Brandon Mccaghren and PGF Insider Egghead Warrior providing extra analysis and insight. Announcer Stephen Eakin led the auction, interviewing competitors, running the auction, and giving encouragement to the Managers to pay what competitors were worth. For the Auction draft, the Managers had a salary cap of $2500. After inquiries by the Managers, the Commissioner allowed the Managers to exceed the salary cap, but the extra money had to come out of their own pockets and would incur a 35% luxury tax which would go to the PGF. The order of the auction was set by the Mock Draft which occurred the week prior with the PGF Insiders conducting a snake draft of the competitors. Fans will have to go to the YouTube video for the player-by-player analysis of the draft. This article will only hit the overarching themes.
TEAM EPIC ROLL STOLE THE SHOW! Matt Wahlstrom and Zoltan Bathory cemented Team Epic Roll as the Yankees of the PGF. They had a salary cap of $2500, but decided their team was worth $5200 plus the extra $975 representing the 35% luxury tax going to the PGF. They took Elijah Carlton, the Royce Gracie of the PGF, and Nick Craton - representing two of the first three picks. As anticipated by many, Epic Roll secured their training partner and likely the best wrestler in this season in Cam Hurd. They jumped on submission hunter and Season 4 standout Rock Troll Maximus Jolly. Finally, they rounded out their team with former NJCCA All-American and 10PHQ purple belt Sam Schwartzapfel. This team is KILLER. We could be seeing another situation like Team Toehold from Season 3 where all the members of that team under Coach Sean Applegate made the playoffs. Not only is Team Epic Roll packed with top competitors, but they will also not have to face each other since they are on the same team. Besides the points competitors secure through submissions, competitors will also get Team Points. Each night there will be three blocks during each block fans will essentially see two team duels (e.g. Team Epic Roll v Team Toe Hold Red; Team Level v Team Toe Hold Blue). The Team accruing the most points in each block will earn a team point for each of their teammates. With this explanation done, it's fair to say that Team Epic Roll will likely earn all 12 team points this season which also gives their team members a leg up in the race to the top 8 and the PGF Finale Tournament.
Team Toe Hold Red, led by Matt Skaff, "put together a low-key great team," as Commissioner Brandon Mccaghren said. Skaff was visibly frustrated by being outbid by Team Epic Roll on many of his targeted players. But, after bidding up Team Epic Roll and others on many competitors, Skaff came away with a lot of value picks. Skaff STOLE Fedor Nikolov for $700. All the commentators agree it was the steal of the draft. He got PGF Veteran and true middle weight Kemoy Anderson for $750. And in a PGF FIRST, Skaff executed the a TRADE in the middle of the auction. Skaff realized Team Level Manager Nekiaya Jackson had exceeded her budget, so Skaff was able to trade Kemoy and some extra money to Nekiaya in exchange for Handsome Kevin Sherrill. In an interview with the Editorial Board of Eggheadwarrior.com, Skaff had said he was targeting Handsome Kevin in the draft. In Handsome Kevin, Team Toehold Red got a D1 wrestler (University of Northern Iowa) who had a SOLID Kill Rate in the PGF. Handome Kevin is super game and super analytical. Fedor and Handsome Kevin provide some serious anchors for Team Toe Hold Red. For his last three picks, Skaff only spent $400 to get two PGF Qualifier winners in Paul Bahri and Landon Tourville; and to get multi-season PGF veteran and PGF BATTLERAMA winner Joshua Gibbs. If these last three members compete up to their potential, they could give Team Epic Roll a challenge.
Jackson Spry did a solid job assembling Team Toe Hold Blue. Even at $900, one could make an argument that Matt Elkins was a steal. Elkins is a former college wrestler and former professional MMA fighter. He came in second in PGF Season 1 regular season after Elijah Carlton and made the PGF Season 2 Finale, securing a win there as well. Elkins has a 67% KILL RATE in the PGF, meaning 2/3 of the time he hits the mat, he gets his team six points or more. Spry got a competitor with no back down in him when he selected Cody "Moose" Fritz. Moose, who trains under Jeremiah Vance, hit a fly trap in the LA Qualifier and had a serious mind for the game. He'll take the fight to any opponent, even the most highly touted ones. Spry somehow only spent $300 for the last black belt on the board in highly experienced competitor Jacob Lamar. Commissioner Brandon Mccagrhen said he's know Lamar for a long time. He said Jacob is in the best shape of his life and ready to compete. He also picked up on two other competitors who were being overlooked. Buddha Mcclure won the PGF Huntsville qualifier, bringing wrestling and great strength to the team. He also excelled at the killing strokes part of the roll bot portion of the PGF Combine. He rounded out the team with Young Matthew Dewees from 10th Planet Jacksonville. Young Matthew was the runner-up at the Jacksonville qualifier, only losing by decision in the final round. He also went to the Nashville Qualifier where he showed great technique, only losing the eventual winner by decision. This team is solid, but not exceptional. They could challenge for the second spot in the final team rankings and are unlikely to come in last.
The first female champion of the PGF, Nekiaya Jackson representing Team Level, built a team that could excel or fall flat, really a feast or famine team. After her trade with Skaff and Team Toe Hold Red, Kemoy Anderson is Team Level's anchor. He's a returning Season 2 veteran who was a little undersized for that season but still made the Season Finale. He was a PGF Coach subsequently and a very active competitor. While he was stalled out some and forced into draws against the bigger opponents in Season 2, Kemoy will now be the larger competitor in his matches and will be able to use his size, strength, and formidable skill to put way more points on the board. With Anakin McMahan, Nekiaya got a competitor with a true killer instinct. He has multiple sub-30 second (really sub-15 second) submissions at ADCC Open tournaments. Nekiaya either has inside information on Travis Thomas or is too close as a member of the same gym to be objective. She spent $1100 on a later pick in Thomas. He's a professional mma fighter, but doesn't have many jiu jitsu matches available. Everyone who has rolled with Thomas has extolled his virtues, but $1100 seems like a lot of a team's resources towards a somewhat unknown competitor. But, if he lives up to what the Commissioner has said, he could be a sleeper pick. Carson Thigpen is another competitor like Anakin McMahan - he's pushing for a submission as soon as possible. He'll rack up losses, but he's also going to rack up points (including some wins he shouldn't get on paper). Nekiaya picked up another insider pick in Luke "Church" Claunch. Church was a late replacement for a sick Sawyer Griffin, but Church had a great showing at the Huntsville Qualifier and did throw the medicine ball farther than any other competitor as he said on the stage. As said above, this team is feast or famine. They could rack up points like crazy or they could rack up losses like crazy...or they could do both. Regardless of their score at the end of the season, Team Level will always be exciting to watch.
The PGF Live Auction Draft entertained! It had drama, unexpected twists and turns, and a lot of great analysis. Everyone involved in the draft had a blast - Managers, Competitors, and the fans in the chat. Now, the qualifiers are over. The combine is over. The draft is over. Now, the Professional Grappling Federation Season 5 is ON! Starting TONIGHT, LIVE on Brandon Mccaghren's YouTube Channel starting at 4pm Central time. Each competitor gets three matches a night and the fans will get 4-5 HOURS of free jiu jitsu competition content. As Walo Jay would say "It's the most wonderful time of the year." It's time to experience the Professional Grappling Federation in FULL SWING. After all "It's everything you love about sports, with jiu jitsu."
The editors at EggheadWarrior.com thank the PGF Insiders, and all the competitors for providing the content of this article. The PGF Insiders will always work to provide the latest and greatest information regarding the PGF and you can see their weekly podcasts on the McDojo Life YouTube Channel or Brandon Mccaghren’s channel (if a member). Special thanks to Walo Jay for all the great photos. Those interested in Walo’s work can check out his YouTube page (link is specifically to Walo’s Handsome Kevin short) and Walo’s website. Anyone wanting to promote the PGF can copy all or parts of this article and disseminate as desired, but please give some credit to EggheadWarrior.com.