PGF S5, Day 1 Fantasy Analysis
Updated: Oct 31
The PGF starts off with some BANGERS tonight! To be very honest, the competitive level of the PGF increases every season and this one has increased more than the rest. Many of today’s matches are very hard to call and could go either way. But, even with imperfect information, we have to make our picks and assemble our fantasy teams.
For all the competitors and their home coaches reading these articles, remember, it’s all done out of love. Please don’t hurt Egghead when he finally gets to open mat.
Here’s the analysis:
Overarching advice: Team Epic Roll is OP or over-powered as my son would say. The Yankees of the PGF are likely to win every block of the PGF (meaning the Team who accumulates the most points through submissions in that block). Due to every team who wins the block getting an additional Team Point for their team, you will likely see every team member of Team Epic Roll get an extra three points each night. So, besides the analysis below, you should probably anticipate every member of Team Epic Roll getting essentially an additional Break every night.
SUPER PREMIUMS (you’re going to offset the expense by dropping a roster spot)
Elijah Carlton (Team Epic Roll) – Black Belt, 10th Planet Atlanta– $26 Elijah faces Moose Fritz, Handsome Kevin, and Kemoy Anderson. While he faces some stiff talent, it’s Elijah. Moose has been talking at Elijah both on his PGF Insiders interview and on the PGF 5 Whatsapp chat. Expect Elijah to take that personally and to find a way to score a Kill on the Young Moose. As for Handsome Kevin, he’s tough and knows Elijah’s games as they were both under Sean Applegate for a good bit. Expect Elijah to settle for a break. Likewise, Elijah had to settle for a break against Kemoy in Season 2 at about 4:36 seconds into the match, so expect another break in their match. Elijah – one kill, two breaks, three team points – 15 points.
Matt Elkins (Team Toe Hold Blue)– Black Belt, 10th Planet Birmingham - $23. Elkins faces some more manageable competition. He first matches up against Nick Craton. Nick has killer breaking mechanics but is susceptible to heavy pressure from the top. Nick will get a break if he can get ahold of Elkins’ legs, but Elkins has a good chance to get on top of Nick and get the Kill. Next he faces Travis Thomas. They are both belted under Brandon Mccaghren and have rolled many times, I’m sure. I’d expect Elkins to “big brother” Thomas and to get the kill. Finally, Elkins faces a very athletic blue belt in Paul Bahri. Elkins’ experience will shine as he gets another kill. – 18 points.
Nick Craton (Team Epic Roll) – Brown Belt at Adamas Jiu Jitsu, formerly of 10th Planet St. Paul - $22. His first match against Matt Elkins will be instructional. As both are contenders for the PGF title, it will be tough. To be consistent, I’m guessing Craton won’t get any points in this match. Next Craton faces Paul Bahri. While Barhri goes against very solid people in the 10P Jacksonville gym, but Craton has killer finishing mechanics. I expect Craton to get a break in this match. Craton finally faces another dark horse in the form of Travis Thomas. If Craton can catch Handsome Kevin in his Anaconda (in another promotion a few months ago), he should be able to catch Thomas. – 9 points + 3 team points – 12 points.
Fedor Nikolov (Team Toe Hold Red) – Brown Belt, 10th Planet HQ (formerly 10th Planet St. Petersburg) - $20 Fedor faces a dangerous Anakin McMahon in his first match. But coming from 10P HQ, he’s used to dangerous leg lockers. Expect a dead orchard in Anakin’s future as Fedor gets a break. I’m very torn on Fedor v Maximus, but Fedor gets the more high profile nod so I’m estimating another break here. Finally, Fedor faces Buddha Mcclure. Buddha is motivated but inexperienced compared to Fedor. Fedor will likely get another break. – 9 points.
The Rock Troll Maximus Prime Jolly (Team Epic Roll) – Purple Belt, Upper Cumberland MMA/10th Planet Cookeville - $20. Maximus will answer the question whether being undersized matters when he faces Buddha Mcclure. Buddha is a very strong competitor – he has to get a permit for those guns. But, I expect Maximus to find a way to grab one of Buddha’s appendages and take it home. Against Fedor, Maximus will face a very dangerous opponent with lots of high-level experience. Maximus won’t get any points in that match. Finally, Maximus faces a dangerous opponent in Anakin McMahan. Both are the type of sub hunters that can take an appendage home in a split second. I think Anakin might be looking past the Rock Troll and the Rock Troll makes him pay with a break. – 6 points + 3 team points = 12 points.
Anakin McMahan (Team Level) – Brown Belt, SubHounds - $19. Anakin faces a very tough Fedor in his first match and likely won’t get any points. Next Anakin faces Budda Mcclure. Here it will depend on whose game wins out. Anakin only needs one opportunity to score a break and I think he’ll get it. Finally, he faces the Rock Troll – to be consistent I’m saying he gets no points, but he could just as easily get 3 points here. – 3 points.
Handsome Kevin Sherrill (Team Toe Hold Red) – Brown Belt, LHM/American Top Team Atlanta - $18. In one of the most exciting matches of the night, Handsome Kevin faces Kemoy. This match of tough competitors could end in a draw, but both PGF veterans know they need to maximize points so they should both open up their games. I’m anticipating Handsome Kevin to find a way to get the break. Next Handsome Kevin faces Elijah Carlton – if anyone can get Elijah, it might be Handsome Kevin, but the chances aren’t good enough to bet on it. Finally, Handsome Kevin faces Moose Fritz. Here, the experience of Handsome Kevin should win the day and get him the Kill. – 9 points.
Kemoy Anderson (Team Level) – Brown Belt, 10th Planet Austin (formerly 10th Planet El Paso) - $18. Kemoy faces Handsome Kevin first and is likely not go get points out of the exchange. Next, he faces Moose Fritz. Kemoy’s size and strength as well as experience likely will lead to a break. Finally, Kemoy faces Elijah – a tough match. He lost in their last matchup and will likely not get points in this exchange.
Cameron Hurd (Team Epic Roll) – Purple Belt, Silver Back NOVA - $17. Cam gets a good matchup against an experience black belt in Jacob Lamar. Cam’s wrestling and strength will allow him to get a good chance at a kill from the front headlock setup. Next, he faces Josh Gibbs. While Cam is TOUGH, Gibbs is resilient as can be. Gibbs almost forced Elijah to a draw in season 3, so it’s likely he can get a draw against Cam. Now with Cam’s strength, it’s also he could likely score a kill. Finally, he faces Kevin Church. Church has shown he’s hard to kill. Cam’s showing in this match will show whether he is conditioned to go for position over submission or whether he can get those submissions. If betting, I’d go with another draw. – 6 points + 3 team points. 9 points.
Sam Schwartzapfel (Team Epic Roll) – Purple Belt, 10th Planet HQ and 10th Planet NYC - $17. As the last person on Epic Roll’s roster he gets some good matchups. He faces Young Matthew Dewees, Landon Tourville, and Carson Thigpen. Expect Sam to make a huge splash against these young men. – 18 points + 3 team points = 21 points.
MANTIS Travis Thomas (Team Level) – Purple Belt, 10th Planet Decatur - $16. Travis faces another long and athletic competitor in Paul Bahri. We have to go with the purple belt over the blue belt and Travis with a break. Travis faces Matt Elkins next and likely falls to Elkins. Finally, he faces Nick Craton – a very dangerous opponent – and likely gets no points. – 3 points.
Jacob Lamar (Team Toe Hold Blue) – Black Belt, Cobra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - $16. Faces Cam Hurd first for no points. Then, he faces a super resilient Luke Church – I think Lamar will pull out some black belt wizardry and get a kill here. Finally, Lamar faces Josh Gibbs. Again you think some black belt magic and secure a break. – 9 points
Cody “MOOSE” Fritz (Team Toe Hold Blue) – Purple Belt, 10th Planet Santa Barbara - $15. Fritz got Matt Elkins’ today. Meaning, three of the toughest opponents on the first day. He faces Elijah Carlton, Kemoy Anderson, and Handsome Kevin Sherrill – a MURDERS’ ROW. Don’t bet on Moose today even if you really like him like most of us do. – 0 points.
Luke Church (Team Level) – Purple Belt at 10th Planet Decatur - $15. He faces Josh Gibbs first. Both are super tough and will probably have a great match but not get a submission. Next he faces a seasoned black belt in Jacob Lamar which should get him no points. Finally, he faces Cam Hurd – again a TOUGH opponent. Don’t bet on any points from Church today. 0 points.
Carson Thigpen (Team Level) – Blue Belt at Renzo Gracie Nashville - $15. He’s always dangerous. While he’s facing a qualifier winner in Landon Tourville, I think Thigpen might pull out some stache magic and find a way to get a break. Next, he gets a rematch against Matthew Dewees. In the Nashville Qualifier, Dewees scored a nice submission on Thigpen. We have to expect the same tonight, or maybe a draw. Finally, he faces a killer in Sam Schwartzapfel – not a nice matchup for him. He’s likely only getting – 3 points.
Paul Bahri (Team Toe Hold Red) – Blue Belt at 10th Planet Jacksonville - $14. The matchmakers were not nice to Paul today. He faces Travis Thomas, Nick Craton, and Matt Elkins. It’s tough to be a blue belt, even if they are people too (looking at you Brandon Mccaghren). Don’t bet on points from Paul tonight – 0 points.
Joshua “Full Time” Gibbs (Team Toe Hold Red) – Brown Belt at Nomad Jiu Jitsu of Lynchburg, Va - $14. Gibbs is a fan favorite. He faces Luke Church, Cam Hurd, and Jacob Lamar. While we expect Gibbs to put on great matches, showing his grit and determination, we don’t expect any points. – 0 points.
Tony “Buddha” McClure (Team Toe Hold Blue) – Blue Belt, Integrity BJJ and Fitness - $13. Buddha faces the Rock Troll Maximus Jolly, Anakin McMahan, and Fedor Nikolov. He could make something happen, but don’t expect to get any points from Buddha today. – 0 points.
Matthew DeWees (Team Toe Hold Blue) – Blue Belt at 10th Planet Jacksonville - $13. Young Matthew faces Sam Schwartzapfel, Carson Thigpen, and Landon Tourville. He has little chance against Sam. At the Nashville qualifier, he subbed Carson and had a decision loss against Tourville. These last two competitors are both close to Dewees. It’s safest to estimate one break in these matches – 3 points.
Landon Tourville (Team Toe Hold Red) – Blue Belt, Fathom BJJ - $12. Landon faces Carson Thigpen, Sam Schwartzapfel, and Matthew Dewees. Landon has one of the smallest sample size of competition footage of the competitors. He got a decision win against Dewees in the qualifier he won. He could come out and get subs on Thigpen and Dewees. But it’s more likely he gets no points tonight. – 0 points.
Well, there you have it - the analysis for the first night’s action. We’ll know a lot more about the competitors after tonight. May the odds be ever in your favor.