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I had my first NAGA competition last weekend in France. On all of the previous dates they offered I was somehow occupied with different events, mostly climbing. So I was curious how it will go and luckily it turned out to be a hell of a trip. I fought eight times and secured 6 submissions 4 of which by heel hook, one by kneebar, and one by guillotine to take silver in the adult and bronze in the master expert divisions! In the following I'll make kind of a picture story:


The trip started at Friday noon with the usual company of Alexander Neufang and picked Kristian Popov and Angel Karaivanov from the Airport of Paris


We checked the Airbnb accommodation and went for the weigh-in

 
I was once again professional and managed to go to 70 kg weight limit, dropping from 76 kg. Then I got my deserved steak with burger and beer ;)

 
After eating more than enough we watched some movies, had some chats on the phones and it was time to go to bed before the big day

 
For first time I had so many fights in a single day. My record before that was having a 5 fights in one competition, but this one having 8 literally destroyed me since all of the fights were consecutive. I fought adult and master divisions and they ran both divisions at same time, so I fought pretty much non stop. I got also headbutted terribly by a guy jumping into me like a torpedo head forward. He connected with my eyebrow and even got cut on the top of his head by this hit. Anyway, shit happens. This kinda handicapped me a little for my next fight, which was a great final I lost unfortunately by points in a overtime after a draw. Then on the fight for the third place I nailed a perfect guillotine you can see in the video below:

 
My guillotine, which might be the fastest one in NAGA :)


One of the four heel hooks I landed ;)

 
Alexander Neufang, who besides surprising again his opponents with his funky shit style, got the fastest NAGA submission of all time (5.5 s so pretty sure he did). A match, which I happened to film since I am doing no gi


Kristian Popov on his side won the belt in two systematically controlled matches, where you could tell by watching that the submission is just a question of time, while Ангел lost by a point in the final (like me) after recovering from bad injury (similar like mine)


My teammates Rene Becker (Matrix headcoach), Thabet Agba (Matrix MMA coach) and the third usual suspect Tomek (the Saar gangsta) had a great run. Rene came out with couple years of ring rust behind, which wasn't that evident, since he had very good fights and got double bronze. For Thabet I think it was the first grappling tournament of this magnitude (not counting his professional MMA career of course), and he did also very well until got injured, so get better soon!


Rene again with his signature kimura trap to footlock :)


Tomek took the belt in the gi brown division by a total dominance. There wasn't a single moment of him being pushed! Never saw him fighting with a gi, so man I am totally surprised by his performance, which makes my put my karate gi on and test his shit!


Bruno Amadeo, our young prodigy, who secured title and silver, once again showed great potential at age of only 14 fighting in the -18 expert division.


On the mats we met many more usual suspects like Eldar "Yakuza" Rafigaev, who besides winning double gold after winning a MMA fight just the day before (crazy!!!), played us some Bulgarian hip-hop in my car, which got pretty much overwhelmed by 4 guys 90+ kg above and me. And Wim Deputter, whom I had first time the pleasure to see on tournament and admire for his determination to fight 2 no-gi divisions plus 2 gi division, a feat I'll try myself for sure!!!


Overall, we had a great trip and I am sure my burning abs are from laughing and not from fighting!


That's all folks! Cheers and see you on the mats again!