Grappling’s great purveyor of pain is making his mixed martial arts debut this weekend.
Even if you don’t keep up-to-date with submission grappling, you are likely to recognize the name Garry Tonon and it is for good reason. Tonon, a multiple time Eddie Bravo Invitational champion, is scheduled to enter the cage for the first time against Richard Corminal at One Championship “Iron Will” on March 24 and grappling fans around the world are excited.
In the meta of MMA it is hard to argue that jiu-jitsu is as all-dominating as it once was. Specialists can no longer rest on their laurels and even the greatest grapplers can struggle once strikes involved; even the arguably greatest no-gi grappler of all time, Marcelo Garcia, was defeated in his lone MMA fight, but with all that being said, optimism for Tonon’s career is high amongst fans.
Unlike most jiu-jitsu specialists, Tonon has been surrounded by MMA since he took his first steps on the mat. Early in his jiu-jitsu journey, Tonon was a part of his coach Tom DeBlass’ training camps and through the Ricardo Almeida lineage, fighters like former Ultimate Fighting Championship ace Frankie Edgar were always around. Tonon’s initial rise to fame in the grappling world came from his frenetic style, solid wrestling and innate ability to take his opponents’ backs; it was during this period where he lost in an amazing match against Kron Gracie at ADCC 2013.
Post ADCC 2013, Tonon became a mainstay in the basement of Renzo Gracie’s academy, learning under the tutelage of leg lock impresario John Danaher. During this period, Tonon and Eddie Cummings became the most feared submission grapplers in the world and ushered in the era of Danaher Death Squad dominance. Tonon then helped mold his student Gordon Ryan into an ADCC world champion.
Tonon has defeated a number of MMA stars in grappling competitions, most notably Shinya Aoki, Marcin Held and Gilbert Burns. In addition to this, he has also dominated Bellator MMA’s Dillon Danis, severely injuring his knee with an inside heel hook. As part of his training for the transition, Tonon has worked with Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields.
Tonon’s opponent Corminal competed twice under the One Championship banner in 2017, falling to Arnaud Lepont via submission in November and losing to Shannon Wiratchai via knockout in March. He owns a 4-3 professional record.
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