Tanko Submission Championships are hosting their inaugural event on Sunday, May 14th at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, looking to bring the same amount of prestige to the professional grappling circuit as they have to Muay Thai and mixed martial arts.
With that in mind, the matchmakers have been hard at work sourcing renowned grapplers for the submission only format, and the first announcement provides just that.
In a contest set for the heavyweight division, two respected veterans of the MMA and grappling scenes collide as local Kam Atakuru takes on Birmingham’s Marc Goddard.
Both men have professional MMA backgrounds to their credit, with Goddard debuting in 2002, and Atakuru debuting in 2006.
From there, they have diverged in their involvement in combat. Goddard pursued his role as a referee, and has cemented his reputation as one of the world’s best over the last decade. Not only is he one of the most respected referees domestically, but also internationally through his work with the UFC and the IMMAF.
Although he has, at times, focused on other aspects, he has consistently trained across BJJ and wrestling, and was recently
awarded his BJJ black belt from world champion Braulio Estima, along-time coach and training partner.
Atakuru is a brown belt in BJJ with a long background in the sport, though he is more known for his no-gi game, incorporating effective wrestling, catch wrestling and luta livre.
Now training under ASW head coach Daren Morris, Atakuru also spent several years training full-time with the elite Kaobon team at its full strength, being coached Luta Livre by head coach Marcelo Brigadeiro. He nows runs his own gym, ASW Manchester.
Atakuru has been the more active of the two, taking home gold medals in various domestic events and superfights, whilst Goddard recently turned his focus back to competition and has already shown his class amongst other quality black belts.
With the styles and experience both men bring to the mats, this is an encounter not to be missed. It will serve as a worthy co-main event for Tanko Submission Championships 1 to be hosted at the Victoria Warehouse, and aired live on Sky TV.
The Tanko weekender will be a huge three days of combat sports, so stay tuned to events.tanko.co.uk for more details, and fight announcements.