A1 Combat 21 Main Event Breakdown

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From time to time in life and sports, a bit of a changeup is needed. That’s just what’ll happen on Saturday night in Visalia, CA. While Urijah Faber‘s A1 Combat is known for putting on wall-to-wall MMA cards every time it has a fight night, MMA will not be the focus of the main event of the evening this weekend at Visalia Convention Center.

Live coverage of A1 Combat 21 begins with the amateur undercard at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT on the promotion’s official YouTube channel, continuing with the main card at 10 pm ET/  7 pm PT on UFC Fight Pass. A full night of fights will be held in MMA and in  combat jiu-jitsu, which is where two veterans of combat sports take center stage.

Faber Returns Against Glover Saturday Night in Combat Jiu-Jitsu Main Event

At the top of the bill on Saturday night, Urijah Faber turns from promoter to competitor in the A1 Combat 21 main event against Jeff Glover in the latter’s first appearance in a match in seven years’ time. In case Saturday is your first time watching a combat jiu-jitsu match, here are some ground rules as to how the fight will occur.

First off, unlike MMA, fights in combat jiu-jitsu take place during a single 10-minute period, with the only permissible strike being the open-handed slap. Open-handed slaps can only be delivered once both competitors in the match are on the floor.

While the fight starts out standing, if the contest doesn’t transition to the ground within its first minute, a coin toss will be held to determine which fighter starts out in the attack position.

In combat jiu-jitsu, the bouts are not scored on points. Contestants can only win the match in regulation time if they submit their opponent or score a TKO from open-handed slaps.

A1 Combat 21 Main Event Can Go To OT

If, in the event that the A1 Combat 21 main event doesn’t have a winner determined during the regulation period, overtime will be used to decide the victor, conducted in the same way that Eddie Bravo’s combat jiu-jitsu overtime periods are, with there being a maximum of three overtimes.

Should a fighter’s adversary break free from his foe’s submission hold after the first competitor locks up a submission, the defender is the winner. If both fighters defend their opponents’ respective holds, another overtime will take place.

If no winner is declared after triple overtime, the contestant with the quicker aggregate escape time scores the victory.

Can Faber Win in First Combat Jiu-Jitsu Appearance in 2022?

Since retiring from MMA as a competitor in 2019, Urijah Faber set his sights fully on grappling in 2020, dropping a decision on points against fellow UFC alum Dustin Ortiz right before the pandemic took hold on society at-large. After the lockdowns were lifted, Faber was initially scheduled to appear during Combat Jiu-Jitsu Worlds: Featherweights the next year.

Had the fight taken place as originally booked, he would have versed Elias Anderson, but the bout was scrubbed upon the former being unable to secure a passport ahead of the show. The Faber/Anderson tilt was rebooked for December of 2022, with the latter securing an armbar in overtime.

He’s focused on running A1 Combat ever since, but will he be declared the winner in his own promotion’s main event?

Jeff Glover Returns for Short-Notice Bout on Saturday Night

In the other corner, Jeff Glover was not the man who was initially slated to appear as Urijah Faber’s opposition on Saturday night in the A1 Combat 21 main event. When the headliner was initially booked for May 25, Faber was supposed to have squared off against Jeff Curran in the second head-to-head meeting between the two men, having won the original contest in December of 2007 in the late Strikeforce promotion.

Curran, a former competitor in both the UFC and the late Titan FC, ended up withdrawing from A1 Combat 21 in April, resulting in Glover accepting his first bout in seven years with a one-month lead time. No specific explanation was given for Curran bowing out of the originally-planned main event when it was revealed that Curran would no longer verse Faber on Saturday night.

Glover is a man who’s had a fascinating career in combat sports. As recently as seven weeks ago, he had no plans to be in Visalia for this main event and now, he’s just a couple of days away from getting in the cage with Faber, a pretty adept ground fighter in his own right.

Will the seven-year layoff matter in the grand scheme? Only time will tell in the A1 Combat 21 main event.

Final Thoughts

A word to the wise as we sign-off for now: If you have no plans for Saturday night, consider them made now. The A1 Combat 21 main event will be a special one. Be sure to watch.

Prediction: Urijah Faber by Rear-Naked Choke. 

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.