Sandwich native Brian Sparrow is looking forward to “the biggest opportunity” of his career this coming weekend in Anaheim, California. The former Sandwich High School wrestling standout will be competing in the inaugural Kinetic Submission Grappling Event at the Anaheim Business Expo Center today.
Sparrow, 29, has been training in Jiu Jitsu since graduating from Sandwich High in 2008. He transitioned from the mat to martial arts by following his brother into Pro Elite Training Center in Sandwich to work out. He not only fell in love with the sport there, but discovered that he had a talent for it.
Getting selected for the big event in California was a bit of a surprise for Sparrow, who was not actively pursuing it. He has competed in several smaller events in Colorado, where he lives now with his wife, Kaity, and their three-month old son, Kaiden. However, when a phone call came from team captain Anthony Smith, he jumped at it.
“I had helped him train for his UFC fight against Jon Jones, and he must’ve remembered me,” Sparrow said. “I’m just flattered because there is a lot of talent in this competition, and to be included is an honor.”
Grappling is not Sparrow’s full-time occupation. He is a full-time student working toward being a registered nurse. He also works part-time at a endoscopy center in Denver and also coaches other fighters twice a week.
Sparrow said he is looking forward to competing at a high level. The bouts will consist of eight-minute rounds, and the winner must prevail by a submission. There is no punching or striking allowed, it will be grappling with the winner making the loser tap out. Sparrow said that his go-to move will most likely be a triangle choke. “That’s my most dangerous weapon, I can hit it from almost anywhere,” he said. Also the arm bar and guillotine choke are big parts of his arsenal of moves.
Kinetic team-formatted events will feature four competing squads, each composed of five world-class grapplers, in a tournament consisting of semifinals and a championship final. Additionally, all events will feature a grappling Super Fight, which will feature additional participants not already competing in the tournament. UFC Fightpass will stream the event live, beginning at 10 PM EST.
Each team will split $10,000 for participating in the event. The winning team will earn an additional $25,000.
After the Kinetic event, Sparrow said that he does not know when he will be competing again. It will most likely happen, though.
“I think that this will open up some opportunities, for sure,” he said.