‘Machete’ carves out first grappling medal

The metamorphosis of Marco ‘the Machete’ Viedas continues, and a couple big wins down Island show he’s right on track.

Parksville’s Marco ‘The Machete’ Viedas lands a strike on his opponent at the recent Be First Championships in Victoria.

Parksville’s Marco ‘The Machete’ Viedas lands a strike on his opponent at the recent Be First Championships in Victoria.

The metamorphosis of Marco ‘the Machete’ Viedas continues, and a couple big wins down Island show he’s right on track.

A third dan black belt with his sites set on competing in the MMA octagon, Viedas, 19, has been training out of Parksville Taekwondo Academy since he was 12.

A hard worker and dedicated student loaded with speed skill and power, Viedas looked right at home competing at the Be First Championships in Victoria March 30 at the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence (PISE), where he competed in two events: No-gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Pankration.

According to PTA head trainer Brett Fee, No-gi means that instead of wearing a traditional Gi while competing, athletes typically wear fight shorts and rash guards.

Pankration is a blend of kickboxing and submission wrestling and very similar to MMA. The only difference is there is no ‘ground and pound’, no striking to the head or face when the player is down.

It was only Viedas’ second grappling tournament, “and he entered the intermediate division, even though he has less than six months of grappling experience.”

Machete won his first match in No-gi convincingly said Fee “by controlling the top position and executing a series of guard passes,” pointing out “he ended up finishing third and taking the bronze medal, which is his first medal earned in a grappling event.”

Viedas also had a great showing in Pankration, dominating his first match “with superior striking, and when his opponent tried to take him down, his takedown defence was very solid,” and won by unanimous decision.

In the final match, Fee said Machete was pitted against a Battlefield Fight League (BFL) veteran with much more MMA experience than Viedas, “but once again, Marco dominated the stand up, and when it went to the ground, he controlled top position.  His opponent attempted a few submissions from his back, but Marco was never in danger of being submitted.”

In the end, “The judges awarded a split decision to Marco’s opponent, much to the surprise of myself and the rest of our team.”

“I thought it wasn’t even close; Marco won the fight, but then again, it’s not about wins and losses at this stage of Marco’s development,” Fee surmised, “it’s more about gaining experience, and working on improving his overall game. He was disappointed with the result, but happy with his performance, and I feel the same way about it.

“We are all very proud of his effort, and all of his training partners from Impact MMA in Nanaimo continue to praise his level of commitment and progress,” said Fee, adding “the guys over there love him,” and Marco has particularly taken to local pro and MFC Light Weight Champion Graham ‘the Cracka’ Spencer.

“Marco really looks up to Graham as a role model, and Graham is a great mentor to Marco. I couldn’t be happier as a coach for Marco to be surrounded by guys like him,” said Fee

Viedas continues to train with Fee and fine-tune his already formidable striking ability.

“If it was Marco’s choice he would have had five MMA fights by now,” Fee chuckled. “It’s kind of my choice to bring him along slowly and correctly.

Pressed if they have a target date for his MMA debut, Fee said “you’ll probably see him in the cage within the calendar year. we’re looking at his MMA debut in the fall right now.”

UP NEXT:  Machete takes his game to the Richmond Oval in May for the West Coast Can-Am Championships; another No-gi grappling and Pankration tournament.