It was more, more and even more at the 2016 AKA Warrior Cup. More competitors, more organized, more divisions and more fun. Held in downtown Chicago, Illinois, the AKA Warrior Cup boasted 12 men’s teams and amazing fights to open Friday night. After the dust settled it was a mixed Next Level team of Jermond Wiggins, Kevin Walker and Anthony Merricks with the win. The junior teams were a showcase for the new Team Straight Up with the juniors featuring Bailey Murphy, Romani Alecia and Christian So putting on a clinic in the ring. Team Impex’s Verona Soliman and Morgan Plowden are pretty much unstoppable in women’s team sparring.
Lots of junior moved up to adults and did great with Jackson Rudolph winning another Warrior Cup with the adult weapons grand championship title in his first adult event. Cole Presley also got on stage in weapons and forms. Sammy Smith moved to adults in the middle of 2015 and it was a good decision as she was on stage as the women’s representative in both forms and weapons. In men’s forms it was Justin Chang for the second year in a row with the Warrior Cup for forms.
Derek Meegan swept the junior divisions and made quite a statement as he won the 14-17 forms and 14-17 weapons overall grands and then went on to defeat the 13 & under winners to take two Warrior Cups for the junior forms and weapons titles. The 13 & under weapons winner was Jake Presley and the 13 & under forms winner was Mason Stowell.
In women’s fighting, Morgan Plowden won her third overall fighting win and second Warrior Cup to put in her living room. Jason Grenier defeated Josh Horwege for the heavyweight sparring title while Kevin Walker defeated Willie Hicks for the lightweight title. Then an emotional Kevin Walker defeated Jason Grenier to win his first Warrior Cup in men’s sparring – a goal of his for years as he follows in the footsteps of his mentor Tony Young.
The AKA Warrior Cup was impressive in 2016. A new underbelt finals with a great turn out. A precursor to the 2016 competition season.
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