Living MMA, the Slovenian-based film company known for producing wrestling and martial arts videos, is back with a new clip featuring highlights from this past weekend’s Grand Prix Zagreb Open in Croatia. American Joe Rau (87 kg, TMWC/IRTC, world #7, 5PM #2) went 2-2 in the tournament, good for fifth place. Rau remains in Croatia for training camp along with fellow two-time US World Team member Patrick Smith (77 kg, Minnesota Storm, 5PM #1).
As usual, the video below puts on display much of the offensive might associated with top-level Greco-Roman competition — which is why Zagreb’s annual event has grown in status over the past quadrennium. Nearly a dozen prior World/Olympic medalists participated in the tournament, including two-time World Champion/multi-time hardware winner Zhan Belenyuk (87 kg, UKR, world #2) and similarly-decorated Heiki Nabi of Estonia (130 kg, world #7). Belenyuk, for his part, is depicted in the video on several occasions. Rau is portrayed, as well (at 1:16). Both of the popular Chicogan’s victories in Zagreb were expressions of dominance and, to be sure, he is shown executing a gutwrench. However, his counterpart in the clip is Alexandar Stjepanetic (SWE), who came from behind thanks to a raucous second period to defeat Rau 9-7.
The founder of Living MMA is filmmaker Simon Srečković, who holds a deep passion for martial arts and was not a wrestler. But after filming one tournament, he was hooked. We conducted a Q&A with Srečković following the ’19 running of Zagreb to learn more about his perspective and methodology. It is a worthwhile read that you can check out right here.