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Gruff is a heavyweight robot built by Sam McAmis' team, which has competed in every season of BattleBots since World Championship IV.

It is a six-wheeled, box-wedge robot armed with a pair of lifting forks made from magnum triple-alloy steel and twin flamethrowers spewing fire at 3000°F. Gruff's six wheels were originally powered by four Ampflow E30-400 brushed motors, though this underwent an overhaul in future seasons. The lifting weapon was originally able to lift in the 300-400lb range, but boasts the ability to hoist over 500lbs according to the team in recent iterations.[2]

Gruff WCIV hero shot

Gruff during World Championship IV hero shots.

Gruff managed to chalk up one competitive win in their debut season, in a rumble against Gemini and Marvin, but lost its other fights and was defeated by End Game in the Desperado Tournament. Though it would not make the Top 16, Gruff became renowned for its toughness, largely due to being one of few robots at the time to take Tombstone to a judges' decision.

Gruff WCV hero shot blue

Gruff during World Championship V hero shots.

For World Championship V, Gruff remained largely the same, but the team added a new drive system they dubbed "brushed more-or-less", with one brushless and one brushed motor per side of drive. The new setup freed up 12lbs that the team were able to put into the flamethrower system. Gruff's construction was also designed to be much smoother, as well as the addition of front wedgelets to the plow. Like last season, Gruff had more losses than wins in the qualifying rounds, but this time made the Championship Tournament. However, it lost Bloodsport in the Round of 32.

Gruff performed better in the Tombstone bracket of BattleBots: Bounty Hunters, where it defeated three opponents in succession to earn the right to have a rematch with Ray Billings' robot, but was once again defeated by the former Giant Nut winner.

Gruff WCVI hero shot red

Gruff during World Championship VI hero shots.

Sam McAmis and Gruff returned ahead of World Championship VI. The robot appeared largely unchanged from last season, but received drive upgrades to address the reliability issues that plagued it in the 2020 season. Gruff started the 2021 season with a win over rookie bot Switchback in its first match but was tossed out of the arena by veteran flipper Hydra in its second. This was followed up by another disappointing loss, this time to Robotic Death Company and Cobalt. With a 1-2 record, Gruff failed to make the Top 32 and was not considered for either of the play-in matches.

Gruff also fought in BattleBots: Champions I, but lost in the first round to bracket winners Glitch.

Gruff WCVII hero shot

Gruff during World Championship VII hero shots.

In September 2022, a brand new build of Gruff was revealed ahead of World Championship VII, featuring several new attachments for their lifter, as well as defensive additions to protect from specific weapons. In an interview held during the first day of the Hickory Bot Battles event, Team Gruff confirmed their inclusion into the seventh reboot season.[3] Gruff's first opponent was the debuting vertical spinner RIPperoni, as teased in a December 26 post on the BattleBots Instagram page.[4] Sam McAmis' bot took the win in this fight, its first since the opening episode of the previous season. However, Gruff suffered losses to Quantum, Witch Doctor and Malice, which meant it wasn't selected for the Top 32.

Gruff entered the final Sin City Slugfest episode for BattleBots: Champions II, losing immediately to the returning Monsoon.

Team Gruff intend to apply for World Championship VIII, though their application has not yet been confirmed. In a Reddit AMA, the team sought to improve the reliability of Gruff's drivetrain.[5]

Outside BattleBots[]

Gruff was a regular on the US heavyweight live circuit prior to its BattleBots debut, first appearing at ComBots Cup V and then RoboGames 2011. Following modest performances in 2011, 2012 and 2015, the version of Gruff seen in BattleBots entered RoboGames 2018.

Here, Gruff made it all the way to the Winner's Final, even defeating Touro Maximus, but lost to Gary Gin's Original Sin and then lost a rematch with Team RioBotz's machine in the Consolation Final.

The team applied for RoboGames 2023 with a slightly rebranded version of their BattleBots heavyweight, named G-Ruff. However, the team were one of many to pull out of the event before it began, so it did not compete. Gruff was present at Orlando Maker Faire in November 2023.

G-Ruff was again submitted for RoboGames 2024, but again withdrew.

Sam McAmis also built a 1lb antweight version called Gruff Jr., which fought at Robot Ruckus in 2019.[6]

Robot History[]

World Championship IV[]

Gruff vs. Marvin vs. Gemini

Gruff vs Gemini vs Marvin

Gruff lifts Marvin as Gemini watch on.

Gruff's first BattleBots match in 2019 was against Marvin and Gemini as part of a three-way rumble. For this fight, Gruff came in with only one of its flamethrowers on, fearing both may get damaged badly by either of the three spinning weapons. When the rumble began, Gruff struggled to get an effective lift on either Marvin or Gemini. However, they managed use their lifting arm to clamp on Marvin and lost some shavings from Marvin's disk. Gruff then started to take control of the fight by throwing the black Gemini twin onto its back. Gruff then took a shot from the red Gemini twin but no damage was dealt. Gruff took the black Gemini twin into the screws before shoving Marvin around again, almost flipping it over. Gruff righted the black Gemini and took a shot from the killsaws before time ran out. The judges awarded Gruff a unanimous 3-0 decision.

Gruff vs. Copperhead

Gruff vs Copperhead

Gruff lifts Copperhead into the arena barrier.

Gruff next found itself against a new robot by Caustic Creations, Copperhead. As the match got underway, Gruff was starting to take punishment from Copperhead, both to its lifting arm and from being tossed into the air. Gruff continued to attack and managed to shove Copperhead into the arena barrier.

After taking more abuse from its opponent, Gruff shoved Copperhead against the arena barrier where Copperhead looked to be nearly stuck on its back end but Copperhead fell down and continued the fight. Gruff then took more hits from Copperhead before smoke began to pour out. Copperhead was also having drive issues linked directly to its drum's gyroscopic forces. Regardless, the match went to the judges, who ruled a 2-1 split decision to Copperhead.

Gruff vs. End Game

End Game vs Gruff

Gruff gets tossed into the air by End Game.

End Game vs Gruff 3

Gruff slams End Game into the screws.

Gruff Endgame

Gruff gets its fork stuck in the killsaw slot.

Gruff decided to take part in the Desperado Tournament for a shot at the Giant Bolt trophy and a slot in the Top 16 bracket. Since they were the No.5 seed, they were placed against Jack Barker and the No.4 seed, End Game. Gruff went in unchanged and started strongly, managing to get End Game up on its back end. In response, Gruff was also thrown onto its back, but self-righted. Gruff managed to use its forks to get between End Game's chassis and its weapon, dislodging a weapon belt and pushing End Game into the screws. Unfortunately, in the last minute of the match, Gruff drove right into the slot for the killsaws and its fork got stuck under the polycarbonate cover where the robot had its wheels raised high enough to prevent it from moving. Gruff was counted out, giving End Game the win by KO with just two seconds left on the clock.

Gruff vs. Tombstone

Gruff Tombstone

The initial collision that sent Tombstone into the air.

Having little success in the Desperado Tournament, Gruff then went back into the fight night battles where it came up against former champion, Tombstone. Gruff was off to a good start as they threw Tombstone into the air where Tombstone landed with its weapon impacting the spot for the killsaws. Tombstone recovered so Gruff went back on the attack, pushing Tombstone around with its wedge and attempting to grab hold with its lifting forks. Gruff then had its front forks bent a bit but was still able to withstand punishment dished out by its opponent. Gruff then took Tombstone to the pulverizer, but the hazard proved ineffective against its opponent. As time ran down, Gruff got in a lift that had Tombstone pretty much completely off the arena floor before Tombstone slipped off and got in another hit. The judges awarded a unanimous 3-0 decision to Tombstone.

Gruff vs. Railgun MAX (Exhibition)

Gruff Railgun MAX

Gruff takes a shot to its forks from Railgun MAX.

Gruff then participated in a grudge match against newcomer from China, Railgun MAX. Right off the bat, Gruff charged across the box and received a minor shot that popped it into the air a bit. With little hindrance, Gruff then took a shot to the left side, then to its forks twice, but the damage wasn't massive. Gruff received a few more blows to its left side, but Railgun MAX began billowing out smoke as Gruff took a shot to the forks again, then drove the smoking bot into the corner, using its flamethrower and leaving Railgun MAX's right tire a bit smoky and singed. Gruff simply came back over, lifting its opponent, then flipping them over. Gruff then used its arm like a clamp, dragging Railgun MAX around, throwing some more fire onto it before shoving it into the screws. Railgun MAX was counted out, giving Gruff the win by knockout.

World Championship V[]

Gruff vs. HyperShock

Gruff slams Hypershock into the screws and roasts it

Gruff slams HyperShock into the screws and roasts it.

Gruff's first fight of the fifth season was against HyperShock in the Main Event of the third episode. Gruff was not off to a good start as they were attacked and thrown into the air, nearly getting flipped over. Gruff was then attacked again and this time was flipped over near the arena barrier but righted itself. After another attack or two, Gruff started to take control as HyperShock was noticeably slower and had lost the use of its weapon. Gruff managed to slam HyperShock hard into the screws before HyperShock stopped moving near the pulverizer. Smoke began to pour out of HyperShock as it was counted out, giving Gruff the win by KO.

Gruff vs. Whiplash

Bbs10e7 smoke

Whiplash pins Gruff as it emits smoke.

Gruff then took on the Vasquez family and Whiplash. Early on, Gruff tried to remain equal with its opponent but was quickly shoved into the arena barrier and flipped over in the corner. Gruff righted itself and was able to land a few fortuitous pulverizer shots on its opponent. However, Gruff had little to counter against Whiplash's attacks and took damage before being shoved again. Gruff attacked with its flamethrowers but Whiplash was able to escape. Whiplash's weapon motor then began to smoke, leaving them without their spinning disk. As the match wore on, Gruff began smoking too and its drive slowed. Both robots went the distance and the judges awarded Whiplash a unanimous 3-0 decision.

Gruff vs. Extinguisher


Gruff slams Extinguisher onto the base of the screws.


Extinguisher rams into Gruff.

Having lost to the quick and agile Whiplash, Gruff was now at 1-1 and faced Extinguisher. Gruff started off strong as they were aggressive with their flamethrowers and lifter weaponry, and were able to quickly flip their opponent over. With their opponent still upside down, Gruff sent them into the screws, where Extinguisher ended up on its nose. Unwilling to end the fight this way, Gruff righted them and brought their lifting forks into Extinguisher's weapon, leaving the two stuck together. Gruff however struggled to lift its extra 250 lb opponent but eventually succeeded in that and taking them back to the screws. With both robots stuck together, the match was paused for a separation, though this was cut from the TV airing. Extinguisher was able to escape as Gruff began to experience drive issues. tTe brushed half of their drive had failed, leaving the brushless motors to pick up the slack. These motors had been overworked and began overheating. This caused Gruff's drive to finally give out and as they took one final shove from Extinguisher, Gruff was counted out. Extinguisher took a rare win by knockout and this defeat severely hurt Gruff's chances of making it into the tournament.

Gruff vs. Bloodsport


Bloodsport pushes Gruff against the wall as Gruff activates its flamethrower.


Gruff nearly flips Bloodsport.

Despite their previous loss, Gruff made it into the Round of 32 as the No.31 seed. In the first bracket round, they fought the No.2 seed, Bloodsport. Gruff was armed with only one of its two lifting forks and chunks of steel dubbed "chocolate bars" with the intent on sparing Gruff's front from some of the impact of Bloodsport's weapon. Unfortunately, this strategy didn't really come into play as the first impact broke off 1/3 of Bloodsport's weapon. Despite this being a favorable outcome, Gruff started being pushed around thanks to Bloodsport's front wedgelets. Gruff managed to get in a lift that cost Bloodsport one or two wedgelets. Gruff still didn't have the pushing power to strike back and ended up being sent under the pulverizer before showing signs of being noticeably slower in driving. Gruff managed to rip off Bloodsport's remaining wedgelets before time ran out but the judges awarded Bloodsport a 2-1 split decision and a spot in the Top 16.

BattleBots: Bounty Hunters[]

Gruff vs. Gemini


Gruff grapples Gemini.

On top of the main competition, Gruff also competed in the Tombstone Bounty Hunters tournament, starting off against Gemini. Due to damage sustained in the main season, Gemini had little choice but to beef up the one half to heavyweight level, giving it the "big boy pants". Gruff started off well, absorbing the impacts and taking red Gemini around the arena with the lifter. Gruff let go then proceeded to repeat the process, this time getting under Gemini from the rear. A bit of smoke began to pour out of the red Gemini but they continued to fight until Gruff grabbed them again and took them hard into the arena barrier, where the red Gemini landed on top of Team Gruff's pulverizer. With no way to get down, the red Gemini was counted out, allowing Gruff to advance to the next round.

Gruff vs. Deadlift

Deadlift pins Gruff on the Rails

Deadlift pins Gruff against the rails.

Gruff high-centers Deadlift against the Rails

Gruff backs away from the now immobile Deadlift.

Next up, Gruff faced newcomer Deadlift, fresh off a statement win against JackPot. Gruff didn't start off that well as it was unable to get under Deadlift and was taking shots in return as a result, nearly getting flipped over against the arena barrier. However, Gruff got the flames going and Deadlift's weapon soon stopped working. Gruff then took a shot from the killsaws before managing to get under Deadlift and flip them over. With Deadlift's weapon disabled, they were unable to right themselves and were counted out. Gruff won by KO and moved on.

Gruff vs. Kraken


Kraken gets to grips with Gruff.

All that stood between Gruff and a rematch with Tombstone was Kraken and Matt Spurk. Gruff did not have a good start as they were grappled by their opponent and carried around the arena before eventually being released but not before taking it out on Kraken's minibot. Gruff then started to get the upperhand as they hit Kraken hard into the arena barrier, flipping them over, leaving Kraken struggling to right themselves long enough for a countout to begin. Gruff waited but Kraken was now in a position where it could right itself and Gruff was taken to the Screws before flipping Kraken again. Kraken righted itself much more quickly and both robots survived to a judges' decision. The judges awarded Gruff a unanimous decision and a rematch with Tombstone for a piece of the prize money.

Gruff vs. Tombstone

Gruff tombstone bounty hunters

Gruff tries to tank the hits.

Gruff had reached the final stage where it met Tombstone in a rematch from 2019. Gruff was able to absorb the impacts it was given from Tombstone, but little bits were flying off and its lifter was starting to suffer damage. Gruff managed to slam Tombstone into the arena barrier, but Tombstone recovered and continued its assault. Gruff's lifter was getting all bent out of shape and its flamethrower's tank was ruptured before Gruff's movement was noticeably reduced. Gruff continued to take punishment, even as it was being counted out, giving Tombstone the win by KO and a piece of its own bounty.

World Championship VI[]

Gruff vs. Switchback

Gruff switchback sparks

Sparks fly as Switchback's weapon makes contact with Gruff's armor.

Gruff switchback pulverizer

Gruff takes Switchback to the pulverizer.

Gruff switchback ko

Gruff torches the rookie bot as it lays immobile.

Gruff returned for the 2021 season, with its first fight confirmed to be against newcomer Switchback. They came into the fight with little in the way of alterations, though Switchback had purposely aligned their 6.5lb AR500 steel disks in the drum to evade Gruff's forks. Switchback captain Greg Needel had watched all of Gruff's previous fights in preparation for the fight. As it began, Switchback immediately spun up and delivered a shot as Gruff tried to slide underneath the rookie bot. Gruff successfully breached their ground clearance from the side and pushed Switchback against the barrier before allowing their drum to pop make contact with the floor and free their opponent. Gruff returned to the middle of the BattleBox and activated their flamethrowers as Switchback was momentarily held up in the killsaw slot, but this largely served to obstruct the view of Switchback's team as they lined up an attack with the drum. Gruff got underneath Switchback again and sent them to the pulverizer before freeing them, all while evading their primary weapon. Switchback was able to spin back up and naively charged in, flipping themselves over on impact. For unknown reasons, Switchback could not self-right and was counted out as Gruff charred the rookie bot with their flames. Gruff took the knockout, beginning the season with a win.

Gruff vs. Hydra

Hydra fighting Gruff

Gruff takes on Jake Ewert's Hydra.

Hydra gruff oota

Gruff lies immobile as Hydra celebrate their first win of the season.

After a dominating win over rookie Switchback, Gruff's next opponent was Hydra. As the match started, both bots quickly met in the center of the box and tried to best the other's ground clearance. Hydra fired two flipper shots that ultimately missed. Hydra was then finally able to get under Gruff and only slightly pop it on its rear but when Gruff landed, was able to toss Gruff towards the screws and upside down. Hydra was then finally able to get under Gruff and only slightly pop it on its rear but when Gruff landed, was able to toss Gruff towards the screws and upside down. Hydra followed this up with two more flips before Gruff was able to get away in an attempt to regroup. However, Hydra quickly pursied its opponent and flipped Gruff upside down again, followed by two more with the last one almost sending Gruff onto the Upper Deck. Gruff's flamethrower appeared to start malfunctioning as flames were now coming out of the bottom of the robot. Hydra meanwhile was able to once again toss Gruff upside down before getting caught on the killsaw slots, but was able to quickly meet Gruff again and this time flipped Gruff onto the screws. Hydra fired its flipper again but only brushed against the side of Gruff as it continued to be chewed by the screws. Hydra's flipper, which appeared to be much weaker than in previous fights, was still able to land a flurry of flips on Gruff, tossing a few feet in the air each time. As Gruff was trying to regroup, Hydra got underneath Gruff again and flipped it towards the corner near the out of the arena zone. Hydra fired its weapon once more, and threw Gruff out of the arena, right by the entrance for the BattleBox. Gruff was counted out, falling to 1-1 for the season.

Gruff vs. Cobalt

Cobalt gruff 1

Sparks fly as Gruff is attacked by Cobalt.

Gruff cobalt 2

Gruff's propane tank erupts.

Gruff's third and final Fight Night opponent was fellow 1-1 bot Cobalt. As Gruff charged at its opponent, Cobalt had already spun up and Gruff found itself flipped it upside-down. Gruff had its fork caught in the killsaw slot for a moment, but was soon free and threatened with their flames. However, Gruff ran right into the front of Cobalt again and was launched high into the air, buckling a lifting fork on impact. Gruff took a hit from the 100lb pulverizer before hitting Cobalt's disk head on once more, again flying across the BattleBox. Cobalt continued its relentless assault as Sam McAmis' machine appeared to have lost drive on one side, throwing it against the arena barriers. Smoke began to emit from the underside of Gruff after the next impact damaged their propane tank, and it burst into flames soon after. Unable to show translational movement, Gruff was counted out and Cobalt advanced to 2-1 for the season.

BattleBots: Champions I[]

Gruff vs. Glitch

Glitch Gruff BB Champs

Gruff spews fire over Glitch.

Gruff glitch BB Champs 2

Both robots at the end of the fight.

Gruff returned for BattleBots: Champions I and fought Glitch in the first round of the bracket. To combat Gruff's fire, Glitch covered the gaps in its armor in aluminum foil in order to protect its internal components. As the fight began, Gruff drove at Glitch, who drifted off to its left to spin up its weapon. Glitch spun around to face its opponent, but got its fork stuck in a killsaw slot. It then escaped and dealt a glancing shot to the front of Gruff, who retaliated by firing its flamethrower. Glitch appeared to be struggling to drive, but delivered a shot to Gruff's lifter and bent the forks. The two robots kept their distance for a moment until Glitch got underneath Gruff, throwing it over before Gruff self-righted. Glitch strafed around the BattleBox, keeping its vertical spinner pointed at its opponent as Gruff gave chase. Glitch eventually threw Gruff over again, but Sam McAmis' bot bounced back onto its wheels. Gruff managed to push Glitch into the short corner in the final ten seconds, but the last hit of the fight came from Glitch, who threw Gruff high into the air just as the clock hit zero, landing upside-down. The fight went to the judges, who awarded the fight unanimously in favor of Glitch, eliminating Gruff from the competition.

World Championship VII[]

Gruff vs. RIPperoni

Gruff kicked off its World Championship VII campaign against a rookie bot in RIPperoni.

Gruff RIPperoni WCVII 1

Gruff takes on RIPperoni.

As the fight commenced, RIPperoni got caught on the BattleBox floor and turned as Gruff charged in, allowing Sam McAmis' bot to get underneath and land the first attack with its lifter. As RIPperoni was flipped over, its disk bounced the pizza-themed bot back onto its wheels.
Ripperoni Gruff 2

Gruff fires its flamethrower.

Gruff followed this up by firing its flamethrowers, but RIPperoni then dealt a hit to its side, and then to its lifter. As Gruff recovered, it lifted its opponent up slightly, then clashed with RIPperoni's disk. This impact overturned Gruff, but also cost RIPperoni part of the protective material around its weapon. At this stage, however, one of Gruff's forks were bent out of shape and now loose. The debutant dealt another blow to the front of Gruff, but then became stuck on the BattleBox floor once more. As it performed a sharp turn, RIPperoni totally unbalanced, flipping itself over and allowing the spinning disk to make contact with the steel floor again.

Ripperoni spin vs Gruff WCVII

Gruff lifts RIPperoni and causes it to dance across the arena.

After bouncing and twisting through the air several times, RIPperoni was upright but its central fork was deformed, allowing the 3" teeth to hit the floor. Suddenly, Gruff was able to dictate the pace of the fight and got to the side of RIPperoni, shoving it across the arena and throwing it into the wall. It became clear that RIPperoni had lost drive to the larger of its two wheels, and therefore struggled with mobility from here on. However, due to the changes in rules regarding what counted as sufficient mobility, RIPperoni was very much still in the fight as long as it could still move.

Gruff RIPperoni 4 WCVII

Both robots struggle for mobility as the fight comes to an end.

However, it twisted in place and allowed the disk to bounce against the floor once more, landing directly on the lifter. This invited Gruff to drive RIPperoni across the BattleBox, lifting it up but ramming itself into the Upper Deck in the process. Gruff then reversed RIPperoni towards the drivers' booths, where its limited mobility was now more evident. Gruff continued to try lifting RIPperoni for the remainder of the fight, wary to avoid its powerful spinner. With a successful lift, RIPperoni balanced on its smaller wheel and danced across the arena on its one functional wheel, but now Gruff was smoking and appeared to have lost drive on one side as well.

The fight went the distance, and Gruff took the win by unanimous judges' decision to move to 1-0.

Gruff vs. Quantum

After its initial victory, Gruff next fought the UK entry Quantum, which was also looking to build up a 2-0 record following a convincing opening win over Captain Shrederator. For this match, Shatter! captain Adam Wrigley joined Chris Rose and Kenny Florian as a guest fight analyst. Ahead of this battle, Team Gruff equipped their robot with jagged strips of metal known as "Bite Blockers", as well as an addition to their lifter which extended its overall width.

Gruff Quantum WCVII teaser

Gruff squares off against Quantum.

Within the opening seconds, Gruff was immediately outdriven and pressured towards the bottom-left corner by Quantum, despite firing its twin flamethrowers in response. The Team Robo Challenge machine promptly pinched its right-front corner, lifting Gruff onto its side in the process.

Quantum Gruff WCVII (2)

Gruff uses its flamethrowers.

From that point, Gruff was rammed at high speed into the screw mounts and spiked bumpers by Quantum, all while having its top armor pierced by the latter's single-toothed crusher a few times. Gruff, now seemingly immobilized on one side, dodged another charge from Quantum, causing the latter to ram into the bumper. However, it was soon collected and maneuvered across the killsaws, its right flamethrower appearing to have no effect. Both robots drove past each other in a head-on joust, only for Gruff to be pursued once again by Quantum. Gruff - with its lifting forks facing forwards - briefly hoisted Quantum up, only to be rammed into one of the Upper Deck screws by the latter. The screw carried Gruff up onto the Upper Deck itself, though Gruff was able to weave itself off within a matter of seconds. Upon landing on the BattleBox floor, however, it was soon collected by Quantum, but briefly gave chase across the arena.

Quantum Gruff WCVII (3)

Quantum attacks Gruff from the side.

The two competitors locked weapons, though again Quantum outpushed and got underneath Gruff in an effort to push and clamp down on it once more. Gruff was again pushed across the BattleBox perimeter, but slid free across the left perimeter once Quantum bumped into a floor seam. As Quantum reversed to the bottom killsaws, Gruff strafed across the left perimeter and red square, though its respite would be short-lived. It was again bumped and scooped up from the side by Quantum, enabling both robots to grapple each other at the halfway point. Both competitors rammed each other against the screw mounts and walls, all while Quantum repeatedly gripped and pierced Gruff's flat top panels. Though briefly freed, Gruff was seized from the right-hand side once more, during which Quantum proceeded to ram it into the bumpers and over the killsaws. Smoke poured from Gruff as it tried to turn away.

However, this exposed its left side to Quantum, which nudged, rammed and pinched Gruff while its lifter flailed around in mid-air. One swing from Gruff's weapon clipped part of an advertising screen in front of the control area, taking the screen panel down. At this point, Gruff's drive was severely reduced, leaving it vulnerable to more rams and bites from Quantum's crusher - this time to the left flamethrower mount and rear-left armor. Gruff was briefly lifted off the floor by Quantum as a result. While Gruff's left-rear wheels were still spinning, it was unable to drive away from the wall, the only movement coming from its still-swinging lifter.

Gruff was soon counted out, awarding Quantum its second Fight Night victory by knockout.

Gruff vs. Witch Doctor

Gruff's third Fight Night opponent was two-time runner-up, Witch Doctor, who currently sat at a 2-0 record.

Witch Doctor Gruff 2 WC VII

Witch Doctor and Gruff take out the signage.

Gruff immediately dashed towards Witch Doctor, driving their forks into its side but failing to get underneath. Witch Doctor turned to face Gruff and tore away some parts, including a front wedge. Gruff fired its flamethrowers, temporarily obstructing Mike Gellatly's view as it lifted the front of Witch Doctor up before dropping it. However, Sam McAmis left Gruff's rear exposed and Witch Doctor slammed into its back panel, following this up with a vicious slam into the housing for the screws. Gruff retaliated by hoisting Witch Doctor slightly, but the 2-0 bot escaped and immediately went back on the offensive.
"Shaky driving by Gruff. Sam has got to stay squared up..."
— Kenny Florian as Gruff starts on the back foot

Gruff Witch Doctor WC VII short corner

Witch Doctor tosses Gruff over.

Witch Doctor looked to keep Gruff against the rails, dealing several minor blows to its front and then tearing into its side again. By this point, Gruff's left side armor was showing visible damage and one of its forks had bent inward. Sensing a weakness in its opponent, Witch Doctor grinded its single disk against Gruff's armor before driving it into the rails, flipping it over and with the follow-up attack, throwing it into the screws. The Gellatlys pressed on, getting to the front of Gruff again and catching it against the rail. This hit saw Gruff thrown high into the air, landing upside-down and in the short corner.

Gruff Witch Doctor WC VII

Witch Doctor ruptures Gruff's fuel tank.

Gruff righted itself against the Upper Deck, but became a sitting duck as Witch Doctor charged into its side, rupturing a fuel tank and causing an explosion within Gruff. Still ablaze, Gruff began shooting fire sideways and Witch Doctor continued its assault, launching Sam McAmis' bot into the air several more times and eventually finding itself on the Upper Deck.
Kenny Florian: "That was a dismantling!"
Chris Rose: "Un-be-lievable!"
— Chris and Kenny react to Witch Doctor's dominant win
Gruff KO vs Witch Doctor WC VII

Gruff immobile on the Upper Deck.

After a series of devastating shots, Gruff lay inverted atop the Upper Deck, still on fire as a result of its damaged fuel tank. With just over half the match gone, referee John Remar mercifully counted out Gruff, confirming its 1-2 record. Post-match, Trey Roski had to extinguish the beaten machine.

Gruff vs. Malice

Last up for Gruff was Bunny Liaw and Malice, who sat at a 2-1 record after winning the first Appeal in BattleBots history. Due to the extensive damage it suffered in its previous match, Gruff had to undergo a near-total rebuild, raising some questions about its reputation for durability. For the fight, Gruff reinforced its front wedge with an additional plow, as well as strengthening the lifting arms in order to use them as a clamp and burn up Malice.
"Our plan is to stop their weapon, or even if we don't stop their weapon, grab a hold of them and torch 'em."
— Sam McAmis outlines the strategy for facing Malice before the battle begins

Malice Gruff WCVII

Gruff gets underneath Malice.

When the fight got underway, Gruff moved towards the center of the box cautiously, keeping its nose pointed towards the horizontal spinner. As Malice moved in closer, Gruff's flamethrower came to life, showering its foe with sparks and heat. However, Gruff accidentally exposed its back while trying to push Malice around, allowing the horizontal spinner to land a few hits to the rear and sides. However, Gruff was able to regain control, getting under Malice and slamming it into the wall.

Gruff Malice WCVII 2

Gruff takes Malice to the Upper Deck.

With the spinner bot in its grasp, Gruff charged towards the Upper Deck, pinning Malice and turning up the flamethrower yet again. After several seconds of roasting, the lifter bot rammed Malice into the screws, forcing it on top of the Upper Deck. Unfortunately, Gruff was unable to capitalize, allowing Malice to slip away and get spun up. When the two collided again, Sam McAmis's bot suffered a major blow which caused major drive problems on the front left side.
"Gruff, having trouble with its mobility, just spinning in circles here!"
— Chris Rose points out Gruff's drive issues

Malice Gruff KO WCVII

Gruff finds itself immobile in the corner.

While Gruff struggled to move away from the arena walls, Malice backed away, getting its weapon up to speed. The lifter bot attempted to turn and face them, but was slammed from the side by a brutal shot. With its underside visibly twisted and suspended off the ground, Gruff flailed its lifter in an attempt to regain some kind of mobility. However, this was not enough to convince referee John Remar, who began his countdown. Unable to move anymore, the fiery lifter was declared the loser by knockout at 1:30, leaving it with a 1-3 overall record and all but extinguishing its hopes of a tournament seed.

Gruff vs. Slammo! (Exhibition)

Gruff hammer

Gruff being fitted with its spiked hammer.

Gruff also took on World Championship VII alternate Slammo! in an exhibition fight which formed part of Vengeance in Vegas II. The team debuted an experimental hammer weapon for this battle.

Gruff vs Slammo VIV2 1

Gruff drives Slammo! to the pulverizer.

As Gruff approached, Slammo! struggled to exit its starting square but was able to escape as Sam McAmis' bot threatened with its flamethrowers. Gruff got underneath Slammo!'s front wedges and fired its hammer, striking the front of Craig Danby's machine. Slammo! attempted to grab the left fork of Gruff in retaliation, but lacked leverage and had to let go.

Gruff vs Slammo VIV2 2

Gruff scorches Slammo! as its snapped drive chain lies on the floor.

With Slammo! on the back foot, Gruff shoved near and then under one of the pulverizers. Gruff continued to attack Slammo! with its hammer and flamethrowers as it dodged hits from the BattleBox hazard. The fight moved to the middle of the arena where Gruff continued to land hits upon Slammo!. The alternate lost one of its drive chains during these exchanges, severely affecting its ability to drive in a straight line.

Gruff vs Slammo VIV2 3

Gruff grabs and torches Slammo!.

After a few missed swings, Gruff charged at Slammo! and slammed its opponent into the screws, pinning it and striking it for a few seconds. Gruff then got another pin and hit Slammo!'s wedgelets. Gruff then got a hold of Slammo! with its hammer and used both its weapons in tandem, roasting Slammo! until releasing near the Upper Deck.

The dominant Gruff remained aggressive and strike the top of Slammo!. Towards the end of the fight, Slammo! pinned Gruff in one of the short corners of the Upper Deck, but both robots survived the full three minutes. Gruff won the exhibition by unanimous judges' decision.

BattleBots: Champions II[]

Gruff vs. Monsoon

Gruff returned for BattleBots: Champions II and fought Monsoon in the first round of the final Sin City Slugfest bracket.
"We've both got forks... I think that we've got a little bit of reach on them though, so I think we can grab a hold of their drive pods, get a hold of 'em and burn 'em that way."
— Sam McAmis on his team's tactics

Gruff Monsoon BB Champs II teaser

Monsoon is kept at bay by Gruff's flamethrowers.

Both robots were fast out of their starting squares and Monsoon got its weapon up to speed while Gruff ignited its flamethrowers. Monsoon attacked head on and Gruff lifted its forks in retaliation, but failed to gain purchase on the British bot.

Monsoon Gruff BB Champs II

Gruff and Monsoon become entangled.

However, on its second attempt, Gruff snagged part of Monsoon and hoisted it in the air, acrobatically throwing itself over in the process.
"What a lift by Gruff, that was beautiful!"
— Kenny Florian

Monsoon landed near the Upper Deck and quickly retaliated, striking Gruff and flipping it over before following this up with an attack which threw it toward the screws. Gruff's lifter was now snagged in the hazard and Tom Brewster's team capitalized, popping Gruff into the air vertically as it did not immediately self-right. Still inverted, Monsoon targeted the exposed rear of Gruff, throwing it into the air and onto the screw housing.

Gruff KO smoking Monsoon BB Champs II

Gruff emits smoke.

Gruff was now smoking, and this became more severe as Monsoon delivered glancing blows to its side, igniting a fire and darker smoke to plume from Sam McAmis' machine.

Gruff KO Monsoon BB Champs II

Gruff inverted and smoking.

Monsoon took the win by knockout and Gruff's run in BattleBots: Champions II came to an abrupt end.


World Championship IV
Fight Nights
1-2, Desperado Tournament, Quarter-Finals
Fight Night #1 - Rumble vs. Gemini, Marvin Won (JD)
Fight Night #2 vs. Copperhead Lost (Split JD)
Desperado Tournament, Quarter-Final vs. End Game (4) Lost (KO)
Fight Night #3 vs. Tombstone Lost (JD)
Exhibition Matches
Exhibition Match vs. Railgun MAX Won (KO)
World Championship V
Fight Nights
Fight Night #1 - Main Event vs. HyperShock Won (KO)
Fight Night #2 - Main Event vs. Whiplash Lost (JD)
Fight Night #3 vs. Extinguisher Lost (KO)
World Championship Tournament
#31 Seed, Round of 32
Round of 32 vs. Bloodsport (2) Lost (Split JD)
BattleBots: Bounty Hunters
Bounty Hunters - Tombstone Bounty
Bounty Match
Quarter-Final vs. Gemini Won (KO)
Semi-Final vs. Deadlift Won (KO)
Final vs. Kraken Won (JD)
Bounty Match vs. Tombstone Lost (KO)
World Championship VI
Fight Nights
Fight Night #1 vs. Switchback Won (KO)
Fight Night #2 vs. Hydra Lost (KO)
Fight Night #3 vs. Cobalt Lost (KO)
BattleBots: Champions I
Sin City Slugfest III
Quarter-Final vs. Glitch Lost (JD)
World Championship VII
Fight Nights
Fight Night #1 vs. RIPperoni Won (JD)
Fight Night #2 vs. Quantum Lost (KO)
Fight Night #3 vs. Witch Doctor Lost (KO)
Fight Night #4 vs. Malice Lost (KO)
Exhibition Matches
Exhibition Match vs. Slammo! Won (JD)
BattleBots: Champions II
Sin City Slugfest V
Quarter-Final vs. Monsoon Lost (KO)

Competitive Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 7
  • Losses: 14

Exhibition Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 0

Total Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 9
  • Losses: 14
Competition Wins Losses
World Championship IV Marvin and Gemini (Undercard Rumble)
Railgun MAX (Grudge Match)
Copperhead (Undercard Match)
End Game (Desperado Tournament)
Tombstone (Undercard Match)
World Championship V HyperShock (Main Event/Undercard Match) Whiplash (Main Event/Undercard Match)
Extinguisher (Undercard Match)
BattleBots: Bounty Hunters Gemini
World Championship VI Switchback (Undercard Match) Hydra (Undercard Match)
Cobalt (Undercard Match)
BattleBots: Champions I None Glitch
World Championship VII RIPperoni (Undercard Match)
Slammo! (Exhibition Match)
Quantum (Undercard Match)
Witch Doctor (Undercard Match)
Malice (Undercard Match)
BattleBots: Champions II None Monsoon

Faruq Tauheed Introductions[]

"This bot would make a terrible librarian because when it tries to shush you, it spits out flames. And you can't have fire around books, duh. Here's GRUFF!"

"This bot's got the biggest flame of all. It'll light you up like methanol. It's going to melt you like a crayon in the dryer, like a cheese stick in the deep fryer, and there's nothing you can fon-do. GRUFF!"

"This bot will melt you like Philly cheese steak. And for dessert, it'll turn you into chocolate lava cake. It's GRUFF!"

"This bot will burn you worse than Gordon Ramsay. Kids, don't fry this at home. It's got you on blast with a flame that will make you insane, so you better watch your ash. It's GRUFF!"

"This bot's ready to spice you up. You better curry cause it's cumin for ya. When you're outta time, it'll say par-slay ya later. Here to bring the flavor, it's GRUFF!"

"After his 'bout with Tombstone last year, fans started to talk and he became the people's champ, just like The Rock. This year, the Giant Nut is the only place he's looking if you smell what GRUFF is cooking!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida, he breathes fire and has giant forks. Haha, now it's time for a barbecue! Give it up for GRUFF!"

"This bot is named after a kid's book that's pretty legendary. Oh, the places you'll go, like inside the cemetery. Going against him, you're definitely going to perish. You must have one fish, two fish, bluefish, death wish. Give it up for GRUFF!"

"His parents always said that this bot played too rough. It killed all the bots at summer camp but being away from home is tough. It played Killer Kumbaya and ate sacrificial s'mores, but it was hard to play tetherball when the bots were tethered to the floor. Grenading Camp Granada, it's GRUFF!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida, more temperamental than a police captain who's getting too old for this stuff, it's GRUFF!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida, all killer, no fluff, it's GRUFF!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida, you're about to get snuffed. It's GRUFF!"

"You think that you're tough? You haven't met Gruff. It's all menace, no fluff. This bot's got the stuff. You'll be saying, 'Stop, that enough!' 'Cause you're about to get snuffed. Give it up for GRUFF!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida, the bot who breathes fire and will make you retire, it's GRUFF!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida, might as well call him Die-lan because he spits hot fire. You're getting too close, mon, to GRUFF!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida, what he lacks in manners he makes up for in having a big-ass flamethrower. It's GRUFF!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida, offering free cremations boxed on, it's GRUFF!"

"From Palm Harbor, Florida. If you can't take the heat, get out of his face. It's GRUFF!"

See Also[]


  • At 3000°F, Gruff's flamethrowers reach a higher temperature than any other weapon in BattleBots history as of its debut season.
  • The bot's name was inspired by the fictional tale Billy Goats Gruff, as well as team member Sam McAmis having been around goats since childhood.
  • In the Facebook Supporter reveals ahead of World Championship IV, Gruff was revealed under the name 'Gruff the Mighty Dragon'.[1]