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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 41 - Ida Hansson vs. Luanna Alzuguir - Europeans 2013

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

After a month break, welcome back to another edition of Match of the Week. This week's match is Ida Hansson vs. Luanna Alzuguir from the 2013 Europeans. 

Ida Hansson is a black belt under Leo Vieira and represents team Checkmat. Ida is the first ever Swedish female black belt and is one of the best competitors of her generation, taking medals at many of our sports most prestigious competitions at both the lower belts and black belt. Her academy, Arte Suave (Checkmat Denmark) is seen to be one of the best academies in Europe.

Ida is a three time European Champion (2012 black, 2011 brown/black, 2008 blue), a two time Brazilian National Champion (2011 weight & absolute brown/black), and a one-time Rio Open Champion (2010 brown/black) and ADCC European Trials Winner (2011). She is also a three time European Silver Medalist (2013 black, 2010 brown/black, 2009 purple), and a two time World (2011 brown/black, 2009 purple) and Rio Open Silver Medalist (2011, 2010 brown/black).

Half guard is a position where Ida is very comfortable. In fact, she often sets up quite a lot of her sweeps and attacks from that position. Her passing is also equally as good. She uses a tremendous amount of pressure whilst she passes the guard, especially from the knee slide position. Looking at submissions, her favourite submission, without question is the armbar. Whilst going through her matches, I noticed she finished a lot of them by armbar. 

Ida Hansson

Luanna Alzuguir is a black belt under Marco Barbosa and is a member of Alliance (formerly with Barbosa Jiu-Jitsu). Luanna is one of the best and most dominant competitors in the female lightweight division today. As a result, she holds many major titles to her name. 

Luanna has had great success in competition at the black belt level. She is a five time World Champion (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 absolute, 2009), a three time Abu Dhabi World Pro Champion (2012, 2011, 2010), a two time European (2011 weight & absolute) and CBJJE World Cup Champion (2007 weight & absolute), and a one-time ADCC (2009) and Pan American Champion (2011).

The open guard is Luanna's favourite guard of choice. She is excellent from that position and flawlessly sets up sweeps and transitions to submissions. She doesn't seem to have one particular favourite submission, but she does seem to have a little bit of a preference for triangle, something which she sets up great from the open guard position. 

Luanna Alzuguir
Luanna shows some nice open guard work at the start of this match and then starts to work a guard pass to almost take Ida's back. Equally, Ida tries to work some of her signature passing style with some very nice transitions on display. The last third of the match is tied up in the 50/50, which I personally don't mind, but the match DOES end in a submission!

The videos of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 40 - Leo Vieira vs. Mark Kerr - ADCC 2000

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Welcome to the 40th edition of Match of the Week! This week's match is Leo Vieira vs. Mark Kerr from absolute division of ADCC 2000. 

Leonardo Vieira (commonly known as simply Leo Vieira) is a true legend in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. He is a black belt under Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti, and is the co-founder of both Brasa and Checkmat BJJ. He is also the instructor to some of today's finest talents such as Marcus "Bucheca" Almeida, Joao Assis, and Lucas Leite.

Over is long competition career, Leo has formed an impressive competition record. He is a two time ADCC (2005, 2003) and Pan American Champion (2004, 2002), and a one time World (1999) and Brazilian National Champion (1998). He is also a two time ADCC silver medalist (2011, 2007), and a one time World silver (1997) and bronze (2000) medalist.

Leo is well known for his guard passing and back takes. For his time, Leo had quite a unique and flamboyant style of grappling. Often executing cartwheel style guard passes and taking his opponents back by initiating a forward roll whilst in the turtle position, this has since become known as simply the Leo Vieira back take. 

Leo Vieira

Mark Kerr is probably best known for his MMA career and is commonly recognised by his nickname, 'The Smashing Machine'. He is a former NCAA Division I wrestler and has competed in MMA organisations such as the UFC and PRIDE FC. Throughout his grappling career, Mark has had victories over the likes of Rigan Machado, Mario Sperry, and Ricardo Almeida.

Despite not holding a rank in Jiu-Jitsu, Mark has done very well in submission grappling. He is a three time ADCC Champion (1999, 2000 weight & absolute) and a one-time ADCC Superfight Champion (2001 - defeating Mario Sperry). Besides this, he is also a two time UFC tournament winner (UFC 14 & 15) and a one-time NCAA Division I Collegiate Champion (1992).

Unsurprisingly, Mark isn't a guard player. I don't actually think he knows the meaning of the word. He is a top player through and through. Double and single legs are his specialty, and he flawlessly executes them even against some of the best grapplers in the world at the time. In terms of submissions, looking at both his grappling and MMA career, Mark seems to have a preference for the kimura in particular.

Mark Kerr

The size difference in this match is incredible! Leo Vieira weighs 74kg and Mark Kerr weighs 115kg! Damn! It is a David vs. Goliath type match, but sometimes Goliath does win. The strength of Mark Kerr is undoubtable, but his technique is also solid. On multiple occasions, Kerr scores takedowns on Vieira. However, Leo really does a great job of defending throughout the entire match. 

The videos of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)


(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Update (16/07/15) - Tim Spriggs Interview, Future Articles & DVD Reviews

What's up, people? I haven't done one of these update posts in a while, so I thought I would quickly throw one together. 

Since I last did one of these, I have got myself a job, and juggling that with training and everything else has been a little difficult from a blogging perspective. That is why I haven't been as active over the last two months. 

However, I have recently made a conscious effort to turn that around and I have been hard at work writing lots of things and planning them for future posts. Here are a few of them:
  • Heel Hooks in BJJ
  • Whipping in BJJ
  • Is the Berimbolo Ruining Jiu-Jitsu?
  • Gui Mendes Tribute (due to his retirement)
  • A series on BJJ rivalries (a few examples below) 
    • Keenan vs. Miyao
    • Roger vs. Jacare
    • Roger vs. Xande
Some of them you may recognise, as I have brought them up previously, and they have been in the can for a while now. The Gui Mendes one may be a little out of date, but I still think it would be a cool idea to do a little tribute to him and feature some of my favourite matches from his career. 

The article titled, 'Is the Berimbolo Ruining Jiu-Jitsu?' is basically a follow up on an article I did back in March of 2014 about the 50/50. It would feature a similar concept, but obviously would be about the berimbolo, a technique which most people let’s just say are not happy with in the BJJ community. 

The BJJ rivalries are actually something I have been considering doing since I started blogging. I will cover all the matches from their rivalries and provide videos from each of them. That's actually a pretty cool idea because I can make it a weekly thing and not just simply a one off thing. 

Lately, I've also been watching a few instructional DVD's, so I might possibly do a few reviews on some of them. The new DVD from Michael Liera Jr. about the de la riva guard I must say I was very impressed by, so I may cover that in the up and coming weeks.

It has been confirmed that my next interview will be Team Lloyd Irvin beast, Tim Spriggs. So shortly, I will be writing questions so I can send them off to him. I'm really looking forward to this one because I have a lot of question which I am dying to ask him, so I think it's going to be very interesting. 

Also, I think I will start writing these update posts more regular because the more I write, regardless of what it is, the more I feel encouraged to write. So, expect some more update posts in the near future. 

That is really everything I have to say this time around. Before we draw to a close, I just want to say thank you for busybodies continued support with this blog, and especially for all the support on Mondays Match of the Week. It had over 2000 view in 18 hours, making it the second most popular match to date. Thanks!

Catch you later,

Giordano 
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Monday, 13 July 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 39 - Jason 'Mayhem' Miller vs. Saulo Ribeiro - 2005 Grapplers Quest North American Championships

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Match of the Week. This week is Jason 'Mayhem' Miller vs. Saulo Ribeiro from the 2005 Grapplers Quest North American Championships.

Jason 'Mayhem' Miller is a black belt under Rafael Cordeiro and represents Kings MMA. Jason is best known for his MMA career having fought in promotions such as the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce and DREAM. He holds victories over prominent fighters such Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy, and even a submission victory over Kazushi Sakuraba.

In terms of competition, Jason has no major victories to his name in the Gi, but in NoGi, he is a three time Grapplers Quest Champion (2004, 2003, 2001). His 2003 championship was the Best in the West Grapplers Quest Championship which is one of their biggest competitions. 

Over half of Jason's wins in MMA have come via submission. He seems to have a preference for both the rear naked and arm-triangle choke as I can tell from watching some of his matches and looking at his MMA record. I don't really like to use the phrase 'MMA style' but in this instance I think it fits perfectly. Jason likes to shoot for singles and doubles, and enjoys the scramble.

Jason 'Mayhem' Miller

Saulo Ribeiro is a true legend in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. He is a 4th degree black belt under Royler Gracie and is also a black belt in Judo. Saulo is the older brother of two time absolute World Champion, Xande Ribeiro. After a long and impressive career in Jiu-Jitsu, Saulo was inducted into the IBJJF Hall of Fame in 2012. 

It’s no surprise to find out that Saulo has won numerous major titles throughout his long career in our sport. He is a five time World Champion (2002, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997), a four time World Masters and Seniors Champion (2013 weight & absolute, 2012 weight & absolute), a three time Brazilian National Champion (1998 weight & absolute, 1996), a two time ADCC (2003, 2000) and Pan American Champion (1998 weight & absolute), and a one-time World NoGi Champion (2008). 

Having a black belt in Judo, it’s not really a surprise that Saulo is known for his throws and takedowns. One takedown he uses frequently throughout his matches is the Kouchi Gari, but he also uses both single and double leg takedowns, especially in NoGi. For the most part, Saulo is a top player. Obviously, at the level that he is, his guard is very good also, but he seems to prefer the top game. The choke from the mount is a favourite submission of Saulo's.

Saulo Ribeiro

I actually only stumbled across this match a few days ago. I like enough to make it this week’s match. I was honestly surprised on how good Jason did against a veteran such as Saulo. It wasn't even one sided, it back and forth. At the end, Jason is even close to taking Saulo's back.  

There is actually very little footage of this match, and as far as I am aware this is only the recording which exists. It is not the entire match, but instead is an edited version by Grapplers Quest which shows all the action in the match and cuts out all the filler. Also, the link I provide for mobile viewers is not a YouTube link but instead is a link to a Facebook video. 

The video of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 38 - Fernando 'Tererê' Augusto vs. Fabricio Werdum - Worlds 2004

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Match of the Week. This week is Fernando 'Tererê' Augusto vs. Fabricio Werdum from the super heavyweight finals of the 2004 World Championships. 

Fernando Augusto, better known in the BJJ community as 'Tererê', is a black belt under Alexandre Paiva and represents the Alliance team. Tererê is one of the greatest competitors to have ever graced the mats and was once seen by many to be the pound for pound best in the world during the early 2000's. He was also head of the TT team along with Eduardo Telles, and produced many of today's top talent such as André Galvão, Rubens 'Cobrinha' Charles, Lucas Lepri and Michael Langhi.

Tererê is a six time World Champion (2003, 2000 black, 1999 brown, 1998 purple weight & absolute, 1997 blue), a three time Brazilian National Champion (2003, 2001 weight & absolute), a two time World Cup Champion (2003, 2002) and a one-time Pan American Champion (2004). He is also a two time World silver medalist (2004, 2001) and a one-time Pan American silver medalist (2004 absolute). 

It's Tererê's style of Jiu-Jitsu which has made him one of the most exciting fighters to watch. He is known for his flashy, yet super technical style of BJJ. Tererê is become quite synonymous for his guard passing over the years, along with his takedowns. This is not to say Tererê is not a guard player, but his passing is definitely his strength. 

Fernando 'Tererê' Augusto

Fabricio Werdum is a black belt under Sylvio Behring and represents his own team, Werdum Combat Team. Fabricio is best known today for his MMA career, most notably for defeating Fedor Emelianenko back in 2010, breaking his almost 10 year winning streak. As of today, Fabricio is one of the pound for pound best MMA fighters in the world, and is the current UFC Heavyweight Champion. 

Putting his MMA credentials aside, Fabricio has also done very well in BJJ and submission grappling competitions. He is a four time World (2004, 2003 black, 2000 blue weight & absolute) and Pan American Champion (2002 brown, 2001 purple weight & absolute, 2000), and a two time ADCC Champion (2007, 2009). He is also a two time ADCC silver (2011, 2003) and bronze medalist (2005, 2003 absolute). 

Fabricio is well rounded as a grappler, but seems to prefer playing from bottom. In particular, Fabricio uses the butterfly guard to great effect to sweep his opponents, often sweeping straight to the mount. In terms of submissions, Fabricio obtains the majority of his victories by armbar and also by the triangle.

Fabricio Werdum

This match is a classic! The fact that this is the super heavyweight final and Tererê normally competes at middleweight (that's is three weight classes up) makes it even better. I'll shut up now and leave the match do the talking. 

The videos of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)


(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Metamoris 6 Review - Part 2

During part 1 of this review, I gave my thoughts on all of the matches (both preliminary and main card) and I also gave some recommendations for matches I would like to see in future Metamoris events. If you haven't already read part 1, then you can find it HERE

In this part, I'll be talking about all the other stuff such as the stream, production, price etc. I will also talk about stuff which I liked and stuff I thought could have been done better.

Let’s get into this.


Stream

This was actually the first time I purchased Metamoris, and I have heard about a lot of people who suffer with stream issues during every Metamoris event. I've heard horror stories about people's picture freezing, audio issues, ridiculously slow buffer times, and even in some cases being signed out from the stream and not being let back in. 

Personally, I had no problems with my stream. The only thing I had was it stopped and buffered for about one second during Clark Gracie's match, but that was literally it. Both the quality of the picture and the audio was perfect in my case. 

I've never really had problems with any Jiu-Jitsu event I've ever streamed, however. In the past, I have streamed Copa Podio (May 2013), the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo (November 2013), and Polaris (January 2015) and they were equally as great. I thought the visuals for Metamoris were slightly better though. 

Price

The price I paid for the stream was $29.95 (which is approximately £19). This also included an additional 30 days’ worth of replays. Personally, I didn't watch it again after I first watched it, but I thought it was a great touch.

I had no problems with the price either. I paid £15 for Polaris back in January, so and extra £4 was not an issue for an event like this I think. 

Production

In terms of production, it was another outstanding performance from Metamoris. Honestly, the production of this event was second to none! It was very professional in the way it was shot, with the use of excellent camera angles and lighting. Also, all the replays were put over great, on par with any professional sport broadcast.

For the audio, this was equally as good. There was no cracking or hissing coming through the audio, and you could everything in which the commentators were saying. 

Whilst we’re talking about the commentators, I found the configuration a little bit strange. You had the main three commentators, Bas Rutten, Jeff Glover, and Rener Gracie (he disappeared sometimes), and every now again Keenan Cornelius, Xande  Ribeiro or one of the other athletes would come in for a bit and give their guest commentary for a while and sometimes would interchange with each other. I thought it was a cool idea on paper, but in reality, I felt it came across a little sloppy. 

Another thing on the commentators, I'm a big fan of Bas Rutten, but I don't think personally he was right for the position. I can see why they would pick him, as he is a familiar face to MMA fans and that seems to be an avenue in which Metamoris is going, but I don't think he knew enough purely about Gi Jiu-Jitsu. In that area, sometimes it felt as if he was a little bit lost, so I think somebody other than Bas would be better next time.

Also, Metamoris did actually feel like a special event. Everything from the promo clips before the start of every match, to the announcer, to the arena, to the people playing the drums, it all added up to a very special experience. When you were watching, it felt like you were watching a real professional sport event, and not just another Jiu-Jitsu stream. I think that is something everybody else fails to do apart from Metamoris.   

Improvements

Crowd 

This was one of the more noticeable things from the night. I just don't really understand why they did it. To shut the event off from media is one thing, but from the fans? The hundreds to thousands of people who are willing to pay to watch and provide so much energy to the event as a whole? I just didn't really get it. I still don't in all honesty.

In short, for the next Metamoris event, have it open to the fans. 

The Rules/Draws

When you hear people talk about Metamoris, this is something which comes up every time. Everybody seems to have the 'perfect' set of rules which will improve the event for spectators, but really, it's impossible to say. Under any set of rules a match can be boring, but I guess it's finding the right balance which is the issue. Creating a set of rules which makes it both exciting for BJJ and non-BJJ practitioners. 

The obvious way would be to make the matches no time limit, but this is obviously impossible, due to time constraints, and again, trying to keep the matches exciting. I think an overtime system would be a good thing to have. So if there is no submission, by the end of the 20 minutes, then they will fight again for an additional 5 or 10 minutes. 

Okay, so let’s talk about draws. The fact is... NO ONE likes to see a draw! Everybody wants to see a clear winner and a loser. It's as simple as that. 

I know they had judge’s decisions for Metamoris 2, but that created a whole other world of problems with people fighting to get a decision victory rather than a submission. It’s hard to find a solution to this problem, but there needs to be more incentive for the fighters to go for the submission. Whether that be financially or whatever, but there needs to be something in place because too many times you see people out there who just want to go the distance and not get the submission. 

Final Words

I don't want anybody to think from my last paragraph that I didn't enjoy Metamoris. In fact, I had a total blast. I thought it was a great show, but I just would like to see them change a few things, especially with rules, and listen to the fans more.

I look forward to the next show.  
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Monday, 22 June 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 37 - Ryron Gracie vs. Cassio Werneck - World Grappling Games 4 (2004)

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Match of the Week. This week is Ryron Gracie vs. Cassio Werneck from the World Grappling Games 4 which took place back in 2004.

Ryron Gracie is a black belt under Helio Gracie and represents the Gracie Academy. Ryron is the eldest son of UFC founder, Rorion Gracie and grandson of Grandmaster Helio Gracie. Over the past few years, Ryron has become quite familiar to both the BJJ and MMA world due to the Gracie Breakdown series on YouTube where he and his younger brother, Rener, breakdown techniques used in UFC and other prominent MMA fights. Today, Ryron is also one of head instructors of the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California.

In terms of competition results, Ryron has very few. This is mostly due to his thoughts on the points system which is used in the majority of sport Jiu-Jitsu competitions. Recently, he has competed in submission only events such as Metamoris demonstrating his rather unique strategy. However, he is in fact a one-time United Gracie (2001), Gracie International Open, and Gracie Worlds Champion (2012). 

Due to his lack of competition, it's kind of hard to comment on Ryron's style of Jiu-Jitsu, as well as his favourite techniques. From what I have seen however, his supreme ability and technique is undeniable. His knowledge is incredible and he seems to be comfortable from virtually any position, whether it be a good or bad spot. 

Source: ProElite

Cassio Werneck is a black belt under Ricardo Reis and currently fights for his own team, Cassio Werneck BJJ, but previously represented Brazilian Top Team (BTT) and the Oswaldo Alves Academy. Cassio is one of the best black belts of the early 2000's. He has fought many legends of our sport including Marcelo Garcia, Tererê, and Marcel Louzado. 

Over the years, especially in the late 90's, early 00's, Cassio had great success in competition. He is a three time Pan American Champion (2003, 1998 & 1997 brown) and a one time World (2003) and CBJJO Brazilian Cup Champion (2002). He is also a three time Pan American bronze medalist (2004, 2001, 2000), a two time Brazilian National bronze medalist (1999, 1998 brown), and a two time World silver medalist (2004, 1997 brown). 

Cassio is very well rounded in his game. He doesn't really have a set game as such. However, when I observed some of his matches, he did seem to like the muscle sweep off his opponent standing, the triangle, and various sweeps from the butterfly guard. When the match started, he almost seemed quite comfortable in his takedown ability. 


Cassio Werneck

At this point in Match of the Week, I typically give a brief summary of the match without trying to give away the result. Not today, however. I thought that it would be good if you just watch the match without any prior introduction. So enjoy! I'm sure you thoroughly will. 

The video of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Saturday, 13 June 2015

Metamoris 6 Review - Part 1

Last month (better late than never!) I watched Metamoris 6 via their PPV livestream on their website. This is actually the first time I have ever watched one of their events live. I didn't watch any of their previous events mostly due to the time difference, but I thought I would put sleep deprivation aside in this instance. 


I will conduct this review just like I did with my Polaris review back in January. The review will be split into two parts. The first part will cover only the matches and at the end I will give my suggestions for future matches I would like to see. 

In part two I will cover things such as the stream, the production, the rules, the price etc. I will also comment on anything I thought could have been done better and any adjustments I would make. 

There were in total eight matches that night. Two matches were on the prelims and six were on the main card. I will cover all of them in this review. 

Without further ado, let's jump straight into this!

Metamoris 6 Prelims

Michael Liera Jr. vs. Morgan Neidlinger

I'm glad that Metamoris is starting to showcase some great young talents. I'm a big fan of Michael Liera Jr. and his game, so I was very happy to see him be added to the card on a very late notice.

I must say that I had never heard of Morgan Neidlinger prior to this event. He is a black belt under Kron Gracie, so I knew that he must be pretty good. 

I think this match was an excellent way to kick of the event. The quality of Jiu-Jitsu on display in this match was great. 

Michael really displayed how good of a guard player he is. He started off with the closed guard and transitioned to de la riva and spider guard. Along the way setting up multiple omoplata, triangle and sweep attempts. 

Morgan's defense was excellent, however. He gave Michael a very hard time all the way through the match, escaping from a handful of really bad spots. But Michael really dictated the pace of the match all the way through and Morgan never really had many opportunities to get going. 

The match ended in a 'draw', but Michael was the clear winner in this match. 

Francisco 'Sinistro' Iturralde vs. Greg McIntyre via submission armbar

Again, another great match to kick of the show before the start of the main card. Sinistro did a tremendous job against a very experienced competitor. 

All the way through the match, Sinistro made everything look so easy and smooth. He was constantly attacking and transitioning all the way through the match. Greg was never really much in it to be honest. Just like Neidlinger, he never got a chance to get going. 

Sinistro gets Greg right off the bat with a triangle, waits for his opportunity and transitions into an omoplata. Although, Greg does a good job of defending the omoplata, he gives Sinistro the chance to attack a reverse armbar, before switching to a standard armbar to get the victory at around four minutes into the match. 

The first submission of the night and an awesome one!

Main Card

Jimmy Friedrich vs. Evandro Nunes

This is actually a rematch, which I was surprised to find out whilst watching. The two fought previously in a submission only match with no time limit and Jimmy was victorious in that encounter with the match lasting over an hour!

Of course, Evandro was a replacement for Jeff Monson at the very last minute. Jimmy was the winner of The Road to Metamoris show and won the chance to face Jeff Monson. 

After you saw how the match was going after the first five minutes or so, you just knew it wasn't going to end by submission. Don't get me wrong, there were lots of submission attempts, and Jimmy endlessly went for the heelhook over and over again. 

Honestly, I couldn't wait for this match to be over. 

Clark Gracie vs. Roberto Satoshi

I thought this match had the potential to be the match of the night. It wasn't, but I certainly enjoyed it. 

Both of the competitors are super technical with excellent guard work, passing and submission attempts from both. 

A lot of nice de la riva guard work from Clark in this match which I enjoyed. Satoshi showing his guard passing skills with some lovely near x and torreando passes. Clark also had an omoplata attempt before the restart.

Once they restart on the feet, Satoshi attempts a flying triangle which was pretty cool. From here it was really the same as explained above with Clark in de la riva and Satoshi attempting to pass. There were a few signature omoplata attempts by Clark thrown in the mix there but nothing much different. 

Xande Ribeiro vs. Keenan Cornelius

I remember when I first saw Keenan vs. Xande in Copa Podio back in January of 2013. Man, I so wanted Keenan to win that match! To be the best brown belt in the world and to take down a legend would have been phenomenal. Sadly, Keenan didn't win that match, but the hype behind it at the time was unreal. 

However, I knew this time it wouldn't be the same. The fact that it is no points and no time limit is the obvious reason, and also Keenan is not as much of an underdog anymore. I still thought it was one of the best matches on the card though. 

I found Keenan's use of the worm guard with Xande's belt very interesting. He almost swept him and made a transition to the back as well. 

Keenan's passing in this match was great. Xande is notorious for never getting his guard passed, but on a few occasions, it looked like that might have been possible. Throughout the match, Keenan used the long step pass and at one point almost gets Xande in a leg drag. 

I thought Keenan would have got the armbar at one point, but the experience of Xande is second to none. 

For me personally, Keenan won. Technically it is considered a 'draw' but he really did the majority of attacking in the match. Even though I enjoyed the match I would still love to see it in a match under IBJJF rules. 

Dillon Danis vs. Joe Lauzon via submission by D'arce choke

Personally, this was my favourite match of the night. I've been a fan of Dillon since I saw him dominate at the Pan Ams in 2014. I thought eventually he would submit him, but never in fashion like he did. 

Joe Lauzon is an excellent grappler in his own right, and has tons of experience. However, Dillon made it look so easy.  

He instantaneously shoots for a heel hook but is unsuccessful, then catches him in a guillotine off Lauzon trying to pass. Dillon transitions to the back and locks in the body triangle. Joe is hand fighting with him and prevents Dillon from getting the choke. After 2-3 minutes, Dillon lets go and works the pass before getting the d'arce choke.  

Super slick work by Dillon Danis! Definitely one to look out for in the black belt division over the next year.  

Chael Sonnen vs. Renato "Babalu" Sobral

I thought it was a little weird putting an MMA vs. MMA together when I first heard about it. I could see why they would do a BJJ vs. MMA type match, because it's a cool concept. I don't know why they put this one together though. I would have preferred it if either of them competed against a BJJ competitor. 

To put it bluntly, this match was so boring! The entire match was just Chael in Babalu's guard. Now and again Babalu attempted a kimura, but nothing ever came of any of them. It just seemed like Chael wasn't even trying to pass the guard. It looked like he was sitting there hoping that his guard would magically open so he could start to pass.

It may simply be just a clash of styles, but whatever it was, it made for a terrible match. The worst match of night in my opinion.    

Josh Barnett vs. Ryron Gracie

Wow! I was shocked at this one. I really didn't think that Josh would dominate Ryron, never mind submit him. Holy s***!

It was a little bit slow on the feet at the very beginning. They didn't actually get to the ground until 3.5 minutes into the fight. Once they hit the ground, it's still a little slow with Barnett really using his size and weight advantage to good use by completely smothering Gracie with incredible pressure!

Barnett is in Ryron's half guard for a while and on a few occasions passes to side control put Ryron quickly brings him back to half guard. Off an attempt to transition to mount by Barnett, Gracie escapes to a single leg x-guard position. I thought Ryron would have attempted a heel hook or straight ankle lock here, but Barnett just pushes his legs down like they're nothing and we're back to half guard again.  

It's not long and Ryron gets Josh into his closed guard. He tries to bring his guard up high but he has little success with it and struggles to break Josh's posture. 

Once Josh breaks open Ryron's guard, it's really the beginning of the end. Josh passes and Ryron attempts an inverted triangle but Josh escapes and rolls through for a mega tight toe hold which Ryron taps to. 

Man, I was shocked! A good way to end the show I personally thought. I think it more than lived up to the hype. It will be interesting to see who they pair Josh up with next. They might do a match with Cyborg again, but who knows. 

Metamoris 7 Recommendations

Female Matches

Honestly, I find the lack of female Jiu-Jitsu at the majority of professional Jiu-Jitsu events appalling. On Metamoris 2, I personally found Mackenzie Dern vs. Michelle Nicollini to be the best match of the night. I also thought Angelica Galvao vs. Michelle Nicollini at Polaris to be the second best match of the night. 

Especially now, there is so much young talent in the female division. Marcelo Garcia black belt, Dominyka Obelenyte, is totally on fire at the moment. She has only been a black belt since January and a few weeks ago became World absolute champion. Also, she is only 19 years old! 

I mentioned this under my 'female match' heading of my Polaris review, but Tammi Musumeci is another great fighter. She shows so much heart during her matches, especially when she had her arm broken by Michelle Nicollini in the finals of the World’s last year and still carried on fighting. 

Throughout Metamoris, you have often seen the BJJ vs. MMA theme throughout the card. I guess that would be a cool idea to do with female competitors. 

The obvious choice here would be Ronda Rousey, but I seriously doubt that will be happening. But I guess prominent MMA fighters such as Miesha Tate or Cris Cyborg would be great opponents for the likes of Dominyka or Tammi. 

Other Matches

I think people such as AJ Agazarm, Dillon Danis, or Garry Tonon really embody what Metamoris is all about, and that's putting it all on the line and going for the kill. However, it doesn't always play out that way, as we have seen in past events. 

Sometimes you put two big names together thinking it's going to be great and it's a total snooze fest. Then again it could also be amazing; Roger Gracie vs. Buchecha from Metamoris 1 is an example of this. It just seems that sometimes peoples styles and strategies clash and make for a boring fight. 

The truth is that everybody is going to have an opinion on what matches they think would be great for the show. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying mine are any better, they're just simply my opinion. I would definitely like to see recent black belts such as Tim Spriggs and Erberth Santos be utilised in a future card. I would also like to see the Miyao brothers be used at some point, also. 

Some matches I would like to see include:
  • Keenan Cornelius vs. Roger Gracie
  • Rafael Mendes vs. Marcelo Garcia
  • Ryan Hall vs. AJ Agazarm
  • Paulo Miyao vs. Victor Estima
  • Joao Miyao vs. Dillon Danis
  • Erberth Santos vs. Leandro Lo
  • Tim Spriggs vs. Otavio Souza
Of course, fell free to give me your suggestions; I would love to hear them!

This concludes part 1 of my review of Metamoris 6. I hope you enjoyed and I will see you either tomorrow or Monday for part 2.

Catch you later,

Giordano
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Monday, 8 June 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 36 - Augusto 'Tanquinho' Mendes vs. JT Torres - 2012 Boston Open

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Augusto 'Tanquinho' Mendes is a black belt under 9th degree red belt, Francisco Mansur, and represents Soul Fighters. Tanquinho is both an accomplished competitor and referee in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu. Since 2011, Tanquinho has been the center of BJJ media after some impressive victories over some of the top athletes in our sport including Ryan Hall, Rafael Mendes, Guilherme Mendes, and Rubens 'Cobrinha' Charles.

Tanquinho is a two time Abu Dhabi World Pro (2013, 2011), South American (2010 weight & absolute) and Rio Open Champion (2010, 2009). He is also a one time World (2013), World NoGi (2012), and American National Champion (2012). In superfights, Tanquinho is the 2013 Copa Podio Couples Challenge Champion and the 2014 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Champion. 

If you could some up Tanquinho, it would be well rounded. He doesn't really have any preferences in his game. He is neither a top or bottom player, but instead is comfortable from anywhere. Tanquinho is simply dangerous from any position. The same is true for submissions. He doesn't have a preference, he just goes with what appears to him at the time.
 
Augusto 'Tanquinho' Mendes

JT Torres is a black belt under Lloyd Irvin, and currently represents Atos Jiu-Jitsu, but is well known for his time as part of Team Lloyd Irvin. JT is one of the most accomplished American grapplers to date with medals in nearly every major competition at the black belt level. He is a fan favourite at competitions due to his exciting style and being an American in an over populated Brazilian division. 

JT is a three time Asia Open Champion (2012 weight & absolute, 2010), a two time American National Champion (2014 weight & absolute), and a one-time World NoGi (2013), Pan American (2015), Pan American NoGi (2010), European (2015), and American National NoGi Champion (2014). 

As a fan favourite, JT's style of Jiu-Jitsu is great to watch. To sum it up in a nut shell, JT is a guard player. Pure and simple. Don't get me wrong, he is perfectly comfortable on top, and he has displayed his fair share of takedowns, but he is best known for his guard. In particular, his spider guard, but also works great from the closed guard, de la riva, and even the 50/50 guard. 

JT Torres

A tough match from two great competitors. Both of them exchange sweeps and submission attempts. There are even some nice close back take attempts in there. The guard work from both athletes is also great to watch. Even though at times the match can be slow, I still really enjoy this match since I saw it on an episode of IBJJF TV. 

The video of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Monday, 18 May 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 35 - Roger Gracie vs. Rodrigo Cavaca - 2006 Worlds

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Welcome to another Match of the Week! This week's match is Roger Gracie vs. Rodrigo Cavaca from the 2006 World Championships. 

Roger Gracie is a black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. and represents Gracie Barra. Roger is a man who needs no introduction. He is the greatest competitor of all time, having won the World Championships as a black belt a record ten times. He is also the son of Rolls Gracie black belt, Mauricio Gomes. Today, Roger has a very successful academy (Roger Gracie Academy) in London, England, and has had great success in MMA, competing in Strikeforce, UFC, and ONE FC.

In total, Roger's achievements in Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling are too long to list. Here is a summary of his black belt achievements. He is a ten time World Champion (2010 weight & absolute, 2009 weight & absolute, 2008, 2007 weight & absolute, 2006, 2005, 2004), a three time ADCC Champion (2007 superfight, 2005 weight & absolute), a two time European Champion (2005 weight & absolute), and a one-time Pan American Champion (2006 absolute). 

Roger is known for his very basic style of Jiu-Jitsu. You will not see him play any 'modern' type positions or do any flashy moves. Instead, you will see him rely on the most basic moves in Jiu-Jitsu. His Jiu-Jitsu is extremely efficient and his defence is incredible. Roger is notorious for using the cross choke from the mount, a submission which he has seen great success with throughout his time in competition.   

Roger Gracie

Rodrigo Cavaca is a black belt under Élcio Figueiredo and fights for Zenith. Cavaca was once one of the main coaches of team Checkmat, and helped produce some of today's stand out talents from his academy in Santos, São Paulo, Brazil. Some of these competitors include Marcus 'Buchecha' Almeida and Michelle Nicolini. In 2013, Cavaca left Checkmat in order to form his own team, Zenith, which he co-leads along with Robert Drysdale. 

Cavaca is a three time European Champion (2014, 2010, 2009), a two time Brazilian National Champion (2010, 2008), and a one-time World (2010) and South American Champion (2014). He is also a three time Worlds silver medalist (2013, 2011, 2009) and a three time Pan American bronze medalist (2010 weight & absolute, 2008). 

For such a big guy, Cavaca is very flexible. He often plays inverted guard, something which you rarely see at the higher weight classes. Throughout recent years, Cavaca has become well known for his use of the straight ankle lock in competition. He is typically executes the submission from the 50/50 guard, another position which he has become notorious for using. 

Rodrigo Cavaca

An old match, but a good one. In this match you really get to see Roger's basic but yet very effective style of Jiu-Jitsu. Very tight and heavy constantly all the way through. Cavaca is an amazing guard player in his own right, but it is no match for the guard passing of Roger Gracie. 

The video of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 34 - Lucas Leite vs. Roberto 'Cyborg' Abreu - 2007 NoGi Worlds

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Welcome to another Match of the Week! This week's match is Lucas Leite vs. Roberto 'Cyborg' Abreu from the first ever edition of the NoGi Worlds back in 2007. 

Lucas Leite is a black belt under Leo Vieira and competes for Team Checkmat. Lucas has been a common figure on the podium of major competitions ever since he was promoted to black belt back in 2007. He is well known for changing weight class, and sometimes has even competed at heavyweight (-94kg). Today, Lucas runs a successful academy in La Harba, California.

He is a five time Pan American Champion (2015, 2014, 2012, 2009, 2007 brown), a three time World NoGi Champion (2014, 2011, 2009), a two time World (2007, 2005 brown) and Grapplers Quest Pro Champion (2009, 2007), and a one-time European (2006 brown), American National NoGi (2011), and São Paulo State Champion.

Over the years, Lucas has become famous for his use of the half guard. He is one of the key figures responsible for bringing great attention to the position. He really is exceptional from that position. He has great sweeps from the half guard and also transitions to the back really well. Submissions wise, Lucas has a preference for chokes from the back. 

Lucas Leite
Source: Owen Francis 

Roberto Abreu, better known in the BJJ community as 'Cyborg', is a black belt under Francisco 'Toco' Albuquerque. He initially started training with the Nova Geracao Team, but has since started his own team, Fight Sports. Cyborg is well known for his very unique style of grappling and the tornado guard, which he has since made famous. 

Throughout his reasonably long career, Cyborg has won multiple titles. He is a four time World NoGi Champion (2012, 2011, 2010 weight & absolute), a two time Pan American Champion (2008, 2001 blue), and a one-time ADCC (2013 absolute) and European Champion (2005). He is also a six time World bronze medalist (2013, 2011, 2008, 2006 absolute, 2003 purple, 2002 purple absolute) and a two time ADCC (2013, 2011) and World NoGi bronze medalist (2008 absolute, 2007).

Obviously, as I mentioned earlier, Cyborg is well known for his tornado guard. He is also known for his half guard and the deep half guard position. A very unique, yet under utilised submission which Cyborg has great amounts of success with in competition is the reverse triangle. For such a big guy, Cyborg moves almost like a lightweight. He is very explosive with his movements.

Roberto 'Cyborg' Abreu

During this match, Lucas really shows his skill from the half guard. For the first half of the match, he is relentless with his back takes and sweeps. However, Cyborg does a great job of defending and is always pushing the pass. He also uses some of his famous tornado guard to sweep. The ending of this one might actually surprise you!

The video of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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