Friday, 30 January 2015

2015 - Bigger & Better

This is the first update post of 2015. I haven’t done an update post for nearly two months, wowzers! It may be a little late but I'll say it anyway. Happy New Year to all my readers!

I thought I'd make this post to tell you about some of my goals this year, and also what you can expect in the not so distant future.

Last year was a great year for this blog. I can't believe it's been over a year now since I've been blogging. I now have close to 140,000 views and I've made it my goal to reach 250,000 by the end of the year. The ways things are going, I'm pretty sure I'll hit that. I want to be more consistent in my writing, cover more diverse topics, have more interviews, come up with new series etc. I'm sure I'll cover a few of them in this post. 

Okay, so, last year, the amount of times I posted varied from time to time. It was anywhere from 1 - 4. This year, I'm planning on posting 3 - 4 times a week. The Match of the Week and the update post will cover two of those, and the others will be covered with articles, interviews, a new series etc. 

I'm getting back into writing more specific articles and I'm working on one now for this weekend. It's titled; 'Medals vs. Prize Money'. The title pretty much gives it away, but I'll talk about both sides of the argument, the pros and cons of both, you get the idea. I've already structured it and got my bullet points down ready for writing it this weekend. I do this with all my reviews/articles and I think it works great to plan before you write. 

Can you remember 10 Years of BJJ? Yes, that old series I haven't written in 6 months. Well, that was actually a big hit with you guys and I'll be planning on continuing to write that this weekend or if not, next Wednesday. I really enjoyed putting that series together because I don't find it that hard to write about myself. When you write articles or anything information based, it takes time, it has to edited, look aesthetically pleasing etc. But with 10 Years of BJJ, it’s my journey, so it isn't really that stressful to write. I'm actually really pleased to say that it's back. 

In the beginning when I started blogging, I was banging out interviews left, right and center, but it started to slow down toward the last quarter of the year. Now, it's time to get back on the horse. Jean Machado is taking a little longer than I expected, but that's no problem, and in the meantime I'm looking for somebody else. At this precise moment, I'm thinking about asking Mikey Musumeci for my next interview. He's young, very talented, and will make for a great guest. So, hopefully he will say yes and we can create a good interview together. 

I always liked the idea of creating series for my blog. I did 10 Years of BJJ and Match of the Week, and they both turned out to be a massive success. When I started this blog, I was NOT going to teach anybody, nor was I going to give anyone advice on anything. It's not that I didn't want to help anyone, it's just that I wouldn't feel very comfortable doing that. I'm actually not very comfortable doing that in real life, never mind online. Getting back on topic, I'm always trying to think of new ideas for series and hopefully you'll be seeing a few very soon. 

Last week, I wrote about Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction and it did very well, so far that I thank you kindly. I don't do non-BJJ related topics very often, but when I do they're always received well. I have a few in mind to write about next, but don't expect one of them for at least a month or two. 

I guess that all I have to talk about for this post. However, there's one thing I have to mention! I've finally got myself a Facebook fan page. In the beginning, I didn't really think it was necessary, but now I think I've reached the point where it would be good to have one. At the end of every post for the next few weeks, just to get the ball rolling, I'll be mentioning it to everyone to like it. So, if you haven't already... PLEASE LIKE THE PAGE!

This concludes this update post. I think 2015 is going to be a great year for this blog. I hope you continue on this journey with me.

Catch you later,

Giordano
Read More »

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 25 - Marcelo Garcia vs. Kron Gracie - ADCC 2009

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Here we go again! Welcome to the 25th edition of Match of the Week. This week's match is a classic from the 2009 ADCC. It is Marcelo Garcia vs. Kron Gracie. 

Marcelo Garcia (also known as “Marcelinho”) is a black belt under Fabio Gurgel and competes for Alliance Jiu-Jitsu. Since his debut in the black belt division, Marcelo has been a stand out competitor and a fan favourite at competitions. Marcelo is considered by many to be the pound for pound best grappler in the world today.

Marcelo is an extremely accomplished Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. At the black belt level, he is a five time World Champion (2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011), a four time ADCC Champion (2003, 2005, 2007, 2011), a three time Brazilian National Champion (2004, 2006 weight & absolute), and a one-time Pan American Champion (2007). He is also a member of the IBJJF Hall of Fame.

In terms of grappling ability, Marcelo is very well rounded. He is excellent both on his back and on his feet. In particular, Marcelo is best known for his x-guard, butterfly guard and guillotine choke. Over the years, these have been known to become Marcelo's signature moves.  What's good about Marcelo is he always hunts for the submission. He doesn't play to win by points or advantages, but instead looks to finish the fight and submit his opponent.

Marcelo Garcia

Kron Gracie is one of the top competitors today at the black belt level. He is the son of Rickson Gracie who is arguably the greatest Jiu-Jitsu practitioner of all time. Kron has been serious competitor since he was a teenager, making a big name for himself at the lower belts, claiming some of our sports major titles. During his run at the lower belts, he managed to rack up a 51 submission streak. Today, he is mainly focusing his attention on MMA.

He is a four time Pan American Champion (2005 purple, 2007 brown, 2008 brown weight & absolute), a two time World Champion (2006 purple, 2007 brown), and a one-time European (2009 black) and ADCC Champion (2013).

Something which sets Kron Gracie apart from everybody else is his style of Jiu-Jitsu. The style of Jiu-Jitsu which Kron uses is very basic, something you hardly see in competition today. He does not rely on any guards such as de la riva or spider guard, and does definitely not rely on the 50/50 guard, berimbolo, or worm guard. Instead, the only guard he mostly uses throughout his matches is the closed guard.

Kron Gracie

A classic match! I usually try not to give away the result in most MOTW's, but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of you have seen it. If you haven't, you're in for a treat! I watched this match multiple times and I always still enjoy it as much as the first time.

I think this match in particular really shows how amazing of a grappler Marcelo is. I mean, he is endlessly attacking Kron, going for takedowns, sweeps, and tripping him up. Not to take anything away from Kron, he is a great talent in his own right, but I think Marcelo's experience really showed in this match.

Make sure you take a look at the video below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

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

Read More »

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Top 10 Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction Stories

Okay, today we're going to cover something a little different. I thought I would share with you guys my top 10 favourite Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction stories. A lot of the stories they had on the show I really liked and it was harder than I imagined narrowing it down to just 10. Although, I'm happy with the ten I've selected to be in this list and hopefully you guys will enjoy them as well.

 
Before I start to talk about my top 10, let's first talk about the TV show itself as some of you may not be familiar with it.

Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction is an American sci-fi and paranormal TV show which ran from 1997 - 2002 and had in total four series. The first season (1997) was presented by James Brolin (I know him as being the husband of Barbra Streisand) and the remainder of the series (1998, 2000, and 2002) were presented by Jonathan Frakes (as seen in the image above) who is best known for being Commander William T. Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Every episode would feature five stories, and each one would somehow appear to defy logic. However, some of these stories would be 'true' and some would be fiction. It was up to the viewers to decide which of the stories was either fact or fiction. At the end of the show, the presenter would reveal if the stories were works of fiction or actually true. 

Most of the stories which turned out to be 'true' were based upon first hand research conducted by an author called Robert Tralins. Now, I'll be honest here, I have doubts about the credibility and legitimacy of their sources because some of them seem a little sketchy to me. And on the other hand, the majority of the stories which turned out to be fiction were usually just urban legends re-told in a modern setting. 

I have to say that I absolutely love this show! It's probably one of my favourite TV shows. I used to come home every day from school when I was 12 and watch this show on CBS Reality. Today, they don't show it anymore, but instead show endless repeats of Bait Car and Judge Judy. Most of the episodes you can find on YouTube or other websites however. 

Right, that's enough of an introduction. Let's start talking about my top 10. The majority of the stories I have selected for my list have horror elements to them, simply because I liked them the best. Some of you may disagree with my list, and that's fine, but this list is just my opinion.   

I should point out that each of these stories was designed for entertainment purposes. If any of these stories are said to be 'true', then the core of the story is true and not the exact story depicted in the video. 

Some of the video footage is not the best quality, so my apologies for that. 

My top 10 is as follows:

10. The Sleepwalker - True

A man has trouble sleepwalking and one day he hears that he is cursed and one day he will sleepwalk out of his house and will never return. He tells his daughter that he will remain with her forever. One night he vanishes without a trace, and the next morning the girl tells her mother that her dad is in the dollhouse and will be with her forever. Inside was a doll of him, with 100% accurate details of her father.

This story starts at 24:20.

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


9. Town of Remembrance - Fiction

A woman who is suffering with amnesia discovers on the way to a doctor’s appointment that the town she is stopped in seems very familiar. She discovers a name of a boy that died in a car accident years before and visits his grave only to discover another grave with a photo similar to herself.

This story starts at 24:12.

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


8. The Girl Next Door - Fiction

A man falls in love with a woman who lives 'just across the street'. She then explains that at one point in her life she was once cheated on, and is finding it hard to expect him as her boyfriend. He eventually persuades her by telling her he will never cheat on her. After over hearing a conversation he has over the phone with another woman, she flees the house. The next day, he sees her run into the churchyard across the street, only to find that she is buried there and he has been seeing her ghost.

This story starts at 13:27.

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


7. The Gravedigger's Nemesis - True

Two young boys get jobs as grave diggers and work for an evil grounds keeper. The two boys and grounds keepers hear and see an old woman. The old woman haunts the grounds keeper until he dies in the old woman's grave.

This story starts at 24:05.

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


6. The Wallet - True

A teenager comes across a wallet along his walk home from high school. He decides to return the wallet to its original owner as there is an address inside. On returning the wallet, he is asked a series of weird questions about himself and where he found the wallet. Deciding to leave, he turns around and discoverers a man in a picture that looks exactly like him. This man turns out to be his father and he will inherit his fortune.  

This story starts at 21:07.

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


5. The Viewing - True

A boy who lives in a funeral home is alone one night as his parents are out. There is a knock at the door and it’s an old man who has some war medals who he wishes to be buried with the deceased. The boy lets him in to place the medals in the coffin. After a while, the man doesn't return, and on inspection, the old man at the door is the man in the casket.

This video is the entire story. 

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


4. The Caller - Fiction

A radio host gets a series of bizarre phone calls from a listener. After a while, the listener reveals himself to be his dead son. No one else at the radio station can hear the caller, only the host himself. Whilst talking to his son he starts to hallucinate and become increasingly scared by the caller. 

This story starts at 30:33.

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


3. The Hooded Chair - True

A wealthy man purchases a hooded chair which is said to have curse attached to it. He asks his assistant to track down its previous owners. One of the owners was Napoleon, who sat in the chair before the battle of Waterloo. The curse takes the lives of both his maid and best friend who had sat in the chair. After realising that the chair is cursed, he tries to destroy the chair with an axe, but dies of a heart attack before he strikes the chair. 

This story starts at 30:39.

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


2. Halloween - Fiction

A man by the name of Harold Ratcher hates Halloween. He especially hates the kids who come pestering him at his door, and each year scares them away. Then one knock at the door is the grim reaper and this literally scares him to death. 

This story starts at 7:37.

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


1. Blood Bank - True 

A nurse is in charge of treating a weird patient. One night she hears noises from his room during the early hours of the morning. When entering the room, she discovers an elderly couple, dressed in black who have come to see the patient. After a while, she sees the elderly couple dragging two large black bags into the elevator. She is informed by a fellow nurse that hundreds of blood bags have been stolen. After inspecting his bathroom, she discovers hundreds of empty blood bags and finds out that he is in fact a vampire. 

This story starts at 23:10.

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


This concludes my top 10 list. I hope you enjoyed this post, as I know it's a little different from what I usually write about, but I had a great time putting it together. I hope you were intrigued by the stories you saw and maybe you will look at some of the many other stories in the series.  

Catch you later,

Giordano 
Read More »

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 24 - Felipe Pena vs. Erberth Santos - Copa Podio Middleweight Grand Prix 2014

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Match of the Week. This week’s match is Felipe Pena vs. Erberth Santos from the 2014 Copa Podio Middleweight Grand Prix.

Felipe Pena, also known as Felipe Preguiça, is a black belt under Marcelo Azevedo and fights for Gracie Barra. Since his time as a purple and brown belt, Felipe has been considered by the media as one the hottest prospects in Jiu-Jitsu after his impressive performances at the lower ranks. Felipe is the younger brother Augusto "Tio Chico".

Felipe has done tremendously well throughout his competition career. He is a four time World (2014 black, 2012 brown, 2011 purple weight & absolute) and South American Champion (2012 brown weight & absolute, 2011 brown weight & absolute), a three time Brazilian National Champion (2014 black weight & absolute, 2012 brown), and a two time Pan American Champion (2012 brown, 2011 purple). He is also a one-time European (2012 brown) and Copa Podio Middleweight Grand Prix Champion (2014).

If you have seen any of Felipe's matches, you would know that he is an exceptional guard player. Mostly, he likes to play open guard, but he's very good from the closed guard also. Even though he is a very good guard player, Felipe is well rounded as a grappler. He’s good at takedowns and passing the guard, especially using the leg drag. Using the leg drag, he nearly always gets the guys back. He is phenomenal at taking the back. He does it flawlessly.


Felipe Pena


Erberth Santos is a black belt under Luis "Guigo" Guilherme and fights for both Guigo Jiu-Jitsu and Team Lloyd Irvin. If you watched the brown belt divisions last year, I'm pretty sure you would be familiar with Erberth Santos. He had fantastic performances at many major IBJJF tournaments, often taking double gold at them. As a result, Erberth was the number one ranked brown belt in the world for the majority of 2014. 

As I said above, Erberth had an incredible run over the last year. He is two time World (2014 brown weight & absolute), Pan American (2014 brown weight & absolute), New York BJJ Pro (2014 brown weight & absolute), and WPJJC Brazilian Trials Champion (2015 black weight & absolute). He is also a one time World NoGi (2014 brown), South American (2014 brown), ASN Challenge (2014), and New York Spring Open Champion (2014 brown).   

Erberth fights at super heavyweight, but he moves like a lightweight. He is incredibly fast and the pace of his matches is always very high. His hunt for the submission is relentless and very aggressive, as is his guard passing.  One move which Erberth is notorious for is the flying triangle. Yes, you heard that correctly. Every time he goes for the flying triangle, he always manages to get the submission. 


Erberth Santos
Actually, this match happened not so long ago. It's an interesting match. I always love matches where a world class brown belt takes on a world class black belt. Some of you might expect Erbeth to get killed, but actually he does very well against Felipe. The match is only six minutes long, and there are some really exciting moments in the match. I won't spoil it for any of you who haven't seen it, so make sure you take a look at the video. You won't be disappointed. 

The video of the match is not available on YouTube, but instead is available on Copa Podio's website. You can watch it HERE.

Catch you later,

Giordano
Read More »

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Polaris Professional Jiu-Jitsu Invitational Review - Part 2

In part 1 of this review, I covered my thoughts on the matches and I gave some recommendations for matches I would like to see in the second Polaris event. 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

When I hear discussions about major Jiu-Jitsu events online, nearly always one of the main topics is the stream quality. Actually, I can’t speak for anybody else, but my stream was pretty much perfect. The picture quality was great, the audio was crisp, and there was zero buffering. The only minor problem I had was during Telles' match; the picture froze for about 2-3 seconds then continued as normal. But apart from that, everything was excellent. 

I did here online that some people had issues with their stream, with the picture freezing, and they had ridiculous buffer times. But for me, I experienced nothing close to that.

Apart from Polaris, I’ve only ever streamed two BJJ events; those being Copa Podio in May 2013, and the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo (WJJE) in November 2013, and both of those events were just as perfect for me. I guess I might just have a really good internet connection.

Price

I'm not going to talk about the price of the tickets, but only the price I paid for the online stream. 

I paid £15 ($22) for the stream. This also includes repeats of the event for another full week after the event. I thought that price was very reasonable for an event like this. I can't remember what I paid for either Copa Podio or the WJJE, but I know Metamoris is a little bit higher than £15, but I have no complaints to make about the price. 

Production

Again, I thought the production was excellent. The editing and visuals I thought were great, and on par with events like Metamoris. The lighting they used was good, as were the camera angles. In particular, I did like the close up shots they used. 

The sound was very clear, and I could hear everything the commentators were saying without any cracking or hissing. 

On the subject of the commentators, I also thought they did a tremendous job. The team of Josh Palmer (Cage Warriors commentator), Nicolas Gregoriades (Roger Gracie black belt) and Nick Osipczak (former English UFC fighter) gave a great commentary, dissecting each of the moves that took place and showing huge amounts of technical knowledge. I heard a few people say that they didn't think they needed three people on commentary, but I totally disagree. I thought they worked well together, bouncing off each other. 

Improvements

Mats

The first thing I would improve, and it stood out to me right at the beginning, is the mats. I'm sorry; you can't have a professional Jiu-Jitsu event with mats which look like they came from the local leisure centre. They looked awful! You can use them for a local grappling tournament, but not for an event such as this. 

I mean if they used high quality Zebra mats it wouldn't have been too bad, but even then it still wouldn't have looked great. If you look at events like Copa Podio and Metamoris, the mats they use look fantastic. They have the company logo on it and also feature their sponsors. It looks very nice. Past ADCC's also had great mats. 

Polaris needs to reflect something like this for their shows. They either need a mat sponsor or alternatively, they need someone who can make them a professional looking mat cover. Don't get me wrong, it’s a problem which can be easily fixed, and it’s not major thing, but it really stood out.

Replays

Personally, I thought they should have included instant replays throughout their event. I thought it would have been a nice touch to the event as a whole. Obviously, I know they are more than capable of putting something like that together, seeing their film and editing skills. 

I guess instant replays are a part of every sport. I mean you see it all the time in the UFC and I guess you take it for granted sometimes, but when it’s not there, you really notice it. 

Advertisements and the Interval

I know it’s necessary to promote their sponsors, but the amount of times I saw the same adverts role, I thought was a bit too much. By the end I wanted to cave my head in. Towards the end I had to leave the room, I just couldn't look at them anymore.

I understand that they're trying to promote their sponsors, but if you could show a few different ones each time instead of the same exact ones on a loop a dozen times over that would be nice.

During the interval (half way point) they showed three episodes of the BJJ Hacks series "How the BJJ Pros Train". I didn't really have a problem with it, but I thought perhaps they could have used that time a little better. Maybe have the commentators discuss the matches they've seen or their thoughts on the matches coming up or something. Kind of like a 'round table' format.

Draws

No one likes to see a draw. I can understand it’s a difficult thing to get right in a submission only match. First of all, I would suggest increasing the time to at least 20 minutes, and implementing an overtime system if there is no submission at the end of the 20 minutes. I would say either a 5 or 10 minute overtime. 

Final Words

Overall, I thought Polaris was a great event. This is only their first event, so I'm sure they will improve a lot by the second event. I am glad there is now a European submission only event, which brings the best grapplers from around the world to Europe. 

I can't wait for their next show. 
Read More »

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Polaris Professional Jiu-Jitsu Invitational Review - Part 1

Last Saturday, like most of you, I watched Polaris live via a stream from their official website. I thought I would give you guys my thoughts on the event as a whole and say what I liked and what I didn't like along with any improvements I would make.


Obviously, as you can tell from the title of this post, this is going to be a two part review. In this part I'm only going to be talking about the matches, and at the end I'll give my suggestions on matches I'd like to see in their second event. In the second part, I'll talk about the stream, the production, what I thought could have been done better etc.

I was initially planning to watch the event live, but we had a Keenan Cornelius seminar held at our academy and that was an opportunity I couldn't pass up! If they keep it in Wales, or keep it near enough to Wales, I'll hopefully go and see the next one. 

First off, before I go and talk about the matches themselves, I first want to say that I did have a good time watching Polaris. Did I like everything about it? No, but I would happily pay to watch the second event.

Right, let’s get into the matches. 

Max Campos vs. Darragh O'Conaill - I'm glad Polaris took the chance to showcase British BJJ in their event. I thought that was a very smart move on their part. I didn't think the match was really that bad at all. It was slow at times, but I guess that's what you get with submission only format matches sometimes. 

I thought it was a decent enough match to kick off the show, and it had its moments of excitement throughout. Hopefully, they'll continue to put British Jiu-Jitsu fighters on future shows.

Michelle Nicolini vs. Angelica Galvao - Man, I loved this match! I would say the second best of the night in my opinion. It was the same when Michelle Nicolini fought Mackenzie Dern at Metamoris 2. It was also the second best match of the night.

It's funny to think, but you don't see that many women superfights these days. I'll talk a little more about that in my next event suggestions at the end of this post. 

Anyway, I thought Angelica did an awesome job against Nicolini, seeing this is her debut as a black belt and she was against a seven time black belt world champion. I honestly thought Angelica was perhaps out of her depth prior to this match, but boy, she proved me wrong! At one point she was close to passing Michelle's guard. 

However, in the end I think you saw Michelle's experience come through and she managed to submit her around 9 minutes in with a toehold. But saying that, Angelica has nothing to be disappointed about. She did a great job! I'm pretty sure she'll be a major force in the female black belt division. 

Kit Dale vs. Victor Silverio - Individually, I'm a big fan of both of these guys and I love to watch both of them compete. On paper, it should have been a great match, but for some reason the match was quite slow and even a little boring some times. I'm just being honest here.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the worst match I've ever seen by a long shot, but it wasn't great. I think stylistically they just didn't match up very well, even though on paper I thought they would. Sometimes that's just the way it is in Jiu-Jitsu. 

Although, I must say Victor had a few nice passing attempts throughout the match, and he could have a phenomenal match with the right person. I'll talk about that at the end. 

AJ Agazarm vs. Oliver Geddes - The thing I like about AJ is he always puts on a show for the fans. I think he's fought Oliver now about four times previously, and he’s one every match. Despite that Oliver still took the match, and I think that deserves massive respect. 

The match was perhaps a little bit one sided and even included some showboating from AJ, but it was all in good fun. He really did show how good of a wrestler he was. Flawlessly executing takedowns one after another. 

Eventually, AJ submitted Oli with a bicep crush at around 11 minutes into the match. Oli, didn't really have a chance to get going in the match, but I hope they feature him on the next card, as I think he has a lot to show.

Mike Fowler vs. Eduardo Telles - Again stylistically, this match just did not click. It might be because Telles has somewhat of a weird style of Jiu-Jitsu, and he doesn't really submit a lot of his fights. Then again you hardly ever see him get submitted either. 

I'm actually a fan of Mike Fowler. I really like his half guard game, and he's very effective from that position. But Telles was able to shut his game down pretty well. Saying that though, it was a slow match, and I couldn't really wait for it to be over. 

Just like the Kit and Victor’s match, they just didn't really suit each other. I just don't think Telles' style works very well in a submission only type match. On the other hand, I think Mike's could work great if he was matched with the correct opponent. 

Pablo Popovitch vs. Eduardo Rios - This match was kind of vanilla, meaning it was just okay, but nothing spectacular. The first initial match of Popovitch vs. Lister I thought could have been fantastic. I was disappointed it didn't happen, but there's always next time. 

Getting back on track, it was a little back and forth at some points, but nothing spectacular. It just never really got going. Saying that, I don't think it ever would even if they had doubled the time. Nearly every time I see Popovitch, he wins by points. I'm not saying he can't finish, but I just don't think he's well suited to that environment.

Garry Tonon vs. Marcin Held - After experiencing two not so exciting matches, here comes Garry Tonon to save the day. Man, I'm pretty sure it's impossible for Garry to have a boring/bad match! When he's on the card, you know you're in for a good match.

I thought it was an interesting matchup that Polaris put together. Marcin is an excellent MMA fighter who I know has a great Jiu-Jitsu background, so I knew this would be a good one. 

The match was quite short (3:30) but was filled with action. Both guys went at it, being really aggressive, exchanging leg lock attempts with each other. Eventually, Garry got the heelhook, which he is particularly good at. Nothing really to complain here, other than I hoped it would have gone on perhaps a little longer, but a good, exciting match all around. 

Keenan Cornelius vs. Dean Lister - This match 100% lived up to the hype. A great main event in my opinion! Keenan definitely proved that he is one of the best in the world and he is dangerous against anyone, regardless of their past accomplishments. He is undoubtedly a phenomenal grappler.   

I mean, Dean Lister is no joke! He is extremely dangerous, especially with leg locks. He's only been submitted once in the last ten plus years. But Keenan just imposed his game so well against him, and it really showed his ability. 

For the first few minutes, it was kind of not really going anywhere, with both guys initiating scrambles and going for a few weak submission attempts. However, once Keenan got onto the kimura trap set up, it was pretty much game over. Keenan really uses that kimura trap excellently. He really neutralised Lister's strength using that position.    

Using the kimura he manages to get Lister in a reverse triangle from the back, and submit him at just over 9 minutes into the match. A brilliant finish! Keenan is only the second person to submit Dean (the first being Josh Barnett) in over ten years. I thought that was a perfect way to end the show.

Polaris 2 Recommendations  

Female Match

First off let’s talk about a female match. I think somebody who would be great in a submission only match would be Tammi Musumeci. She's a relatively new black belt and very exciting to watch. Her match in particular at this year Mundials against Michelle Nicolini was absolutely tremendous. Michelle got her in a viscous armbar, broke her arm and she continued fighting. One of the best matches of the entire tournament in my opinion. 

I would really like to see her against someone other than Nicolini, and someone she perhaps hasn't fought yet. The first person who springs to mind would be Kyra Gracie, but I doubt that would ever happen due to her focusing on MMA. 

I think Hillary Williams would be a good match against her. I really like Hillary's style of Jiu-Jitsu and I think it would match quite well with Tammi. Hillary hasn't been competing actively since 2011, so it would be nice to see her back on the mats again.   

Victor Silverio and Mike Fowler

In the matches I reviewed above, I thought both these two fighters could have great if they were matched with the right person. 

I think Victor would be a great match up for someone like JT Torres or Victor Estima. I think they will complement each other’s styles well and you could have a really fast paced and exciting match up. 

Talking about Mike, I think he could match up really well with AJ Agazarm. I think that would be kind of interesting to see how that one would play out.

Others

When Polaris asked on their Facebook group for any suggestions for future matches, the matches I made were actually the most liked on the entire post, so people obviously liked my suggestions. They were:
  • Keenan Cornelius vs. Roger Gracie
  • Rafael Mendes vs. Marcelo Garcia
  • Gui Mendes vs. Caio Terra
  • Ryan Hall vs. Garry Tonon
I'm not really going to go into detail into those, but I would be interested in your opinion on them, so please feel free to give your opinion. Of course, please feel free to let me know your match suggestions; I'd like to hear them. 

This concludes part 1 of my Polaris Professional Jiu-Jitsu Invitational review. I hope you enjoyed and I will see you tomorrow for part 2.

Catch you later,

Giordano
Read More »

Monday, 12 January 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 23 - Mike Fowler vs. Saulo Ribeiro - ADCC 2007

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

It's Monday again, which means it's time for another Match of the Week. This week's match is Mike Fowler vs. Saulo Ribeiro from the U77kg division quarter finals of the 2007 ADCC.

Mike Fowler is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Lloyd Irvin and fights for Atos Jiu-Jitsu. Mike is well known for the speed in which he received his black belt, which was only 3.5 years, and is the third fastest American in history to do so. He is also known for his very unique leopard print hairstyle. Today, he is the head instructor at North Shore Jiu-Jitsu Club in Haleiwa, Hawaii. 

Due to his rapid fast attainment of black belt, it’s not hard to imagine that Mike has done very well in competition throughout his career, winning some major competitions and scoring wins over a few legends in the sport. He is a five time American National Champion (2009, 2006, 2005, 2003 purple weight & absolute), a three time Asian Open Champion (2009, 2008 absolute, 2007), and a one-time Pan American (2003 blue) and US Open Champion (2003 purple). He is also a Pan American bronze (2012) and silver medalist (2006) and took fourth place at ADCC 2007.

One position which Mike seems to favour a lot is the half guard. He is very effective from that position and executes sweeps and submissions from there excellently. Actually, Mike is very well rounded as a fighter. He is good at takedowns, guard passing, on top, on bottom, a very versatile fighter. In terms of submissions, he seems to like the triangle above all other submissions.  

Mike Fowler

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'm pretty sure that many of you have seen this match. If you haven't, I'm sure you will enjoy it. Obviously, coming into this match, Saulo had much more experience than Mike did, and at some points it does show. For the first few minutes, Saulo puts Mike in a couple of bad spots, even taking his back within the first minute. However, Mike doesn't give up and escapes, and from there really shows his skill on the mats. 

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

See you next week!

Please note I couldn't find footage of the whole fight on YouTube, so the link below is for Dailymotion.

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

Read More »