Thursday, July 19, 2018

July 27th/Next Thurs: One FC brings you Renzo, Tonon, Aoki, and Yuki Kondo

Polaris 7 Recap & Analysis

Cook vs Luukkonen
Despite Cook being on Luukkonen's back for the last 3-5 minutes of the match and Luukkonen basically face down in turtle doing nothing, they gave her the match. I'm confused.

Ross Nichols vs Nathan Orchard
Orchard sits. Nichols nearly passes then rolls forward and over looking to pass. Orchard to his feet, in the low, backstep into the legs position you'll often see in his matches when addressing a seated opponent. He uses Nichols' low head position to attempt a kimura, to a backtake but loses it in transition. A similar repeated transition of Orchard backstep/circling, locking up a kimura, rolling through, this time with the kimura briefly isolated and behind the back but Nichols countering, and coming up, escaping a straight armbar then separating. Nichols appears to consider a body lock takedown, then remembers this is Nathan Orchard and wisely fearing the closed guard, addresses the guard, and stands up with Orchard body triangling him from closed guard to then shake/peel him off. Orchard over the top rolling through for another kimura attempt but Nichols defends. Nichols defending Orchard's attempts to pass and utilizing them to come up to top, some heavy guard passes/cut through, to front head lock, but unable to turn it into a backtake et cetera. 4 minutes left, and I guess on the basis of guard passes you would give it to Nichols? Not frankly sure, TBH. I spoke too soon, with 3 1/2 minutes left, Orchard on a guard pass that Nichols turtles to avoid, and Orchard in a crucifix-like position. Both guys really working for and through every position in this match, no bullshitting whatsoever. No stalling, no disengaging and flitting about on the outside to stall or buy time. Straight forward working for it/at it. Nichols passes to full mount after some form of bottom triangle that Orchard goes for with about a minute left.
Nichols by Decision (unanimous)

Nicky Ryan vs Phil Harris
Harris resetting and disengaging after realizing his down on both knees posture won't get him into any decent passing opportunities. Roughly 90 seconds in and Harris has legitimately disconnected, stood up, circled then dropped back to both knees on the ground 5-7 times. Nicky looking for arm drags and a front head lock at one point to take advantage of Harris' posture. His low posture is okay for defending the space between the knees and leg lock entries, but makes him virtually incapable of any legitimate passing threat/attempts. From this poor, head front posture, he gets caught between double unders with one arm in/one arm out and the triangle finish looms for Nicky. Harris in real danger, but gets his posture back, and still on both knees semi looking to pass. Harris disconnects, circles and drops to his knees. His (I assume) fear of leg lock entries means he's only looking to pass from down on both knees, making the likelihood of him passing from this non-mobile stance, and head forward position exceedingly unlikely, and showing Nicky only one look/one guard, meaning Nicky will continue to set up attacks and entries from relative comfort, especially having seen how early Harris fell into the triangle set-up.
Nicky on a good looking leg lock entry, but Harris immediately gets his free foot, bottom of the foot posted on Nicky's hamstring to prevent the wedges/bite necessary to apply breaking pressure.
Nicky on a kimura from bottom that almost turns into a triangle and/or armbar.
Nicky with a beautiful inversion to swing through to an armbar. Fluid.

Williams vs Imanari
What a joke. Imanari had the legitimate attacks. Williams had a head/arm choke but Imanari had his leg in between them meaning unless Imanari was reverting to being a white belt and panicking there's no way he was gonna tap. Home cookin' by Polaris to drum up their boy in the final. Silliness. No part of that match was a win for Williams. I'm not gonna degrade myself by writing out a full breakdown with such an obvious snow job by the promotion to put their favorite in the final against Nicky. That being said, seeing how much trouble Williams found himself in at the last EBI and in this match against Imanari, I don't see Williams being Nicky. Nicky has too many weapons from bottom and top and too many entries and arm drags and submission attacks however Williams thinks he is going to pass. Nicky has far superior entries and transitions on the legs than guys Williams has faced, and that combined with his threats in other areas (handfighting to the triangle or enter the legs against a standing opponent) I don't see many ways or times out of even 10 matches that Williams beats Nicky Ryan.

Oliver Taza vs Lachlan Giles
Taza on a wrist grip to arm drag to takedown into shin to shin guard by Lachlan Giles. Giles on a palm to palm grip looking to rotate through and end up with Taza's leg wedged inside, but Taza defends and it's back to the feet. Taza collar tie cycles then gets to a Russian/2 on 1 and circles Giles down to the mat. Taza's wrestling looking sharp. Taza looks for a kimura reversal or back take but ends up with Giles in his closed guard. Taza utilizes an ude garami grip/attack to sweep Giles and come up on top and looking to pass.
Taza on an armdrag, Giles reverses, Taza Granby rolls, and Giles with the body lock looking to crab ride up to the back.
Giles from bottom in single leg X, Taza peels the foot off the hip, then Giles in outside ashi garami, Taza steps around and is on his own heel hook entry/leg entanglement. They separate. Taza on the pass attempt again. The control by Taza inside the knees, with the top leg shelved onto his shoulder is preventing a lot of the Craig Jones style leg attacks/inversions I suspect we would've otherwise seen from Giles when on bottom. Taza with a reverse collar tie and leg lace grip looking to pass and pressure Giles. Giles slowing down a bit, the constant pressure, movement, and attacks and transitions by Taza wearing him down at the match winds down to the last few minutes. Taza continues to use guard passing to then set up falling back on the legs into attacks and maintaining a diverse approach.
Handfighting on the feet, Taza looking to snap down Giles' hands to the mat, Giles with a double leg, sprawl by Taza, then ends up back on the legs, a reset, and time runs out.
Taza with the decision win.

Gregor Gracie vs Gilbert Burns
From a takedown to a backtake at about the 11am mark, Gregor gets to full mount then back to half-guard but with one arm isolated. Later, Gregor hits an amazing sweep from closed guard, to play on top and look to pass. Both men work from bottom and top at various points over the duration of the match.  In a tightly contested match, Gregor dislocates his shoulder from a suplex by Burns with 1:45 left. Disappointing turn of events to say the least. 

Kasai 3 Confirms Final 3 Competitors for Welterweight Grand Prix 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

SAVE THE DATE: Baroni vs Leben BARE KNUCKLE

What. A. Time. To. Be. Alive.
These are limitless times, friends.
October 20th. Be there. I will 100% order this stream.
Fun fact: I got to roll with Chris Leben in the Gi at Arena MMA while I was visiting SoCal last year. Add’l fun fact: I rolled with Jesse Taylor (TUF winner) there as well.

Bellator Announces 9/10 Welterweight Tourney Names 

 Yo, Dillon Danis, where you at? Weird how he goes MIA when something like this comes up or Neiman Gracie offers to fight. All of a sudden his phone stops working and he has other things to do.....

Monday, July 16, 2018

ACB 14 - Recap and Analysis

Some Takeaways: The head honcho of ACB was pissed with the Gi competitors. The pulling of guard, the stalling their way through the 1 min penalized period for pulling guard....the lack of submission attempts in general....these are the realities of Gi Jiu-Jitsu. It will be a sad day if this event is folded due to the gamesmanship of the athletes when for the first time male athletes (at least, that's another topic btw, the lack of any space or $$  for female competitors) being paid as professionals. They'll honestly have no one to blame but themselves in the event this happens. The gauntlet has been laid down, and the main ACB guy just doesn't seem one to make idle threats.

As opposed to the Gi matches with guys oft chomping at the bit to pull guard at the minute mark, the NoGi matches showcased some legit chain wrestling and scrambles throughout. It actually punctuated the pace of a ton of Gi matches for what totaled out at a 7 1/2 hour broadcast (trying for even the most dedicated grappling fan/afficionado).

Igor Silva vs....skipped it. Blah. Boring.

Berkhamov vs Saidov
Rd 1 - Berkhamov scores with a knee pick-up reaching single then again with an outside trip off of a tie-up. Saidov briefly threatens a triangle following the first points scored but loses it then uses it to force a scramble and get back to his feet. More action on the feet than entire Gi matches whether standing or on the ground.
Rd 2 - Berkhamov again with a leg grab/pick-up, head center to the chest double leg, that he quickly gets his hands locked and gets Saidov down again smoothly.
Rd 3 - Berkhamov again looking for the takedown, Saidov deep in on a shot, uses it to pull guard, but then can't get anything of note other than an outside heel hook that really isn't because it's rotating at the knee but uses it to come to top position but can't get anything else done before time runs out.
Berkhamov by Decision

Meregali vs Rocha
Round 1 - not much of note, Meregali eats a penalty, Rocha patient to keep his posture, grip fight, strip grips, semi looking to pass but frankly, not much.
Round 2 - aggressive Rocha with an over the back grip, pushes hard into Meregali who takes the bait, then the larger Rocha times the push back and hits a lapel grip shoulder throw/seionage then looking to over/under style pass. Meregali underhooks the leg with an omoplata and sweeps the monster of a man, Rocha. Wow. Guess the move does work regardless of size. Rocha beasts back up out of it to reverse it shortly thereafter, however. Sad face. Meregali gets the collar grip to assist the omoplata, then threatens a triangle to threaten the sweep, but Rocha stuffs it pretty easily, then Meregali threatened to settle for a triangle attempt which Rocha postures out of, leaving the score 4-2 Rocha's lead. Meregali miraculously (him and Keenan are two of my favorite bigger guys to watch) hits the sweep, and ends up chasing a low double leg with his hands locked around the hips as Rocha is now out of bounds. Meregali denied 2 points for what should've been a sweep, and is now forced to start from the feet. Le sigh. I'm having flashbacks of the IBJJF Worlds now. Kill me....then it happens. The unthinkable. The sweep points from the previous exchange are awarded. Wow. God is real. He's watching the match. Rocha not even pretending to try and open the guard, just sticking Meregali flat, hands/fists driving his shoulders flat to the mat, not controlling the hips, down on both knees. Sigh. Rocha for real stalling now, despite being given a penalty.
Round 3 - Joao hits a snapdown shoulder throw that forces the lighter Meregali to turtle, then gets to the back and drags him down...Joao gets 2 points, and you know the world class level stall is coming on strong, my friends. Meregali constantly pommeling his legs inside and trying to create movement against the bigger man barely moving. Meregali threatens a triangle, and rolls through, then to an omoplata underneath position then back to a triangle, but Rocha just too big and on top enough to avoid it. Meregalit with DLR, then feeds a lapel, then up onto a low single, and Rocha looking at the clock to ride it out....Rocha lays down to tie his belt like he was doing most of the work for the match. Blah.
Rocha by decision and by that I mean some takedown points and a stall-fest.

Mendes vs Terra
Mendes will likely be a familiar face for the next year or 2 after his USADA suspension goes through with the UFC.
Rd 1
Mendes hits an omoplata sweep, and thank god, fails in sucking Terra into 50/50, whew* that was a close one. I'm having flashbacks to the years of the Worlds finals being 50/50 leg scissor battles. Terra feeds the lapel underneath Mendes in an effort to step over the locked guard and pass but nothing doing. Terra down by a penalty due to stalling on the feet.
Rd 2
Terra sloppily reaches for a ankle pick, and Mendes just bulldozes him over for the half-assed attempt and picks up 2 points.
Rd 3
Mendes picks up a takedown within 15 seconds into the round. Let's hope he avoids the half-guard stall of doom this time around. With a minute left, Terra looks to create space and sweep, Mendes steps around after disconnecting, then forces Terra to turtle. Mendes gets hooks and back control points with 37 seconds left. Both men seem to look for a toe hold with a few seconds left, but y'know, that's mainly just for show most of the time.
Mendes wins by decision, 2 rounds out of the 3.

Marangoni vs Moizinho
Rd 1
Both guys throw out some obviously fake foot sweep attempts to give the appearance of giving a flying *&^% in the first minute/guard pulling penalty phase. I guess this is better than doing actually nothing for that first minute?
2 minutes in, and Moizinho is opting between leg lasso and RDLR and a spider hook on the bicep, Marangoni kneeling, to be safe. Man, I'm trying to enjoy this because I love grappling, but gdamn, I'm struggling to not skip the match at this point. Do I throw more minutes of my life after those already spent watching this minuscule level of activity?
Moizinho nearly comes up on a sweep, but Marangoni counters with a low single type position at the end to prevent it. Moizinho converts the leg lasso to an omoplata, rolls through, looks to come up, Marangoni rolls through and they're stuck.
Rd 2
In a scramble, Moizinho sits through/jumps to a triangle that looks pretty damn deep. It becomes an omoplata, Marangoni stands out of it to defend, Moizinho comes up on a single that looks good but Marangoni gets separation and they reset in the middle.
Having escaped that jump to triangle I believe being the reason, Marangoni is now up by 2 points.
Moizinho with another near sweep attempts, but Marangoni stands to pick him up and keep him off the ground until the round ends.
Rd 3
Moizinho with an omoplata to 50/50. My heart kinda dies at this point. Great. Rounds ends.
Marangoni wins I guess by decision.

Ali Magomedov vs Bruno Frazatto
I've always liked Frazatto. He'd be world champion but had to face Cobrinha in the finals several times before Rafa came along. Lately, he's had some boring 50/50 matches, but I mean, y'know, it's a thing in this weight class and in the Gi. Sigh.
Rd 1
Magomedov hits a sweep with a minute left, utilizing the lapel.
Rd 2
Magomedov toe holds Bruno Frazatto for the finish (eerily similar to how he lost a Worlds Final quite awhile ago to Cobrinha when he was up by sweep points with -1 min left in the match.
Magomedov wins vie toe hold.

Farias vs Miyao
I tried to enjoy this match. I've been enjoying training in the Gi quite a bit more as of late, and was truly prepared and wanting to enjoy some high level world class black belt level Gi competition by lighter weight competitors. With some 50/50 style action truncating the second half of a number of matches, there were few exciting exchanges over the 25 minutes. I'm the first to admit that over the course of ACB events, I wasn't exactly hyped for the Gi-centric cards...but this time, I was ready to enjoy. I just didn't find much here to enjoy. Perhaps I've lost my ability to truly nerd out on the gamesmanship of Gi-centric grappling, I dunno.

Lepri vs Ramos
Fighting on the feet primarily through rounds 1 & 2. Lepri pulls halfway through Rd 2 and is threatening a good looking sweep but Ramos gets separation and is immediately looking to pass. His time in the UFC and ADCC hasn't done much to take the heat out of his Gi game. Especially after some previous ACB matches (avenging a NoGi loss by winning the belt from Najmi amongst them). Ramos is HEAVY on a leg drag position, looking to pass and comes as close to passing Lepri as anyone has since Leandro Lo did it. Straight up. Whew. Lepri has the lapel fed through the legs, comes up on a single with the lapel, knocks out the supporting leg but as they go out of bounds, Ramos is back to his feet. Nailbiter.
Rd 3
3 minutes in, Lepri is elbow deep on a single leg with a lapel grip, rotates, gets Ramos down onto his back, but as Lepri settles, Ramos lifts him up with his leg and is back on his feet. Ramos again pulls late in the round, looking for a sweep but no dice.
Rd 4
Both men are up to 4 penalties apiece over the course of 15+ minutes of grappling. The action has been periodic and they're evenly matched on the feet, but with Lepri edging out Ramos overall on near sweeps and takedowns. Lepri again gets elbow deep on a single with the other hand in the lapel, and Ramos is on one leg hopping, and Lepri trying to drag him back in bounds, but Ramos evades and ends up out of bounds. The penalties for arguably fleeing out of bounds to avoid takedowns are going to be coming down the road in ACB I suspect. Lepri is awarded 2 points for the takedown. Ramos jumps to closed guard and Lepri is knee in the middle looking to crack open the closed guard. Ramos is hanging onto a leg lasso guard that Lepri is circling toward and backing around (how he normally addresses this hook) for the remainder of the round. Ramos never in much of a position to initiate a sweep, and Lepri content to not force any big passing attempts either.
Rd 5
Lepri pulls halfway through the round with 2 1/2 minutes left. Lepri has a DLR hook and the lapel fed between the legs to his grip spiraling the opposite direction. He comes up and scores a sweep. Ramos takes the foot and tries to cross the body in an effort to use it to come up but Lepri gets space enough to get his feet underneath him. Ramos pulls with 20 seconds left. Aggressively hunting but it's gonna be hard with short time.

Lepri wins the belt with 2 rounds his via a takedown and a sweep. A closely contested affair throughout with Lepri taking it in those two exchanges.