It was a busy weekend in professional combat sports.
What with Bellator, UFC, and the World Pro in Abu Dhabi.
I missed the stream b/c I was competing in a Judo Tournament.
I did well, I won more matches than anyone else that day and beat some guys much heavier than myself.
For some recap/analysis of the World Pro click HERE at Bloodyelbow.com
For some recap/analysis of the World Pro click HERE at UAEJJ.com
As I suspected, Roberto Satoshi pulled it out over JT and others and Claudio Calasans continued his dominance in his division. Satoshi cemented his skills against top fligth competition when he beat Langhi and Torres at the Euro 2012 and followed that up with his World Pro win.
Isaque Paiva showed that his triangle over Bruno Frazatto while not necessarily a fluke, wasn't necessarily his ascension to the pinnacle of the divisions. His loss to Caio at the Pans and his 3rd place showing at the World Pro means the GB black belt has some fine tuning to do against the tougher guys in his weight class.
Something else I'm beginning to see get repeated is that Sport BJJ is "too open" with too many guys in divisions.
There were 100 people in my division at the Pan Ams.
That equals roughly 7 matches to gold.
I think you should have to win 7 matches to call yourself the Pan American Champion.
There were other divisions with 4 competitors. Win 2 matches and call yourself a Pan Am Champion.
I don't think BJJ has reached a tipping point of "too many " competitors and here's why:
Few guys show up for the Pans that are not relatively serious competitors. I have friends who live in Southern California. They live 30 min's from the venue for the Pan Ams. Even they don't "just show up" to do the Pans.
BJJ is not a sport wherein guys award themselves belts then go compete at the highest levels of the sport.
Just like in Judo, due to the nature of competition and likelihood of injury the higher up you go....recreational players don't "just show up" for the Liberty Bell or Senior Nationals.
BJJ players look (from the outside) at Judo's system of qualifying and think it will help.
All the system has done is make it nearly impossible for poor(er) athletes to compete or qualify for international level tournaments. Even if I had airfare for Europe and other big Grand Prix tournaments, I cannot compete b/c I would need to qualify by winning a number of domestic tournaments. Those tournaments are dominated by players from Jimmy Pedro, Burris, and the Olympic Training Center (and San Jose State University).
All that money you see going into USAJudo and their ads saying if you buy XYZ type Gi or register your usajudo membership and you're helping "support Olympic hopefuls", well to hear Ronda Rousey say it, that's a bunch of bull****.
The other notable/famous people who might say something, ala Pedro, Burris, others, they all stay quiet b/c they're entrenched in that whole political/bureaucratic system of USAJudo. They're busy flying first class to coach Team USA and the 1-3 people in a divisions that get some money or hoping to land coaching gigs for Team USA.
Now the IJF (another governing body of Judo) requires athletes to stay in certain hotels (more expensive than necessary) or athletes must pay a penalty for finding cheaper accommodations.
The less bureaucracy we have in BJJ, the better.
Let the Pans, Mundials, and others continue as they are. The World Pro, already only had basically a handful of guys at the top levels come from an outside/outlying gym.The Pro Trials are a great step in the right direction of making the sport more professional and having an added bonus to spice up the competition, which based on only 3 years of the World Pro's existence, it has definitely been successful in that regard.