Monday, June 10, 2013

Metamoris II Meme Retrospective and Calm Thoughts of Reflection

After a long day of Judo and olympic lifts, I sat down and tuned into the Metamoris 2 Pro Invitational. My Jiu-Jitsu spirit felt guilty for not having ordered the Mundials for even a single day (sad, I know) so I sat down, pulled out my check card and ordered.
Given my history of irritation with the first event, I sat down with a pleasant amount of hope, because I was genuinely excited for a number of the match-ups. Even my cynical heart could not help but be interested for the Kimura/Shinya/Japan vs Helio/Kron/Brazil match-up in NoGi (though my suspicion was that Kron would get him in a relatively guillotine after seeing Kron nearly get Marcelo with it at the ADCC).

The vast majority of what I b*&^%ed  complained about last time was production value and biased commentary. Minus the Cyborg/Brendan Schaub stall/facemush-fest, I just turned the commentary off to avoid a repeat.
As I previously stated, given the competitors, I had high hopes for the event, but much like sleeping with an old girlfriend (or boyfriend, or whatever floats your boat), relationships end for a reason, and it's best not to expect too much change over time.

The addition of judges was meant to avoid a card low on decisions or clear cut winners but the first two matches were a draw. By adding judges, I think the normal, rational, logical expectation (esp. given the addition of 3 judges, an odd number), was that we would get clear cut winners. Not so.
At one point Ralek, basically said what everyone was thinking after the Brendan/Cyborg debacle, something along the lines of "well, things should get more interesting/better" here in a minute.

Rewinding to Estima and Torres: they put on a great match, with dangerous positions and tactical Jiu-Jitsu. I was pleased to see them match up and I was entertained. Both guys worked hard and pressed the action. I think Estima had Torres in far more danger than the reverse, but hey, I wasn't in the positions. Estima did a great job of threatening submissions and completely negating Torres from any real passing for the last half of the match (while still attacking the leg/feet).

Mackenzie Dern and Michelle Nicollini also put on textbook Jiu-Jitsu, both trying to finish and was a great day for women's Jiu-Jitsu stepping into the spotlight on a high profile card (hint hint: Ronda vs Kyra!!!). You could tell Michelle was not expecting such a tough match by the look on her face at the end. Big things in store for Mackenzie Dern.

The commercial for the Royler/Eddie Bravo rematch was a highlight as well in that at the end of the day, I care the most about high level guys putting it on the line, regardless of the venue or format or event. I think given Royler's age and the rolling I saw of Eddie Bravo with Marcelo Garcia, it will be closer than people might expect.
Lovato and Galvao both went for it, Galvao in particular with the flying triangle, and Galvao took chances, really looking to press the pace, eventually breaking down Lovato with pressure, insistence, and just grinding past him to eventually hit sidemount and threaten the back take.
That being said, life is not all good or all bad, and I have some things that just for lack of a better word irritated me.

Hearing the explanation for Brendan Schaub's behavior was laughable at best. Pretending it was anything different from Ryron coming just not to get subbed is also disingenuous. It's called submission only, not survive only.
Rener trying to say that Cyborg had to know Brendan would come not to grapple much was farcical and left me simply shaking my head.
I was supremely excited about Braulio versus Rodolfo, esp. having seen Braulio looking sharp at the Mundials as a comeback preparation for the match after his hit or miss return at Copa Podio. Instead, Braulio, a guy for whom I have extreme respect and admiration, had a similar performance to the Copa Podio where his insistence on one position made for a boring, stalemate affair where he did enough to negate anything his opponent could do but virtually never made any offense save when Rodolfo finally passed and attacked the arm. Again, the spirit of him getting up like he had just been in this amazing match felt misplaced at best and I can't bring myself to say at worst.
It's tough because in some ways, I'm simply glad the Metamoris is a platform for high level grappling and it's overall place as a great day for the sport. If nothing else, it forces or should force discussion about stalling, questionable gripping (meant only to stall, not to advance position or threaten a submission), the spirit of the martial art, and a way to have some of those dream match-ups we all sit around and talk about after a hard practice. That is probably why, in part, some of what goes on is so frustrating. Trying to explain or rationalize Brendan's behavior is comical at best and disingenuous at worst. I would never expect a coach to legitimize behavior like that of mine at any event, much less one that people have paid to watch streaming over the internet or paid hundreds of dollars to see in person. I know he's your boy, but you should be harder on him than anyone from the outside. I know my coaches have high expectations for me, probably higher than anyone who doesn't know me, and I also know they would brook no excuses for my behavior when I was in the wrong.
I hope that one day, we look back on the Metamoris with fond memories and laugh with nostalgia, like we do the shenanighans of the early UFC's with their absurd commentary, meme-worthy match-ups, and warm place in our grappler hearts.
Anyway...Onward Ho! to the Memes! With Gusto!



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