Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Rising Star: Jeffrey Cummings

Got this from over at Graciemag:
Good editing, music and quality, enjoy for those needing some inspiration to get on the mats for the 1st, 500th, or 5 thousandth day:

Tonight's Bellator Picks and UFC 163 Aldo vs Korean Zombie Countdown Full Episode

Fight Master comes on tonight after Bellator's spate of title fights. I'm picking Chandler to overpower and batter then perhaps KO Rickels, King Mo will hopefully learn from his earlier hubris and take Noe down and pound him into oblivion.
Ben Askren will easily take down and I suspect finish Koreshkov. Koreshkov swings way too wide and kicks way too much for Askren to have anything more than a split second of decision-making on when and how to take him down. I don't think this fight will be competitive in the slightest bit. It would be impressive for Askren to actually try to finish and opponent he so clearly has the advantage in putting on the mat ala Demetrious Johnson's performance last weekend where he was gunning for it virtually the whole 5 rounds.

"Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels - for lightweight title                    
  • Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov - for welterweight title
  • Muhammed Lawal vs. Jacob Noe - Summer Series light-heavyweight tourney final
  • Ryan Martinez vs. Vitaly Minakov - Summer Series heavyweight tourney final
  • Jared Downing vs. Patricio Freire"

  • Aldo vs Korean Zombie

    Lyoto "Urine Connoisseur" Machida vs Phil "Wrestling is better than Jiu-Jitsu" Davis

    Hands Down, Chin Up: Anderson Silva Ed.

    "Pride goeth before the fall"

    I won't lie, despite watching Anderson Silva toy with Bonnar, obliterate Griffin, and put on what can at best be called enigmatic performances against Maia and Leites, I had developed a begrudging respect for him.

    That being said, I also won't lie and thus admit, I do not get tired of seeing Weidman pull off the upset of probably the last however many years since Matt Serra swarmed GSP in the first round (despite his ignominious follow-up loss to Matt Hughes). it is. Again. Yes, again:


    Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Predictable Guillotine Loss of the Day: Ricardo Mayorga Ed.

    Not long after you started Jiu-Jitsu, you probably wrestled with a friend.
    You probably guillotined him.

    Ricardo Mayorga starts off fending off the takedown and his guard passed with holding onto the guillotine while side mounted, that moment when you pretty much know the guy on the bottom hasn't spent very long on the ground, if at all.

    Here's to you Ricard Mayorga...for being "that guy":


    Kids in Jiu-Jitsu Being Awesome

    The Deep Half Guard Sweep - Kurt Osiander

    I saw this over at, and I've been also putting similar shout-outs to the Bernardo Faria sweep from Deep Half since before I got back to competing after my ACL surgery, but Osiander as always gives flare to a relatively basic move (basic means it works). Minus the sleeve and/or belt grip, this also works well in NoGi as Jeff Glover has shown time and time again.

    My 2 highest percentage sweeps I got from watching Osiander's move of the week series. Simple and effective and for me at least, high percentage.

    At any rate, without further ado, enjoy:

    Tuesday's MMA Video Deluge/While I was Gone

    I have returned from my self-imposed month long hiatus. I hope the smattering of posts I scheduled during my absence was enough to keep this tiny corner of the mma-grappling-centric corner of the blogosphere sated. I'm always surprised at just how little content there is out there given how many people around the world compete in our various(ly) related sports.

    I have digressed.

    I missed two UFC events in my absence.
    Anderson Silva got KO'd which I heard about second hand and have not yet seen.
    The short of it is Rory McDonald fought a technical boring fight and won via jab ala GSP over Koscheck, not that it sounds like Ellenberger did much more than pose for said jab. Robbie Lawler continues his ascent to the title of MMA's current Cinderella man (remember Nick Diaz's brutal KO of him way back when). Demetrious Johnson got a sadly rare finish in the flyweight/bantamweight division.

    That being said, the spate of title fights on deck for the UFC continues with the Korean Zombie fighting Jose Aldo soon, and Bellator has some face-punching headed our way soon as well.
    On to the videos.


    Thursday, July 25, 2013

    UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs Moraga - Predictions, Picks, Gambling Enabler

    Like I mentioned before, I'll be out of town for much of July taking care of some personal matters, so assuming (lolz) there are no injury replacements, here are my picks for UFC on FOX 8, coming right at the end of July.

    Demetrious Johnson showed me something more important than anything else he could have in his fight with John Dodson which was how he responded to adversity. He got dropped, Dodson caught him off guard, sleeping, whatever, but Johnson persevered over the remaining distance of the fight winning in my opinion a pretty clear decision minus a 10-8 round in scoring. I don't see Moraga doing things any differently. Johnson moves well, scrambles even better, and much like the Dominic Cruz strategy of stick and move and win the rounds at opportune moments, I see this going nearly exactly the same. I would, as with GSP like to see the champ's look more to finish than simply win the majority of 5 rounds, but hey, I'm also not the one fighting to retain my belt over hungry challenger after hungry challenger.

    D. Johnson will win a wide decision in not close fight.

    I'm taking Rory McDonald to pick apart Ellenberger and finish him in the 3rd round. In a 5 round fight I would have Rory stopping Ellenberger in the 4th round. But I think Ellenberger may just get finished late in the 3rd here.

    Lawler will stop the hype train of Siyar (who I think is still definitely a dark horse title contender in this division). But I think he will overlook Lawler's resume of impressive KO's and get caught in perhaps the 2nd round if not the first.

    I don't watch women fight, so I'll go with Liz Carmouche b/c I think her name is more familiar-sounding.
    Chiesa can definitely sub Masvidal who is a favorite of mine from the Miami Hustle online/youtube series, but I think Masvidal if he fights a smart fight can keep it standing and batter Chiesa on the feet. This is probably the hardest fight for me to pick on this card.

    Danny Castillo b/c I liked watching him fight in the WEC.
    Mac Danzig will sub Guillard who I enjoy watching get subbed whenever he doesn't get an early KO.
    Mitrione will catch and TKO Schaub.
    Yves Edwards who has been fighting forever will have an entertaining scrap with Spencer Fisher and pull out the win.
    Julie Kedzie via the same rationale I provided earlier for the other female fight on the card.

    MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
    PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 3:30 p.m. ET)

    Monday, July 15, 2013

    Spider Guard Introspective: Michael Langhi - Rolled Up

    It's all well and good to learn solely how to defend spider-guard and how to address the hooks, pass et cetera, however, often, the best way to beat your enemy is to know your enemy. It's not enough to just defend. You learn the position and you learn what the opponent needs, and thus look to avoid those scenarios, grips, and or angles he needs. It's one thing to tell you what (s)he needs, it's another to know from time on the mat exactly or at least have a relatively clear idea of what (s)he needs to gain the advantage. So, overcome your fear, and get into the mind of the enemy.

    That being said, one of the more prominent proponents of the spider guard in recent years is Michael Langhi who went undefeated for 2 years at the elite level. His guard was dubbed unpassable for quite awhile (though, recently, Leandro Lo did pass it en route to his 2nd consecutive world title after Langhi returned due to a hiatus regarding visa issues.


    Friday, July 12, 2013

    Then & Now: Rodolfo Vieira

    Rodolfo and his relatively recent rise to prominence proves notable for several reasons:
    1) he got the nickname of ''“Ca├žador dos Faixas Pretas' translated 'The Black Belt Hunter'....after Rodolfo won the World Pro Cup Trials in the Brown/Black Belt Division, wining against several fights against distinguished black belts when he was still a Brown Belt."

    2) He is the first black belt world champion from a non-Gracie family lineage (GFTeam).

    3) He's 3x world champion at black belt in his weight class as well as 1 time absolute black belt champion, as well as brown belt world champion in the absolute.

    He was the first to begin to try and fill the shoes of the inimitable Roger Gracie after he departed to MMA and until the arrival of Buchecha seemed nigh-unbeatable both in the heavyweight and absolute.

    In terms of his development, his game has always been driven (at the big tournaments) by scoring the takedown or passing aggressively as soon as an opponent tries to pull guard. Against Buchecha, Rodolfo is one of the few to even put Buchecha in moments of danger (other than Roger at the Metamoris I), with Rodolfo nearly mounting Buchecha at the World Pro very early on and then I believe almost scoring early at the Mundials most recently in Long Beach. Inevitably, in their matches, however, Buchecha turns on the ignition and his speed, precision, and athleticism (and size advantage) are just enough to edge out Rodolfo. Rodolfo has said other than the ADCC he's not competing until next year. It will be interesting to see how Rodolfo fares at the ADCC as his last foray was no doubt disappointing, even though he was one of several victims to the Dean Lister tear to winning it all that year.

    Here's Rodolfo beating none other than Braulio Estima (which I'd actually forgotten about whilst watching the Metamoris II)  in his 2009 tear from out of nowhere at the World Pro Trials in Brazil while still a brown belt:

    And here he is beating Antonio Peinado to win the weight class at the World Pro Championships:

    Fast forward to his rather newly crowned arch nemesis, Marcus Buchecha Almeida and their, according to some greatest match of all time. I think that's a bit of hyperbole as that clearly belongs to Jacare and Roger and the arm break, but at any rate it was about as thrilling as a final could be and as we've seen in any recent world championship:

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    Then & Now: Kron Gracie

    Having done a quick then & now piece on Otavio Sousa, I would be remiss to not put one up for his biggest challenger from when they were brown belts and in a way up to black belt as well: Kron Gracie.

    From BJJ Heroes:
    Main Achievements:
    • European Champion (2009 black);
    • 2x World Champion (2006 purple, 2007 brown);
    • World Cup Champion (2006 purple – CBJJO);
    • Pro Sub League: X-Mission – Champion (2006);
    • 4x Pan American Champion (2005 purple, 2007 brown, 2008 brown weight & absolute);
    • World Jiu Jitsu Expo Superfight Champion (2012)
    • World Silver Medallist (2011 black);
    • Pan American Silver Medallist (2009 black belt)"

    Otavio has on paper won more tournaments and become now Black Belt 2x world champion with Kron tapping Otavio 2x as a brown belt, and at the inaugural Metamoris event, and now Kron tapping Shinya Aoki at the 2nd event. Kron also acquitted himself well at the ADCC last year, nearly tapping the Guillotine master himself, Marcelo Garcia.

    It's interesting to note that stylistically, Kron moves much the same way, always pressuring, always looking to finish and put his opponent in danger. This factor of his game is what has likely cost him the only title at this point many would say has eluded him, namely the Black Belt Mundials/World Championship title. I remember reading online that he is an outlier in competitive BJJ in that he is one of the few competitors who manages to overcome the statistical evidence that the player who is down on points first usually loses:

    It will be interesting to see how Otavio Sousa fares at the ADCC this September in China as he may add another accomplishment to his resume that eludes Kron Gracie as well.

    Monday, July 8, 2013

    2 Final Perspectives on Passing Spider Guard: Rafael Lovato Jr. and Andre Galvao

    I've posted up some spider guard passes from the likes of Rafael Mendes, Cobrinha, Bruno Frazatto, and Leo Vieira.

    I'll throw two more well-known guys into the mix with Andre Galvao and Rafael Lovato Jr.:

    Rafael Lovato Jr.
    His pass begins from kind of a mid-spider guard type position where he's attempting to kill one of the spider hooks low to get to his headquarters position, and the other hook is more of a leg lasso I've heard it called. He clears the hook by switching his feet to clear the low hook and thus change the angle on the hook/lasso on his right arm:

    Andre Galvao
    Galvao does something similar to Cobrinha's pass, and then the switching of the feet to bring pressure with the knee to clear the hook/danger to his left arm. The knee on thigh position Andre gets to before clearing the hook on his right arm is very Corbinha-esque as well :


    Saturday, July 6, 2013

    Then & Now: Demian Maia, BJJ World Champion to MMA Fighter

    It's been a real testament to his progression to watch Demian Maia go from a nearly pure BJJ fighter in mixed martial arts to becoming so well-rounded he straight up out-wrestled Jon Fitch and completely shut down his game. It was dazzling to watch someone out-Fitch Jon Fitch.

    That being said, it's been years in the making and one of the more interesting facets of BJJ and other combat sports crossing over into MMA is watching their success (and failures) as fighters. We have this strange pool of guys with various skills for fighting (wrestling, striking, kickboxing, boxing-not-as-much, Jiu-Jitsu) and we watch them attempt to become well-rounded fighters.


    Friday, July 5, 2013

    UFC 162 Picks/Predictions/Gamble Enabler

    I'll be out of town for an extended period of time and will miss the UFC 162/4th of July card but I'll go ahead and put my picks out there assuming (lolz) there are no injury replacements or people with their title shot just cancelled or whatever else pleases the baldfather.

    I'm not buying the hype on Weidman. Sure he caught Munoz but he could barely grind out a decision win over Alessio Sakara while being on top of him for the better part of all 3 rounds. Do I think he'll submit Anderson Silva? No, absolutely not.

    Frankie Edgar will beat Oliveira b/c he only loses to people named BJ Penn, Ben Henderson and I guess Gray Maynard.

    I Think Tim Kennedy has the tools to beat Roger Gracie assuming he fights differently than his backpedal-fest against Jacare (whatever that was).

    Cub Swanson continues to impress me and I think he'll pick apart Dennis Siver with movement and angles.
    Munoz will look rusty in the first round but everything Boetsch does, Munoz does better.
    I don't know who Andrew Craig is but he'll lose to Leben via KO.
    I don't know who Norman Parke is or Kazuki Tokudome. Barboza will get a TKO over Oliveira in a tough fight.
    Gonzaga will get a submission over Dave "Jiu-Jitsu doesn't work" Herman and my heart will sing.
    Mike Pierce who was once a fight away from a possible title shot will beat some guy on the prelim of the prelims.

    "MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
    PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 7 p.m. ET)

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    Then & Now: Otavio Sousa, 2 time World Champion

    A guy I've been following since I saw him face Kron Gracie at brown belt in 2007, is Otavio Sousa.
    If you follow my blog, that should come as no surprise.

    It's amazing to go back and see a competitor 6 years ago, at brown belt, who is now 2x world champion.

    Kron Gracie vs Otavio Sousa 2007 Pan Ams @ Brown Belt:

    And here he is winning his 2nd consecutive world championship over the always dangerous Claudio Calasans in 2013 at the Mundials:

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    Brief Hiatus

    I'll be taking a break from the blog for the next month, beginning today, July 1st.

    I have some intermittent posts scheduled due to the upcoming UFCs in July, and perhaps a few others saved up from brainstorming sessions previously but other than that the blog will be on a brief hiatus until the end of July.

    I have to take care of some personal matters that will hopefully enable me to fully devote myself to training and competing as long as my body will allow (which based on guys like Helvecio Penna is a good long while to come if the forces that be will allow it).

    I wish to thank my coaches, training partners, friends, and my family without whom this would not be possible.
    Sometimes, things are simply bigger than we are and we have to ask for help and guidance.

    It's been a long road since I began Judo nearly 8 years ago and I have so much yet to learn and experience.
    Good lucky, happy trainings, and I will return at the end of July more focused than ever before.
        - Tim

    Other than my family and a handful of friends, Judo and  Jiu-Jitsu have introduced the most amazing people into my life and for that I will always be grateful. 
    In no particular order, and by no means is this all inclusive, these are some of the great people in my life due to training and having started this journey what feels like an eternity ago.