Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Leg Locker starring Palhares and Dean Lister, Cobrinha's Complete Game, and Other Miscellaneous Goodness

Coming soon the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo: Thanks Uncle Renzo!!!

ADCC leads to a lot of guys with better things to do: *ahem* Romulo.
Romulo Barral and Kron Gracie both decided they had other things to do than the Jiu-Jitsu World Expo since they won. Kron was at least up front, saying, "yo, I'm gonna focus on MMA". Barral has an "injury" which miraculously popped up. I could be completely off base (Romulo is a big inspiration for me having come back from a brutal knee injury (2 actually - Humphreys & Galvao) but I'll be honest likewise and admit if I'd won the premier submission grappling event in the world the idea of some guy gunning for me a month or two later would seem kinda "meh".
But then, this is your job.
This is great exposure.
And Leandro Lo is a huge threat having seen him beat Calasans and his NoGi game is very unknown/wildcard-ish. If Romulo wins, he was supposed to be the ADCC winner who beat a guy that the ADCC committee said had no real nogi accomplishments to speak of (seriously, Leandro Lo got a letter basically saying that as to why he was no offered a spot).
If Leandro Lo wins, he immediately steals some of Romulo's ADCC shine/luster.
Or maybe, my tinfoil hat is working overtime, and maybe Romulo just got hurt.
In good-ish news, Jake Shields will now face Leandro Lo in a NoGi superfight.

Palhares will face Dean Lister in the battle of leg lock-ers (see above).

The next time you hear a white belt say "I can't get armbars," show them this:
From over at Graciemag

if you're too young to get this reference, go to youtube and watch "In Living Color"
Video booth (?) corner review of the day:
Disclaimer: These are the observations of a 4 stripe blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo black belt, and 2-3 record amateur MMA fighter.
I'm sure far more experience people have much more insightful things to say about Cobrinha's game, but this is my blog and these are my initial observations.

I've been watching Cobrinha's Complete Game which was an awesome gift from a good friend/training partner.

A couple things come to mind:

IN watching the competition footage, I forgot how good Bruno Frazatto is/was and how close he was to Cobrinha's level for several years there and how close their matches were at times, coming down to points and even referee decisions minus the toe hold in the closing seconds of the Mundials one year.

IN watching the NoGi portions, Cobrinha inverts VERY quickly and effectively to come up to top position. In fact, his Gi and NoGi game when watched separately almost seem like two different players/competitors.

IN watching the Gi matches, Cobrinha had little problem with the 50/50 as long as he was on top and winning. Once Rafa came to the party and beat him at it, then it became a stalling position that didn't open up the game when you ask Cobrinha about it. Bruno Frazatto can attest to this.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bellator's (Non) PPV- Televised Main Card and some MMA Conspiracy Theory *&%$#!@^

Well, it's better than the atrocious event dubbed UFC Fight Night 30 I watched this past Saturday.
Fight Night 30 had exactly one meaningful fight take place: Machida quickly and mercilessly (as possible) dispatching former training partner Mark Munoz. Guillard vs Pearson was a No Contest and Jimmo vs Manuwa was actually ended prematurely thank MMA Gods due to injury.

What was left was some TUF UK alumni....and, well, some TUF Alumni.

Dana can lambast Bellator all he wants, but I'm actually disappointed when Bellator puts on a boring show. I now literally accept that half the fights on a given PPV are of marginal to no interest to me.

More is not always....well, more and by "more" I mean very much so "better".
Sometimes, as with Bellator, less is more.
The linear quality to Bellator's tournament is so much better than the UFC's smoke and mirrors order to title shots where "so and so will fight for the title, maybe, yeah, if they win in dominating fashion, but if the other guy wins, he's probably not going to get a title shot b/c he had one 3 fights ago and even though he's stopped all this opponents since then..... blah blah (*$(*#$ing blah."

Now...hold onto your tin foil hats, people:
The MMA conspiracy theorist in me suspects Tito was planned all along to pull out, cancel the fight, I suspect the same with Rampage, Tito got to have his Punishment Athletics commericials (hell, Tito was wearing a knee brace IN THE COMMERCIAL WHERE HE APPEARS TO BE RUNNING UP HILLS), and Rampage gets to have some TV reality show exposure which is all that attention whore wants at this point in his career.

I could be wrong, but truth is stranger than fiction, right?

The good news is, regardless the reason, be it MMA Gypsy injury curse, or conspiracy...we get some damn good MMA fights on free TV amidst an already busy MMA month of programming.

"MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)
  • Champ Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez - for lightweight title
  • Muhammed Lawal vs. Emanuel Newton - for interim light heavyweight title
  • Champ Pat Curran vs. Daniel Straus - for featherweight title
  • Mike Bronzoulis vs. Joe Riggs - "Fight Master" tourney final
  • Mike Richman vs. Akop Stepanyan

Monday, October 28, 2013

Terrere Mini Documentary: My Salvation

Monday's MMA Multimedia Mailbag Deluge - UFC Fight Night - highlights barely worth watching -

How the Mighty have fallen?

UFC Fight Night.....well, it happened.
That's about the best I can say about it to be honest.
It actually feels disingenuous that they've even cut together some footage from these fights and purport them to be "highlights".

Watching TUF UK Alumni barely plod through their bouts (one of the best fights ) was the Irishman Norman Parke vs Jon Tuck which opened the fight card.

It was a dismal affair going forward.
Pearson vs Guillard could have rewarded my forgoing of a Saturday afternoon but by the time Machida headkick TKO'd Munoz, I was just ready for it to be over as my mac n' cheese had grown stale and it was time to do something other than watch mediocre fights.
The UK really does get 2nd and 3rd rate fights.
The only fight which took place that had any relevance: The non-fight that could have made this card almost worth watching: This fight was so boring it wasn't worth even watching: Alessio wobbled the guy you've never heard of but left his arm in alllll the way up by the guy's head, asking to be armbarred....and he got armbarred: This fight happened. It was okay, I guess.

This was one of the best fights of the night/afternoon:
My personal favorite: losing to the guy who didn't even make weight and has missed weight more than he's made it in his weight class. Professionalism? Say what?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Missing Weight: How to Act Surprised - John Lineker Edition My favorite part is how everyone acts mystified when things like this happen: "Lineker was on pace to make weight before his body simply stopped sweating in the hours leading up to his time to step on the scales. Even worse, he started again after the ceremony ended.

 'We got in two days early, and we were on track,' Davis said. "It seemed everything would be fine, but then he locked up, and the weight simply would not come off anymore. And even stranger, the minute he got off the scales and was in the backstage area, he started sweating again, even though he had not sweated at all since last night."

Sure, bro. Maybe missing weight two times previously was a tip off.

This isn't Ultimate Parking Lot Fighting Championship.
It's the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world.

Missing weight 60% of the time you fight in the big show is pathetic.

It's okay though, bro, you're in good company.
I guess...or something.

MMA Gambling Picks Funny Money Friday: UFC Fight Night 30: Machida vs Munoz & Bellator 105

My advice to you is to not take my advice and wager your college fund rainy day fund mortgage payment tax return on the following MMA picks for this weekend.

Bellator 105: Awad vs Brooks II

My picks are Will Brooks by athleticism/decision/wrestling
Sarnavskiy by split decision
Ron Sparks
Andreas Spang by more intimidating last name.

Date: October 25, 2013
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Venue: Santa Ana Star Center
Broadcast: Spike TV,
MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)
UFC Fight Night 30 Predictions

Machida by stoppage in the 4th round
Pearson by RNC in the 1st round
Jimmo by submission/robot dance victory
Sakara by TKO
I literally don't care about or even watch the rest of the guys fighting on this card.

Date: October 26, 2013
Location: Manchester, England
Venue: Phones 4u Arena
Broadcast: FOX Sports 2,
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 2, 3 p.m. ET)
PRELIMINARY CARD (, 12:15 p.m. ET)

Interview Friday: BJJ News/Take it Uneasy Podcast/Travis Stevens

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So Muuuuuch MMA in the Next Month

There is a torrential downpour of compelling match-ups coming in the next month of mixed martial arts:

Everything from whether GSP will get cold cocked by Hendricks' cannon right hand to Lawler of the old guard vs Rory McDonald of the new guard. Bellator will crown the divisional winners of several weight classes, even World Series of Fighting is handing out a belt.
Bellator fires a salvo (I guess) across the bow of the UFC ship with their own PPV that actually some good fights to watch/booked. Chandler vs Alvarez will be good no matter who wins.

This Friday Night:
Bellator 105
Date: October 25, 2013
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Venue: Santa Ana Star Center
Broadcast: Spike TV,
MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)

This Saturday Afternoon:
UFC Fight Night 30: Machida vs Munoz
Date: October 26, 2013
Location: Manchester, England
Venue: Phones 4u Arena
Broadcast: FOX Sports 2, Facebook
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 2, 3 p.m. ET)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 12:15 p.m. ET)
ALSO This Saturday Night:
Date: October 26, 2013
Location: Coral Gables, Florida
Venue: BankUnited Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Network,
MAIN CARD (NBC Sports Network, 9 p.m. ET)
Next Saturday Night:
Bellator PPV: Rampage vs Tito
Date: November 2, 2013
Location: Long Beach, California
Venue: Long Beach Arena
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Spike TV
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
A little over 2 weeks from Today:
UFC Fight Night: Kennedy vs Natal
"Date: November 6, 2013
Location: Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Venue: TBA
Broadcast: FOX Sports 1, Facebook
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1, 7 p.m. ET)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 5 p.m. ET)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 3:30 p.m. ET)
Bellator 107 & 108

Then UFC 167: GSP vs Hendricks
Date: November 16, 2013
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena
Broadcast: PPV, FOX Sports 1, Facebook

Monday, October 21, 2013

Oh Yeah, there was a Bellator Friday Night

Given the length of my weekend, working at my other job, competing, reading ADCC updates on facebook (thanks Dirty While Belt and Grappling Weekly), then *ahem* watching the UFC on replay yesterday, I totally forgot I watched the Bellator Friday night before heading home to rest then help set up for US Grappling/Pendergrass Classic.

Reading over the write-up on, it sounds like you may have missed a good card. Perhaps the undercard was amazing or something. Perhaps I was tired from traveling to the Maryland Judo tournament then training through to get ready for Saturday's Jiu-Jitsu tournament.

I actually left before the main event (Hawn vs Weedman) wrapped up. I headed home to sleep.
The heavyweights in Bellator are passable at best.
War Machine didn't address the guy hanging around his neck/on his back.
Rick Hawn fought a repeat fight of his win over Brent Weedman. Hawn has not had the killer instinct he once had in his fights. I don't know if it's his age, 37, and he's just slowing down, or if the grind of the tournament means he's saving himself for the final to avoid injury. Or perhaps, he's just tired of making a living fighting.

Kendall Grove shows flashes of greatness, but then has holes in his game where he ends up on bottom and potentially gives away rounds. He looks for the finish which is great, but he looked like a Bellator level fighter on Friday, not a guy on his way back to the UFC.

At any rate, I try to stay grateful that I can watch MMA on my Friday night, and typically the Bellator cards deliver, but this one was just....meh. The Patricky Freire main/event fight the week prior did not help as Pitbull never really tried to put his opponent away, but rather, seemed to be working his Jiu-Jitsu/Wrestling as parts of his game to improve with some cage time.
I dunno, maybe I'm over thinking this. Perhaps, Bellator just tends to have exciting fights and finishes and this card lacked that, so it's a good problem to have that this main card was exceptional only in that it lacked what I like about MMA which is the propensity to finish.

Main Card
Rick Hawn def. Brent Weedman via Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ron Keslar def. War Machine via technical submission (rear naked choke), 3:31 of Round 1
Kendall Grove def. Joe Vedepo via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Peter Graham def. Eric Prindle via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Preliminary Card
Paul Bradley def. Karl Amoussou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Paul Sass def. Rod Montoya via submission (toe hold), 2:01 of Round 1
Robert Emerson def. Jared Downing via submission (heel hook), 1:44 of Round 1
Brandon Girtz def. Mike Estus via submission (armbar), 4:25 of Round 1
Cliff Wright def. Derek Loffer via submission (armbar), 4:28 of Round 2
Andre Tieva def. Chris Lane via TKO (punches), 2:14 of Round 1"

Monday Morning: Jiu-Jitsu 30+ Tournament Post Competition Thoughts

Now that I'm 31, 2 days of rest before a tournament is not quite enough.
I find that as I've gotten older, I simply have to listen more carefully to my body or I will not be at peak performance on tournament day.

I cannot train consistently for weeks on end with only a day off at a time and no consecutive days off for weeks on end.
By the time tournament time comes, I'm burned out, and that last bit of flex n' bust out you need to secure the position, finish the takedown, or resist that urge to concede the position just isn't there when you need it.

I can't simply train hard and expect to win. I have to train hard and train smart with an exact amount of precision in timing my peak performance.

I'm a historically slow tournament starter and yesterday at the Pendergrass Classic in North Carolina was no exception.

I won my first match on points, lost my second on points in the 30+ adult blue belt -149 lbs.
Won another match by armbar after running up the score 15-2, then lost another match 10-2 on points (I could be wrong) in the blue belt adult -149 lbs.

I entered the blue belt adult Absolute and triangled the two heaviest guys in the bracket and beat another on points to win my first blue belt absolute division.

That's the nature of the beast. It's been several years since I'd done an absolute division since tearing my ACL and having my knee reconstructed.
That being said, winning the absolute is a pretty damn good feeling.

UFC 166: Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos Aftermath/Hangover/Results

Cain proved he has the durability, pressure, and skills to claim he is the best heavyweight in the UFC and likely the world for that matter.
Cormier looked dynamic as he likely has begun slimming down to fight at LHW.
Melendez battered Diego Sanchez to prove he's still one of the best LW's in the world.
Gonzaga proved he will still put you to sleep with his banana-peelin' hands if you get caught.
Dodson showed he's still one of the best flyweights to not wear the belt in his division.
Lombard keeps his job with a quick KO of the backsliding Marquardt.
Boetsch begins the slow ascent back to a title shot, perhaps.
KJ Noons beat a guy who hasn't won in a couple years but once was a title contender.

Not exactly a year end blockbuster insanity card, but it is what it is. The heavyweight fight was as good as good have been expected and a decisive stamp on the trilogy. Imagine if JDS had gotten a quick KO, we'd be in 4th fight territory.

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 6:15 p.m. ET)

Abu Dhabi Combat Club 2013 Beijing Results and Commentary

This weekend I competed at a local Jiu-Jitsu tournament (and won the blue belt adult absolute), helped set up early in the morning, then worked at my other job after a long day of competing until the wee hours of the morning....thus yours truly didn't get to watch the ADCC (either day) nor the UFC heavyweight trilogy championship of the world.
From what I've gathered from the reliable self-reporting of viewers via facebook, instragram, and some early meme'ing, the disorganization of the ADCC for lack of a better phrase, "took it to a whole 'nother level" with mats coming apart, no semblance of a schedule adhered to and the general malaise of Abu Dhabi promotions we resign ourselves to as we become excited for what should be one of the highest level competitions in the grappling world once every two years. Having competed at the World Pro Trials several years ago, I can attest to the uncertainty of where/when/weigh-in/venue/time/schedule et cetera.

I doubt they'll give up control,  but *cough cough* Budo Videos does great production quality for events. *cough cough* US Grappling for whom I worked/competed on Saturday has mats that y'know, like, stay together during competition.

There was not a shortage of controversy as Caio Terra claimed that perhaps Cyborg vs Buchecha in the absolute was a fix. There is also no steroid/PED testing in ADCC.
As there is always, there was new guard vs old guard and that speaks in the results. Cobrinha finally bested Rafa in a premier competition after losing some high profile Gi matches over the past couple years. Rader medaled, as did Miyao and Keenan (2x) all against the highest level competitors in the sport. Rafael Lovato came close but took 2nd even as his competition career slowly begins to wane (according to him in interviews). Kron Gracie is now an ADCC champion which takes the sting off of not having a black belt world championship on his resume. Cyborg joins the pantheon of all-time greats in submission grappling, and Buchecha showed versatility in becoming an ADCC champ and black belt world champion in the Gi.

At any rate, the results are as follows:

1st Cobrinha
2nd Rafa Mendes
3rd Justin Rader
4th Joao Miyao

1st Kron Gracie
2nd Otavio Sousa
3rd - no one seems to know if Leo Vieira & JT Torres fought for third. Gold Star indeed ADCC.

1st Romulo Barral
2nd Rafael Lovato Jr.
3rd Keenan Cornelius
4th Pablo Popovitch

1st Joao Assis
2nd Dean Lister
3rd Leo Noguiera
4th Cristiano Lazzarini

1st Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida
2nd Joao Gabriel Rocha
3rd Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu
4th Jared Dopp

1st Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu
2nd Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida
3rd Keenan Cornelius
4th Dean Lister

Andre Galvao RNC'd Braulio Estima
Mario Sperry won via points over Fabio Gurgel

Friday, October 18, 2013

ADCC Brackets Released & Predictions/Prognostications

Under 66kg - I see Rafa facing Rico Vieira in the semifinal and winning, and facing either Cobrinha or Mendes. I think Mendes will pull it out over Cobrinha. In the final, I'll put my money on Rafa as Tanquinho's eyes long for the land of MMA and this is his swan song to grappling competition as he moves his focus full-time to MMA.

Kron has a relatively easy side of the bracket as I don't see Tonon or JT as a legitimate threat to him. Leo Vieira will also roll through either AJ or DJ, but Otavio Sousa will beat Leo Noguiera and that will be a tough bout. I'll give it up to Leo to pull it out via experience. I think Kron faces Leo in the final but comes up short.


Pablo Popovitch will beat Avellan en route to the finals. Lovato will lose to Popovitch' wrestling-centric pressure attack/takedown style. Calasans will face Clark who I think will beat Keenan in his ADCC debut. Barral will beat Leite but lose to Claudio who I think will implement his athleticism and takedowns and smart game plan over Clark Gracie. I'll pick Popovitch to out beast mode Calasans b/c they don't test for steroids or PED's in the ADCC. But the weight cut may more drastically affect Popovitch, but his bracket is easier so I'll still go with Popovitch to win it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

VIDEO DELUGE - UFC 166: Velasquez vs Dos Santos III - Full Primetime Episode & Countdown

Nelson vs Cormier


Melendez vs Diego Sanchez


2013 ADCC -88kg Division Breakdown and Predictions

FYI: Otavio Sousa has been officially added to the Under 77kg division since I guess now that I saw him on Instragram in Beijing with Braulio it makes sense for the premier submission grappling event to officially list him as competing.

From over at ADCombat:
As I've done previously, bio's for the more notable competitors are linking in YELLOW.

In another ridiculously stacked division, who will reign?

I'll have to go with Pablo Popovitch to win it. I think Calasans will take 2nd and Avellan will three-peat at bronze.

Lucas Leite, Checkmat Black belt, Black Belt Mundial silver medalist, 2x nogi world champion, and multi-time world champ at the lower belts and Pan-Ams now resides in the US.

Keenan Cornelius, recent promotion to Faixa Preta and export of Team Lloyd Irvin now trains at Atos along with JT Torres who left the embattled team of the internet marketing guru. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the leg lock and wrestling specific game of the ADCC with guys who have probably been black belts as long as he's been doing Jiu-Jitsu. Keenan won the Grand slam at purple belt - winning his weight and absolute at the Euros, Mundials, Pans and the Brasileiros.
He also has a superfight with Lucas Leite after the ADCC at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.

Claudio Calasans: perennial contender. Pan Am and Euro IBJJF Champion. Mundials silver medalist. He's that guy always near the top, but always not quite there. He has a dangerous game and wrestling and Judo skills to accompany a very tuned tournament game. I'm interested to watch him in this ADCC.

Rafael Lovato is another guy who almost needs no introduction. World champion. NoGi world champion. Brasileiro champion at weight and absolute. Former ADCC competitor. I don't see him winning it but he will beat some guys along the way.

David Avellan is most known on the internets as that guy who Toquinho brutally heel hooked at the last ADCC. What people also forget is he's a 2x ADCC bronze medalist. He clearly has some legit NoGi Grappling skills to match his internet marketing expertise as a devotee of Lloyd Irvin in the ensuing months after the scandal broke.

The most photogenic guy in Jiu-Jitsu, Clark Gracie, brings a ton of titles with his resume. World NoGi Champion. Pan and World champion medalist. His omoplata game is perhaps less effective in the NoGi but only barely so.

Romulo Barral - 4x world champion. 5x world silver medalist. NoGi World champion. He's another guy I think will win a few matches but I don't see him winning this one.

Pablo Popovitch - former ADCC champion. 3x world NoGi Champion. It's interesting that in the bio's I've included and linked there are some serious grapplers. But so few of them have medaled or won the ADCC. It's a testament to the prestige and difficulty of the tournament. I think Popovitch will win or medal. It's always amazing to me that he makes weight because he usually dwarfs his opponents.

"-87.9 kg
1. Lucas Leite – Brazil
2. Oskar Piechota - Poland
3. Keenan Cornelius - USA
4. Doorwang Jeon – Korea
5. Claudio Calazans - Brazil
6. Josh Hayden - USA
7. Shinsho Anzai - Japan
8. Rustam Chsiev - Russia
9. Rafael Lavato Jr. - USA
10. Clark Gracie - USA
11. David Avellan  - USA
12. Romulo Barral - Brazil
13. Kim Dong - Korea
14. Rodrigo Caporal - Brazil
15. Pablo Popovitch - USA
16. Lukasz Michalec - Poland"


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ADCC - 77kg Divisional Breakdown and Prognostication/Prediction

CLICK HERE for the breakdown of the lightest division, the under 66kg class:
I've linked in YELLOW to some BJJ Heroes for the more notable competitor bios:
From over at ADCombat:

Marcelo won this division last time, edging out Kron and Leo Vieira. I'm incredibly interested to see if either of these guys takes it with Marcelo having bowed out. Lucas Lepri and JT are also guys to give very tough matches throughout the bracket, but I honestly don't see any of the other guys having much to offer Kron, Leo, and Lepri in the way of danger.
I'd call it as Leo takes 1st, Lepri wins 2nd, and Kron gets another for him, disappointing third for his list of near misses in grappling top spots.

Kron Gracie needs no introduction. A near finish of Marcelo Garcia by guillotine at the last ADCC, his matches at the Metamoris I and II, and his world championships at the lower belts plus his father being Rickson has him as one of the higher profile competitors in the tournament. The black belt Mundials title as eluded him though he did defeat Otavio Sousa, reigning world champion at black belt in a 20 minute no points match in the inaugural Metamoris.

Leo Nogeuiera, Alliance black belt under "the General" Fabio Gurgel, is a 5x world champion at the lower belts and black belt.

AJ Agazarm, recent join-ee to the black belt ranks rose to prominence due in no small part to his participation in the brown belt kumite. He has a wrestling-oriented, pressure, moving forward always style that is entertaining to watch and physically taxing. He recently beat Eduardo Telles in NoGi.

Gary Tonon, also a recent join-ee to the black belt ranks and also rose to some visibility thanks to the brown belt kumite.

JT Torres, part of the trio Lloyd Irvin's second generation of poster boys (alongside Jimmy Harbison and Keenan Cornelius) is a NoGi Pan American champion, NoGi world champion at lower belts, and lost a highly controversial decision in the finals of the NoGi Mundials.
He has since parted ways with Lloyd Irvin and not been much in the public eye  other than the Metamoris since joining Keenan Cornelius at Atos. I'm interested to see how his game has developed as he has a very pressure oriented style as well.

Leio Vieira is, of course a heavy favorite to place and or win his division. He's a 2x ADCC winner (going back to 2003 and 2005), took 2nd at the last ADCC in 2011,  and helms Checkmat with his brother who is also competing (Ricardo "Rico" Vieira.

Lucas Lepri is one of the few on here that is both a black belt world champion in the gi and multi-time NoGi World champion. He currently teaches at Alliance NYC.

Satoru Kiaoka is currently DEEP Lightweight champion and like Benson Henderson adds the MMA flare which ADCC likes to do which makes for interesting match-ups we might not otherwise see. Dean Lister is another name that comes to mind as a stalwart in both MMA and the ADCC.

"-76.9 kg
1. Kron Gracie – Brazil
2. Tero Pyylampi - Finland
3. AJ Agazarm - USA
4. Youngnam Noh – Korea
5. Leonardo Nogueira - Brazil
6. Gary Tonon- USA
7. Sotaro Yamada - Japan
8. Andy Wang - Taiwan
9. Ben Henderson - USA
10. JT Torres - USA
11. Leo Vieira - Brazil
12. Satoru Kitaoka - Japan
13. Eduardo Rios - Norway
14. Lucas Lepri - Brazil

Otavio Sousa Being Otavio Sousa

I've stolen several parts of my game from Otavio Sousa.
I've stolen the sit-up guard lapel feed he utilizes in the first half of this match and the lapel feed from guard he does to set up what eventually turns into an armbar.
Otavio switches from the spin under with the DLR hook/lapel feed to keep from getting smashed and alternately feeds the lapel or the close hand/sleeve to eventually set up the sweep with a cross lapel grip/foot posted on the far knee/leg but loses the advancement due to a restart.
I remember watching him as a brown belt at the Pans (I believe)  using it to finish one of his matches before he lost to Kron in a match he was ahead on points (Kron is the statistical anomaly in BJJ when it comes to coming from a point deficit to winning).

At any rate, against a clearly heavier opponent, you see two parts of Otavio's versatile game.

Magid Hage: Specializing in being a specialist

Hard to argue with getting so good at something you consistently catch black belts with belts that know that's your thing.

In Judo, we call it Tokuiwaza.
"Tokui" meaning favorite or pet, and "waza" meaning technique.

In standing or nagewaza in Judo, your game is built around usually roughly 2-3 techniques, and everything else is a compliment to those 2-3 techniques.
Ultimately, however, you have one throw that is your specialty. You learn how to do it against tall, short, stocky, lanky....everyone. You learn how to do it against every grip, every posture, every stance, and then a counter to the counters you face most commonly and even very rarely.

I can even tell you the most common responses to the various grips with which I attempt my Tokuiwaza and how most players react once the throw continues to the ground.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

ADCC ** UPDATED COMPETITOR LIST** & Featherweight Division Breakdown/Picks

From over at ADCombat:

I've also linked some of the more notable guys to BJJ Heroes for additional context in YELLOW.

Rico Vieira is a 6x world champion and while perhaps not as well known to some in the grappling world, he's a guy that lots of other good guys talk about being good. He and his (probably) more famous brother Leo Vieira are at the helm of Checkmat.

Rafa Mendes needs no introduction.
Last year saw his dominance in the Gi proves less dominant due to a loss to Tanquinho and a razor thin win over Cobrinha (as opposed to the armbar win from the year before at the Mundials in Long Beach). Rafa is a 6x world champion and 2x ADCC champion. Keenan Cornelius mentioned on This Week in BJJ that no one has tapped Rafa during their ADCC camp. If true, that's pretty baller considering the notable who's who in their camp. I think the lost to Tanquinho Mendes has likely fired up Rafa as he had to have realized that running the school and being a competitor likely took its toll on his brother and himself.

Baret Yoshida is a 3x medalist at the ADCC and a world nogi champion to boot. Yoshida's been around a long time and is more well-known for his nogi game than his pajama game.

Cobrinha said he would stop competing a few years ago. I think the emergence of Rafa to challenge his title as the undoubted best small man in Jiu-Jitsu continues to lure him back to the competition circuit. Cobrinha is a multi-time nogi world champion and 2x ADCC medalist. Along with a lot of guys on here they are mult-time world champions, but often have not won the ADCC outright. It's a testament to how tough this event is to win even once.

Not to diminish Augusto Mendes' achievements, but other than dating Mackenzie Dern and being a world gi and nogi champion, his rise to fame has recently been due to beating Rafa and Cobrinha on the same day at the Mundials last year. He found the answer to the 50/50 (athleticism, hopping, and balance?) to eke out a razor thin win over Rafa.
Tanquinho has since said he will move to MMA after this ADCC, but it will no doubt make for fireworks as Rafa and Cobrinha will be coming for him, to be sure.

Justin Rader will bring team Lovato (the largest American contingent ever to qualify for the ADCC) into the lightest weight class. He was world champion in the nogi at brown belt, but has not had the same success at black belt against the likes of Cobrinha and others.

My pick: The fat will be trimmed pretty quickly in this division. Caio not being in the division so he can focus on seminars and the Jiu-Jitsu expo is a disappointment, and I wonder if that's all it is as he claims to show up with only a few weeks of training to plenty of other events. But as it is, I'll have to go with Rafa. He's the winning-est competitor in this division, and I truly think the loss to Tanquinho has fired him up as he realized that running an academy and staying world class is almost a different skill in and of itself. I could easily see Rico Vieira upsetting some folks and making it to the final as I continually hear about how good he is and his style as an unknown on the competition circuit will catch some by surprise, I'm sure.

-65.9 kg
1. Rafael Mendes - Brazil
2. Timo Juhani Hirvikangas - Finland
3. Darson Hemmings - USA
4. Robert Sabaruddin - Australia
5. João Miyao - Brazil
6. Mark Ramos - USA
7. Uruka Sasaki - Japan
8. Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” - Brazil
9. Nicolas Renier - France
10. Yoshioka Takahito - Japan
11. Baret Yoshida - USA
12. Ricardo Vieira - Brazil
13. Augusto Mendes “Tanquinho” - Brazil
14. Justin Rader - USA

-76.9 kg
1. Kron Gracie – Brazil
2. Tero Pyylampi - Finland
3. AJ Agazarm - USA
4. Youngnam Noh – Korea
5. Leonardo Nogueira - Brazil
6. Gary Tonon- USA
7. Sotaro Yamada - Japan
8. Andy Wang - Taiwan
9. Ben Henderson - USA
10. JT Torres - USA
11. Leo Vieira - Brazil
12. Satoru Kitaoka - Japan
13. Eduardo Rios - Norway
14. Lucas Lepri - Brazil

-87.9 kg
1. Lucas Leite – Brazil
2. Oskar Piechota - Poland
3. Keen Cornelius - USA
4. Doorwang Jeon – Korea
5. Claudio Calazans - Brazil
6. Josh Hayden - USA
7. Shinsho Anzai - Japan
8. Rustam Chsiev - Russia
9. Rafael Lavato Jr. - USA
10. Clark Gracie - USA
11. David Avellan  - USA
12. Romulo Barral - Brazil
13. Kim Dong - Korea
14. Rodrigo Caporal - Brazil

-98.9 kg
1. Dean Lister – USA
2. Tomasz Narkun - Poland
3. Mikael Knutsson - Sweden
4. Allan Drueco - Philippines
5. Abdula Isaev - Dagestan
6. James Puopolo - USA
7. Yukiyasu Ozawa - Japan
8. Kamil Uminski - Poland
9. Cristiano Lazzarini - Brazil
10. Henry Jorge Martin Ottaviano - Argentina
11. Alan Belcher - USA
12. Ezra Lenon - USA
13. Jia Jing yang - China
14. Joao Assis - Brazil

+99 kg
1. Vinny Magalhaes – Brazil
2. Antwain Britt – USA
3. Wang Yan Bo  - China
4. Jared Dopp - USA
5. Michael Wilson - Australia
6. Robby Donofrio - USA
7. Hideki Sekine - Japan
8. Janne Pietilainen - Finland
9. Marcus Almeida "Buchecha" - Brazil
10. Kitner Mendoga - Brazil
11. Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu - Brazil
12. Orlando Sanchez - USA
13. Joao Gabriel de Olivera - Brazil
14. Mike Martelle - Canada

-60 kg
1. Liu Yan – China
2. Anna Michelle Tavares - Brazil
3. Nyjah Easton - USA
4. Laura Hondrop - Netherlands
5. Luanna Alzuguir - Brazil
6. Michelle Nicolini - Brazil
7. Seiko Yamamoto - Japan
8. Kristina Barlaan  - USA

+60 kg
1. Gabrielle Garcia – Brazil
2. Fernanda Mazelli – Brazil
3. Tara White - USA
4. Yurika Nakakura - Japan
5. Ida Hansson - Sweden
6. Marysia Malyjasiak - Poland
7. Penny Thomas - South Africa
8. Tammy Griego - Brazil

Braulio Estima – Brazil
Andre Galvao – Brazil
Mario Sperry – Brazil
Fabio Gurgel – Brazil"
Awesome picture.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Mental Preparation: Travis Stevens on Judo & BJJ Mental Preparation for Competition

Brock Samson has self-belief.
I'm sure every morning he wakes up, looks in the mirror, thinks "wow, I am a bad@$$. In fact, no one is more of a bad@$$ than the entire world."

If you follow this blog, you know I'm a nerd for studying the insight/mental preparation before competition and/or fighting of high level competitors. It's also one of the hardest things to ascertain in regards to any specific methodology. It's a semi-derided moment when a professional athlete (especially fighters) admit they've been to the sports psychologist. The machismo of the sport and of male-sport culture regards this as weak, and mental weakness is something akin to the cardinal sin of fighting and sport.

But, as is often the case, necessity will force us to reconsider that which we might once have never been willing to give a fair attempt.
There comes a point, especially the stiffer the level of competition, where the actual training is roughly all comparable.
Everyone is good. Everyone trains a lot. Everyone eats well. Everyone has good coaching. Everyone has good training partners.
The difference is often very, very tiny on that given day, at that given moment, in that split second.

You are only as good as the preparation you do beforehand: both physical and mental.

I got this over at, so go check them out (you should have checked them out first this morning when you sat down in your cubicle.

Weekend News Update: Friend of Mine is Designing a Gi, Toquinho/Palhares gets UFC Ban, Bellator 103 Tonight et al

"As announced by UFC president Dana White, the UFC organization has elected to terminate its contract with Rousimar Palhares based on repeated incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct violating the UFC Fighter Code of Conduct and his Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC.

At 'UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields' on Oct. 9, 2013, Palhares won his welterweight bout against Mike Pierce via heel hook submission in 31 seconds. Pierce appeared to tap several times physically and verbally and the ref intervened physically before Palhares let go. Despite being the only submission win on the card, Palhares was denied the Submission of the Night bonus. Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik announced at the post-fight press conference that the local commission would be investigating the length of time that Palhares held the submission.

The controversy is not Palhares' first: In 2010, the New Jersey State Athletic Commission suspended Palhares for 90 days following his heel hook win over Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 for not letting go after the referee stoppage.

In 2012, Palhares was again suspended for nine months after testing positive for elevated testosterone after UFC on FX 6."


Bellator 103 Tonight:
MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)

Jake Shields wants to fight GSP again. No one cares outside of his friends and family.
Friend of mine is designing a Gi. Check it out. So far, it looks awesome.

Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Shaking Hands: Xande Ribeiro with Takamasu Anai @ Tenri Judo

Talk about cross training between two guys who are at the elite level in their respective sports.


Takamasu Anai training with Xande Ribeiro -

Takamasu Anai: "He won the All-Japan Championships and took the bronze medal at the World Championships in 2009. His greatest achievement to date is winning the 2010 World Champions in Tokyo. Anai's main tournament throws are Harai Goshi, Uchi Mata and O soto gari."

Xande Ribeiro: "He is a two-time World (Mundial) Black Belt Absolute (open weight) World Jiu-Jitsu Champion, four-time World (Mundial) Black Belt Heavy Weight Champion, and three-time World Black Belt Pro Division Champion."


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Injury Bug Strikes ADCC: Rodolfo & Faria. Leandro Lo Persona Non Grata

Rodolfo posted on facebook he's out due to injury and will miss the ADCC & Jiu-Jitsu expo superfight with Kron.

Bernardo Faria injured his knee training up at Marcelo Garcia's in NYC.

Leandro Lo was flatly told "“What happens is, historically, it has never been ADCC policy to invite athletes based on their success in the gi.”


UFC Fight Night 29: Spoilers, Reflections, & Highlights

So, last night....happened.
All in all, I was entertained. I was a bit disappointed watching Demian Maia give away early rounds rather than institute a proved 5 round game plan against Jake Shields which is pick him apart and pressure him.

Demian Maia decided to prove whose ground game was better and in attempting to take the back, lost one or more of those crucial rounds and thus a split decision as he ended up on bottom at the end of the first two rounds.

Not that anyone cares to see Shields get jabbed to death with his laughably passable stand-up in a rematch against GSP. For a guy with something like 30+ fights, I don't see him ever getting the belt at 170 with his stand-up. He's not dynamic enough of a wrestler to put the fight where he needs against GSP or others like Hendricks, and I can't help but think Condit's killer instinct would kick in with a guy plodding about with the errant jab or snap kick that Jake Shields sticks out there. To say nothing of what Hendricks bazooka of a cross would do to his consciousness.

Dong Hyun Kim looked like exhaustion was about to bring him down but proved to Erick Silva that all it takes is a momentary lapse in focus/carelessness and it's lights out.

Toquinho went for 2 textbook youtube instructional heel hook entry. Some are decrying his holding on, I only counted about 4 seconds from the time the referee jumped in, it's certainly less egregious than his prior issues with "hespecting the tap".

I missed the Dillashaw/Assuncao fight heading back from a Kids Judo class I help teach.

Matt Hammill actually looked smooth and quick on his feet to start but leg kicks and a gameplan that included virtually no takedowns early in the fight led to him nearly being TKO'd via leg kicks and Silva could have probably gotten the stoppage if he decided to put the foot on the gas there at the end.

Fabio Maldonado nearly lost a decision b/c he wanted to showboat and rouse the crowd rather than simply put the leather to Beltran's face.
If you have time to showboat, you have time to finish. I guess some people in the crowd like that sorta thing, but for me, it's like breaking the 4th wall in a movie. Fight and finish, not dance and flash and ask for applause mid-fight.

As for my picks, I correctly picked 3 fights (Kim, Toquinho, and Maldonado). If I'd paid more attention to the card I'd have picked Silva over the now he's unretired Matt Hammill.
Chris Cariaso vs Iliarde Santos Highlights:

Quickest KO of the Night: