Friday, January 31, 2014

Welcome to Black Belt, my name is Rafa, I'll be your tour guide - 2014 Euros

Rafa doing what does Rafa does.

Not sure if he's just being patient, or if the Berimbolo's day of sheer dominance seem to be waning.
That being said, Rafa passes with a pretty standard knee through after obtaining the underhook.
After that it's pretty standard fare as he controls, feeds the lapel, and switches the grip with the guy's arm already in position for the Brabo. He transitioned to mount to finish.


UFC 169: My Picks & Prognostications Paired with Gifs from The Office

How I felt when I read Urijah Faber was getting another title shot/Dominic Cruz was out with an injury.

Saturday is a big day in combat sports: the UFC takes place in New Jersey, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Copa Podio takes place in Brazil. The Judo Paris Grand Prix takes place in France.
I'll be competing at the US Grappling Submission Only in Greensboro.

Somehow, they always schedule all these things for the same day so that I can never see or be a part of more than 1 or 2. I took the night off from my second job to watch the UFC after I finish competing at the Submission Only.

On to the picks and wild guesses based on little more than instinct and the google search engine!

Barao should win this fight. He was better than Faber virtually everywhere last time they fought and I see no reason why that will change. Historically, Faber just is not a title fight performer.
I see why he took the fight? It's last minute, if he loses it's not like he "lost" because he can say it was last minute with 3 weeks to prep.
If he wins, well, then the upside is obvious.

Barao by slightly more convincing decision over 5 rounds.

Aldo probably won't let Lamas out of the second round. Aldo's been patient to put guys away as of late, opting to simply put them down with leg kicks and combinations. For some reason, the look on Aldo's face at the weigh-ins keeps coming to me.
Aldo via 3rd round stoppage.

Frank Mir....Alistair Overeem...both guys with impressive-well, no, wait, Frank Mir has some impressive wins, sort of. Overeem has faltered whenever he's graduated to the A leagues.
Unfortunately for Mir, he has looked very gun shy in his last few fights and has nary even looked to shoot. The longer this fight is on the feet, the worse it goes for Mir. I just don't know if Mir will get Overeem down which means the fight can only go one way.
I don't see Mir pulling a Travis Browne and weathering a storm that will leave Overeem gassed and broken and ready to quit.
Overeem by bloody, decisive, soul-crushing stoppage in round 2.

John Lineker, I can't really call you a flyweight because you haven't made the weight 3 times in UFC appearances. Make the weight or move up a division, bro. Seriously. This isn't Ultimate Parking Lot Championship. Show up, make the weight or reside in another weight class. I see no reason why he won't beat Ali Bagautinov just based on having several more UFC fights worth of experience.
Lineker by close 3 round decision.

Jamie Varner, unless he gets old over night, (he's got some mileage on him from years fighting) should win this bout handily. Varner has good hands, good wrestling, and comes prepared to win. He moves forward and has the clear cut above of experience whereas Trujillo's gone 2-1-1 in 4 UFC appearances.
Varner by 2 round stoppage.
"Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber
for bantamweight title
Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas
for featherweight title

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Today's Jiu-Jitsu To Do List/Upcoming Tournaments

February 1st - Competing at the US Grappling Submission Only this Saturday at purple belt for the first time. 

February 15th - Competing at the Virginia Open in Judo at black belt.

February 22nd - Considering very seriously doing the ADCC Nationals in Virginia Beach.

With Judo tournament season looming, I'm back adding Olympic lifts and sprints to my training regimen. I'm also far more consistent with my diet, cutting out almost all eating out/restaurants minus the occasional tacos or sushi. I'll splurge sometimes and get some chocolate cookies at whole foods.

It takes about 2-3 weeks after adding Olympic lifts and sprints to when I can then add morning training several times a week to my usual 6 days a week without a serious retrograde in performance.
I used to blindly train as hard as possible every day but could only grind out perhaps 4 days in a row.
On average, I get anywhere from 1-3 Judo training sessions per week & 6 Jiu-Jitsu sessions per week.

Our Judo club is small and I wish we had more serious competitors and members in general, but we perform well at the state level and we make the most of what we have often placing for team points with only a handful of competitors,

Add some of the following people to my instagram
10 BJJ Personalities to follow on Instagram (Thanks

Finish watching the IBJJF 2014 Euros

Review of divisional winners at the 2014 Euros

Look at combination of sit-up sweep as it fits with my open guard game as a response to the knee through/RDLR counter by guys trying to knee through/cut through pass/smash into me

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

IBJJF 2014 Europeans - Legal Knee Reap/DLR + Underhook ?

The premise against the knee reap is that it drives against the outside of the knee inward.
This is the driving force/motion behind the heel hook. The torque, or twisting motion against the knee joint is destructive.
You'll notice it applied by Caio Terra against Koji Shibamoto at the roughly 2 minute mark in the video.

Coming back from ACL surgery, I did not like the pressure of the DLR/Berimbolo against my knees and thus adopted guard passing with my hand posted Leandro Lo style against the DLR hook and will avoid that position at all costs, which means I must be aware of my opponents inverting or spinning inside to deep half/RDLR/inverting et cetera, but that's the battle I fight b/c the pressure of the DLR/berimbolo when applied is so great, I've yet to see much good come from fighting it after it is set.

The premise behind allowing the Berimbolo and other moves is that I can concede the sweep to alleviate the pressure, but I could almost apply the same logic to the heel hook.
Especially with the underhooking grip Caio has with his right arm.
As someone who's had knee reconstruction, I know very well the pressure and feel of a knee reap motion when applied to my knees.
This isn't a post to bash Caio or anyone else, they exist within the rules as outlined by the governing body of the competition in which they enter, but it's the kind of move that when applied by a long legged or flex and bust out style force will inevitablylead to some ACL tears out there, mark my words. Especially if the person to whom it is being done is unaware of the position in which their leg/knee joint now resides.

My (Non)Expert Opinion on the Association of Ringside Physicians & Their Position

Having had ringside physicians who smelled of alcohol on their breath while conducting pre-fight physicals, I place them somewhat in the category of the boxing/athletic commissions which I have also had the distinct pleasure of interacting with in different states either as a fighter or as a corner for someone else who was fighting.
Are these the same guys who have watched for years as fighters showed up emaciated and dehyrdrated, cut weight, then reappeared the following day having ballooned up to 25 lb's more in weight?
Spare me the "we're concerned angle".
There must be another angle, and what that is, I am uncertain.
But "fighter health" is hardly a plausible one if we're consistent in our examination of the other practices allowed in combat sports.
Are they pushing for stricter drug testing? For testing that will catch micro dosing for Testosterone? The reality is that you should watch the BALCO/Joe Rogan Podcast episode to really hear about how steroid testing has evolved and changed to have your mind blown.

A good look at the website for the "Association of Ringside Physicians"

Here's the outline of the content on the exam.

As to how anyone with a medical license is now an expert on TRT or hypogonadism is beyond me, but hey, they made a public statement. That means something, I guess.  

The Future is Now: Rafa Mendes vs Gianni Grippo - 2014 Europeans

The Future is Now: Rafa Mendes vs Paulo Miyao - 2014 Europeans

Monday, January 27, 2014

Best of the IBJJF 2014 Euros - Graciemag/Overall Results & Crystal Ball Ahead for 2014 Sport Jiu-Jitsu

Things are heating up for the tournament season in sport/Gi Jiu-Jitsu.
The Pans, Worlds, and World Pro all loom on the horizon in the next 4 months or so.

Questions loom as to whether or not the Mendes brothers will reassert their dominance over the Gi portion of the sport. How will the newly minted black belts of Keenan Cornelius, Miyao 1 and Miyao 2, Gianni Grippo, and AJ Agazarm fare?
Ginnai looked competent against Rafa at the Euros with his Reverse De La Riva holding up well against Rafa. It's hard to tell from video, but Rafa seemed to be doing some analysis as well as competing, in examining Gianni's game rather than simply smashing it. Reminds me of Dan Lukehart's breakdown of Keenan Cornelius' guard and whether Keenan purposefully plays different guards in matches to make his style less prone to analysis.

Below are the black belt division winners respectively, ordered by weight class:

Caio Terra beat out two Japanese competitors (Koji Shibamoto among them)

Jose Barros - beat out the Miyao of the lighter svelte build

Rafael Mendes bested a bracket containing the likes of newly minted black belts: Paulo Miyao and Gianni Grippo.

Michael Langhi closed it out with Sinistro, and AJ Agazarm took 3rd.

Claudio Calasans bested JT Torres for the "W".

Thiago Silva

Jackson Sousa

Lucio "Lagarto" bested a bracket packed with Rafael Lovato Jr. and Igor Silva.

Cavaca, mentor to Buchecha, topped a division with Evangelista and Absolute division winner, Alexander Trans.

Absolute - Alexander Trans - got to the top of the podium in an absolute packed with Jackson Sousa and Yuri Simoes

Monday's Multimedia Mailbag: UFC on FOX 10 Video Highlights Edition/"Guaranteed" Title Shot/Contendership blah blah blah....

^ that pretty much clears up any confusion on the subject.....

Well, the UFC on FOX 10 occurred.

I went 7-4 for my overall predictions, correctly picking Henderson, Wineland, Hugo Viani, Criuckshank, Sullivan, and Krylov. Much like Gonzaga who can be a be a world beater on one night and a plodding target other nights, I either picked fights almost exactly right (Stephens by Unanimous Decision) or was way off (I thought Adriano might pick up a decision win over a Cerrone riding in his RV across the United States blowing money like a man with a bag of bananas in a monkey brothel).
Henderson's title shot disappeared as soon as the Baldfather got up out of his seat at the close of the hotly contested 5 round affair. TJ Grant is still out with brain damage problems (let's call it what it is) and despite Benson's roost at the top of the contender list, he has two losses to Anthony Pettis on his resume (though, a loss never really stopped Urijah Faber from getting 14 title shots or however many it is - see next Saturday night).

Gonzaga faded over three rounds and got picked apart by a better athlete.
Josh Thomson blew his title shot by fighting the grinder/decision winner 3 of 5 rounds Ben "Decision" Henderson. Thomson should have held out rather than drop a fight to a guy who wins exactly the kind of fight he won Saturday - 3 out of 5 rounds depending on who you ask.

Alex Caceres beat a UFC-debuting fighter which will be overshadowed by the fact that it was an entertaining fight by a guy with only 10 prior professional mma bouts, and Caceres who no one expected much out of following his stint on TUF. Despite the fact that I have to start giving Caceres props b/c he now has something like 4 or 5 UFC wins, he looked very beatable at times in a bout with a guy who was debut'ing in the big show. Caceres is still very much a work in progress. Pettis, to his credit, looked good for a UFC debut against a guy with a much, much bigger/longer frame.

Cerrone got a payday by knocking out a guy with one UFC fight to his credit.

Eddie Wineland looked a bit off to start the night in round 1, but that blistering right hand of his dialed in over time, and eventually Jabouin wilted under the pressure and Wineland's control of the distance. I actually enjoyed the prelims more than the main card and was glad to catch them before I headed into work at my other job.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

BJJ Hacks TV: Miyao Bros

You know you're dedicated/obsessed/driven/motivated/whatever-you-call-it when Leandro Lo says you're the hardest working guys in the world.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

UFC on FOX 10: Henderson vs Thomson/Picks & Prognostications

Ben Henderson vs Josh Thomson
It always struck me how quickly people dismissed Anderson Silva's brutally clear cut KO loss to Weidman but used Ben Henderson's loss by quick armbar to completely forget his run to the title and subsequent defenses. Somehow, Dana, used this to justify that Henderson needed to work his way back to a title shot.
People began to forget how dominant Benson Henderson was at lightweight until his razor thin decision wins defending the belt several times. 

I like Thompson, and despite whatever psych-out-mind-games he may be playing by saying he's had a terrible camp, he looked absolutely sharp picking apart Nate Diaz, sticking to a game plan and capitalizing after lulling the younger Stockton bad boy into being overly aggressive. It was mind blowing to see Nate Diaz finished so emphatically and a credit to Thomson experience and killer instinct.
I still think Benson will grind out Thompson by cutting off the ring, getting him down, and wearing him out with superior wrestling. Thomson has shown the willingness to showboat/flash dance run to avoid having the ring cut off, but Benson has a penetrating shot at times, and I'm sure he's been working on pressing the pace to get the takedown at least 3 out of 5 rounds. I think Thomson in a desperate scramble to get to his feet as he is down on rounds will give up his back and find himself submitted.
Benson Henderson by submission, Rd 4.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs Stipe Miocic
Gonzaga is a guy that comes in some nights and is a world beater juggernaut. Other nights he gets caught early and goes to sleep. His resume has some impressive names on it either in winning or losing. Stipe, I think, will wilt under the onslaught that is Gonzaga. I would NOT bet money on this fight, b/c Gonzaga is always a punch away from getting "rocked" and put away. However, I think Gonzaga takes this one with a monster right hand.
Gonzaga by bazooka right hand, Rd 1.

Darren Elkins vs Jeremy Stephens
Jeremy Stephens because I have seen more of his fights. Elkins probably deserves more credit than that as he holds wins of Siler, Brandao, and Hioki coupled with a loss to Chad Mendes (one of several guys kaboshed by Mendes). Stephens comes in with back to back wins following a loss by TKO to Yves Edwards. Stephens has only lost to guys with names like Cerrone, Pettis, and Edwards. I don't see Elkins having the pedigree to add his name to that list.
Stephens by Decision, Rd 3.

Donald Cerrone vs Adriano Martins
Cerrone admitted as much as taking this fight because he is financially broke because he spends money as fast as he gets it. Cerrone is a guy that like Gonzaga shows up looking like a world beater some nights, then looks listless or even broken other nights (Diaz, Pettis). I still think Cerrone takes this one with grit. I haven't seen enough of Martins fights to place him over Cerrone, but Cerrone's penchant to simply walk forward expecting to steamroll a guy could land him in serious trouble as Martins is no spring chicken in the fight game.
Cerrone by Decision, Rd 3.

Alex Caceres vs Sergio Pettis
The younger Pettis is getting a stern test in his UFC debut but a fight that stylistically he should win. Caceres is crafty and has some submission wins but his striking is less than dangerous, and Pettis should grind out a win here. Everyone loves an older brother champ/younger brother contender storyline but I'm glad the UFC didn't give him some no name in his debut that was a complete softball but rather gave him a match-up with a guy who surprised many of us and got some wins on the big stage after graduating from TUF.
Pettis by Decision, Rd 3.

Yves Jabouin vs Eddie Wineland
Jabouin has proven dangerous and exciting to watch throughout his career, as is the case with Eddie Wineland. Jabouin prefers a more diverse striking attack while Wineland is more boxing oriented. Jabouin has falter against steps up in competition as with Raphael Assuncao and more recently Brad Pickett. Wineland has looked increasingly sharp his last few fights in terms of counter-wrestling and his punching combinations as well as a rapier like jab.
Wineland also suffers from the "lose to former champs or contenders or current champ"-it is in his losses to Joseph Benavidez, Urijah Faber, and Renan Barao most recently. Does he have the chops to win the belt? Doubtful. Does he produce fan-friendly fights for undercards with a lot of striking for the "Just Bleed" and "Stand and Bang" variety of MMA/UFC fan? absolutely.
I see Wineland taking this one simply because the losses on his resume come from better guys with tougher, more impressive resumes themselves.
Wineland by Decision, Rd 3.

Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Training, Grinding, the Laboratory, and Play Days

The Laboratory
When you stop even thinking about or worrying about if/when you get tapped out, you will truly start to transform your training.

When "winning" becomes simply hitting the transition or the sweep, or the guard pass you've been practicing, you will begin to warp your training into overdrive.

When you defend and cling to the notion of not getting tapped out rather than training and trying the components of your game, you absolutely kill your growth.

Willpower will only carry you so far.
Willpower, ultimately, fails.
Unrelenting pressure will break down virtually any machine.
Not to wax poetic, but water dripping on stone eventually breaks it down.
Berating yourself as weak every day in training and applying the weight of the world on yourself will not make you a diamond.

If you're serious about BJJ, you're likely physically and mentally overtraining in some sense of the word.

There is a point of diminishing returns.
You train to the point where your mind and body break down under duress.
Your self-image falters, or perhaps reaffirms insecurity and self doubt.
Frustration further cripples your belief in your ability to apply X technique or Y guard pass.

Play days
The days in which you allow your subconscious Jiu-Jitsu to come out. You operate in the "flow" or "go" state like Rickson mentions.

I find that I do not progress as well if I operate with a play day mentality every training session. If I go to the gym always willing to simply "see what happens" I inevitably work my closed guard to a sweep or submission because I inevitably revert to what I feel comfortable and where I can find moments to rest.

When I decide a position or a sweep I want to reach and become comfortable with, I find myself putting puzzle pieces together more frequently than not.

Again though, the unrelenting grind of trying to force the same position or sweep or pass will cause it to grow stale, unappetizing, and you will eventually grow bored.

Bottom Game Progression:

Reverse De La Riva - to account for lack of flexibility in my left leg after ACL surgery
Deep Half - when they bypassed Reverse DLRiva by pressing in
Spider-Guard - when they retreated by backing away
De La Riva + Spider Guard when in mid-range, and more comfortable switching between guards
De La Riva to Leandro Lo X-guard + Spider Guard - more comfortable with position and now forcing/hunting for the sweep to come up on top


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

6 Degrees of Separation/Shameless Brushes with Fame: Tim Kennedy in the Works to Fight Michael Bisping

Funny story behind this post: Tim Kennedy was the first person to tap me out at Purple belt.

I was training the day after getting promoted at Gracie Raleigh, and Tim Kennedy was in town.
Brandon Garner, Gracie Raleigh owner and Royce Gracie black belt and Tim know one another/Brandon has cornered him in the past from what I understand, and I rolled with Tim.

He's every bit the same person you see in interviews and was super cool to everyone there, took pictures, rolled with everyone, et cetera.
I'd root for whoever was fighting Bisping, but it's cool seeing Tim move up the rankings at Middleweight.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Metamoris III - Card Announced - March 29th

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Glad to see Brendan Schaub-Run-Gate wasn't the death of a pro level grappling event.

Eddie Bravo and Royler throw down. Royler out to prove Bravo's win a million years ago was a fluke. Bravo to prove it wasn't a fluke. Bravo went on to market and profit from rubber guard et cetera.
I'll say this, Eddie Bravo is not a slouch. A lot of critics confuse dislike for 10th planet marketing or affiliates with doubting Bravo's skills.
Watch his rolling with Marcelo Garcia as proof.
It was eye opening for me. People may write off Eddie Bravo, but anyone who can hang and roll hard with Marcelo the way he does is impressive.

Rafa vs Clark will be the Berimbolo versus the Omoplata.
Keenan Faces a heavyweight Black Belt with a seriously impressive resume. I'm curious whether it's go or NoGi.
I'm glad to see Dean Lister competing as he'll bring some leg lock flair to the event.
Gui will bring his passing pressure to Samir Chantre.
Maxwell is a perennial badass in his division and i'll be interesting to see how the newly minted black belt Sean Roberts handles the challenge.

Leandro Lo: My Passes, My Guard, My Game - BJJ Hacks TV

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Some interesting takeaways from Leandro Lo, who I haven't heard much in interviews or his perspective on training.
He clearly works a lot of guard and a lot of passing. He also likes to watch Romulo and Jacare as they pass standing. For quite awhile during the Berimbolo/De La Riva Revolution brought on by the Brothers Mendes and Brothers Miyao, the convention wisdom became to pass super low (see guys like Laercio Fernandes/Bruno Malfacine as examples).
I for one will be watching some "old school" Jacare to revisit his style of passing having now heard that provides inspiration for the guard passing machine that is Leandro Lo.


Nick Schultz Booted from World Grappling Circuit Tournament this past weekend

This will likely become a touchstone of controversy, but in short, Nick Schultz of the Maldonado/Schultz rape trial was booted form a tournament in Texas this past weekend.
The immediate cry by some will be that they were not convicted.
Lloyd Irvin, having laid low for a bit, is back semi in the spotlight/cornering Mike Easton at the UFC last week for one.

My response, is that, like any business, the circuit has the right to refuse entry/service/whatever to anyone whom they choose. If this then incurs the wrath of any potential consumers, then that is their concern as a business.

Everyone will feel entitled to an opinion about this one, but what's not in question nor challenged is that Maldonado/Schultz had sex with a teammate so drunk she could barely walk then left her in a parking deck while it was below freezing out in downtown on NYE.

Even if you lend disbelieve a sexual assault occurred, it's hard to give them a pass on that.
As with any business, it's their decision and I support them. Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and other sports have codes of conduct et cetera and I'm surprised but also glad they chose to make the decision which may spark some blowback.

Abu Dhabi World Pro 2014 Brazilian Trials Results

"In the 64kg, João Miyao closed out the division with teammate Gilberto dos Santos.
In the 70kg...World champion in 2004, Fernando Vieira...and got gold by ref decision.
In the 76kg, Claudio Caloquinha came on top.with a guard pass over Thiago Aragon, he secured his trip to the middle east.
In the 82kg, Jaime Canuto [who recently competed in the Copa Podio] beat Murilo Santana with a sweep for the gold.
In the 88kg, Renato Cardoso caught UFC star Serginho Moraes with a leg lock in one of the quarterfinals. Cardoso went all the way to the final, being stopped by Diogo Moreno, with two sweeps.
Antonio Peinado returned to competition with a victory[and] got the ticket.
In the 100kg, João Gabriel Rocha was the standout. The black belt had two fights to secure a place on the plane to Abu Dhabi....
Finally, in the over 100kg, Thiago Gaia’s"


Monday's Multimedia Mailbag: UFC on FOX 10 & WSOF 8 Video Highlights

Interesting stuff coming up on this card. Gonzaga has always choked when the belt or another high profile fight was on his plate. I say that and at the same time I'm a huge fan of Gonzaga. It's been tough as he either shows up and blows guys away or gets murked in devastated fashion. Henderson: how far he's fallen off the casual fans radar once he lost by quick armbar to Pettis. For a guy with a number of title defenses(close decisions arguably) I still think he got a raw deal in how quickly he was kicked to the curb. Word out of Cerrone's mouth is that he simply needs a fight against whoever to make money because he's broke. The crazy part of his personality, by his own admission may be running the show. He's another guy that's had great fights with Henderson, then come out and completely blown it against Nate Diaz from bell to bell. I'm interested to see what version of several of the guys on this card shows up. WSOF 8: They have a lightweight champion now, you guys. A guy that missed weight laughably and numerous times knocked out a guy who in the past viciously stomped an opponent despite the referee's attempts to stop the fight. You know a fight sucked when one of the commentators mentions how difficult it must have been to find a highlight moment from the 3 round affair: Tough watching Macaco lose this one in such clear fashion. Macaco will always be a legend in my heart for his Vale Tudo bouts with Pele down in Brazil. Whatever people paid to see this event live, they definitely got their money's worth.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs Phillippou - Phantom Cam Footage

Lex Fridman's Sebastian Brosche Guard Passing Study Parts I & II

When you start BJJ, guard passing often feels like a dangerous pass on a tightrope facing down a perilous monster far more powerful than yourself, and as the more you struggle, the more futile it all feels and you ultimately perish....

I'm a big fan of keeping the Jiu-Jitsu moves/techniques/whatever in my game simple. I don't like 14 part moves. I never have. Sebastian Brosche is one of those guys I saw awhile back, well before I had any significant time at blue belt, but after Lex Fridman upped a breakdown of his guard passing (esp. for Spider-Guard which had been giving me trouble as I began to pass standing more frequently) I remembered Brosche and his unique perspective/style on guard passing.

The first part deals more primarily with the stomp (made more visibly popular with Keenan's match with Miyao but also guys more recently stomping the spider-guard to break through) but Sebasian was clearly ahead of the curve here.

The second part is interesting in that it shows Sebastian leapfrogs past sidemount or knee on belly in preference for circumventing all of that/those smaller battles right to a north/south position, something, I would imagine, most guys spend far less time in. Rather than short changing himself, perhaps if you want to call it that, Sebastian goes right past those stops on the railroad and heads directly where he wants to be, north/south.

I always think of Justin Rader in moments like this, and an interview where he said "the guy who gets where he wants to be first, wins." Sebastian is doing this as he bypasses the battles for sidemount and knee on belly or from there fighting to pass back in the other just going all the way past, way past in fact.

The only breakdown perhaps I've seen is that if/when the opponent turtles, if he doesn't get the back take, the only actual points Sebastian may incur is an advantage by forcing his opponent to turtle.
This of course then becomes a matter of preference and style then: bypass the battles at sidemount/knee on belly to perhaps take a relatively direct line to the back based on the assumption that your more effective there than your opponent, or perhaps, get mired down in a lengthy battle to settle into sidemount then knee on belly.

As with all strategy, it depends on where you'd like to be as a result of the strategy and the cost/benefit analysis.

At the lighter weights and as you move up in belt level/experience, the statistical probability of points scored from a full out guard pass drops remarkably. Bishop BJJ did a great study of points breakdowns at the higher levels of competition and by weight class that support this. In fact, other tournament point breakdowns by weight class and skill levels affirm this trend.

If that is truly the case, then Sebastian's guard passing makes all the more sense. He's bypassing a position that in all likelihood is low probability to achieve and is doing so in a manner that less of his opponents will find themselves being familiar with as a guard passing strategy to defend.

Part I:

Part II:


Friday, January 17, 2014

Nostalgia Friday: An Old Favorite Takedown of Mine Before it was Banned in Judo

Kibisu Gaeshi is the ankle pick. As it's shown below, it's set up with a nice kouchi gake (blocking, rather than sweeping motion). This was an old tried and true tactic of mine against bent over players and guys flat on their feet. It was also a great way to get your opponent to turn out and initiate mat work/newaza.
I miss the days before all leg attacks were banned. When the ankle pick, the double leg, and the big pick-ups made Judo the wild west of takedowns.

The influence of so many different styles of folk wrestling and styles of play from various countries truly made it one of the most dynamic styles of grappling to watch.

With the added change that the top 25 players in the world go, rather than countries qualifying, I worry that Judo will become one of those sports that only a few powerhouse nations truly excel in and send groups of competitors.

The variety of throwing and styles of gripping always made Judo a blast to watch, not so much. It's sad that this wealth of takedowns will no longer truly exist in competitive Judo and oddly enough, the wild west of takedowns is now to be found in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with very limited rules on gripping and takedowns/throws.

Ary Farias vs Bruno Malfacine: 2011 Euros

Hadn't seen this match before, admittedly, I've mostly forgotten about Ary since he was lighting it up at brown belt, then until he lost the World Championship for overzealous celebration and was penalized a point, and thus due to advantages, lost. He's since claimed he won't even discuss sport Jiu-Jitsu and is moving on to MMA *ahem, Kron?*

At any rate, it's a terrific match where you really see A) how good Ary is at such a young age, and B) how wily and crafty Malfacine is.


Friday's Mission Impossible: Sweeping Leandro Lo - Roberto Satoshi Edition

I've discussed it before, but only a handful of guys out there have swept/come up on top of Leandro Lo.

Otavio Sousa is one. Click HERE.

Add Roberto Satoshi to that list as well.

I stumbled across this match today, and it reaffirms what I saw in the Otavio Sousa Copa Podio match, Leandro is susceptible to the sit-up guard type of standing up for a single leg type takedown rather than a traditional sweep.

Jump to the 2:30 mark in the midst of the scramble to see Satoshi get to his feet with the pants leg grip and then ultimately finish on top.
This sit-up guard sweep is a mainstay of guys like Otavio Sousa and Rodolfo Vieira.
See BJJ Scout for further evidence.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Keenan Cornelius vs Jackson Souza - IBJJ Pro 2013 Final

Carol Gracie....Saying....Something....Yoga.....?



UFC Fight Night 30-Something Middleweight Eliminator: Rockhold vs Phillippou - Full Video Highlights

Well....that.....happened last night.

Rockhold folded Phillippou in half in the first round. Phillippou looked he was looking for a way out after the first exchange or two. He had the deer in headlights look walking out to the octagon, and I'm sure any man who had bet money on the underdog was realizing there really wasn't a hotdog's chance in a hallway of it paying out.
Checking his eye after the cut from the kick et cetera, moments later when he stayed down after the body kick, this was my complete and utter lack of surprise that Rockhold won a fight that did not even look competitive for a moment or two.

Let's rewind back through the event starting with the anti-climactic main event:

Rockhold moves on to a division full of the likes of Machida, Jacare (who he actually beat - since then Jacare's won 5 in a row, with increasingly quick finishes), Weidman, and Vitor Belfort. After Anderson's strangle hold lapsed, the division really has heated up, and sad as it was to see Silva go out on a stretcher, there would have been a serious problem as Machida and Jacare were not willing to fight Silva.

Brad Tavares used an early combination of attacks to the body and end of the round takedowns to stifle Lorenz Larkin's advantages on the feet, upsetting the oddsmakers' favorite. I figured Tavares' takedowns/clinch would be the decisive factor and I was right.

Dillashaw bested Mike Easton of ignominious Team Lloyd Irvin affiliation with a versatile attack on the feet and some well-timed takedowns. Dillashaw channeled some movement that was very Dominic Cruz esque with kicks, punches, feints, switching stances, takedowns and knees.

Yoel Romero finished Derek Brunson through sheer out-athleticizing-mongo-smashing-him-donkey-kong style Cole Miller walked away with $50,000 with one of only 2 submissions on the entire card.
Yoel Romero is quickly becoming one of those guys that others will not want to fight. His wrestling pedigree, willingness to cut weight and stay dangerous through at least 2-3 rounds, and finishing power is quickly making him a man to avoid on the ladder/totem pole.

Full video highlights for the rest of the fights after the jump:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mid-March Bellator Returns!

March 14th, Daniel Strauss rematches Pat Curran, War Machine enters the welterweight tourney again, and the "Fight Master" winner Joe Riggs rounds out the welterweight tourney as well.

Fight Master in case you're wondering you aren't, I know is that reality TV show Bellator put on MMA that I'll admit, I watched as often as I did the Miesha/Ronda TUF season which means not at all.

My other fondest Bellator memory?

The PPV that was to be?

Open Mat Radio: Your Day Needs More Podcast

Open Mat Radio Podcast
"On this week’s episode we have Matt “Aesopian” Kirtley. Matt is an Eduardo deLima blackbelt and founder of Known for his high level instruction we discuss what exactly makes a good instructor, when to teach concepts versus moves, how to utilize multimedia to improve your game and why the crucifix should be in your arsenal! We also discuss his collaboration with and how the instructional market will be forever changed with their 3D Jiu Jitsu mixed media platform."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

UFC Middleweight Fight Night Contender Series 35: Rockhold vs Phillipou - Picks & Prognostications

Rockhold will come in looking to make a statement. Phillipou has considerably  more UFC experience, but Rockhold had the (mis)fortune of drawing Vitor Belfort his first bout in the UFC (TRT'd Belfort at that). Before that Rockhold beat Jacare (a less developed dynamo in MMA than now) and had won 9 in a row. Phillippou is coming off a less profile loss to Francis Carmont where Carmont wisely surprised Phillippou with a bunch of takedowns. It wasn't amazing or anything, but it was crafty and it got the "W".

Rockhold by 2nd round TKO in a rock 'em sock 'em robots affair of brain trauma.

Lorenz Larkin doesn't turn down fights I would suspect by taking a fight against the very tough, very durable Brad Tavares. Tavares didn't impress me much on the TUF show, but has really turned the corner professionally in his UFC bouts. His clinch-heavy style has continued to develop and he's strung together an impressive list of wins. Larkin also has a loss to Francis Carmont. I guess it's his height, but he's always looked small to me in this weight class (though he has a win over Robbie Lawler in olden days of yore under the Strikeforce banner).Tavares has wins of tough guys, but no big names yet. Larkin doesn't really fit that bill, but it's all experience in the tool box to workman-like progress up the middleweight ladder. What awaits him at the top are guys I simply do not believe he's ready for: the Belforts, Machidas, and Jacares of the roster, not to mention Weidman.

Tavares will push him around and finish him inside of the 3rd round I suspect.

Dillashaw is another guy who turned out to be much more of a prospect than the less than stellar competition of this TUF season showed him to be.

Mike Easton is still with Lloyd Irvin, and as a result of all the allegations, involvement in the previous gang rape in Irvin's past, and current scandal coming to light, I'm hoping Dillashaw beats Easton, hands him his 3rd loss, and Easton gets the firing from the UFC, in exactly that order.

Sleeper shoe in for FIGHT OF THE NIGHT is Derek Brunson vs Yoel Romero.

These guys are going to hit one another very hard. Yoel has the better wrestling pedigree, but he looks like the Hulk in this weight class and simply out-beasts many of his opponents with his considerable weight cut advantage and heavy, heavy hands. That being said, Derek Brunson is another bright prospect for the middleweight division. Like the other 185'ers fighting on this card, he has two losses.  Brunson has a quick loss to Jacare awhile back, but has won his first two UFC fights with wins of some guy named Brian and Chris Leben.
Yoel Romero won his last two fights via stoppage.

I'm gonna go with Yoel Romero to win this one via TKO in the 2nd round

As for the other fights further down the scale:
Moraga will beat Ortiz.
Cole Miller will win his fight by flashy pants dance shoes style submission!
Brenneman will beat the UFC-debut'ing Beneil Dariush due to experience.
Nijem will beat Justin Edwards.

The rest of the fights?
I don't honestly plan on watching them or keeping an eye out for the results.
"January 15, 2014 | Arena at Gwinnett Center | Duluth, Georgia
preliminary CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 4 p.m. ET