Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nov. 22nd Copa Podio - Grand Prix Bracket & Superfights

From Over at Graciemag:

Grand Prix Middleweight Bracket: 
"The event will start at 2 p.m. PST, 5 p.m. EST.
The third season of the middleweight grand prix will feature top athletes:
1) Felipe Pena “Preguiça” (BRA)
2) Cláudio Calasans (BRA)
3) Luiz Panza (BRA)
4) Patrick Gaudio (BRA)
5) Diogo Moreno (BRA)
6) Jon Satava (USA) – presenting
7) Diego Borges (BRA)
8) Gregor Gracie (BRA)
9) Erberth Santos (BRA) – presenting
10) Thiago Sá (BRA)"

"There will be a no-gi challenge between Gianni Grippo and Joao Miyao. It will be submission-only with no time limit and the rules will allow for reaping and heel hooks.

There will be another submission-only match between Leandro Lo and Gibert Durinho but this one will be in the gi.

Tim Spriggs will face Lucas Hulk in a Brazil vs. USA challenge and in a preliminary match Lucas Valle will match-up against Rafael Mansur."

Monday, October 27, 2014

UFC 179 Monday Morning Hangover & a Dry Several Weeks/Month of UFC-Style Fighting

Well, Chad Mendes is now in Urijah Faber-ville.
In his own right, he was far more competitive with Jose than Faber was.
At the same time, he's dropped two to the champion and now he's relegated to knocking off whatever title challengers come long.
Mendes' stand-up looked great, especially compared to his first bout with Jose, but other than a couple errant attempts, perhaps a more diverse gameplan would've better suited him in terms of winning more than a moral victory.

The card was pretty meh overall.
I found myself playing with my phone and far more interested in talking to the people I was with during the Dariush, Magny, and Davis fights.
And as the title fight became a kickboxing bout I found myself also less than aesthetically pleased.
We went 3 weeks I think without a UFC, and now we'll go another few weeks until November 7th's Rockhold vs Bisping:
"main CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 10 p.m. ET
And then the next day we get:
"unknown CARD                                                                                
The only real card we have coming up anytime soon is November 15th when we get an Interim HW title bout with Werdum vs Hunt. Hunt is somehow due to the injury prone HW division, now fighting for an interim belt in the UFC. Who would've thought that after seeing him lose via Keylock to Tuscherer in his UFC debut?  But, that's the fight game folks. On that card we also get:
Diego Sanchez vs TBA, Bermudez vs Lamas who probably wont be title contenders because the UFC wants to plug McGregor in that slot and then some other fights with people whose names you won't recognize.
Following that card, there's a fight night card with Cub Swanson taking on Frankie Edgar and Brad Pickett back in action, but then we get to the first week in December and get to see Lawler and Hendricks rematch. I think Lawler takes it and Hendricks continues to not use his wrestling.
The good news is that card also has Pettis vs Melendez and Travis Browne vs Brendan Schaub.
I'm not going to cry oversaturation.
Say what you will, Conor McGregor has pumped some life into the UFC this year. He polarizes, people pay attention, internet traffic shows if nothing else people pay attention when he speaks. Jose Aldo basically refuses to hype his fights.
Barao is now out and Dillashaw has mixed up the division somewhat and now faces a looming date with Dominic Cruz. Jon Jones  and Cain are on the shelf. Pettis will defend his strap and hopefully not get hurt.
It's been a tough year for the UFC in some regards. We've had injured champs and some real gatekeepers hanging around that sell tickets but likely won't beat the champ no matter how many times they try.
I've been watching moderately entertaining Bellator cards on Fridays but that combined with some of the lackluster fight nights and PPV's and UFC's on FOX, it's getting hard to be overly excited about more than one or two fights on a card these days.

Garry Tonon vs Zak Maxwell Metamoris 5 Countdown Video

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Skill of Self-Confidence

Conor McGegor's meteoric rise comes to mind again. He says it enough and be believes and so do others. What is of supremely interesting to me is whether it will remain in the face of Jose Aldo when the cage door shuts close?

Dustin Poirier looked beaten in the first 30 seconds of that fight.
Chad Mendes had it on his face when he fought Jose Aldo the first time.
You saw it spread across him when his first takedown attempt was stuffed.
The question to all of the above then is who's armor cracks first? Aldo has the definitive edge in experience. McGregor has the advantage I think others have not had against Aldo which is that he is irrationally self-confident. I remember seeing Sonnen put it on Anderson Silva the first fight. Sonnen went out there irrationally self-confident and battered Silva for 4 1/2 rounds. Other guys ala Rich Franklin were defeated before the fight even began.

I read an interview where Donald Cerrone talked about red light and green light thoughts. Red light thoughts are ALL forms of negativity. Any form of doubt.

I've learned to catch myself before during and after matches to not even let my mind consider HOW tired I am. My response to the beginning of that line of thinking is simply "push" or "keep going".
When you let the tiredness or the weariness become tangible in your mind it spreads like cancer and you fold.

Compared to my competitive days in Judo, I won my first tournament with two throws, each under something like 20 seconds. It was a powerfully formative event in that in my mind winning in Judo felt and seemed natural. I went out in my next tournament and hammered away at a brown belt amongst others and beat him on pure aggression.

The feedback I got from the environment was powerfully building my self-confidence.
I walk on the mat literally feeling like no one in my division belongs on the mat with  me.
I have an irrational level of self-confidence.
I did a Judo tournament a week after my 3rd MMA fight which was by far my worst beating I'd taken in my 5 fights. Despite that crushing loss, I won two divisions/weight classes and defeated every competitor by full Ippon.

Self-talk and self-expectation are powerful tools which will fulfill themselves.
You are responsible for what you put into your body as well as your mind.
Negative self-talk and doubt will crush your ability to succeed if you are not wary.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

UFC Embedded Conor McGregor in Brazil: Aldo vs Mendes

The hype train builds for Conor McGregor....what's amazing is that on some level, he must already be in Jose's head. Jose must hate that Conor likely makes more money than he does despite his short time in the UFC. On some level, it must irritate him that Conor is featured more in the embedded clip than he is as the title holder.
Like it or not....Mendes and Aldo are, at this point, supporting cast on the Conor McGregor show.
It will be a fight that sells itself. Conor's hype and braggadocio versus the stone cold ice of Aldo. It has all the earmarks of a classic build up. Two nations which are rabid fan bases and two completely opposite personalities.


Bellator 130 Highlights

Recent Match Analysis: Purple Belt Featherweight @ Pendergrass Classic

Points scored:
2 takedowns - both foot sweeps
2 guard passes - knee through/leg weave, &  hip bump to pant grip torreando style pass-ish?
1 sweep - half-guard Caio Terra sweep

Points given up:
1 sweep - lapel/half-guard sweep

At bout 2:10 I hit a nice ouchigari to kouchigari into a knee through passing position. Immediately I begin gripping his left pant leg with my right hand and looking for his lapel with my left hand. I prefer a backstep style pass from that position, and use the pant grip (ala the Mendes brothers who do it constantly) to simultaneously look to hit my elbow inside his hip and hunt for my knee through position.
By 3:30 I've taken the real estate/his hip and am ready to knee through pass with my underhook but he escapes and by 3:54 he feeds my lapel through my legs for the dental floss sweep I've heard it called or some form of half-guard style sweep.
I look to counter his sweep with a kimura counter but I let get of the grip prematurely and lose my leverage to come up on top and he very nearly passes because I'm lazy defending his over/under pass position.

I hit what I affectionately call the Caio Terra half-guard sweep. He strips my right hand cross grip from his lapel once but allows me to regain it and doesn't strip it again which leads to the sweep.
I could feel him waning a bit and knew the guard pass would come if I kept up the pressure. I get lazy/over confident and he nearly comes up after tripping my foot but I put him back down with an outside foot sweep then look to leg drag.

I look for my leg drag/single leg hip heist I got from Bruno Frazatto and keep on the pressure to pass. He stays flat on his back without gripping me for a split second too long and I again hip heist/bump and he turns out but it's too late and I hunt for the back but I get too high and/or lazy and I lose it.
I end the match with what I've been looking for which is a leg weave style knee through pass and I pass then get to knee on belly and win the match 12-2.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Conor McGregor: Embedded in Brazil for Aldo vs Mendes

In case you haven't noticed, I'm riding the hype train for Conor McGregor.
More notably, I'm interested in the mindset and arc of a fighter who fast tracks himself both in word, action, and background.

I mean, he's not even on the card but they're giving him an embedded episode while he goes to watch the fight even though his next fight is not booked with the winner of the title fight.
The showdown coming for McGregor vs Aldo will be massively hyped.
I, for one, can barely wait.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Keenan Cornelius Will Drown You With Your Lapel: Keenan @ IBBJ Pro League 3

Keenan ties some guys up in knots, among them Jackson Souza. He pulls out a referee decision with (likely) a last minute omoplata attempt after a lot of stalemating of both guys' games by one another:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Post Tournament Reflections: US Grappling's Diamond State Games/Delaware

It's always a good day when you can make a Prince reference while you compete in submission grappling.
Both my buddy and I competed in our Toro BJJ Purple Rain Rashguards. Stylish, I know.

This weekend I made the 6-7 hour ride/drive up to Delaware with 3 teammates.

Worked and refereed for the awesome folks at US Grappling, helped set up the venue, watched some Bellator 129 (no, you didn't miss much except some fine headbutting by Houston Alexander).

Had the worst hotel breakfast I've ever eaten at a hotel (it was a Ramada Inn).

Took 3rd in the Advanced NoGi, won a match by keylock from the triangle, lost a match on points, then won a match on points with some sweeps, guard passing, mount/back points.

In a combined purple belt weight class, I lost in the first round after getting stuck in closed guard for 7 minutes and losing a referee's decision. It was a frustrating day at the close, but I did stick to a new game plan for me which is to "play the game".

Often, I get impatient in my matches. I will pull guard or step right into a less than advantageous (for me) position to get to the Jiu-Jitsu.
A big thing I've been trying to do is be more aggressive at the start in terms of mindset but tempering that with patience as to when the timing is right.

I got to watch some great black belts I know compete, refereed matches, and did some winning and some learning.
I got to rock my sweet Toro BJJ gear from Cageside MMA (because who doesn't want to make a Prince reference while competing in the advanced NoGi division?) and my buddy and I even made it a Twinsies day and rocked the exact same outfit.

My first match I gave up the takedown but quickly looked to sweep and or take the back but settled for a triangle which led to a keylock.

My second match I hit a nice waiter sweep but then left an elbow out a bit which got me swept then I was lazy in addressing the over/under pass position and chose to turtle to avoid the guard pass. I had opportunity to come up on an x-guard sweep but I was no insistent enough and ended up ceding back points from there and ultimately lost the match on points.

In my 3rd match I scored points from a variety of places and was glad to have 3 matches in the NoGi against people who were not my teammates. You travel 7 hours each way to compete and it's a bonus to not face guys you already pay money to train with on a regular basis.

By the time this calendar year ends I'll have competed in at least 12 Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and 1 Judo tournament. I've competed more this year than any year to date and intend to increase that average in my 2nd year at purple belt in 2015.
I've trained harder and with more deliberate practice in mind than probably all my other years doing Jiu-Jitsu combined and I see the divide within even my own belt division growing greater each day.

There's that sinking feeling that though I don't train like a recreational Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, I also don't train nearly along the likes of the professionals.
As far as what that means, in terms of actionable reality, I have been diligent about strength and conditioning since the summer and intend to keep it as a part of my training regimen. In addition, I've begun competing in the NoGi and stepping out of my comfort zone in doing so.
I've been more diligent about my diet and have quit my weekend job to ensure I'm able to travel to compete and referee more often and also to be more well rested on the day of the tournament, as opposed to when I would work my regular job, then work until 2am Friday night, then travel, compete, referee and be back here to work again Saturday night until 2am.

At any rate, if I want different or better results, I have to look at what I'm doing and also what I'm not doing.
I can't change only the easy things or the things that I feel like or seem appealing to change (that don't really challenge me) and necessarily expect smashing, overwhelmingly awesome results.

I'll be looking for some wrestling practice/training going forward to help my NoGi game and also looking for more referee opportunities as it's a way to offset my training and travel costs as well as hopefully get some discounted registration.

It's been a long road just to this point and in many ways it feels like it has just begun.
I've completely dominated guys at purple unlike anything I did at blue belt, but I've also had matches where I made one mistake and never got it back.
I'm sure this disparity only increases at each belt level (something confirmed to me by virtually every upper belt I've asked).


Pick Your Poison: Bellator 130 & UFC 179: Mendes vs Aldo Picks and Prognostications

It's been 3 weeks without a UFC PPV. After 2 weekends in a row that had double booked UFC events, it's been a nice breather. I don't know how I can believe Mendes will somehow in 4 fights time have become a striker who will do what no one has done to Aldo, but that's what the highlight/countdown/narrative/fairy tale marketing strategy would have you believe.

The subplot is that basically, Mendes won 4 fights and no one else has done enough to warrant a title shot.
Scintillating? Not really.
Truth? Yeah, pretty much.

At any rate, the co-main event is two guys coming off of a loss (Teixeira in a title shot and Phil Davis dropping some spots due to Anthony Johnson who despite now making his weight class limit and KO'ing fools, is out while the UFC looks at alleged domestic violence.....le sigh). In other action Beneil Dariush tries to rebound from a loss, Fabio Maldonado will incur more brain damage and wing some punches, and Jiu-Jitsu stars Yan Cabral, Wilson Reis, & Durinho Burns will see action. The main card itself of 179 doesn't do much for me honestly, but there's enough smattering of talented guys mixed throughout the bouts that I'll plug my 4 hours of my life into watching it after some open mat Jiu-Jitsu early in the day.

My picks are as follows:
Aldo by debilitating stoppage as revenge for perceived insults from team Alpha Male.
Teixeira who will punish the gun shy Phil Davis and beat out of him a unanimous decision.
Maldonado will win a favorable match-up against some guy you've never heard of.
Lucas Martins will win by submission
Beneil Dariush will win by submission.
Neil Magny will win an entertaining stand and bang affair.
Yan Cabral will win by submission.
Jorgensen will continue his slide into obscurity and lose by TKO to Wilson Reis.
Felipe will win because that's my nephew's name.
Burns will take down and submit some guy I've never heard of.
Fabricio will beat some guy I've never heard of.

"main CARD
Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET
Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes
for featherweight title
preliminary CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m. ET
Fabricio Camoes vs. Tony Martin "
In the B squad of MMA, but on cable television which means more accessible if you're lazy, Bellator brings a mildly interesting card with Emmanuel Newton and Rick Hawn amongst others. Bobby Lashley is fighting too, for whatever it's worth.
I've found myself mildly enjoying Bellator cards as I've seen several as of late: either while working the door downtown at my side job because it's on cable TV or when I've been on the road to compete and referee for US Grappling, chilling in the hotel room the night before the tournament.
I've got Emmanuel Newton winning an entertaining fight with Vassell. Bobby Lashley looking mediocre but still beating some guy with less notoriety than him.
Rick Hawn vs Dave Jansen is a really good fight and one that's hard to call. Dave Jansen is a guy who I've always liked watching fight as he is truly a mixed martial artist. The judoka in my heart wants Rick Hawn to win but he's looked hit or miss at times in the past few years. Dominating some guys and losing other fights (Michael Chandler comes to mind). I'll have to go with a split decision win for Rick Hawn with a lot of clinch time and him winning by moving forward and a few more takedowns.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Superfight Trailers!: Robson, Grippo, Schembri, Shaolin, Tanquinho et al

So, the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo has stepped up its game quite a bit.
Below are the trailers for some of the superfights.
It's a nice move and is pretty badass as well.
The only trailer I did not include is that of Tim Spriggs vs Leo Nogeuiera as Spriggs currently represents Team Lloyd Irvin who much like Voldemort, shall remain virtually nameless on this blog as much as possible.
Moving on, there are some great matches of up and comers versus  veterans and even an old school rematch for Robson Moura.

Gianni Grippo has an upcoming Copa Podio match that is submission only with Joao Miyao. They have marketed it as Miyao's first submission only match but I saw him compete no time limits with Garry Tonnon at Jiu-Jitsu Want vs Need if I'm not mistaken.
At any rate, Grippo faces recently mma-exported black belt world champion Tanquinho (who defeated Rafa and Cobrinha on the same day, arguably the two most dominant featherweights in all of modern Jiu-Jitsu.
This is an absurdly stern test for Grippo and I see Tanquinho's physicality being a real tough test for Grippo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Conor McGregor: Welcome to My Office/Mindset of a Champion

"Success leaves clues."

Give credit where credit is due.
There are lots of talented athletes who come and go in the UFC.
Even among the champions, how many chart a meteoric rise and not only talk but fight their way into title contention in the murderous featherweight division atop which sits the nearly unflappable Jose Aldo.

He also understands, as he says "I know that Conor vs whoever sells more than Cub/Frankie versus whoever."
The reality then is also the truth: this is a business in addition to a game of fighting.
Other athletes unwilling to craft a persona and demand and earn and hype deserve to win 10 or 11 fights and go without a title shot ala Jim Miller et al.

Other athletes can bemoan McGregor's favoritism from his UFC bosses but the guy has people tuning in and people chanting and singing and the like. Finishing all of your UFC opponents but once since signing with the organization doesn't hurt your star's shine either.

Part of the reason I find Conor McGregor intriguing is all of the above. He walks forth, talks, and in his mind expects all of the above.
He has thus far walked the walk and talked the talk.

As a fighter and competitor who many who know me will readily acknowledge I haven't fought or competed to my potential; I find the discussion of mindset and the like incredibly prescient and of interest on a personal level.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Keenan Cornelius vs Tanner Rice: IBJJF NoGi World Championships

Some thoughts/observations:

Keenan sweeps from RDLR at 1:15ish with a nice follow-up to looking to invert underneath and with that right arm gripping/lacing past his own RDLR hook onto Tanner's thigh for the grip, he knocks Tanner back onto his butt and comes up on top.
Tanner immediately looks to counter/invert himself but Keenan breaks contact and prevents the sweep.

Keenan quickly looks to bullfighter pass with ankle grips the second Tanner is slow to address the grips on his ankles.

Again at 3:25, Tanner and Keenan bump hands/fists and Tanner falls back almost flat and the second Keenan grips his legs he nearly passes yet again.

Again at 3:40 and yet again at 4:24 it continues. Tanner is lazy to address the grips and Keenan very nearly passes/forcing Tanner to invert.

Off another inversion to address the near guard pass, Keenan sits back on the kneebar and gets the tap.
The real mistake came from the position he was in from the losing the grip battle and eventually ending up in the position enough times that Keenan capitalized.


Monday Morning Productivity Killer: How to Fuel Your Racecar

When I was younger, I could show up hungover or having not eaten right and my young, healthy, testosterone-fueled body could grind out impressive workouts.

Sunday is my day to prepare my breakfast and lunch for the week at work. I scramble eggs or hardboil them, boil sweet potatoes, and also bake some chicken for the week. I've cut back on red meat and ground beef though it is cheaper.

Each year I've seen the onslaught/encroachment of age and how much more necessary it is to cut back on drinking, eating empty food, or even being lazy and not eating much after hard training sessions and overall to ensure that sleep and diet ALLOW me to maximize my training.

How to eat Healthy for BJJ (for close to) Under $50 per week:

Some other nutrient dense/super easy foods to pre-make/prepare for the week:


Friday, October 10, 2014

Keenan Cornelius vs Garry Tonon: IBJJF NoGi World Championships 2014

UFC 179: Extended Preview (Aldo vs Mendes Redux and other fights ridiculously hard to care about)

Shortly after Joe Rogan opens with telling us how talent-rich the featherweight division is, it dawns on you that....Chad Mendes who didn't last a complete round against Aldo is facing him for the belt.....again.

Yes, Chad has beaten 4 guys since then.
No, that does not change my memory of watching that fight.
Chad talked a great game leading up to the fight...but I remember watching the staredown in the cage...and it was like once that cage door shut....Mendes's demeanor deflated. He shot a blast double I think at one point that lacked conviction and after that you could see the clock ticking before the guillotine dropped.

I just cannot be excited about this fight.

Morgan and Davies then try to spin the previous encounter as something where "Mendes fought valiantly" and "smart" without cutting to the chase which is Mendes was never much in the fight and Aldo was already beginning to land some of those leg kicks that Faber and others can attest to.

At any rate, I guess, if you care, watch the extended preview.

The card itself has two guys coming off loses as the co-main event. Wrap your brain around that *&^%. What follows is Maldonado facing some dude you have NEVER heard of, but some cool undercard and prelim action with Gilbert Burns and Yan Cabral of Jiu-Jitsu notoriety plying their wares.
That being said, however, this is a Brazil-ish heavy card lacking in anything remotely worth being excited for as a even semi-casual fan.


" main CARD Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET
Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes for featherweight title
Phil Davis vs. Glover Teixeira
Fabio Maldonado vs. Hans Stringer
Darren Elkins vs. Lucas Martins
Beneil Dariush vs. Diego Ferreira
preliminary CARD FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET
William Macario vs. Neil Magny
Yan Cabral vs. Naoyuki Kotani
Scott Jorgensen vs. Wilson Reis
Felipe Arantes vs. Andre Fili
preliminary CARD UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m. ET
Gilbert Burns vs. Christos Giagos
Fabricio Camoes vs. Tony Martin "

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Product Review: Toro BJJ NoGi Grappling Shorts



Click here for  more info/to Order:

Price: $39.95

Fit: Plenty or room around the legs. If you're into those ridiculously garish and gauche spats and the like, these solid black, good stitching quality shorts probably aren't for you. They do have plenty of room in the legs for the flexible grapplers out there.

Material/Construction: Lightweight material, feels good, super light in fact.

Flair/Panache/Style: I'm not into the whole spats and ridiculously absurd pants design craze going on in NoGi begging for attention and the like. I like my gear relatively plain and understated.

IBJJF Offering Another Professional (Get Paid Cash Money) Opportunity

Lots of top level guys say it: Sometimes, it's about getting paid.
That being said, this is a niche sport. You want to get paid to do what you love, it is its own kind of hustle. No one is entitled to make a living from a niche sport. There's a business side to it and typically the skills necessary to be a world champion are not the same ones to be a wealthy, successful business owner.
In fact, they can often be a detriment.

That being said, the IBJJF is hearing the noise and is offering another venue for upper belts to make some cash doing what they love.

Information HERE over at Graciemag:
"Note: All adult black belts, male and female, will need to have at least 20 points in the IBJJF ranking system to qualify for competition....

The prizes are listed as follows:
Black belt adult male weight divisions: $4,000 for gold, $1,000 for silver
Black belt female absolute: $1,500 for gold
Master 1, 2, 3 black belt male: $1,000 for gold
Each brown belt male absolute (2): $800 for gold
Each purple belt male absolute (2): $600 for gold
Each blue belt male absolute (2): $400 for gold
Master 1, 2, 3 male blue, purple, brown belt absolute: $400 for gold
Adult female blue, purple, brown belt absolute: $400 for gold
Note: All athletes must place in their weight divisions to be eligible for open class except for adult female black belts.
To register, head to Registration period ends on Oct. 17!"

Deconstructing the Fail: Purple Belt Featherweight

I hadn't been able to find footage of this match until now. In my mind, the loss was worse than it turns out. I don't know the score and I'm sure it was a fairly wide margin, but the mistakes were technical in nature or perhaps rather I didn't capitalize on opportunities in my grasp. It's not like I was never in the match and never in a position to turn the tide, which is a much better position to work from than the alternative.

Some positivity before I break into a litany/laundry list of missed opportunities:1) I blend together some open guard mix and matching
2) I  do manage to sweep and get to several strong sweeping positions/grips
3) I manage to recompose my guard or some form of open guard after being passed several times

The takeaways:
1) I don't impose my will despite several strong sweeping positions
2) I fight back to open guard several times, but again, I do not commit to coming up on the sweep and being insistent
3) my open guard is largely reactive here and when facing resistance I retreat or perhaps receive too much pressure rather than fighting to where I want to be
4) I need to work on my conditioning through the duration of a match. Being technical is awesome, but in a division with guys who are lighter weight, the balance of skill to strength and speed has to be more aligned
5) At no point to I even consider closed guard and slowing down the open guard passing barrage that I'm facing and clearly having trouble addressing

Fail 1: 
I don't strip the cross collar grip following the guard pull to foot on the hip. I let him establish his right hand cross collar which is a super strong offensive and defensive grip for the guardeiro

Fail 2:
I don't step over the left foot/leg by stuffing it through with my left hand. Between the cross grip and having not stepped over the left foot, getting knocked onto my side and swept becomes more a matter of time rather than a possibility.

I recompose by kicking over the top with the ankle grip, but lose the position when the ref doesn't stop the action to pull my Gi top back over my head

By 1:30 I'm reset in the one-legged x-guard type position.

Fail 3:
I have the opportunity to hit a nice waiter type sweep but don't come up aggressively enough to finish or initiate a scramble with what could have been a pretty strong grip coming up on top.

By 2:14 I want to feed his lapel through his legs for a sit-up DLR guard sweep but he has control of my right sleeve because I haven't framed or maintained distance against his pressure to pass.
I have to turn to my side and fight the knee through against his superior leverage in this position, especially since he had my sleeve gripped.
I know if I stay here he'll pass so I spin back the other way to fight to deep half and he reacts accordingly with a quarter guard/near mount type position

Fail 4:
I don't aggressively come up on the double under grip from deep half and he is now able to back step and pass my guard with a powerful underhook on my far side arm.
I fight back to a recomposed position underneath

Fail 5:
I have the opportunity for a sit-up guard sweep ala Cobrinha, Otavio Sousa, or Rodolfo but don't commit to it and he fights again to knee through, though this time I feed the lapel at 4:27 which buys me some time and I go to shin to shin guard to stuff the knee through pass.

Fail 6:
I have the lapel grip I want again to come up on a single leg/DLR sweep but I am fatigued (a fail in and of itself really) and he gets his knee through and spins for the back.

Fail 7:
I should have fought with whatever I had left to stay on that single leg but again, I'm fatigued and he spins to the back.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Keenan Cornelius vs Yurio Simoes: BJJ NoGi World Championships 2014

Product Review: Toro BJJ Purple Rain Rashguard



Click here for more Info/to Order

Price: $30.00. I've never had any Cageside or Toro BJJ gear wear out or break down. Solid construction and quality gear.

Fit: Good fit, snug, but not too tight or uncomfortable around the neck. It made my arms look pretty swole' today which is a pretty big bonus for me as a featherweight.

Material/construction: not too thick, feels light but not cheap. So far hasn't irritated my skin like some other rash guards. I've had rash guards that eventually when training for extended periods hang down all soggy and wet like a t-shirt but this hasn't been a problem in this rash guard.

Flare/Panache/Style: I mean, it has the outline of Prince on it. What else could you ask for? Subtle yet understated. Sparkling let muted.


My Metamoris 5 Thoughts, Picks, & Prognostications

Kevin Casey vs Vinny Magalhaes - all I can assume is Kevin Casey gets more visibility because he stepped in last minute against Keenan and Vinny gets a toss up  because he flatlined against Keenan down the stretch clearly getting frustrated that he couldn't pass.

Garry Tonon vs Zak Maxwell - I haven't seen enough of Zak Maxwell NoGi to bet on him against the "Lion Killer" Garry Tonon. Period. Garry's leg lock game is sharp. His back takes to RNC are sharp and as Kit Dale can attest, his guillotine is also sharp.

JT Torres vs Rory McDonald - it's hard to think that Rory will have much for a 2nd place black belt NoGi Mundials finisher and an ADCC medalist. I see JT hitting a heel hook in a pretty short amount of time.

 Yuri Simoes vs Rafael Lovato Jr. - Yurio recently bested Keenan in the open class of the world NoGi which is a big feather in his cap. I find it hard to believe he will edge out Lovato who has shown against Kayron Gracie among others that submission only suits him and his pressure.

Kazushi Sakuraba vs Renzo Gracie
The years and allegedly the smoking and drinking have not been kind to Sakuraba. I have no idea what his training regimen is like at his dojo but he has waaaaay more violence/damage points accumulated over the years that Renzo. Kazushi fought considerably up in weight against the likes of Melvin Manhoef, Wanderlei Silva, Mirko CroCop, Kevin Randleman, Mini Nog, et cetera.
That being said, Sakuraba's off the wall and unpredictable style can be best described as "mercurial" and he has shown that he may be the Kryptonite to the Gracies as he has notched wins over 4 of the clan: Royce, Renzo, Ryan, and Royler.
I'm gonna bet with my heart and pick Kazushi by moral victory with more attacks but with no actual submission victory.

Secret match? I will bet it's Kenny Florian versus Dean Lister way out of left field.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Deconstructing the Fail: Advanced NoGi

Rocked my Cageside MMA/Toro BJJ sweet purple rain rashguard and shorts for my 2nd Advanced NoGi division ever. It was my teammate, two black belts, and myself.

I  open the match by securing the takedown points with an arm drag to kouchigari/inside trip. I eventually posture up and look to pass and decide to give up top position and go for a toe hold which is Fail 1.

I get to my sit-up guard at about 1:25 and stand up with an opportunity to score an additional takedown but my opponent pulls guard/with a guillotine as soon as I let go of the leg, meaning I don't get the add'l takedown points.

Fail 2:
Around 3:16 I fail to address the butterfly hook which leads to a nice NoGi Berimbolo by my opponent and eventually concede the sweep points to him.

Fail 3:
Around 4:30, I am lackadaisical with the waiter-type position and my opponent steps over into full mount and I'm forced to turtle to escape mount/avoid mount but give up my back/rolling back take in the process.


1) reconsider willingness to dive on a toe hold while up on points and in top position

2) insist on coming up to top position like at 4:30

3) Be more proactive in establishing butterfly guard or x-guard rather than being passed


Purple Rain Rashguard by Toro BJJ: first rash guard I've worn in about 3 years. Fits well, material feels good, not scratchy or too thick like some I've tried on in the past.

Toro BJJ Fight/grappling shorts. Good fit, not too long or straight legged like some NoGi/board shorts I've tried in the past.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Tale of Two UFC's & a Bellator This Weekend: Bellator 127, UFC Fight Night 53, & UFC Fight Night 54

Firday night Bellator brings a nice 2 hour block of Professional mixed martial arts to kick off the weekend. Then Saturday afternoon we get another Sweden card with some Euro import/export action and Gunnar Nelson returns to action a week after his training camp buddy/stablemate, Conor McGregor had his most high profile win over Dustin Poirier. Be interesting to see whether or not Gunnar picks up another win on his much more quiet ascent up the ladder in his weight class.
Rory McDonald is looking to stay on track toward a shot at the winner of Lawler vs Hendricks in their rematch coming up soon.

Bellator 127: Straus vs Wilcox
Straus has a win of Pat Curran which shows he's capable of being a top flight guy on any night of the week. I see him taking this one with a stoppage in the 4th round.
Hopefully Karo get's back on track of after a tough loss in his last outing. I still remember when he was the number one contender in the UFC (which history shows is about as cursed as being the HW champion). Kendall Grove is so inconsistent I won't even bet my fantasy money on him these days. Rafael Silva will beat the also unpredictable Rob Emerson who according to Ian McCall slept with his wife (ouch).

October 3, 2014 | Pechange Resort & Casino | Temecula, California                                                        
preliminary CARD, 7 p.m. ET

UFC Fight Night 53: Nelson vs Story

I see Gunnar Nelson controlling and subduing Rick Story whose hard charging style will get him in the clinch which is where Nelson wants to be anyway. I see Gunnar perhaps even getting a submission.
I don't like Akira "Phantom Tapper" Corassani so I'll go with Max Holloway to take this one.
"October 4, 2014 | Ericsson Globe | Stockholm, Sweden                                                        
main CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 3 p.m. ET
Niklas Backstrom vs. Mike Wilkinson                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
preliminary CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 12:10 p.m. ET
UFC Fight Night 54: MacDonald vs Saffiedine
I see Rory McDonald at being just a little bit better version of Saffiedine. It will be a close fight but Rory will pull out the decision. Assuncao will beat Caraway.
"October 4, 2014 | Scotiabank Centre | Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
main CARD
FOX Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET
Mitch Gagnon vs. Roman Salazar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
preliminary CARD
FOX Sports 2, 8 p.m. ET
Patrick Holohan vs. Chris Kelades                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
preliminary CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m. ET
Pedro Munhoz vs. Jerrod Sanders"