Wednesday, December 24, 2014

10 Biggest Jiu-JItsu-Tastic News Stories/Moments of 2014

10. Leandro vs Gilbert Durinho - Gilbert having beaten Leandro at least 3 times of which I am aware, but having departed for MMA/the UFC, Leandro got the tap at about 20 min's in from standing after setting up the cross collar choke from his favorite knee through position

9. Kron Gacie MMA Debut - the son of legend, Rickson Gracie, pulls guard in MMA and wins by armbar in about 65 seconds. Hard to argue with that.

8. Rodolfo versus Buchecha at Worlds 2014 - a rematch for the ages that saw Buchecha advance on and stamp his claim on 3 Absolute titles in a row

7. Preguica/Lepri become two time black belt world champs - Preguica (much like Rodolfo) began rising to prominence as a brown belt/faring well against black belts, now winning Copa Podio and winning another black belt world title. Lepri, with some years in between winning his second faixa preta world championship in a tough, tough division and denying JT Torres his black belt medal at the worlds again.

6. Miyaos advance to finals of black belt worlds first year/narrowly lose to Mendes Bros. - amazing to see them in their first year at black belt in the finals and only lose by the most narrow of margins. The question will remain as to how the Mendes brothers balance having an academy, the slow onset of age, and growing responsibilities and also how the Miyaos will adapt to life in the big apple, as it's been announced they will be based in NYC with Murilo Santana.

5. Braulio Tests Positive for Banned Substances - Not much to say here but what it is. Braulio busted for performance enhancing substances.

4. Jacare moving toward title shot in MMA - Jacre is marching toward a title shot with each win and has looked increasingly dangerous with each fight. His next test is the incredibly dangerous (and huge) Yoel Romero who has heavy hands, cuts a ridiculous amount of weight, and is a world class wrestler. This will no doubt, stylistically be Jacare's sternest test to date.

3. Renzo vs Kazushi/Bravo vs Royler - rematches and rematches redux. It's hard to complain when you get rematches the likes of this. Granted all 4 men are past their prime, the matches were compelling, exciting, and thrilling. It's a golden age for sport, and combat sports at that, to see matches like these in any format.

 2. Piggybacking off of the above....More Pro Events like the IBJJF Pro, New York Pro, Metamoris, Copa Podio et al. - We used to have to wait for the Spring to get a couple of good events (The Pans and the Worlds). Now, we've added the Abu Dhabi Pro, and the ADCC rounds out the calendar every other year. At any rate, the rise of other smaller professional-ish level events means lots of opportunities to watch high level grappling with teammates on the weekends. The advent of Rickson's new organizaton/federation/whatever, and a new Australian Pro Jiu-Jitsu event makes it hard not to be excited for next year.

1. IBJJF Introduces Background Checks - Finally. Enforcement and categorically consistent enforcement is something I find hard to believe will occur, but I am vaguely and semi-optimistic this will help the sport.

The news which I wish I didn't have to mention: The Jiu-Jitsu World's Most Ignominious Moment of 2014 - the return/rather resurgence of TLI after having laid low for some time following the rape scandal and revelation of Lloyd Irvin's own involvement in a rape case during his college years.

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