Friday, March 20, 2015

MMA Betting Man's Picks - UFC Fight Night 62: Maia vs Some Guy/My Next Superfight Booked/EBI 3 Bracket

Let me be frank in saying I do not like betting on the Brazil cards of the UFC. I've been to Brazil (Recife to be exact). I love Brazil.
The problem with Brazil-heavy cards is what they usually have in entertainment value (a lot of stoppages and finishes) they lack in bet-ability. The guys have strange records with a ton of finishes/wins over guys you've never heard of nor can you find footage of and a lot of time it's usually a toss up. Without a lot of footage or even when footage exists, said footage is of them beating up some can.

That being said, on a personal note it's another busy weekend ahead: I work the door downtown Friday night, then ride with my buddy to referee and compete out of town, then back to town to work the door again Saturday night at a different bar, then Sunday I bartend from 630-close.

I'm ill that the Eddie Bravo Invitational starts at 7 something EST but glad that I'll be making money. 

A good friend of mine is in town for the weekend from Maryland, so I'll be at open mat on Sunday to catch up with him.

The following weekend I have a Gi match as entertainment for the masses and Jiu-Jitsu people in the house attending the Bull City Brawl in Durham

Eddie Bravo Invitational 3 Bracket - This Sunday, March 22nd

Watch it HERE:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

DVD/Instructional Review: Lucas Lepri Championship Guard Passing

The guard passers I've studied the most are Gui Mendes and Lucas Lepri.
I've watched every available match/footage of them on the internet. Multiple times.

Early on, Rafael Lovato and his pressure passing and concept of fighting/getting to a starting or headquarters position had a big impact on how I look at the spaces/positions between techniques in Jiu-Jitsu.

Every month or so I take a few hours and go back and rewatch their passing games as they've evolved over the years.
I never fail to notice a bit more, or see smaller and smaller details in terms of how they may grip a leg, or how they may be setting up a pass, or hopefully, occasionally I pick up on a sense of HOW they combine their various guard passes.
There's a lot of intangibles in studying competition footage, however, I am a firm believer that you can pick up underlying subtleties and commonalities by soaking in footage.

My Rafael Lovato Pressure Passing DVD review has been a continual hit based on my traffic to this site, and it's high time I hit another DVD review.

Let me preface by saying I don't digest a lot of pure instructional material.
In fact, it takes me many sessions to digest just a couple moves or in this case guard passes.

It's a blessing in a curse to admit that I'm enamored with a particular competitor before I begin analyzing their content. I may have specific components of their game which I wish they would focus on, or perhaps it could sway me to resist the urge to criticize the content.

At any rate, here we go:
I've broken down my review into further sub sections and cheesily ranked them by belt color:
white belt - hardly worth watching or noting
blue belt - middle of the range. not bad but not great or good. passable is the best adjective here, often feels like a review with perhaps a few details you may normally gloss over.
brown belt - worth watching and noting, seems like some effort was made in this area and often has an "ah ha!" moment or clarifies a gray area for you.
black belt - excellent. top notch, about as good as you could expect or want.

Production Quality: black belt - looks good, clear audio, feels like you're sitting right there and watching Lucas explain the move/details to you.

Elaboration on Theory: white or blue belt at best. I'm a big "why?" person in understanding why a competitor prefers say being on top or pulling guard. I like to and really, honestly, need to know their why to better retain the information. This is not a knock on Lucas, but as cheesy as it sounds, some of the analogies Rafael Lovato Jr. used I can still remember almost verbatim in my head and that is the proof that it worked as an analogy. I can remember it something like a year or two later from one or two viewings.

Length/Number of Techniques: black belt - deals with open guard, DLR, closed guard, et cetera.

Depth of Explanation for Individual Techniques: black belt - good instruction, clear and easy to follow

Ease of Use in Rolling: brown belt 
Used several of the guard passes within a week or two digestion but prefer a system of techniques which chain together in a bit more obvious manner, again, I'm reminded of Lovato's instructional which really shined in that regard. 

Overall Rating: brown belt. I've learend a ton just by watching Lucas Lepri compete over the years, and it does have a greater dearth of techniques than the Lovato Pressure Passing system, but I have consistently used the information I got from Lovato's system over the years and will continue to use more than some of the guard passes I picked up from this DVD.

Let me be clear in saying that I can see other practitioners preferring this one to Lovato's due to the brevity of Lovato's which does feel short in comparison to the standard length/depth of a lot of instructionals out there. At any rate, if there's an underlying system to what Lucas does (which I'm sure there is as he is a 2x black belt world champion) a few moments to elaborate on that would have gone a long way. I'm an educator by trade and understanding the why is even more important to me than the how.

Winning, Losing, & Positive Disintegration

The picture above, with Leandro winning the Worlds: at one point, Michael Langhi hadn't lost in like 2-3 years. Lucas Lepri won the Mundials at black belt all the way back in 2007 and again this past year in 2014. Leandro is the current top dog, and now has gone up to middleweight and trumped Otavio Sousa but he presses on, trying to win the absolute and making it all the way to the final of the Pan Ams Absolute against Bernardo Faria. 

My point is that each of those 3 guys has had moments at the top of the podium. Each of them were "the guy" at one point. But it's always in flux. It's always in a state of movement. 

This post really resonated with me. Richard Branson, like Elon Musk, is a guy I follow and listen to quite a bit. It's interesting to see how the mind of someone like that works.

The long ride to a tournament in Chicago......
an even longer ride back if you don't perform well
They reason from essential truths and see not obstacles or the "why not" but ask simply "why" .

 "'8. Richard Branson: “When most people think about taking a risk they associate it with negative connotations, when really they should view it as a positive opportunity. Believe in yourself and back yourself to come out on top. Whether that means studying a course to enable a change of direction, taking up an entry level position on a career ladder you want to be a part of, or starting your own business — you’ll never know if you don’t give it a try.'"

This brings me to the concept of "positive disintegration": "Dabrowski's theoretical framework views psychological tension and anxiety as necessary for growth."

It's been a tough year at purple belt as I've mentioned on here several times. I've yet to win my division but I have a box of 2nd and 3rd place medals and even had days where I didn't win a match.

This past weekend thought recovering from being sick, I competed and managed to almost medal in the absolute. For me, knowing I was under the weather and the like, I was happy with my performance. I have to believe that I keep grinding and doing the right things and that I'll get "lucky" but "luck" is just the result of beating on your craft for hours and hours and hours.

I always remember Caio Terra saying how terrible he was at blue belt and that his instructor gave him his blue belt out of pity.....and Keenan Cornelius saying that he was at purple belt for a couple years before he really won anything of note and he had gotten so frustrated that he didn't even think of winning anymore, just that he would fight so hard in losing that his opponent would lose their next match after beating him due to exhaustion.

I could lose every match I ever have at purple belt and the only person who will care is the past version of myself whose ego cared about losing in a moment in time which will have then passed out of existence. It's not a way to rationalize losing to protect my ego, but rather an attempt at maintaining perspective.

Cobrinha had never been submitted at black belt in competition in his weight class. He had only been submitted by Rodolfo in NoGi at the Abu Dhabi Pro in the Absolute if I'm not mistaken. Cobrinha was fighting so hard to avoid Mendes' passing him after a Berimbolo Rafa got the arm. There was a time when Rafa was the brown belt coming up and Cobrinha was the multi-time black belt world champion who dominated everyone in his weight class. Eventually Rafa got him. 

Fix Your Jiu-Jitsu: The Side Switch

Just stumbled across this while *ahem* looking for Pan Am matches on youtube.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Come to the Bull City Brawl March 27th (and see me compete)

I'm booked to face a guy for whom I have a ton of respect, Mr. Dirty White Belt himself.

It's what they call a superfight, which I think is the dumbest term ever.
It's purple belt, US Grappling rules and I'm super excited. Jeff trains all the time, attends a lot of seminars and is a consummate Jiu-Jitsu nerd/afficionado. 

But Really Though....

The struggle is real.....

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This is Why it's Called Gambling: Pettis vs Dos Anjos Edition

43-35 over the course of the past UFC events.

Most recently, I went 6-6 at the recent Pettis vs Dos Anjos card.
I'm sure anyone who knows Dos Anjos wasn't surprised but I just wasn't sold because of his Nate Diaz (didn't finish him) and win over Benson (Benson has dropped a few fights as of late.

In all honesty, I didn't do my homework on the female fight because in all honesty I don't watch women fight.

I did correctly peg Dariush for the upset win via submission. I also figured the younger Pettis would handily beat whatever set-up fight he was given but that was also an incorrect narrative. C'est la vie. I've nearly doubled my money invested/up front over at

I knew Brown vs Hendricks was a bit of a stretch as Hendricks has only lost to a handful of the top tier guys but nailing the moment when a guy begins to slide from the top can lead to some profitable betting. Either Matt Brown wasn't that guy or Hendricks' time is still in the present.

You need to pick correctly about 2/3 of the time to come out ahead in sports betting is the general adage. After a long layoff, I'm a bit rusty but it's coming back pretty quickly and despite the deluge of events and fights and lesser known guys there's also much better access to footage and the like these days to help me break down the fights stylistically. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

IBJJF 2015 Pan Am Results - Black Belt(s)

Click HERE

"The one that stood out the most may very well have been Leandro Lo, but Leandro’s deed (gold at middleweight and silver at the absolute) was somewhat over shadowed by the fact that this year’s tournament had four non Brazilian gold medallists at the men’s adult black belt division and 6 finalists (5 of those Americans). A sign of good things to come for both the American and European crowd, who saw JT Torres, Keenan Cornelius, Gianni Grippo (Grippo with a by from his team mate Vitor Genovesi) and Alexander Trans dominate their divisions in great fashion."

I've short listed the division winners in order of weight class for those who don't have the time to read through the bracket results.

I'll be watching the matches over the coming days and posting some thoughts et cetera. 

Bruno Malfacine

Paulo Miyao

Gianni Grippo

JT Torres

Leandro Lo

Guto Campos

Lucas Leite

Bernardo Faria

Alexander Trans

Absolute - Bernardo Faria

IBJJF Pan Results and UFC 185 Dos Anjos vs Pettis Video Highlights

Busy weekend in combat sports: We have a new lightweight UFC Champion and the 2015 Pan Ams as a run-up to the Mundials took place. Some awesome guys I know medaled at brown belt and there were a host of exciting matches to be had.
Dos Anjos came out and did exactly what he said he would do. He also did what few others have been able to do and consistently pressure, batter, walk down, and take down Anthony Pettis. It was a dominating performance and now shakes up the throne in a division Pettis seemed poised to rule with an iron fist. I call it the superfight disease. I've heard far too many guys (and champs) begin to talk of superfights then lose shortly thereafter. At any rate, we'll see what happens with Nurmagomedov vs Cerrone coming soon.


"Lo had four matches until he secured his spot in the final.
Forst he defeated Yuto Hirao and then scored 13-0 on James Puopolo.
The quarterfinal was against Yuri Simões and a sweep was enough for the win in a hair-raising match.
The semifinal put Lo against Leonardo Nogueira, who got there when he defeated Keenan Cornelius with a sweep (2-0).
Lo once again used his incredibly efficient guard play to sweep Nogueira and advance to the final.
On the other side of the bracket, Bernardo Faria first caught Daniel Cobb and then outscore AJ Agazarm 21-7.
The quarterfinal was against Luiz Panza, who had defeated Faria at last year’s Pan.
This time, Bernardo was more careful when on top and managed to pass Panza’s guard to win 9-4.
In the semifinal, Bernardo once again relied on his favorite deep half guard game to sweep Alex Trans and secure his spot in the final.."
"In the male open class final, Bernardo Faria also had the size advantage over Leandro Lo.
The match was close at first with Lo managing a good sweep, but around the 5-minute mark, Faria was able to pass guard and finish from the north-south position."

IBJJF Pan 2015 - Malfacine Submits Caio Terra: Video

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

2 Recent Matches & Add'l Thoughts on the Purple Belt Grind

There can be only one
Starting to feel better after being sick for nearly two weeks.

Purple belt has been a real extended period of time that has tested how much I actually want to/care about focusing mylife around Jiu-Jitsu.
It's easy to win and stay motivated for long periods of time. Staying motivated and continuing to put pennies in a bank and travel and lose sleep, and the stress of competing,and money and time and skipping dinners and movies and parties and people and socializing wears on you over time if there's no reward per internally or externally.

I've yet to win a featherweight division and some poor performances in superfights (still hate that term) and frustration over not performing up to my own personal expectations had me not enjoying Jiu-Jitsu much if at all for awhile now. The "pressure" of course was all self-imposed, all within my own head.

That familiar quote, "you don't love something until you've hated it" comes to mind.
I was training to compete and I continually had my eyes on the next 2-3 tournaments.

I did a superfight in November, then a submission only in December, then another submission only in January, another superfight at the end of February, and just did a points tournament recently.

I've mentioned before but it bears noting I've competed more in my first 15 months at purple than I did in all of white and blue.

Purple belt has been a real litmus test in looking cold and hard at how I train, how I view training, how I understand competition et cetera. I drill far more than I ever did at blue belt and every day I see the gap widen between recreational and semi-pro/competitive practitioners.

I think of Bernardo Faria talking about his blue belt half-guard game and his mention of the 10,000 hour rule. I'm also continually reminded of the adage, I think Justin Rader said it, but I've heard voiced by many others in different ways, that "the guy who gets to where he wants to be first wins."
It's a simple idea on the surface, and like all essential truths it is just that: a truth so simple we sometimes, perhaps often, overlook it in our human predilection to over-complicate things.


The components of my game have changed or sharpened at purple belt to be sure, but in watching my end of blue belt tournament footage and my purple belt footage now, some commonalities are clear: Deep half-guard to over/under pass, knee through passing which facilitates either leg weave (Terrere) or then in response an effort to knee through pass/underhook battle and pass again.

I'm beginning to implement in my live rolling more omoplatas, more torreando/x-pass and backstep passing but it only pops up occasionally when I compete at this point.

At any rate, the grind continues.

Good luck and happy training.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Betting Man's (Add'l) Thoughts on Pettis vs Dos Anjos

Been reading over the statistics and records for Showtime and Dos Anjos.

I had not considered that when Pettis does not get the stoppage he faces a close cut decision.
That being said, seeing the way Pettis moved and fended off takedowns against Melendez but landed stinging shots that set up the finish against Melendez/set up that guillotine, I think that must be the plan against Dos Anjos.

That being said, Rafael Cordeiro/former Chute Box maestro/professor and company and will know this is Pettis' approach.
I think Dos Anjos' wrestling could be the difference in this fight. I was perplexed by how winded at moments Pettis looked early in the Melendez fight (though it obviously didn't affect his power), and I see Dos Anjos as a more striking attack diverse/larger better wrestling version of Melendez.

Like it or not, MMA Math, or who lost to who and why/stylistically is one of the best tool for MMA betting.

Pettis has only lost twice: by decision to Clay Guida (he admits he took the fight as a walk over and assumed he would beat the one dimensional Clay Guida but instead got taken down, threw up submission off his back and was pressed against the cage in the clinch/hug heavy affair). His other loss was a split decision to Bart Palaszewski.

Those fights were so long ago, I don't know that they hold the keys to beating him any longer.

It's hard to think Dos Anjos will finish Pettis unless he gets him down and gets to a dominant position. Pettis has been so good at avoiding punishment when taken down and instead putting guys into constant danger, I don't know if that's Dos Anjos' ticket.
Jeremy Stephens was the last guy to make it the distance with Pettis (3 rounds in 2011). Pettis has since won 2 by submission and 2 by KO in that time.
It's hard to doubt that resume.

As for Dos Anjos: his last loss was to Khabib Nurmagomedov (a guy who himself keeps beating people in the UFC when he's not out due to ACL injury). This loss is the most troubling on Dos Anjos' resume as I rank Khabib as a more  hittable, less proficient striker than Pettis.

Of Dos Anjos' 8 UFC wins, they were primarily decisions with him finishing Benson Henderson (still with the UFC), and tapping two guys either not with the UFC or no longer relevant (Jason High and Kamal Shalorus). I see the logic in saying "well Dos Anjos wins decisions and Pettis has only lost by decision.

The first decision loss by Pettis is so long ago I call it a wash. The second was his first UFC fight and honestly, I give him a pass on that one as well.
That being said, Dos Anjos is in about as good a position  mentally, physically, and career-wise to challenge Pettis. He has the confidence of battering and finishing his last 3 opponents and a pressure style complemented by wrestling to give him a good shot at beating Pettis.

I just don't like betting against a guy like Pettis who I've seen hurt guys with body kicks, punches, and lock submissions as of late.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Four Ways to Get Better at Purple Belt - Dirty White Belt's Blog

Go read his post HERE. 

The contributor is a true maven but yet all around knowledgeable jack of trades figure.
Activist, Toro Cup Matchmaker, Jiu-Jitsu nerd, photographer...his accolades and talents really do blow the mind.

He's one of the guys in Jiu-Jitsu in our local scene and in general for whom I have the most respect both on and off the mats.

Kit Dale: Waxes Poetic About BJJ and Losing the Spirit/The Art of Learning

Click HERE.

Burnout is a real phenomenon.
Realizing you just because you were world class at blue, purple, or whatever then then the jump to black belt is also a real phenomenon.

"I believe if you took every final at the World Championships and let the two competitors compete till submission 10 times in a row, the outcome would possibly be far different from the original match.. Since it isn’t geared that way it’s set up to suit the specialist rather than the strategist of today’s jiu jitsu..
Competition is now geared more towards the athletes.. Not that this is a bad thing..
It’s just the evolution of it.."

It's hard to tell where this borders on subtle excuse-making for recent high profile losses and/or frustrations and how much is just him thinking his unaltered, unedited thoughts.

I'd imagine both to be honest. If you're primed to expect external reward from Jiu-Jitsu by winning and winning and not losing often, then you have a length of time without reward, it can be very tough to continue to invest and invest in something not returning any sort of benefit to you.

I've yet to win a purple belt featherweight division/take 1st place.
It's been over a year at purple belt and I've legitimately trained considerably more consistent and harder than ever before but that has simply not been enough. I've competed more times at purple belt than I did my entire time at white and blue belt.
I've taken 2nd a ton of times and I've had days where I didn't win a single match. I don't even see tournaments as anything other than another day of training now. The grind is endless.
I recently fought my way to the 3rd place match in the absolute division. I lost but it's the furthest I've made it in the bracket thus far and that was coming off of being very sick the preceding two weeks.
"Winning" comes in many forms and when you've not getting the "win" that you expect, you'll have to invent ways to find motivation and reward when your desires wanes or seems to dim.

I'm undeterred for the most part because this was my pattern at blue belt. It wasn't until I returned from ACL surgery, and competed my last 6 months or so at blue belt that I won my weight class and won an absolute division.
I've read the art of learning, I've accepted as my own personal narrative that I am an incremental learning. I recall Keenan talking about his time at purple belt and how he spent the bulk of it not having won anything of note until he turned the corner. Until something clicked where he was so frustrated he didn't even care if he lost but rather just decided to fight every second of each match until the end.
That semi-letting go of outcome expectation was likely a catalyst for better performance.
What do I know?
A black belt I know who competes all the time told me purple was the toughest belt for him. He thought the competition end of it really begins to separate the recreational vs the semi and in fact professional level people.

I've already begun to see the widening gap at purple belt between recreational vs semi-pro competitors. There are guys at purple belt I've beaten easier than any blue belt match I had.
There are guys at purple belt that it's a game of chicken: the guy who makes the first mistake loses.

It's been an interesting ride my first year and 3 months or so at purple belt.

The grind continues.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

MMA Gambling Picks for UFC 185: Dos Anjos vs Pettis - Picks, Gamblingz, Thoughts et al

It's tough to bet against Pettis. He looked a bit rusty at the outset against Melendez but he was tagging Gilbert with very hard shots when he hit him, even back pedaling. Having rewatched the guillotine finish, Gilbert was hurt by Pettis' power, instinctually stuck his head down/low to grab the legs and paid the price.

It wasn't flashy shots per se, but much like that body kick with which Pettis folded Cerrone, Pettis does damage and lands shots that straight up do damage which changes the flow of the fight (as was the case with Henderson). Dos Anjos's finish of Henderson was impressive but I still side with Pettis in terms of ability to dish out punishment.
Pettis is just so damn difficult to bet against.

Normally, I wouldn't bet against the guy with the losses against better opposition (Hendricks), but the disturbing rumors I heard about how much he ballooned up between defending his title has me seriously concerned. It may be a case of expert failure and the ego of getting the belt and thinking he beat the GOAT/GSP the first time around, but no matter the source, it is alarming. I thought Hendricks lost the first fight and actually won the second on my unofficial scorecard.

All of the above being said, I actually think Matt Brown can win this fight. I didn't see the crushing power Hendricks once had in his cannon of an arm in the rematch with Lawler despite Hendricks' saying the reason he didn't have his power the first time round was a torn bicep. I also didn't see his much vaunted wrestling appear much in their second go round either so I find it hard to believe this fight will unfold differently unless he has some strange magic spell that befalls him when he's fighting 5 rounds rather than 3. Matt Brown is hittable as we saw against Lawler and seemed to wilt against Lawler's grind, but Hendricks doesn't fight with the same kind of pressure that Lawler has used to grind up guys like Brown, Rory Macdonald et cetera.

I've seen Hendricks fight three fights almost identically and not do the things he once did: land the power straight punch, use his clinching against the cage effectively and score takedowns. Matt Brown lost to a guy like him in R. Lawler, punishing power and grit that breaks you down over the course of the fight. I don't se Hendricks fighitng that way as often anymore. I can see Hendricks pressing Brown against the cage and taking advantage of Brown looking to Thai clinch.
At any rate, I think Matt Brown can win this fight and I'm gonna bet with the underdog this time. I could be reading the smoke signals completely wrong and Hendricks blows him out ala Jon Fitch or something but I just don't think so. 

Roy Nelson vs Overeem - not a fight I want any part of betting on in the least. That being said, I'll side with Overeem to win a lackluster decision by greater variety of strikes. Nelson is 1-3 in his last 4 fights and Overeem is just 2-2 in his last 4.


Cejudo should win assuming he actually makes weight in his next up weight class from multiple fails to make weight at 125.

Pearson vs Stout - Pearson has losses to Al Iaquinta and Diego Sanchez. Stout just lost to KJ Noons. That speaks volumes.

Cruickshank has the slightly better resume against more name opposition, but I'm a big supporter of Dariush and I think the oddsmakers have this one all wrong. 

I think the last three fights are pretty lopsided mismatches with not much wiggle room for betting to make $. 


Monday, March 9, 2015

So, You Pissed Hot: The 5 Common Possible Responses to Failing Your MMA Drug Test

Pissing Hot: MMA's Idiot's Guide for what to do when you piss hot.

I constructed this one largely from memory (sad when you stop and think about it) and then google'd articles related to the various excuses offered by grown men as to why they pissed hot. (Re)Reading over their excuses and justifications was pretty sad in it's own right but also a reminder that everyone is human and makes hard decisions in a jam.

I've made poor decisions and this isn't a witch hunt nor the beating of a dead horse. It is, however, largely in part to a bastion of skill and precision, Anderson Silva, first hiding behind his reputation and legacy then backtracking and halfway apologizing but still giving a justification for it and not coming clean.
You got popped. It happens. We all fall short of how we want others to see us. Own up to it and move on. It would be refreshing in it's own right. If you live and make money in the public eye, know that you will be held to a higher standard. It's the nature of the beast. the Visibility which makes you money can also be the same that crucifies you. Such is the nature of the game.

1) I didn't do it/flawed testing methodology/ conspiracy theory method (see also Jon Jones insisting conspiracy/foul play method).
To be fair Jon Jones pulled a Melvin Guillard and got popped for cocaine. I don't care if it's a PED or not. It is a blight on the sport. He's on the list.

See also previously, the Sean Sherk method: "Sherk argued that errors were made in lab testing procedures. He asserted that the lab had failed to properly test the vials used in earlier, positive tests for any remaining steroid content, which may have resulted in his sample becoming contaminated" 
"I didn't take the stuff. I took three polygraphs, nobody did that before. I took a blood test and no other fighter did that. "

2) I didn't mean to - the Braulio Estima
I didn't know I would be fighting soon/again (see also Stephan Bonnar: "By the time I got that call I had been off them for a couple weeks," said Bonnar, whose UFC 153 test failure was the second of his career. "So it was like, oh man, now I have to work on my cardio, diet really good and be ready for this fight, hey if I beat Anderson Silva, the s- is out of my system, I'm going to rule the world.")

3) Therapeutic use - the Anderson Silva (ironically, see Stephan Bonnar also: ""I haven't been in the gym," Bonnar said. "I'm weak, I'm skinny, I got some stem cell procedures done on my knee, I took a lot of time off. I'm like, crap. I'm really injury prone.")

4) The I'm a legend, believe me, my fans know I wouldn't do that - I don't even want to list the guys who have done this (Anderson at first, now going with Therapeutic use) AKA the Bill Clinton "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" dead eye straight ahead look into the camera move.

Anderson Silva Up Close & Personal v1I will not say anything about who I am or what I went through to get here. What matters to me now is the respect from those who have followed my career.
I bled, struggled and fought because I love it and because I always wanted to honor the flag of the country I love so much. I don’t know what to apologize for, because I am still waiting for the results and analysis from the specialists that are working to reveal the truth.
I think that the hurry some people have to condemn me is unfair. The time it takes to destroy a reputation is infinitely less than that is taken to build it.
I am the one who is most eager to settle this situation.
I want those who have always supported me to know that I am still fighting for all the sad happenings of this situation to be cleared.”
Well, he said "in respect," so that makes it true. The appeal to his fans and their hearts to have us believe him is hard to swallow seeing how that he knew full well he pissed hot. He appeals to his countrymen, to his fans, whoever but ultimately it was simply waxing poetic because he now is backsliding into a half admission with "therapeutic use".
It is what it is.

*5) The one they should use - the everyone is doing it bandwagon response - "I have to do it to compete" version, AKA the Jose Canseco. We're all aware that PED's are a scourge in the sport. We're all aware after watching guys who were Hercules in Pride come over and not fare as well that perhaps there was something "in the water" over there *cough cough* *cough, painkillers, cough, steroids*.
This would actually be something I would consider and take to heart.

*6)The other one they should use - If Lindsay Lohan: If she can own up to her failings, grown male cagefighters should be able to as well.
See also the Stephan Bonnar or the Hermes Franca: ""I offer only an explanation and not an excuse," Franca said. "I made a decision during a difficult time in my training for the fight that I regret."" 

See Also: CagePotato's Definitive Timeline for Steroids and for Testosterone.

Friday, March 6, 2015

First/Next Metamoris Match Announced, Eddie Bravo Invitational This Month - March 22nd

Ronda's Mom's Words for Detractors/Doubters

I always listen when the lady speaks.
She does not mince words and always makes rational, logical points with evidence to support.

Click HERE.

Among others:
"Because she used to compete at a higher weight 7 years ago in the Olympics?

Anyone who says this clearly does not know the difference between judo competition and the UFC.

In judo, you weigh in the morning of the event and fight several matches over the course of what can be a 14 hour day or more. You have to hit that weight several times a year, often for three or four weekends in a row.  

In the UFC, you weigh in more than 24 hours before the match. You fight one match that lasts at most 25 minutes. You have to hit the weight at most three or four times a year and always at least two months apart."


"She needs to prove that she is not afraid of anyone.

She has won Olympic and world medals in judo, and world title belts in two different promotions in mixed martial arts. She has set a record for fastest win in a title defense and long before this she won the finals of the junior world judo championships in 4 seconds. No matter who she beats and what she does, it will not be enough for some people.

After I won the world championships, Steve Seck, one of my teammates and a member of the Olympic team gave me sound advice, when I was criticized for deciding to pursue a Ph.D. rather than an Olympic medal.

'Fight when you feel it is right for you, and when it isn't, then stop. It doesn't matter what anyone else says. Those same people who are criticizing you now, saying, "Yes, you won the world championships, but could you win the Olympics?" If you went out and won the Olympics, they would be saying, "Yeah, but could you do it again?'"

Thursday, March 5, 2015

10 Jiu-Jitsu/Grappler Life Milestones (Told with Memes from The Office)

1) You break up with a girlfriend because her schedule and your schedule (training) is not compatible and/or she complains about your training schedule.

2) You start not eating fast food/eating out as often/You start packing food in advance to eat healthy

3) You choose not to go out to rest so you'll get more out of training

4) A) you don't look forward to your next belt promotion
    B) you actually don't care about stripes anymore

5) The first thing on your Christmas/Kwanzaa/Festivus wishlist is a new Gi

6) You start enjoying sport Jiu-Jitsu and even watch the lower belts to see how your belt competes, what's en vogue

7) You compete because you know you'll learn whether you win or not

8) You skip work, plan vacations, take a long lunch, look forward to holidays because it means open mat or training twice a day

9) You see people in real life and think, "that guy looks like Rafa Mendes" or "she looks kinda like Mackenzie Dern."

10) Virtually all of your newsfeed/social media/need for social media is based around grappling

More IBJJF Pan-Am Confirmations & Some Early Predictions (Commentary Assisted by Mugatu)


"At rooster weight: Caio Terra (CTA), Bruno Malfacine (Alliance), Fabbio Passos (Alliance), João Pedro (Checkmat), Koji Shibamoto (Tri-Force) and Jorge Nakamura (GFTeam)."

- Fabbio Passos has slowly looked more and more competitive against Caio Terra over the years, some quick back take to RNC losses not withstanding and at the previous American Nationals (I think it was) he actually stayed even with Caio for much of the match until a rolling back take semi-out of bounds and a restart. It's hard to think that Bruno won't come out on top, especially considering the departure of some of Caio's top flight guys (Moizinho among others).

"At light featherweight: Paulo and João Miyao (Cícero Costha), Bernardo Pitel (Nova União), Mark Ramos (Ricardo Rey BJJ) and Yoshihiko Matsumoto (Carpe Diem)."
- Miyao brothers close out is the only bet here.

"Featherweight: Mário Reis (Alliance), Leonardo Saggioro “Cascão” (BTT), Fabio Caloi (Alliance), Victor Genovesi (Alliance), Gianni Grippo (Alliance), Mayko Araújo (Checkmat), Kim Terra (CTA), Gustavo Dantas (Nova União) and Nicollas Welker (Ryan Gracie)."
- Without the brothers Mendes this divisions looks good for stalwart Mario Reis but I'm looking forward to a tough final with Reis and Grippo. I'm interested to see the division play out without the brothers Mendes, but part of me is kinda blase about it at the same time. Other than the Rickson Cup, I haven't gotten to watch two of the best Jiu-Jitsu competitors.....compete......for about a year. My one main detracting point for Sport Jiu-Jitsu is that other than PPV events (which are growing like Metamoris et cetera, the Eddie Bravo Invitiational 3 this month), our sporting calendar is the Spring with the Pans, Abu Dhabi Pro, and the Worlds in a 2 month span and the ADCC every other year. 

"Lightweight: Michael Liera (Atos), Luan Carvalho (Nova União), Andris Brunovskis (Atos), JT Torres (Atos), Gabriel “Palito” Rollo (Checkmat), Rodrigo Caporal (Atos), Juan Kamezawa (Alliance), Rodrigo Freitas (GB) and AJ Agazarm (GB)."
- Michael Lieira debuts at black belt at the Pans in a very tough division with guys like Caporal, Brunovskis (who has quickly picked up steam and notable wins this year) but AJ Agazarm is always a tough draw and I see Agazarm taking 3rd, with a toss up between either Lieira or Brunoskis assuming they fight it out. Lieira completely dusted the Worlds and the Pan at brown belt, but as we all hear, the jump to black belt can be a whole different game. 

"Middle weight: Leandro Lo (Cícero Costha), Otavio Sousa (GB), Vinicius Marinho (GFTeam), Magid Hage (GB), Victor Silvério (GFTeam), Francisco Sinistro Iturralde (Alliance), Felipinho Cesar (Barbosa), Fabio Pulita (Alliance) and Tanner Rice (Rice Bros)."
- Super excited for this division as Leandro continues to crush it, Otavio Sousa has swept back and forth with Leandro and come close with some armlock via omoplata attempts, Vinicius Marinho is always in it, Magid Hage is always dangerous, Sinistro is actively competing, Tanner Rise has wins over big names in the sport, and Victor Silverio is one of the black belts who has really impressed me since his promotion to Faixa Preta. This division is in my humble opinion one of the toughest throughout from one end of the bracket to the other.
It's almost impossible to not think Leandro won't take it, but with Marinho, Silverio and others, the quarter and semi-finals are anyone's guess.

"Middle heavy: Keenan Cornelius (Atos), Renato Cardoso (Alliance), Guto Campos (Atos), Murilo Santana (Barbosa), Thiago Sá (Checkmat), Rodrigo Fajardo (GB), Inácio Neto (GB) and Abmar Barbosa (Zenith)."
- Super excited for the possibility of a Murilo Santana/Keenan final (rematch of sorts) with Renato Cardoso and Abmar Barbosa always dangerous.

"Heavyweight: Lucas Leite (Checkmat), Felipe “Pé de Pão” (Alliance), Marcelo “Lapela” (Checkmat), Lucas Rocha (GB), Alexandro Ceconi (Ceconi Team) and Jurandir Vieira (G13)."

"Superheavy: Léo Nogueira (Alliance), Bernado Faria (Alliance), Eduardo Telles (Nine), Erberth Santos (TLI-Guigo), Yuri Simões (CTA), and João Assis (Checkmat)."
-The team that I dare not speak its named has Erberth Santos who has been making noise since his move to black belt, but Leo Noguiera, Bernardo Faria, and Erberth Santos along with Yuri and Joao are each and every one very tough draws. Faria's game has triumphed against virtually everyone but Rodolfo and/or Buchecha and it's tough to think he won't do so here, but Yuri Simoes has been putting in work at black belt and with youth on his side, he might have enough flex and bust out to catch Faria down the stretch as a few others have from time to time. 

"Ultra heavy: João Gabriel Rocha, Alex Trans (UAE), James Puopolo (Ribeiro JJ), Abraham Marte (GFTeam), Gabriel “Fedor” Lucas (Checkmat), Bruno Bastos (Bruno Bastos BJJ Midland), Marcelo Tarso (Atos) and Léo D’avila (Atos)."
-Another division full of tough, active competitors, Rocha, Trans, Marte, Bastos et all make this another division to watch. I have to choose Trans in this division based on how competitive he's been against the very best in the world of the big men. 

Gabi Garcia (Alliance), Michelle Nicolini (Checkmat), Mackenzie Dern (Gracie Humaitá), Tami Musumeci (ATT), Angélica Galvão (Atos), Bia Mesquita (Gracie Humaitá), Nyjah Easton (Lloyd Irvin), Monique Elias (Alliance) and Luiza Monteiro (Cícero Costha)."

Am I Dumb for Kind of Being Excited for the next TUF: ATT vs Blackzilians?

I mean....after 10 years or however long it it dumb to think this will make for moderately entertaining television?
Team competition in Judo is always somehow slightly more exciting due to the format and feel of "bragging rights" with your boys right there any rate, I'll be tuning in to watch the season premier.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thought(s) for the Day(s)

"Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. "
   - Thomas J. Watson


Monday, March 2, 2015

Win or Learn & Some Black Belt IBJJF Pan Am Competitor Confirmations

Competed Saturday and lost by clock choke. Haven't seen the footage yet.

I came down with a cold a couple days out and realized by the time the match began I didn't even have the gas tank to fight for the takedown. I had a nice sweep from reverse de la riva, to a guard pass and got to where I wanted to be very quickly and early on (knee on belly/sidemount) but couldn't keep him there. I

He wore me down with pressure guard passing, I gave up the back to buy some time after escaping side mount a couple times, I fired two omoplata attempts, went for the straight arm lock with the omoplata then the wrist but he passed and submitted me shortly thereafter if I remember correctly. I should have been more patient in bad positions but I felt out of place accepting those positions and being patient rather than continually fighting to not concede inferior positions like side mount et cetera.
I felt safe in a position where I shouldn't and paid the price. My hat off to him.

It was a tough day and a bad beat given I personally knew a ton of people in attendance. Key parts of my game (open guard, Reverse De La Riva, guard passing) worked despite being under duress so that's a silver lining if one exists at all.

I was pretty salty (read that: colossally butthurt) about it for the rest of the day, but I got up Sunday morning and headed to Chapel Hill to train at open mat because training was the only thing that would help me start moving past this loss.

I could wax poetic about a loss is only a loss if you don't learn something and I'll make sure to keep a better eye on how I'm feeling a few days out from competing, but Wednesday I felt fine, Thursday evening I felt worse, and by Friday night I could barely breathe. I slept, ate well, drank Pedialyte but sometimes time and/or rest is the only solution.
In the grand scheme of things my ego is more hurt than anything, in particular because I knew a lot of people in attendance.

Peaking at the right time, organizing training around snow days and the gym being closed or traffic's all part of the variables that can maximize or hinder performance.
It's not just training hard because all the good guys train hard.
It's not just eating well because all the good guys eat well.
The right mix, the secret sauce, the-whatever-you-call-it is what I'm still looking for as I continue to grind it out at purple belt.

Win or learn.
Win or learn.

From Graciemag:

"Here are the great names already registered in the black belt division.

Gianni Grippo

JT Torres
AJ Agazarm
Rodrigo Freitas
Rodrigo Caporal

Tanner Rice
Vitor Oliveira
Victor Estima
Sean Roberts

Renato Cardoso
Keenan Cornelius
Murilo Santana
Inacio Neto

Leonardo Nogueira
Eberth Santos
Tim Spriggs
Eliot Kelly

Bernardo Faria

Abraham Marte
João Gabriel Rocha
Alex Trans

Tammi Musumeci
Mackenzie Dern
Angelica Galvão
Fabiana Borges
Yasmine Wilson
Monique Elias
Luiza Monteiro
Dominyka Obelenyte
Tammy Griego
Ana Laura Cordeiro"