Friday, February 19, 2016

Rafa vs Quexinho: Pressure Passing

I'm actually a bigger fan of Gui than Rafa. Rafa, with his rivalry with Cobrinha and Augusto "Tanquinho" Mendes, (whose UFC debut is this Sunday evening against the much heavily hyped Cody Garbrandt) has better FOILs in his division and certainly I feel like gets more press/hype/credit/notoriety of the two brothers, but more of my passing game and 110% of my brabo/lapel feed/baseball bat choke top game I reverse engineered by watching every single match of Gui Mendes available on the internets.

At any rate, in the absense of Gui's competition life/his retirement, I do watch more Rafa Mendes than before and I do still like his pressure passing style. He leg drags more than I do but his consistent pressure that clearly wears down the resistance or even ability to resist of his opponents is a thing of beauty to watch. Quexinho is no slouch but he just wilts under Rafa's relentless forward pressure with a few direction changes. Rafa is not a torreando swarm-er like Leandro Lo (who with his long frame and arms and torrid pace uses the constant underhook searching and leg dragging torreando passing attempts to grind down even guys like Langhi or Sousa), but rather Rafa is more like 70% pressure with 30% direction change. Rafa when he does change directions appears lightning fast, and his spin to the back and other transitions just look like finesse and speed and precision, but it looks like there's a clear preference for pressure and once he forces the commitment of the defense only past a certain degree/point in time/space will he then change direction.
I like this aspect of his passing the most in that it most directly correlates to my passing style. I feel safter in a sense, with the pressure on the guy, preventing him from getting back to his feet or from regaining hooks/guards of various kinds. At any rate, enjoy:

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