Friday, May 26, 2017

Video: Absolute Championship Berkut 75kg/85kg Grand Prix

Looks like the posted virtually all of the match-ups HERE. 
Everyone from Davi Ramos to Marcio Andre to AJ Agazarm to Victor Silverio. A ton of awesome match-ups to watch and scout. Enjoy. I forgot just how many big name guys were in this.
It's arguably the biggest and best pool of guys at a Pro event or otherwise in recent memory if not in modern Jiu-Jitsu. As usual, I'm late to the party.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Leandro Lo vs Erberth Santos - Curitiba Fall 2017 Open (deep kneebar)

Tough match. Leandro dives on a foot and gets the kneebar counter from Erberth Santos. I don't even want to imagine what it feels like to have Erberth tuck your knee behind his armpit for the prime kneebar position leverage. Jesus. Leandro pulls out the win here but damn. Gotta wonder how many times Leandro will beat him before Erberth has his day. Especially with Worlds coming up. I remember at Copa Podio (with significantly shorter match times) Leandro quickly secured the back off a pass attempt and while Leandro is now bigger than before, Erberth has faced Leandro a number of times since then and really seems to have lost any tentativeness he might have shown at times early on when facing Lo. I can't wait to see them face one another at Worlds with the Gi portion of the sport's biggest title on the line.
Despite the specter of steroids and the like, it's still a great time to be a Jiu-Jitsu fan.


Demetrious Johnson Wants Money Fights Unless it's TJ Dillashaw

Not long ago Demetrious Johnson was talking money fights and complaining about his lack of perceived value as a lower weight class fighter. TJ Dillashaw wants to come down and Might Mouse is inventing all kinds of thin arguments why he should face a guy who's not a former champion and with far less name recognition (sorry Ray Borg, it is what it is).

Rizin Announces Bantamweight Grand Prix

Video: Garry Tonon vs Shinya Aoki Countdown HL


Video: UFC Stockholm Gustaffson vs Teixeira Fight Breakdown & Picks




My picks:
Teixeira via TKO round 2
I can't trust Gustaffson to not get clipped by Glover's bombs.
He's dropped the ball previously against not Jon Jones or DC which is the maddening thing, he took both of those guys to the razor's edge, two of the best LHW in years.

Cirkunov submission round 2
Ben Saunders via submission round 3
Marcin Held by Submission round 2
Chris Camozzi via decision
Joaquim Silva via decision

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rafa Retires - Conspiracy Theory(?)

In the wake of the much publicized recent world champion banned for two years, I hate to be a Descartes and feel the waves out doubt but Rafa's seemingly out of the blue retirement leaves me not so much just sad but suspicious. This isn't an attack on him as fanboys will assume simply that the timing means he's retiring before the one time per year he'd be tested for steroids if even selected. 
(Can we just stop pretending testing ten black belts once a year is cleaning up the sport?)
At any rate, having watched a ton of documentaries on cycling, Lance Armstrong, the recent Russian Olympics systemic cheating fiasco...it's not at all improbable that Rafa got word he would be among those selected. The IBJJF has been accused by Caio Terra and others of protecting its golden boys based on old alliances to storied teams and all the nepotism and friendships that exist, to say nothing of the conflict of interests that result. 

This is a long winded way of saying if the USADA showed up 6 months before Worlds and tested all the brown and black belts it would be a very different group of guys on the podium/even eligible to compete. 

You can call me anything you want but the testing that currently exists is a band-aid on a gaping wound that is PEDs in competitive grappling. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Gi Review: VHTS G4

I did not purchase this Gi. It is a loaner Gi, an A1, my size, at the gym where I teach the kids program. That being said, I've used it to roll and train in frequently over the past few months when I didn't have time to get all my gear washed due to work and training et cetera.

Some disclaimers before I review any/all Gis: I don't like ripstop as a material on Gis. I dislike it even more as material for pants. Most of the times, if not all, that my fingers have been hurt or sprained or whatever in training it is from gripping ripstop pants. In addition, I don't like the soggy wet t-shirt feel ripstop pants give me during long training sessions. Secondly, I, for the most part, prefer heavier Gi tops. I played Judo for quite awhile before moving into Jiu-Jitsu and other than the dead of summer, I prefer heavier Gi Tops. This dislike for ripstop Gi pants is part of the reason I selected this Gi for purchase, that and the weight of the Gi top.

Those things being said, let's begin.
"480 GSM Pearl Weave" and ripstop pants. 

The cut is slim, the pants are also a slim fit. I tend to like slimmer fit/tailored Gis because I am 5'8/5'9 and 145 lbs. I have relatively broad shoulders and a narrow waist. This Gi top feels more tailored/slim than the Tatami Estilo 5.0 Gi which I own but slightly less slim than the Maeda Kaiyo Gi which I also own.

A small comment about the belt loops. It has a single belt loop in the front which is fine for tying the pants securely with the elastic drawstring, but I prefer the belt loops in pairs for a more comfortable fit/knot, but anyway, my personal two cents/opinion no one really asked for.

On to another:
I'm not quite sure if it's a chemical or something in the finishing process or perhaps the production of the weave, but something about the Gi tops by VHTS is abrasive to my knuckles. I first noticed it rolling with a guy regularly who wore VHTS Gis. I would assume it's my hands at deficient in some capacity, but after 11 years of Judo and coming up on 7 years of Jiu-Jitsu, I find it hard to believe that's the case. Something about either the weave or the fabric from the spool itself from which the weave is constructed feels very abrasive to my knuckles. Anyhow, the Gis seem very popular around NYC as I see them on IG and on competitors and athletes from a variety of gyms in the area.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Quick Picks for UFC 211 Tonight


Poirer by split decision.
   - ugh. I hate this rigamarole back and forth between unified rules or not, frankly it's all kinda unclear to me at this point who gets to make the call, or if there's a conversation with or without instant replay afterward. What fresh hell is this?
David Branch by 1st rd TKO.
  - got the job done in his return to the UFC. Beating a top 10 guy. I won't beat the dead horse of the MMA "media" (pundit would be a better word) community. Not every fight is a thrilling slugfest. That being said, what's with guys just asking the ref to get them off the cage and refs just simply being like, "okay."
Yair by TKO/stoppage.
 - I thought Frankie did not look great against Stephens and on the strength of that I was totally wrong. Frankie battered a supposedly dangerous prospect and literally imposed his will on him.
Maia by 2nd round submission.
 - Maia has to pepper shots on guys so that he doesn't do the equivalent of the lay n' pray of old when guys would just get in the closed guard and put their head on the guys chest and ride out rounds.
Dos Santos by 2nd rd KO.
  - on the strength of how Miocic looked at times against Overeem and how how good Dos Santos looked against Rothwell I had this one wrong. I noticed Dos Santos pulling away from punchest right on the end of them early in the fight and I got nervous AF. A short time later.....curtains. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

My Recent 1st Rd Match at the NY Open


Gi Review: Tatami Estilo 5.0

Some disclaimers before I review any/all Gis: I don't like ripstop as a material on Gis. I dislike it even more as material for pants. Most of the times, if not all, that my fingers have been hurt or sprained or whatever in training it is from gripping ripstop pants. In addition, I don't like the soggy wet t-shirt feel ripstop pants give me during long training sessions. Secondly, I, for the most part, prefer heavier Gi tops. I played Judo for quite awhile before moving into Jiu-Jitsu and other than the dead of summer, I prefer heavier Gi Tops. This dislike for ripstop Gi pants is part of the reason I selected this Gi for purchase, that and the weight of the Gi top.

Those things being said, let's begin.
I bought this Gi HERE for $159.95
"
  • 550 GSM Pearl Weave jacket
  • 12 oz canvas pants
"
This Gi is popular. Each time I've been to tournaments to compete since purchasing this Gi at least one guy in my bracket and a number of guys in other brackets are wearing this Gi. For the price, the Gi looks good and feels and looks like a competition Gi. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the broad, bold, big letters on the shoulders. That being said, due to my dislike of ripstop pants, and my desire for Gi tops on the heavier side in weight, this Gi ended up in my digital shopping cart. That and because the other Gi, I ended up buying was on the same website and I wanted to go ahead and just have both sent at the same time.

But I digress.....The Gi top is on the heavier end of Jiu-Jitsu Gis (at least nowadays, being 550 GSM, but honestly, doesn't feel much heavier than some of the other Jiu-Jitsu Gis. The cut is also not as lean as some of my other Gis, not that it feels box-like or like a parachute around me, but it's not as tailored through the midsection as per my frame (which my torso is very V-shaped from shoulders narrowing down to the waist). It has some cool sketch/line art patched inside the Gi up around the shoulders which is a nice touch, the overall aesthetic of the Gi is clean cut and the Blue color they used for the stitching I think works really well for it's overall look. One small nitpick negative nancy detail, there is a patch on the left hand side of the Gi pants near the waist/thigh intersection that results in one less belt loop on that side. I doubt it makes much of a difference in wear/usage, but I could've done without a patch and done with another belt loop. That being said, if that's the only thing negative I have to say about a Gi, so far so good.






Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Submission Underground 4: Jake Shields vs Dillon Danis Hype Video



Gi Review: Maeda Kaiyo

Some disclaimers before I review any/all Gis: I don't like ripstop as a material on Gis. I dislike it even more as material for pants. Most of the times, if not all, that my fingers have been hurt or sprained or whatever in training it is from gripping ripstop pants. In addition, I don't like the soggy wet t-shirt feel ripstop pants give me during long training sessions. Secondly, I, for the most part, prefer heavier Gi tops. I played Judo for quite awhile before moving into Jiu-Jitsu and other than the dead of summer, I prefer heavier Gi Tops. This dislike for ripstop Gi pants is part of the reason I selected this Gi for purchase, that and the weight of the Gi top.

Those things being said, let's begin.
I bought this Gi HERE for $149.95. At this price, I am very happy thus far with my purchase. The slimmer fit, the weight of the Gi, how it feels in training, I am very happy with it for what I paid. It's not an amazing Gi in terms of the patching or design aesthetic but as a Gi to throw on, stretch out and do competition class early at my gym, it feels great every time I put it on.
Schematics and details:
I'm 5'8/5'9, 145 lbs or so. I wear an A1.
I like the heavier (than ripstop) Gi pants and the reinforced pad that sits mid thigh to mid shin. I also like the extra belt loops. I personally don't like elastic/stretch cords for drawstring (once again, my Judo background bias showing through), but the addition of belt loops and the thickness of the draw string feels appropriate. I've tried some Gis on where the circumference of the drawstring is laughably large.
I've had this Gi for going on two months. I train in it at least once week, normally at competition class, and have yet to notice any tearing or lose stitching. I mention this because I have bought Gis in the past that after the first wash or within a week of training, I've noticed loose threads or portions where the stitching has failed. This Gi, thus far shows no signs of such failures in stitching and/or construction. Of the not super high end Gi's like the Oniwakamaru or 5 Rings Gi I bought by Muae, this is my favorite daily training Gi in terms of fit and feel.

"
  • 475 GSM Pearl Weave Plus jacket
  • 10 oz drill cotton pants
"




Friday, May 5, 2017

3 Weekends of Amazing Matches Left in May: Gordon Ryan, Jake Shields, Dillon Danis, Gilbert Burns, Eddie Cummings, Paulo Miyao et al

Given the two weeks off from the UFC waiting for the HW strap to go up for grabs between Miocic and Dos Santos, you'd be forgiven for thinking there's not a lot going on otherwise. As it turns out, a ton of notables are competing in grappling over the course of what remains in May. Up and coming bantamweights will be visible for free on youtube tomorrow as part of the Onnit Invitational 4. Ethan Crelinsten returns to action since winning the ADCC trials on the west coast amongst othre notables at Onnit's next invitational event tomorrow. Gordon Ryan returns to action to face Eliot Kelly. Dillon Danis and Jake Shields beef it out on May 14th. John Combs returns since his foot lock loss to Bronovskis to face Gilbert Burns & Justin Rader (fresh off a loss to Garry Tonon) returns to face Bruno Frazatto. Last but not least Eddie Cummings returns after his frustrating match with Samir Chantre.

May 6th - Onnit Invitational - Link to Streaming LIVE on YouTube Click HERE:
- "The 135lbs bracket includes: Ricky  Lule, Jon Calestine, Ethan Crelinsten, Sheridan Moran, Marcelo Cohen, Manuel Aguilar, Christobal Chavez Davila and John Torres.
The 205lbs bracket includes: Patrick Miller, Ty Orgeron, Shawn Gayton, Kyle Boehm, Tommy McCay, Vince Barbosa, Kalei Talamoni and Alex Skold."

May 12th - Fight to Win Pro 34 - Available on FloGrappling
 - "The main event will feature sub-only phenom Gordon Ryan against 2016 ADCC trials champ Eliot Kelly. Ryan is coming off a recent F2W Pro win against Atos BJJ black belt Lucas Barbosa, and Kelly has a 2-1 record fighting for the promotion.

The co-main event will see Jeff Glover go up against UFC veteran Alvin Robinson, who is a black belt under Royce Gracie. A heavyweight no-gi match between Eliot Marshall and Jared Dopp is also scheduled for the Denver event. 2017 ADCC trials bronze medalist Nicky Ryan will be making his Fight to Win Pro debut against Derek Alumbaugh. "

May 14th - Submission Underground 4 - Available on FloGrappling
 - "
  • Dillon Danis vs Jake Shields
  • Urijah Faber vs Paulo Miyao
  • John Combs vs Gilbert 'Durinho' Burns
  • Nathan Orchard vs Mike Perez
  • and many more undercard matches!
Submission Underground 4 goes down on May 14 in Portland, OR. The submission-only grappling competition, co-presented by FloSports and Chael Sonnen, will be live streamed to an international audience exclusively on FloGrappling.com starting at 3:00 p.m. PST."






May 20th - Fight to Win Pro 35 - Available on Flograppling
- "
  • Justin Rader vs Bruno Frazatto
  • Eddie Cummings vs Thiago Macedo
  • James Puolopo vs Gabriel “Fedor” Lucas"

Depressing Friday News: Paulo Miyao Receives 2 Year Ban from USADA


Click HERE for more:

Paulo Miyao receives 2 year ban from USADA for failed/positive test.

I'll have to do a podcast soon to discuss this topic I guess.
It's honestly just the death of the narrative that it's just hard work and the dream and technique conquers all in Jiu-Jitsu. I don't hold him responsible and others will want to discredit him and his accomplishments. The peanut gallery will boo and hiss and do what it does. I don't really care to crucify anyone. It simply confirms to me what I'd begun to suspect about competitive Jiu-Jitsu as of late and now forces some key questions: Why does it take so long to release the failed test? What's the point if Jiu-Jitsu only tests onece a year? Does Jiu-Jitsu really even want to be an Olympic sport or anything above a niche sport?

But the elephant in the room now in Jiu-Jitsu is the band-aid of a solution that is testing 10 black belts one day per year when they know it's the only time they would be tested (IF AT ALL).

Previously, I didn't want Jiu-Jitsu in the Olympics, if it means out of competition testing, full speed ahead, let's see how the podium changes with out of competition testing.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Submission Underground 4: Danis vs Shields, Miyao vs Faber, Burns vs Combs et al

Amidst an ousting from longtime gym and a supposed Bellator MMA debut, Danis faces Jake Shields. Not to be a one-trick pony, Submission Underground has some additional semi-interesting match-ups using the Metamoris style lure of MMA-centric grapplers going up against Jiu-Jitsu specialists (like Miyao vs Faber et cetera), and Combs vs Burns (though Burns has additional LEGIT BJJ credentials as well).

I'll be a negative Nancy and say that I don't think the Faber/Miyao match will be very interesting. Danis vs Shields I think will be chock full of entertainment value given all the Danaher Death Squad beef and Shields training there in NYC.

We have a wild set of matches coming our way in a few weeks, and presented by Chael Sonnen no less.

As per Flograppling, in addition to Dilon Danis vs Jake Shields, the card features:"
  • ​Paulo Miyao vs. Urijah Faber
  • Michael Perez vs. Nathan Orchard
  • John Combs vs. Gilbert Burns"


Monday, May 1, 2017

Onnit Invitational (135/205ers) This Saturday, May 6th:

As per the eventbrite:

Crelinsten is fresh off his win at ADCC trials on the west coast (where he defeated Ricky Lule among others. There's also a pretty violent shoulder snapping kimura video floating around the internet as well from one of the earlier rounds). Teammate Jon Calestine
I don't really watch a lot of LHW grappling events so I don't know much about the LHW bracket.







"The 135lbs bracket includes: Ricky Lule, Jon Calestine, Ethan Crelinsten, Sheridan Moran, Marcelo Cohen, Manuel Aguilar, Christobal Chavez Davila and John Torres.
The 205lbs bracket includes: Patrick Miller, Ty Orgeron, Shawn Gayton, Kyle Boehm, Tommy McCay, Vince Barbosa, Kalei Talamoni and Alex Skold.
Super Fights
Fabio Prado vs Tom Lawlor
Jose Llanas vs Will Durkee
Cora Sek vs Brandi Saunders
Chris Westfall vs Thiago Macedo
Dave Rickels vs Mike Torres
Jacob Harris vs Grayson Henley
Elisabeth Clay vs Kayla De Leon
Jeffro Mullanex vs Brian Brown"


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Actual Update: All Podcast Episodes Available (Again) on Soundcloud

Click HERE for them. All of them are available for your listening pleasure.
More episodes to come.

Lots to discuss between the likes of guys being booted from their schools, flat earth supporters fighting in MMA, and the increasing tension between IBJJF-successful competitors "competing" in sub only formats and not engaging or guys pricing themselves out of invitational matches but then competing IBJJF for a medal and a title meanwhile complaining there's no money in Jiu-Jitsu.

What fresh hell is this?