Wednesday, June 27, 2018

22 Black Belt Submissions from 2018 Worlds

Enjoy. Some very big names, many masterful performances, and some real submission hunters out there in the Gi at black belt in a number of weight classes. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

EBI 16: Female Bantamweights - Recap and Analysis - Mesquita Wins it (Predictably)

Was more excited for the slate of competitors with more IBJJF-centric brown/black belts on the roster, but alas, I guess folks get injured, and folks elect to not compete for money, and other various reasons.

Overall, with the advent of more women brown and black belts, the overall JiuJitsu was of a much higher pedigree, that being said, you're behind the times if you're jumping to closed guard in a nogi/sub only format. The leg entanglements were more advanced than the previous women's EBI, but the calf slicer, toe holds, and heel hook finish all show much room for development in the women's division of sub only and leg lock friendly events. Overall, the talent attracted was of a higher level than the previous installment, but the mismatch of black belt world champs versus competitors who are arguably purple belt level or maaaaaybe brown belt level was.....well, made for some mismatches. Anyhow, entertaining due to a high rate of finishes, so I'll end my criticism on a high note.

Mesquita vs Neidrauer
Mesquita jumps guard, gets the arm across the body, threatens the armbar from bottom to get the back take, which Neidrauer defends and does so by giving up mount. Mesquita quickly locks up a kimura from mount, dismounts to begin the attack. 2 min's down and she's transitioned to several grip breaks, and Neidrauer gets caught after a hitchhiker style escape with Mesquita tight on the joysticking of the arm. Mesquita by armbar.

Leve vs Mayo
They spend 2 mins on the feet before Leve gets a foot/ankle and runs Mayo down to the mat. After some efforst to pass, Mayo shoots then sits back to guard. Leve spends nearly 5 mins in guard and some efforts to posture/pass, but gets swept, recovers to a scramble and despite lacking much technique, Mayo shoves her to the ground (hey, sometimes that's all there is to it/that's necessary). Mayo spends the remaining 90 seconds of regulation attempting to pass, but to no avail.
Leve wins on escape time.

Boveda vs Vaughan
Haflway through the match after a lot of closed guard on both sides, Vaughan forces through to half-guard, and quickly to mount, then to what appears to be an arm triangle, but despite Boveda being in an S-mount type position with the arm giftwrapped, she taps - presumably from the arm triangle?

Alzuguir vs Feliciano
Alzuguir vs is patient, then gets past the guard and works to mount where she's patient. Feliciano is patient due to the sub only format and doesn't give up the back in order to escape, smart move on her part. They move to overtime. Alzuguir for her accomplishments in IBJJF, and the Gi, not really having any tools to get to the back by scooping the elbows/create transitions to move to submission opportunities. Feliciano, however, in overtime, with Alzuguir on her back manages to get to the better side to address the body triangle, but (hard to tell from the angle) gets RNC/jaw crushed?) then opts in the armbar position to go for the bicep crush, but loses the elbow position from the head-side arm, and therefore doesn't have the pressure to force the extrication of the arm to get it free in time/Alzuguir escapes quickly.

Basilio vs Patterson
Basilio hunts for a guillotine from top early to pass/attack. Basilio looks to backstep, but Patterson to her credit uses the free hook to trip her up, and re-pommels to suck in the leg then transitions but Basilio attacks with her own heel hook. The angle/depth looks okay from the aerial view, but then a nice transition, and attack sequence from Patterson who sets up her own kneebar. The angle from top looks good, but the foot is at her sternum/chest level, making it unlikely to finish, especially on a black belt of Basilio's caliber. Patterson spends some time with her feet to the outside, triangled, looking to toe hold or look for an outside heel hook, but gets lazy, and allows the black belt to roll belly down and despite the leg being straight, submits to a toe hold.

Nordeno vs Tracy
Couple mins in, Tracy gets to single leg X, foot across the hip to attack what initially looks like a heel hook, but she opts for a toe hold, interesting choice, Nordeno counters with a heel hook, they pommel feet to the inside and disengage. Nordeno attacks with a toe hold of her own, and Tracy snakes a leg inside to alleviate the torque. Tracy looks for a toe hold, but gives up a potential calf slicer/crab ride/back take with Nordeno beginning the series of attacks/climb from behind. Nordeno goes belly down on an ankle lock, and Tracy doesn't really commit to resetting after the initial attack, and Nordeno gets even deeper in on that lackadaisical foot left behind in calf slice position from last time, and this gets the tap giving Nordeno the win, and knocking out the 10th Planet Women's Qualifying winner.

Goodell vs Sullivan
Sullivan selling out on some ankle locks belly down, Goodell looking for some back takes. Hard to say what's having more effectiveness.
Sullivan ekes it out by fastest escape time.

Ribas vs Smadja
Ribas on top with some heavy pressure (they always say it is, but I've had people yelling that in matches, and the guy on top of me didn't feel heavy et cetera), Smadja escapes into a leg entanglement/attack as a counter to a sloppy ankle lock sit back by Ribas. Ribas pre-emptively spins, but Smadja smartly keeps the bite, keeps the feet pinched, at the hip, grips palm to palm, and the flailing escape didn't get Ribas any distance from the hips, and then turns the opposite way in desperation (the wrong way at this point) and wisely taps.
Smadja with the heel hook for the Win.

Quarterfinal 1 - Mesquita vs Leve
Mesquita gets the arm overhooked from closed guard, has the far wrist under control, dangerous spot for Leve, especially against a black belt....and predictably, once the wrist is controlled, and the arm overwrapped, the triangle isn't far behind, after some adjustments, Mesquita gets the tap via triangle.

Quarterfinal 2 - Vaughan vs Alzuguir
Vaughan shows some impressive passing in forcing Alzuguir to turtle, then on to attack the back/turtle. Vaughan is pretty high off the top of the back but stays on the attack as Alzuguir looks to escape the high back take. Alzuguir escapes, but accepts bottom position and Vaughan looks to be considerably more fresh. Alzuguir spins from bottom to 50/50. Vaughan waits for a sloppy heel hook entry/grip attack by Alzuguir then uses it to come up to standing, then address the foot on the hip in an effort to escape the leg entanglement and possibly pass the guard from top/standing. Alzuguir pommels Vaughan's foot to the 50/50 again to retreat a bit to a control position and reset. Vaughan appears to take some chances when looking for avenues to escape during the leg lock exchanges. I can't help but expect someone more experienced in controlling the legs will catch her in one of these transitions where she's used to escaping.....and from 50/50 she twists the wrong way, doesn't fit the hands or split the feet controlling her...and gets half kneebar/half heel hooked.

Quarterfinal 3 - Basilio vs Nordeno
Basilio gets the arm overhooked, and hits a key lock/Mir lock from closed guard, despite Nordeno's arm looking pretty far out of the hole and not really at 90 degrees.
Basilio by key lock/Americana/Mir Lock/whatevs

Quarterfinal 4 - Sullivan vs Smadja
Smadja uses top position to sit back on a leg early, then throws up a triangle attempts, once on top, she allows Sullivan to spin through to an outside heel hook position, Smadja begins some counter measures, but stops with her knee midway out, and appears to just stay in range for Sullivan to crank on the foot left behind as Smadja never completed clearing the knee line in order to reset. Sullivan moves on via unimpressive toe hold triumph over marginal defensive measures taken by Smadja.

PJ Barch vs Mikey Gonzalez
Some wrestling on the feet for a few minutes, Barch in half-guard, passes the guard, as Gonzalez turns out, in an effort to escape/scramble, he leaves behind and arm and Barch is on the mistake quickly, he transitions to the back, Gonzalez briefly looks as though he'll escape, but elbow control and stopping rather than insisting until he was back head to head/in a neutral position gets Barch sitting in top side half-guard with the arm still locked up in a Kimura grip which leads to a transition to an armbar, then back and in the escape the arm comes free and Barch finishes Gonzalez with a Kimura.

Semifinal 1 - Mesquita vs Alguzuir
Mesquita jumps to closed guard but Alzuguir sits back and drives the foot across the hip threatening a heel hook, Mesquita comes to top, splits the feet, and is on top, relatively comfortable, she dives over the top and snags an errant arm to give her a Kimura from top mount. With about 2 minutes remaining she steps over the free arm completely to lock up a triangle and force the tap.

Semifinal 2 - Basilio vs Sullivan
Basilio effortlessly passes, transitions to mount, giftwraps the arm and is hunting for the backtake 90 seconds into the match. Sullivan looks to be escaping but leaves behind her elbow and Basilio locks up a Kimura which evolves into a straight armbar for the finish as Sullivan's lanky frame does her in whilst escaping the mount from earlier.

Richie Martinez vs Bobby Emmons
Emmons passes (somehow, because the movement would not suggest he's a guard passing machine...) then does just enough to stay in top side mount for 3-4 boring minutes afterward. From there the flail-fest really kicks off in earnest. Boogeyman looks for a Darce from top while floating over the flailing legs of Emmons, but doesn't lock it up, Emmons halfway commits to driving underneath with a Craig Jones style entry but he lacks the leg dexterity, inversion rotation, and general sense of swinging his legs all the far way around for it to work and ends up turtled with Boogeyman looking to take advantage. Emmons triangles the leg but its while he has lost the underhook battle, his legs are completely smashed flat to one side, and there's no way a guy the size/frame/experience of Martinez is going to let Emmons get underneath him to do anything with it....and it looks like the Darce is forthcoming due to forcing the triangle around the available leg from this position...and that's exactly how it goes down. You learn early on when experimenting with getting the triangle around the legs that this is the cost of locking it up from out of position, and this danger does exist.

Final - Mesquita vs Basilio
Both women seated 90 seconds in, neither wanting to come on top to spend time passing. Both pommeling their feet to the inside position while some lackluster handfighting. Both women seated again at the 7 minute mark. Basilio leaps over the top for a guillotine, but while floating, and lacking the skills to pommel her feet to the inside position ends up in danger of a heel hook as Mesquita's foot comes across the hip, fortunately for Basilio, she's pretty stretched out, rather than caught with the knee bent roughly 90 degrees or near it, and with both legs almost completely straight and extended when she goes to triangle them again, she ends up low down the leg, right above Basilio's knee so she should be relatively safe even when Mesquita goes belly down. They spend 2 minutes in 50/50 not really sure how to turn it into a heel hook (sigh),

Overtime - Basilio wisely is slightly walking her legs away before time kicks in, but stays flat on her back/shoulders when she goes to thumb post/hitchhike out and predictably with a black belt on her arm joysticking it, gets tapped ruthlessly quickly for not having the details necessary to compromise Mesquita's legs cross body before going for that escape.
Details matter, people.
Mesquita wins via insanle easy armbar in the 1st overtime.
Ignorance of the overtime and the escapes for the first layer of common armbar overtime attacks costs Basilio from even really having a shot in the overtime portion.

Monday, June 25, 2018

2 Match Changes for ACB 14 - June 40th

I was gonna make a steroid joke, but I’ll just not and let those who folllow the sport make their own. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

PFL 2 Broadcast: Recap & Analysis

Odds and Ends: the added factor of how fighters win granting them 5 points for a sub vs 3 for a decision win, and no points for a loss, gives it that "pool" feel wherein how you win across each match matters. The 80's Rocky style theme music and the polo shirts for the interviews felt a bit middle aged, complete with a random window background warehouse and him kicking a heavy bag and shadowboxing. Nijem's interview made it sound like he's facing a bracket of cans and a very submittable opponent, but alas, I have digressed. Anyhow, a touching intro for Foster referencing the passing of a sibling, usual banter of "living the life of a fighter," et cetera.

Kayla vs Whoever - got home from teaching class just in time to see a replay of Kayla predictably winning by armbar. She tucked the shin behind the head to facilitate the armbar into the standard cross body pin, then began fighting the opponent's grip.
Within 10-15 seconds, Kayla had Elkins pressed against the cage. Not surprising that was the gameplan, but Elkins didn't circle or even dance a bit to make Kayla chase her. At any rate....Kayla hit a nice short, powerful Ouchigari (underutilized in MMA) from the tie-up, and after that, it was pretty predictable with her years and years of grappling acumen against other legit, world class grapplers (we throw that term around in Jiu-Jitsu, but Kayla won 2 Olympics. She won in a sport where athletes have to qualify to even make it to the Olympics in one of the most contested, and represented sports (total athlete and country participation wise). I'm sure going in there with someone roughly her size who perhaps picked up a rounded skillset in the past -10 years, isn't much work for her.

Foster vs Nijem
After some jumping knees in the 3rd round, Foster gets a stoppage/TKO. First two rounds close with both guys getting to top position, Foster ending the first round chasing a kimura from top side control, et cetera.

Firmino vs Brooks
Brooks used takedowns and an ability to scramble/sweep/get to top, to grind out the rounds for a decision. Firmino swung for the fences and stayed dangerous throughout, but Brooks showed his ability to get to top and stay there in taking the nod.

High vs Escudero - didn't see the fight, but apparently High disputes the tap, and shoved another referee (not his first infraction). 

BJJ Digest 22-23 - BJJ Scout

Monday, June 18, 2018

Early Weigh Ins Not to Blame when Fighters Walk Around 30-40 lbs above Fighting Weight 

You are a welterweight that walks around at 216 lbs. What else is there to say? What happens the day of has nothing to do with how in the %#^* you ballooned up to 46 lbs above your fighting weight. 

ACB 14 - June 30th 

Some Mo' BJJ Digest via BJJ Scout

How About That Marcin Held Inside Heel Hook Tho

My man lets well, dunno if "lets" but find himself with the legs across the body and either turn away to turtle or accept side control, and those Marcin predictably takes that leg home to the mantle with it just dangling cross body out there like a fish outta water. His opponent semi attempts turning the wrong way, then perhaps rotating the other way, then even semi considers inserting a foot in as a wedge, but as he never committed to any of these defenses, he found his leg in breaking position.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Onnit Invitational 8 Broadcast Analysis (2 Brackets and Fitness Marketing Infomercials

Onnit put the whole thing on, so plugging some commercials for a bit during the intermission halfway through was par for the course. The kid coming out for his superfight plugging the viking ninja mace fitness product was pretty eye rolling though, but hey, it's their event, they paid for the thing and put it on, so fuck what I think.

What I could have done without was the hack commentary team. Some gems included calling Birchak's performance anything other than him running circles for 10 minutes then getting crushed within 30 seconds of touching Rosenthal for a period of time longer than the patty cake he did during regulation. Also, my favorite moment was the guy on the far left of the team on screen (following Rosenthal vs Birchak in the final) "wonder what would've happened if there was punches...." with that *&^%ing voice you hear watching the UFC at a bar when a guy swings for the fences and gets taken down then RNC'd quickly, and he has to chime in with how the grappler got lucky/jiujitsu isn't real fighting/be a man/if there was no rules it would be different/blah blah blah.

Are you *&^%ing serious? Following AJ Agazarm not knowing if Royal was pronounced like "Royale" whilst doing the commentary for that invitational recently, nor having much understanding if any of the rules, it wasn't like I had high expectations for whoever's friends were asked to do commentary for this event, but *&^!, this was a new low. In addition, following the slapdick, pro weed fest that was High Rollerz recently, I'm hard to shock but you've got on air broadcasters at Onnit drinking beer and getting intelligibly more intoxicated as the broadcast continued....aside from the usual banter and asides/anecdotes of little to no value comedic or otherwise to distract and have no bearing on what's actually transpiring on the mat. I would have, no exaggeration, rather they simply asked any two random jiu-jitsu practitioners at the event to have done commentary on the spot than that menage a trois of vapidly inane banter.

As for the matches, the 171 lb entrant into the 185 division did exceedingly well & Kyle Chambers managed to leg lock some other guys his size who obviously knew less leg lock firepower than he did. Frank Rosenthal liquidated the competition and Birchak was the only one who lasted any amount of time and did so only by samba dancing and occasionally touching Frank about the head, ankles, and hands like he was a hot stove. A few minutes in it was obvious drawing it out to overtime was the plan, but mercifully he was equally ineffective there and literally lost position -15 seconds then got strangled in about the same amount of time putting an end to his Summer Olympics jog around out of range-fest that was the regulation of his match with Rosenthal. If you don't want to engage your opponent at all, just don't sign up for sub only, man. It's okay. I won't judge you. I only judge you when you sign up for sub only then act like both of you should fight for takedowns and other bullshit. Perhaps it was seeing a lot of stalling and fleeing and boundary playing at the Kasai Pro 170 Qualifier early in the day in NYC and the Worlds recently as well that had me on the warpath about stalling, but maybe not....maybe I just don't like watching sub only match where one competitor it literally just running around and not actually willing to physically touch his opponent for more than one second at a time. Who are you fooling? Go run track or put on a Gi and flee takedowns and ride out advantages and call it winning....and juice up on all the steroids but thank Jesus and hard work when you win and pretend like the sport isn't riddled with PEDs. Oh wait, I'm talking about the IBJJF now.

10th Planet Squad Announced for Quintet 2

Friday, June 15, 2018

Product Review: Optimal Human Short Sleeve Rash Guard & NoGi Shorts

I own the short sleeved rash guard/compression shirt in grey. I like the color and fit. I don't like NoGi rash guards that when they soak in they have that wet t-shirt feel or sag off you a bit, so I was glad when I trained in this one and it stayed fitted to me throughout (6-7 rounds at 6 min apiece). I tend to prefer my short sleeved rash guards at 3/4 sleeve length, but this one fits great throughout the chest and shoulders and wear it regularly now. I wake up at 147 with no real dieting or restrictions, stand 5'8, and I own the size small.

Click HERE

I own the NoGi Shorts with velcro fastening, in a size as well. In regular pants I'm a size 30 waist. These fit well and standing up straight, the bottom of the shorts sit about at the top of the knee, and when I'm seated/grappling, the ride about 3/4 to halfway up the thigh. I train in them at least once a week, had them for about a year now.

Click HERE

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Quintet Fight Night - 2nd Installment: Results and Recap/Analysis

I tuned in to watch the event as the first one turned out to be wildly entertaining at times despite the lack of heel hooks. Le sigh.
That being said, the mismatches of grappling pedigrees led to some great finishes and some real drubbings (looking at you Team Sambo *cough cough*).

I'll admit, I tuned into the first event with a sense of freakshow and TBH "why the fuck not?" even though it was lacking in heel hooks and no closed guard, but the size mismatches, and advent of some rule additions (no extended closed guard) allow for some degree less of stalling.

This installment featured 4 teams in a bracket - with winners facing one another in a final.
Team Carpe Diem vs Team Tokoro
Team U-Zukido vs Team Haleo


Daisuke Sugie vs Seiichiro Ito - 4 min match due to weight diference
Ito looks for some foot sweeps before pulling out a very smooth flying armbar attempt that looked pretty deep until the much bigger man countered by throwing the legs over and getting to his side. Sugie transitions to the back after a mount escape by Ito. Sugie gets hooks in with about 40 seconds left and continues to fight for the strangle from the back but Ito defends well if not adequately.

David Garmo vs Masakazu Imanari
Garmo hits a not particularly defended double leg, kicks out to side control, then advances to mount, Imanari not exactly working super hard to defend or escape, Garmo concedes mount to hunt for a guillotine over the top, then attacks an armbar that Imanari does just enough to escape and follow-up with a leg attack but too much space and escapes.
Garmo chains an arm drag to another attempt at a low risk guard pass but Imanari threads an omoplata but Garmo disengages to escape. Imanari never really gets up and Garmo gets side control, then mount, then begins to hunt for a mounted armbar. Repeat of Imanari not bothering to defend a pass, Garmo mounting him and now looking for a head+ arm choke that Imanari semi defends but honestly doesn't seem to feel very threatened by, that being said, Garmo is eating clock time in relatively safe places. Garmo on a back take after Imanari turtles in response to an over/under pass, then puts on a body triangle, couple minutes left... with 30 seconds left the ref opts for a restart in referees position but Imanari semi-Granby rolls immediately and replaces open guard. The match ends with Imanari having a stalling call/penalty against him but counts for nothing so both guys are off the mat.

Yoshihiro Matsumoto vs Hideo Tokoro (who hit that sweet flying armbar in the first Quintet Installment)
Tokoro passes easily after a guard pull, then hunts for a kimura but Matsumoto uses DLR to invert and get him off. Tokoro ends up in a backstep/kneebar possible situation off a back take attempt by Matsumoto. Tokoro is careless and ends up with Matsumoto on his back with a body triangle and 6 minutes to work. Tokoro begins to stand and peels him off then crouches in half-guard to begin to pass. From overhooking the arm Matsumoto hits an omoplata, but loses control in the sweep and arm lock attempt and Tokoro passes but ends up headlocking Matsumoto who sets a butterfly hook and again gets to the back then comes to mount and locks up the kimura grip to then retake the back and lock in a body triangle. Tokoro peels him off then falls back on an ankle lock but loses it. Tokoro hits a last second kneebar that looks relatively deep but not enough to get a tap. Both guys are off the mat.

Tomohisa Sera vs Naoyuki Kotani
Sera with a guillotine and belly down kneebar attempt early on. Ends with a kimura/back take/armbar attempt from Sera but once again, a draw, and both guys are off the mat.

Iwasaki vs Yano
Iwasaki with a big double leg to start, and looking to pass from top position. Yano locks in a neck scissor from north/south bottom, and will not stop squeezing. This really happened. I'm not joking even though I wish I was. He then looks for it again and locks it in shortly thereafter. He looks for it again near the boundary but when the ref goes to reset them, he takes several seconds to get up and is sucking serious wind. Iwasaki shoots and Yano perhaps thinks about defending but honestly just sorta collapses to his back and Iwasaki locks up a head+arm triangle. Yano guts it out and lessens the danger by getting back to being mounted but without the head+arm triangle locked in. Yano literally rolls to the center of the mat when the ref goes to reset them in the center. Yano survives a keylock attempt but concedes mount, and fortunately for him, Iwasaki doesn't use the defense to spin for a top side/mounted armbar. Yano survives another deep head+arm triangle attempt. At this point, I was curious. It turns out Yano is 48 years old. Dude might be having a heart attack for all we know, and pulling a Kimbo in there. They go to referee's position and Yano doesn't move when the ref says go, and Iwasaki locks in an RNC, then hooks, and Yano is defending by reaching for the feet/hooks. Seriously. At this point, I don't know what more sad, watching this unfold, or that Iwasaki couldn't finish the 48 year old on the verge of having a heart attack/stroke.

Team Carpe Diem moves on due to a ref's decision in the last match of the head to head.

Team U-Zukido vs Team Haleo

Hikari Sato vs Tokudome
Tokudome with a very quick guillotine attempt, to mount, then loses position as Sato defends, then uses a reverse 10 finger grip I've actually not seen a lot of people use (I was taught it by a former coach of mine, Sean Spangler (youtube his nogi matches), and Tokudome utilizes the reverse 10 finger grip to get to a head/arm grip and controls the leg and sticks Sato on his side, and forces the head/arm choke for the tap.
Excellent work.

Tokudome stays on the mat and now faces Manabu Inoue
Tokudome from standing gets the head down low in front of him and against gets the reverse 10 finger grip from the previous match, and begins ratcheting it into hunt for a Darce/Marce/head & arm choke variation...and steps over for a Peruvian Necktie that briefly looks like curtains, but Inoue escapes. Immediately following the escape, however, Inoue keeps his head tucked low underneath Tokudome who now locks a full figure four/bicep grip with his opponent trapped underneath him. Inoue survives and spend some time with a half butterfly hook in thwarting passing attempts by Tokudome who hunts for some guillotines over the top but doesn't quite have the leg dexterity to lock up the head/neck and clear his legs from Inoue's defense. Inoue keeps looking to come up on a single and thus putting his head/arm in the danger zone with Tokudome looking to look them up again. Tokudome hunts for the back and Inoue begins making a face akin to going into labor, except the only thing he's giving birth to is an entirely defensive performance apart from some feeble single leg from bottom attempts in an effort to escape. He's simply even more ineffectual than Tokudome is at this point with 2 1/2 mins remaining. As it turns out, Inoue has some sort of rib injury which ends the match. Tokudome advances to face his 3rd opponent.

Tokudome vs Hamagishi
Tokudome looks for a flying armbar but a bit too much space and ends up on bottom. Hamagishi looking to pass half-guard but loses it and back to the feet, Tokudome hits a nice double to get to the hips, then cuts the angle to finish and cartwheels at the last second to finish the takedown into a guard pass. Nice work. Hamagishi hits a nice inside trip/kouchigari from a collar tie all by itself and now looks to pass. Back to the feet and Hamagishi hits another inside trip this time finishing it without even the collar tie to control the head. Impressive foot sweep timing, control, and dexterity. He briefly gets to mount and looks to isolate a kimura but loses it. They exchange a rolling kimura for a flying armbar and Hamagishi gets a nice kimura to some real crank behind the back but loses it at the last second. Hamagishi finishes in mount, looking for another kimura but time runs out and both men are off the mat.

Victor Henry vs Kanehara
Henry is Josh Barnett's protege, for what that's worth. Kanehara is no stranger to the Japanese combat sports world. After some dancing around, and a reset to the feet, Kanehara hits a nice blast double to put Henry on his back. Kanehara looking to pass, slides over a hook to advance directly to mount. Henry doing some closed guard, Kanehara with his head down low, also in a pretty overt stalling position. Surprised no penalties as of yet, TBH. They get reset to the referee's position with Kanehara on top and jumping the gun, they reset again and back to the feet and another double leg to a pass from Kanehara to mount. Henry looks for a choke from bottom mount and concedes the back and Kanehara transitions to the back and a body triangle and they're handfighting. Henry gives up mount to escape the back triangle and Kanehara briefly looks to have a head/arm triangle but loses it while deciding whether to force it or transition to the back. Kanehara shoots an anemic double then sits back and falls back on an ankle, which seems unlikely with his hands locked down near his waist but he gets the tap.

Kanehara vs Daisuke Nakamura
Nakamura with a nice head and arm choke to a kimura to an armbar that he loses in the hitchhiker defense. An almost identical transition as he peels Kanehara off his back, then passes to mount then looks for the head and arm choke to then transition to a belly down armbar and gets the tap.

Nakamura vs Roberto Satoshi Souza
Souza, the brother of the Souza who was a part of the first Quintet event. Souza sits to a single leg x, and begins looking for a straight ankle lock with Nakamura considering attacking with one of his own. Souza easily defends some passing attempts and efforts to lock up his arm, pulls it out, then steps over to take the back and begins handfighting for the strangle. Nakamura reaches too low with his hands to address the body triangle and gets RNC'd with relative ease and a slow squeeze.

This finishes off Team U-Zukido and we move on to the finals featuring the 2 winning first round teams.
Team Carpe Diem now faces Team Haleo:

Sugie vs Omigawa
Omigawa defends a backtake and transition by posting his arm out stiff and Sugie smartly seizes it and takes it home for his mantle.

Sugie vs Kazuyuki Miyata
Yo. Miyata literally reaches over to pin the wrist, from top position as he hips out to pass, then sets in the kimura on the not fresh Sugie and cranks it behind the shoulder to get the tap.

Miyata vs Garmo
Garmo goes for a wrist lock from closed guard, then shoots a triangle, later he locks the hands and reaches over to drag the leg into a toe hold/kneebar position but loses the knee line as Miyata handfights him. Miyata disengaging and telling Garmo to stand, and then trying to literally just shuffle around/the outside in a weak effort to pass Garmo's legs, with no real knee through or pressure passing attempts to speak of. Garmo throws up the roll thru kneebar and gets the omoplata and Miyata is lazy/naive and doesn't pull far enough out and gets his leg sucked back in and ends up getting kneebarred. Miyata panic taps pretty early TBH, because he threads his own foot in shallow and feels it trapped inside the triangle/bite of Garmo's legs.

Garmo now has the unenviable task of facing Souza
Souza utilizes a front head lock to get to a single then almost uses it to pass or get to the back but Garmo recovers bottom position with half-guard. Souza uses a half-guard pass to head/arm choke to rotate to the back as Garmo defends. Souza sets a body triangle and has wrist control on Garmo's left wrist. Garmo unwisely rolls to belly down and halfway there, Souza gets the arm across and short choke grip to crank and with the pressure stuck going belly down it's a wrap.

Souza vs Matsumoto
Matsumoto has the right gameplan to stall and be defensive to try and take Souza out of the bracket with him, but with a minute left poorly defends a backtake and gets strangle straight away.

Souza vs Iwasaki
Iwasaki wisely employs a down on both knees low guard passing style with a lot of double unders and such, but it takes Souza out of the mix. Smartest thing he could've done to get Souza out of there and stop him from eliminating further teammates.

Tokudome vs Sera
Sera pulls an armbar out of the hat in 33 seconds.

Sera vs Kanehara
Both men are the last representative from their team.
Neither man finishes the's a nailbiter.....

Team Carpe Diem gets the victory due to warnings given to members of Team Haleo in two matches in the bracket.

Ouch. That's how the cookie crumbles.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

UFC 225: Thoughts and Reflections

Holly Holm tho - derailed a woman who was originally gonna face Cyborg. When is the UFC gonna stop offering up debuting fighters to champs and former champs? When are women gonna fight in their actual weight class?

Romero missed weight in back to back title fights. He should be thankful Whitaker even fought him. Next time he misses weight I hope his opponent tells him to kick rocks or...

RDA vs  Covington - the Clay Guida huggy bear attack. Covington wins by optical illusion and hugging the man to death and takedowns that shouldn’t have even been ruled takedowns. The significant strikes tell the story.

Cm Punk - his opponent showboating rather than finishing him. The next time Dana peeps a word about a Bellator card remind him that CM PUNK fought twice in the modern UFC era.

Overeem vs Blaydes - we all knew this fight would go one of two ways.

Gadelha vs Esparza - tunes in at the third round to see Gadelha looking like Rocky’s mashed face.

Tuivasa vs Arlovski - hands raised and jogging away before the bell - oops :*(  Sometimes, it’s not in the bag, especially when you got knocked down to your butt in one of the rounds.

Royal Invitational: Thoughts and Reflections - Thank God Nicole Made it Fun to Watch 

How I felt wondering how rules would be inconsistently enforced throughout the Royal Event’s like a fun little game where you get to roll the dice every time a competitor would roll out of bounds (*cough cough* flee a submission attempt or back take or takedown). Will they get points? Will they start standing? Will they lose the position? At one point a competitor jumped onto his opponents back while he was completely outside the boundary....and was awarded points.
"Sometimes": the response to AJ Agazarm asking Bear from Shoyoroll how a double guard pull and one competitor coming on top should be scored.....
AJ didn’t know how to pronounce the name of the event or the rules for regulation or overtime.

Different money for women’s division and for men’s divisions based on weight classes/sizes....despite Nicole of Caio Terra Association submitting all of her opponents and having the most impressive showing of the the least in prize money ($750). Wish they’d subtracted some $$ from the $1750 the heaviest men’s division winner got and given it to her for submitting each of her opponents....
Dubious Dom narrowly beat a purple belt firsy round with a back take with -30 seconds left, then lost and spent 5 minutes afterward talking to the refs.
A lot of gamesmanship, long belt ties, and fleeing out of bounds in the lightweight bracket in particular. It led to marches with very little continuous action, felt like I was watching the NCAA final four in basketball.
Referees restarting matches after going out of bounds then other times awarding points or dragging them back in and keeping the position and restarting with the position...again, inconsistency decided by various referees on the fly....
Much like the maligned 5grappling lightweight bracket I watched before ACB bought up most of the Gi talent worth signing (I fell asleep during that event) a number of the competitors spent time fleeing and stalling and trying to ride out advantages and the like for minutes at a time. Refs seemed highly unwilling to utilize stalling calls as per usual but will tolerate multinple unnecessary lengthy belt ties and boundary fleeing to avoid points being scored. The mat space was not large but was also made worse by multiple competitors fleeing on the regular.
Some lower belt upsets with a female roosterweight beating a considerably heavier brown belt, and Nicole beating a brown belt to win the whole thing - she had by far the best performance of the day, finishing all her opponents and making it look relatively easy despite size or rank difference. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Eddie Alvarez Talks Brass Tacks on Weight Cut Fails 

Folks like Till & Romero & Lineker & Dern fail to make weight but get the Win and go on to bigger fights afterward. Of course folks will continue to fail to cut weight. Also, banning IVs and USADA cracking down has led to more fails which is good. Previously folks used diuretics and the like to make weight. 

Alvarez chops it up in terms anyone can understand:

Polaris 7 - July 14th: Welter & Featherweight Tournament, Prelims Set 

Monday, June 4, 2018

IBJJF Worlds 2018 Quick Thoughts & the like.....

Between work, training, and doing some volunteering, I caught pieces of the IBJJF Worlds over the course of the weekend.
I had the (mis)fortune of being bored to tears by Victor Honorio on several occasions.
I saw Malfacine cut a swath through his division in effortless and masterful fashion simply waxing anyone in front of him while barely seeming to break a sweat.
I saw Lucas Lepri cement another year at the top of his game minus a match of questionable refereeing.
I saw the hard to conceivably defend in any way Keenan vs Gaudio match, and also the Pena vs Meregali refereeing and long counts and gifting of points situation(s).....
Which......all of this coming in....Flograppling is simply a place to watch matches and tournaments.
The commentary and the articles are shill pieces by company men/women unwilling to rock the boat. It is what it is. I recall reading a place about some lesser known names training at Renzo's awhile back: one of them wasn't even in the country and hadn't been for months, another is best there sporadically....and the piece was simply inaccurate in terms of its portrayal of a number of things. I saw this as someone there in person typically 5-6 days a week when not injured.

IN the run-up to the Worlds last week and upon Cobrinha announcing his retirement, I rewatched his matches from last year....and had forgotten the level of favortism that got him that last title: the match with Shane Jamil-Hill in particular. The Saggiori match wasn't as egregious but still bad. The whole run through the bracket was pushing the edge of bias to be frank. Anyhow, I approached this Worlds hoping to see rematches from the Pans and some of the rivalries and masterful grappling I have grown to love and enjoy.

The Worlds is interesting for me....because as the prize money is zero...and former world champs don't have to qualify....I'm left seeing some of the very best only compete perhaps 1-4 matches every 365 days.

Malfacine, I'm excited to watch....but I wait a year to see what? 4 matches. Lepri fortunately has done some events like ACB and Copa Podio outside of the IBJJF worlds date in the excited would you be to watch your favorite basketball team play its rival once a year, or play a series only once per year?
I say this because I love watching the games of these guys. I say this as a JiuJitsu nerd who watches a ton of competition footage and likes to watch the games and careers of the high level talents develop and change over time. I say this out of frustration, not any ill will.

It's an interesting dynamic that as a fan of the sport with the rise of IBJJF events and the Pro and Abu Dhabi Pro Trials, I'm still left unable to see the very best perform sometimes in more than a handful of matches once a year.

Add to that long counts for scoring, mysterious taps seen by referees to build a narrative for a clearly chosen to be the next big superstar based on his last name....and it's hard not to come away with a questionable taste in your mouth. It's unfortunate when the line of the reality that a referee does the best they can with a complex dynamic of scoring and points and boundary management, with athletes trying to game the rule set.......and the very real appearance of bias and favortism due to politics and affiliation(s)'s hard to look forward knowing that some athletes are left out in the cold due to the aforementioned realities of the current structure of the governing body.

Don't get me started on the Gentlemen's agreement and handshaking it through to the bracket and finals.

THIS is all not even touching on the elephant in the room of the needle in a haystack testing style for steroids. 6 athletes have been popped out of 30 total tested.....and that's when they know the test is basically a year in advance. 20% can't pass a test when they know when it will conceivably be a year in say nothing of the lower belts that have literally no testing whatsoever.

The sport continues to grow, and there will always be growing cast aside doubt and criticism as simply unfounded or for other reasons isn't investing in the sport as a whole, but rather protecting the status quo which long term is not viable nor sustainable.

My hope is that it does become an Olympic sport simply because it will open the door for out of competition testing which I suspect would radically alter some of the feats of competition and endurance we see at events throughout the year....and would also radically change the looks of the podium as well if the current empirical evidence is any indicator.

The drama of how a bracket plays out and guys and girls in the absolute and weight is impressive, nerve wracking, unpredictable at times, and thus makes it one of the most impressive feats in sport. The technical level of mastery necessary to even make the podium with brackets of over a 100 people is simply mind boggling. Upsets, and dark horses, and careers are made on the mats.

At any rate, my hope is that the rabble of the crowd regarding bias/favortism and inconsistency of application of the rules can be cleared up for the long term health of the sport, just as mixed martial arts had to both clean up its image and adopt a unified rule set (and also has struggles with judging and refereeing competency) in order to bring more money and prestige to a sport and competition that is among the most demanding on the planet.

BJJ Scout Digest 9-14

Start the Prayers and Incantations Romero Makes Weight This Weekend

After coming in at 188.3, then at 187.7 Romero was disqualified from winning the Interim title against Rockhold at the Perth, Australia - UFC 221 card. It's fairly inconsequential though because he still got to fight and still got a devastating KO and still gets to fight Whitaker for the belt.

Can't say I care for Romero: another fighter repping Jesus who's somehow perenially involved in delayed starts to rounds, late shots at the bell, banned substances test fails, and of course missing weight.

Anyhow...I hope he makes weight so Whitaker can beat him more convincingly than last time. 

UFC 225 Countdown Episode: Romero vs Whitaker, Rafael Dos Anjos vs Covington

Those IBJJF Refs Tho....#justiceforkeenan

It started with Cobrinha’s son getting a gift tap in his match with Ethan Crelinsten, then more inexplicable scoring for Pena against Meragali that fortunately didn’t work because he got the tap anyway against a Pena who isn’t the same beast when he’s off the Roids, then some standard guys up by points or an advantage and literally stalling through 2-4 minutes left of a match.....then we got the real deal home cooking in Keenan’s match.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

BJJ Scout Explains Doping in IBJJF Painfully Clearly 

30 athletes tested - 6 popped. 

And this is a test on a day that athletes know ahead of time they may be tested. If we assume (naively) they we only caught those cheating that means at the absolute minimum 20% of black belts are on the juice. This is of course utilizing the smallest possible window of testing humanly possible. And thy still pop 20%. 

Rafael Dos Anjos Details Alvarez Weight Cut in Discussing Till

I’m inclined to believe RDA - as he looked very flat against Alvarez. Also, probably extended his career by going up than sticking to his guns at 155. The banning of IVs to rehydrate and other increases in USADA scrutiny have resulted in the envy of weight cut fails, banned substances being flagged Er cetera. 

Meregali Submits Pena (Despite Ref doing his asst.) 

Despite the ref doing every sort of scoring wizardry and long 3 second counts possible (meanwhile Cobrinha’s son has refs tapping for his opponents at the brown belt level), a visibly faded Pena (tough competing without those steroids, huh?) got tapped from the back. Also declined to shake Meregali’s hand aftrerward. If you’re gonna celebrate like the end of days in winning, shake hands when you lose. 

Meregali hammered through a 2 point deficit from a gift from the ref to Pena and fortunately got the one thing the ref can’t wiggle on because time was still left in the match. 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

UFC Utica: Thoughts and Reflections 

33 seconds and a switch kick ended Rivera’s 20 fight win streak. Not really any other way to put it. That shin bone glancing blow was all it took. A setback for Rivera but enough other mid 5-10 ranked bantamweights to death match that he’ll be in title contention soon enough.

Alvey skates by Villante in a close fight which he fought right on the edge of danger and avoided all but a few punishing shots. Smart fight. Oh yeah, and he had Brienne of Tarth in his corner. 

Gillespie from the outset smothered, dragged drown, and sapped the strength out of Pichel. Took zero chances and closed the distance and showed relentless persistence in improving position. Time for a top 5 guy for Gillespie. 

Harris picked up a needed rebound after an ill-fated late replacement against Fabricio who tapped him like a white belt ( no shame in that, Fabricio is along with Big Nog gonna go down as probs the greatest HW’s for MMA/JiuJitsu - probs Frank Mir on that list as well). 

Saunders reinvigorated his career with a HL finish Muay Thai knee against a time to retire Ellenberger. 

Arce looked sharp and in control while punishing, evading, and with a quick back take and short choke from the back finish toward the end of the fight. 

The other Teymur defeated Lentz with movement, leg kicks, and some fence grabbing and eye pokes. 

Eubanks used well-time takedowns and pressure to defeat Murphy. Struggled to advance position or pass the half-guard but won the rounds. 

Belal won via another U Decision Recountre. Good movement, accurate counter striking and well-timed takedowns. 

Green won a sloppy kickboxing match over Tibau who seemed unable use any head movement or octagon control to get to the hips. It was a name win for Green over a very experienced UFC fighter but lackluster throughout. Not sold on Green based on the two fights of his that I have seen. 

Wood submitted Eduardo with a quick Darce choke in a fight he was losing on the feet to a crafty veteran. 

Torres got a pass when Brooks slammed himself into KO land aka Maynard vs Emerson. Brooks was winning the fight with sharper punching, movement and grappling up until that point. Was actually a better showing for Brooks than the more heavily hyped Torres up until that point.