Tuesday, August 28, 2018

BJJ Digest 52: Palhares blames the ole "didn't know the rule set" line for Terrible match, Dern Diet, Robson Gracie Debut....

Ooooooooooh, that was it. Sure, buddy.....sure. Dude came to get paid, take no chances, and go back home to mainline more steroids. If promoters stop bringing guys in for doing steaming pile of sh*t matches and stalling, then the real will be evident. As long as guys get brought back and paid to stall, disengage, collar tie, and slap box with collar ties, well....they'll keep doing it.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bellator ReSigns Former HW Champ Minakov (the guy they stripped of his title 

My, how the sands of time change and reunite former bedfellows. 

Good signing for Bellator, TBH, I’m more interested in the Bellator HW and WW Grand Prix than the musical chairs of rematches I’m seeing inter UFC at Middleweight or in Cormier vs Lesnar. With Velasquez in Limbo, Stipe beaten, and the same rotation of HW in the UFC, I find myself tuned in far more the HW in Bellator. 

Bare Knuckle Boxing this weekend feat: Rawlings, Chris Lytle, Kendall Grove, & Krazy Horse 

Man. What a time to be a sporting fan. 

Tony Ferguson vs Anthony Pettis Joins Khabib/Conor UFC 229 Card Oct. 6th 


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Food for Thought: Connection Between Crucifix & Leg Position Video

Interesting. Typically, there's a transition to more standard back control which opens up when an opponent attempt to sit up to grip fight: you can arm drag to the back. Having been in his class for the past 2 years, I would expect Danaher sees the back as a higher percentage finishing percentage and has the advantage of scoring points as well, whereas the crucifix is no points, and has more opportunities for the opponent to escape. The real gold in this video is seeing the intermediary of the crucifix as an option when losing the back, getting to the inside sankaku (saddle et cetera) and when an opponent is turtled for various reasons. 

I've looked at in particular Yoshida's use of the crucifix and his back transitions from there at length in months previous, and the use of that body lock has its merits whether it's crab ride, from the top attacking the turtle and as an interesting from underneath as the opponent addresses your efforts to isolate a leg in order to attack.

Onnit Inv. 9 - Sept. 15th - Rosenthal vs Lule 

Gracie Pro on Sept. 30th Announces Terere Match 

In addition to the already announced Gilbert Burns (maybe he’ll bother to make weight for Clark unlike he did for A.J. @ Kasai last week) vs Clark Gracie match we get to see the legend on the mat. Kyra Gracie puts together some real name matches. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

BJJ Digest Episode 49 (extended?) - More Kasai Ref Backlash, Small joint manipulation or wrist lock?, Kayla Harrison's future....

Penalizing anyone for stalling felt pretty disingenuous after watching Canuto circle to the boundary and BS his way through literal minutes at a time of various matches. Literally came to score a takedown or 2, and maybe a guard pass across 4 matches and get a belt and call it a night. The crowd booed like crazy (still wondering if that came through on the broadcast because it got loud in the Lutes/Vagner match, the Canuto/Barch match, and TBH I left before the final because I felt like I had taken an Ambien after the Palhares/Jones non-match, and had seen enough of Canuto's dance steps across his 4 matches up until that point.

The prelims, and the superfights (minus Palhares' abortion of a match) all brought serious grappling and the majority of the Grand Prix felt like competitors looking to make it sporting. I had a blast. That being said, the reffing....has been a consistent issue across all 3 events and I'd be disingenuous to say otherwise (having been in person at all 3 events and heard and been a part of the crowd).

Sunday, August 19, 2018

BJJ Scout Episode 49: Kasai 3 Spoilers & *cough cough* Referees?, & Slap-Jitsu Shoving Matches

Kasai Pro 3 - Results and uh...Reflections?

I gotta say, I have to suspect the full Kasai experience probably didn't come through on the broadcast by Flograppling. Whether it was catcalling during AJ's post fight speech, Calestine coming on stage to remind AJ that he's been ducking him, the booing when the refs blew several calls in Barch's match with "Interpretive Dance Master" Canuto, or just the overall atmosphere, it was a blast to attend in person. I've trained with or train with on a regular basis a bunch of the folks on the card so if nothing else but for that it was worthwhile to attend and support them at such a high profile event. Add to that it's was the biggest marquee name value JiuJitsu event of the second half of the year and well, it's fireworks. I don't go to concerts, or spend money on electronics, so spending some coin to see guys from all over compete and match up in a format like this was truly exceptional. Made better by the fact I simply got on the subway to come here after competing and coaching at the Grappling Industries event during the day in lower Manhattan. Coach, compete, win my Advanced division, head to Midtown, watch my teammates and a bunch of high and profile names put it on the line. A good day.

The venue, the broadcast team, the pacing of the event, all top notch. If you'd told me 3-5 years ago I'd be at an event like this, with this many big names and match-ups, at a venue like this in NYC, I'd have been unable to believe it. The match-ups and styles in the Grand Prix were impressive with a variety of teams, accolades/resumes, and names matched up in the two pools. Iwasaki and Silverio made for competitive match-ups, and despite some gamesmanship and refusal by the referees to utilize penalties to enforce promotional expectations regarding pace and engagement, the majority of competitors came to get after it.  

Some thoughts on the Grand Prix: Vagner picked up a finger crank partial wrist lock over Marcin Held and a quick and easy outside heel hook over Iwasaki, then a total stall out of Lutes (who also wasn't willing to shoot or initiate for his part either) which got him through to the finals. For his part, Canuto, did a lot of dance moves to run up some points in a few matches, then picked up a title in the final with Vagner. Having seen Canuto dance and bullsh*t over the course of 3 previous matches, I left, and got food at the diner around the corner from the Hammerstein Ballroom. 
If you saw Canuto's Kasai title match with Eddie with the foot stomping and the hand clapping, it was a lot of shuck and jive and happy feet tap dancing shuffles and circling to the outside. 6 minutes is a lot to watch tick by with nary a real takedown shot in, nor any getting to substantive/meaningful grappling, but Canuto found a way to do it for 6 minutes x 4 times and get a belt for his troubles. Sigh. Kill me. 

AJ Agazarm using this mic time to call out Geo Martinez but ignore Calestine's callout 
A number of matches (and the superfight of  Mr. Gilbert "I didn't make weight by 10 lbs" Burns vs Agazarm) degenerated into 6 minutes of aggressive collar ties and wrist control battles and endless circling from the boundary. The referees seemed willing to penalize Rau for not making meaningful contact as he sat to guard (y'know, whereby guys have to like, actually, start looking to pass or advance position) but willing to watch guys endlessly circle and collar tie and handfight with either no penalty or penalizing both competitors (effectively useless if both guys still now have the same score). People wonder why modern Judo so aggressive with the rule set....because spectators don't show up to watch 2 people circle one another for minutes on end and bullsh*t. 

Calestine on the mat after approaching AJ to point out that he's ducking him 
Canuto did his breakdance moves on Rau for a points win, Rau would rebound to pick up a submission win (one of the few of the night) and a convincing points win to actually tie Canuto for points in the bracket (Canuto would advance to the final having beaten Rau - the tiebreaker criteria within a pool: they both had 7 points to their credit following the 3 matches within their pool). Honestly devoid of the fact that I see Rau on a weekly basis at Renzo's, but simply as a spectator I would tune in to watch Rau over Canuto any day of the week. I could care less about ever watching Canuto compete again after his match with Eddie Cummings and his stall + circle bonanza last night in the Grand Prix. 

Calestine had solid submission attempts from bottom while Gianni stuck with a limited number of actual discernible nogi guard passing attempts. Grippo dove through and over for some bodylock/crab ride back attack attempts to scramble up the back, but Grippo never managed to get the line of his hips much further up Calestine's lower back than perhaps just that. I honestly expected to see heavier passing pressure from Grippo but he elected to enter into Reverse De La Riva, and do some hands on upper shin rotational passes, then some C grips inside the crook of the knee, but didn't enter into any double under or over under style passes either. 
Worst referee of the night - seated in the chair 

I didn't include any pics of Jones vs Palhares b/c 1) Palhares allegedly weighed in at 218, despite the original agreement for the bout being 180 and 2) because he literally came to do no JiuJitsu. He sat down on both knees, thumb posted, and showed Jones' shoulders, and literally did not attempt one single pass. For 15 minutes. Guys want to get paid to compete and be treated like a professional athlete then not do the thing they are paid to show up and do. Can you imagine if a professional athlete was supposed to run or shoot a ball, or block for a teammate and just repeatedly refused to do the thing they are paid to do? Being an accomplished competitor doesn't make you immune to criticism. Gilbert Burns talked a lot of shit about AJ....AJ 1) made weight (Burns missed weight by 10 lbs) and 2) AJ made it a match. I'm by no means AJ's biggest fan or even a fan, but his match with Gilbert was a match because he made it one. Burns shot or initiated takedowns an exceedingly judicious amount over the duration of their match. AJ actually shot and initiated and even played from the bottom. I'll show up to watch AJ face people more than I will Palhares or Canuto for the reasons covered above.

Full Grand Prix & Superfight Results from FloGrappling:
"Round 1
PJ Barch def Victor Silverio via points 2-0 
Renato Canuto def Jason Rau via points 11-0 
Vagner Rocha def Masahiro Iwasaki via heel hook 
Matheus Lutes def Marcin Held via points 10-0 
Round 2 
Jason Rau def Victor Silverio via inside heel hook 
Renato Canuto def PJ Barch 1-0 
Masahiro Iwasaki def Marcin Held via points 3-0 
Vagner Rocha vs Matheus Lutes – draw 
Round 3 
Victor Silverio vs Renato Canuto – draw 
Jason Rau def PJ Barch via points 10-3 
Matheus Lutes def Masahiro Iwasaki via points 2-1 
Vagner Rocha def Marcin Held via wristlock 
Third place 
Matheus Lutes def Jason Rau via points 3-0 
Renato Canuto def Vagner Rocha 1-1, 1-2 penalties 


Craig Jones def Rousimar Palhares via penalties 
Gilbert Burns def AJ Agazarm via decision 
Jon Calestine def Gianni Grippo via decision"
Partial Undercard Results:
Holland def. Yayaha by points - walked in just as this one was winding down with about a minute left. 
Frezzo Ref Dec. Win over Miley - a lot of exchanges and submission attempts by both competitors, a variety of positions and submissions exchanged
Ronan def. Miller - Miller attacking some Estima and foot locks from top while trying to pass, Ronan looking for lacing the legs from bottom for the first portion of the match. 
Williams def. Rosenthal in Golden score overtime - competitive throughout with Williams looking to knee thru pass and Rosenthal looking to lace the legs and attack. Felt like Rosenthal should've gotten a submission attempt point right at the close of the match. Frank shot in on a low single in golden score overtime which Williams countered and managed to score a guard passing following. 
Crelinsten def. Ocasio via RNC in regulation - Crelinsten on top, looking to pass, straddling Ocasio's leg work: x-guard and the like, Crelinsten looking to use a leg lock attempt to get to the back, after a near back take early on, the second back take attempt from top/passing led to the back and with one arm trapped, he forced the submission via RNC. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

BJJ Digest 47: Kayla Harrison goes 2-0, Catch Wrestler Still Trolling, et al

As for the calling out of Gordon by this guy whose biggest name win is a former UFC fighter from ages ago....the names I've seen come into Renzo's and get folded up....just on some random weekday morning....if you haven't been to the blue basement and trained, man, you honestly don't know what you're talking about or where you're at. If the money's right, Gordon will do it. Gordon is about getting paid for his time and rightfully so. There's so much back door dealing and claims of so and so offered this amount, screenshot it or show a contract that was sent to Gordon, man. Anything else is just some dude claiming someone was interested in putting on a match. Internet talk man. I like how he's drumming up publicity for himself because a few weeks ago no one had even watched the Catch Wrestling World Championships or whatever it was.

Kayla Harrison Steamrolls Opponent in 2nd MMA Fight

'Twas another dominating performance by the Olympic gold medalist. She showed ground n' pound, takedowns, a need for higher grappling control acumen as her opponent was able to create frantic scrambles and escape during some submission attempts, but altogether, a great performance by the ever improving fighter (who's not been swooped up by the UFC or Bellator). 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Kasai 3 Welterweight GP Groups Announced 

I’m beyond excited for this card Saturday. This whole event is ridiculous from prelims to main card to Grand Prix.
Lutes will likely advance in his group with a strong takedown game, willingness to disengage and reset endlessly and play the boundaries the way he did at the Kasai qualifier. He also looks like he’s on the "Jesus and hard work" bodybuilding regimen that’s hard to miss.
I’m having a harder time calling this bracket. Canuto brings a flying armbar, insert any other unpredictable move game, Silverio and Barch have top game and wrestling and Rau has a submission hunting game from bottom, and top/passing. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

BJJ Scout Episode 46 - Shocker! Palhares Unprofessional, Dillon vs Kevin Lee, et al

I've heard some nice ole stories about Palhares not actually making weight when he did ADCC, so I mean, is anyone surprised by anything he does or doesn't do at this point? We got hyped for a freak show, so this is part of it.

Monday, August 13, 2018

BJJ Scout: BJJ Digest 45 - Tonon, Curran Jacobs, McGregor but not Burroughs, et al

Finishers Sub Only 6 Results & Analysis

Had a unique opportunity this past weekend to both watch the Finishers Sub Only 6 live and in person at the venue, and to be a competitor in the 16 man -155 Pro bracket.

Saturday, I did the Open Tournament they hosted (their first time hosting an open tournament the day previous to the Pro Bracket). I took 2nd in the purple/brown/black -145 division: submitting an opponent via heel hook in regulation in my first match and losing via armbar in the 3rd overtime round of the final after getting ahead in ride time. The open tournament ran smoothly and efficiently and if we want to have more opportunities in this format, more folks need to show up.

11pm that night, I was scrolling through the good ole Instagram before bed and saw they needed a last minute replacement. I got the spot. I remember the first place I saw Gordon Ryan compete (before winning EBI et cetera was a Grappler's Quest & at an early Finishers event).

Sunday - the superfights were all competitive with little to no fluff in terms of the usual cannon fodder mismatches you see booked at events to fill out an undercard/prelims.

Recapping the superfights I recall in particular:
Setente Cuatro won via ride time/fastest escape in OT. Micale controlled the regulation with a variety of leg attacks and Cuatro largely defending and turning out. Micale struggled to escape the body triangle in OT leading to the loss via ride time.

Jon Blank who I've seen pick up some solid wins in various events picked up a submission win via heel hook in regulation

Merlin Ramos picked up a heel hook win over D-Boy Masington after some lengthy heel hook exchanges/ foot lock attempts from both competitors.

Chris Sodbinow countered an outside heel hook attempt with a flawless backtake to get an RNC win over Jordan Holy who was originally slated to face Frank Rosenthal.

Medina vs Sherman was thrilling from start to finish. Sherman had Medina in trouble early and for the majority/7-8 minutes of the 10 minute regulation. Sherman was well up on ride time before succumbing to a triangle while escaping back control in I believe the 3rd overtime round.

Rey de Leon picked up a quick RNC win in OT over Junny Ocasio. Ocasion controlled much if not virtually all of the regulation with guard passing and mount, but Rey stayed calm, ignored the feeling of being behind because it was sub only, and capitalized in the OT round.

Ashley Williams vs John Battle - competitive moments for both men. Several meaningful leg entanglements and a deep back take attempt from Battle at the close of regulation and resulting in a draw as there was no OT in effect for this match.

As for the bracket:
Each of the semifinalists had notched several submission wins and as a whole, both in the bracket and for the superfights, few matches went the distance.
Nick Ronan skated through all of his matches with a variety of skills from his game. Passing the guard, top game, bottom game, and 3 submissions: armbar, heel hook, and RNC.
His opponent in the finals, Krikorian picked up 2 heel hooks wins and an RNC overtime win to make it to the finals.

The finals match saw a lot of top game from Ronan looking to pass, but Krikorian able to re-guard deep at the end of the passing attempts, and Ronan stepping out of any leg entanglements then resetting to pass. Krikorian got a quick RNC finish in the top of the first OT round, and Ronan went for the armbar in his rebuttal due to the short time he had to work with but Krikorian escaped.

Elsewhere in the bracket, Emilio Hernandez picked up 2 heel hooks finishes, as did Ian Murray who picked up 2 heel hooks wins prior to facing Nick Ronan. Ronan expertly jumped to guard at the start of the match to prevent any such danger by Murray who had picked up 2 very quick, very tight heel hook wins previously. It was one of those brackets where each of the semifinalists had really impressed on their way there and felt like any of the 4 could have taken it based on ther first round and quarterfinal performances.

The bracket played out with with a ton of exciting matches, a variety of submissions achieved, and some very tight, technical exchanges between a number of the competitors.

Victor Silverio in as Late Replacement for Kasai 3 Welterweight Bracket

Silverio brings a versatile game with takedowns, pressure, passing, and an all around aggressive game when he chooses to use it. Excited to see him in action. I've seen him previously at the NY Pro and over the years. Some real marquee names for this bracket this weekend. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Finishers Sub Only - Sunday: Superfights Schedule 

2 of my teammates are in the 16 man bracket: Ronan & Anderson. 3 Teammates/guys I train with regularly in the superfights: Sherman, Sodbinow, & Micale. Ronan is a savage and I’d be super surprised if he doesn’t win the Pro bracket. Anderson is in as a late replacement and short of facing Ronan could also win it. Sherman has trashed me plenty of times at Renzo’s in the blue basement bright and early weekday mornings, and Sodbinow I trained with this week as well as he comes to the city with Garry Tonon. Micale had a great superfight two weeks ago at the Submission Mission bracket I did, also saw him win a superfight at the Philly Pilgrim JiuJitsu Festival. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Women’s Blue Belt EBI Format Tourney - Pilgrim JiuJitsu 

A lot of discussion about support for women’s jiujitsu and lack of equal pay et cetera; here’s an event to support for women competitors. If women and folks support it, there will be more. It’s not rocket science. I don’t see a lot of high level women plugging events other than an event they’re specifically doing, profiting from, so, y’know...do you want to support women’s JiuJitsu or plug it as a selling point when you’re peddling something? Sometimes the lack of support for women’s events by women makes me wonder.
I did their purple belt adult EBI bracket in Philly earlier this year: well run and efficient, but could’ve used more support from competitors and teams in general. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Kasai Pro 3 Undercard 

My teammates, Nick & Frank, are gonna do work next weekend. Nick is doing the 155 Finisher Pro this weekend, Frank recently represented Team USA in Kazakhstan. Having trained with them for the past year, it’s frightening to see the rate of progress in the blue basement.

BJJ Scout Disects Dillashaw vs Garbrandt 2 - Rematch

BJJ Scout: BJJ Digest 43 - Gordon Ryan Free Agent/ACB's on the Fence, Danis Dancing Around the Obvious

Several Pro/NoGi ACB Events cancelled. "Possibly starting up again" in a few months with some rule set changes. We'll see. I will say this, in defense of the Gi guys, when you penalize guard pulling for 1 minute out of a 5 minute round, do you expect some of the world's best Gi competitors to face one another and produce a ton of thrilling matches? For every exciting 2018 Black Belt Worlds match I saw, there were 5 marred by fleeing the boundaries, extended/protracted battles in just a few positions, hell, even the IBJJF had to put a timer on ankle grabbing double guard pull sit-fests....and change the rules surrounding coming up for the sweep in 50/50. We were subjected to multiple Worlds finals over the years that were 50/50 scissor fests. Simply making the rounds shorter and penalizing guard pulling is a couple band-aids on the problem.
IN Gordon's own sole ACB match, Vinny scored points in the first round, and then basically did enough anti-Jiu-Jitsu to ride out the remaining two rounds. It only takes one competent competitor to produce a frustrating match, as Kasai has also seen in a number of it's Grand Prix format events.

Time will tell...
Also, you get a short clip of Danis dancing around why he's not in the welterweight grand prix and how he avoided the Neiman Gracie fight that he knows he wants no part of whatsoever. Neiman is an animal. I say that having seen him train in the blue basement at Renzo's. Danis will avoid that fight for as long as he possibly can.

Cage Warriors Announces 4 Man Bracket to Crown New Featherweight Champ 

Gotta love the up and up of a bracket format. Rather than seemingly happenstance title shots and random decisions for interim belts.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Current Training Projects

Over the long haul, I've found it necessary to spend longer periods of time largely focused on one area of my game. Having played Judo before I tried Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and because I had plans of fighting MMA, my first JiuJitsu coaches forced me to start on my back. I spent the better part of a year or 2 working for submissions off my back in the Gi, and when in training MMA to fight in the cage, getting off my back and back to my feet. One of the first names I watched and found online to take from for this skill was BJ Penn. As I got better at submitting, but also the overall level of guys improved, and against heavier opponents, it was time to start sweeping. I spent most of my blue belt (close to 2 years - part of which was spent returning from full knee/ACL reconstruction) sweeping: deep half guard, reverse de la riva, combinations of spider and reverse de la riva et cetera. I got to purple belt and spent the first year or more working on my guard passing in an effort to catch it up to my bottom game. I moved to NYC, joined Renzo's and due to my work schedule and training, I had no real direction. I trained in the Gi, but had no overlying direction to where I was going. I finally sorted out work, and life, and the balance necessary to train when I wanted to and.......
About a year ago I transitioned to focusing on NoGi full-time. I spent the better part of that first year attacking the legs from the bottom, and elevating, hand fighting, making angles, but again - with the sole purpose of attacking the legs. Due in large part to the positional rounds we do every training session in the blue basement, I never left other skills very far behind (back attacks, armbar defense, attacking the turtle, referee's position, wrestling - we've spend extended periods of time both learning and doing positional rounds for all of the above and more). When I competed NoGi for the past year I almost exclusively attacked the legs.

Rewind to two months ago: now I'm focusing on passing the guard/legs again. My NoGi passing game is bare bones to say the least, but it's time, as passing results in back exposure and opportunities to threaten the legs. The real question looming: do you invest ALL your time and energy into a very narrow range of the game, for example: bottom position, open guard, attacking the legs and sundry other submission and getting to the back, or for example: your wrestling, fighting for top position and passing and getting to the back et cetera.

Danaher always stresses the importance of both having competency in all areas of grappling (both Gi and NoGi) but at the same time that real progress is made by truly delving into a position and/or submission on an exceedingly deep level.

I've been doing grappling as a whole for coming up on 15 years (between Judo and the overlap into JiuJitsu), and yes, there's a million techniques, but then again, in the big picture, there's essentially a -10 set of skills within which to work.

In NoGi (for the sake of simplicity):
Bottom position -- sweep, submit (upper body or lower body), get to the back, back to your feet
top position -- pass, submit (upper body or lower body), back take, attack the legs,
There's some overlap in the above, of course, but you get the idea.

When you compete sub only & with all leg locks, the nuances between the positions and transitions change pretty significantly - as evidenced by the fact that experienced leg lockers have not won black belt level nogi world titles and black belt world champions have not fared well in EBI. Counter point? What about ADCC? ADCC is submission wrestling, and those 40 minute finals matches, or the fact that Orlando Sanchez won it without actually scoring any points, leaves it as a strange sort of outlier grappling entity that's not really a mix of sub only and IBJJF as some would like to partition it. There's a lot of overlap between the two, but ADCC, to me, really is an option C in terms of skills.

At any rate, in my match last weekend, I defended a back take, came up to top position into a guard pass, forced enough pressure from the pass to create back exposure, locked up the kimura grip, and transitioned to a back triangle, forcing the tap via armbar a good bit later.
Sub Systems/Skills at work over the course of the last 2 minutes of the match:
Back Defense + guard passing leading to back exposure + kimura grip + back triangle + control and several submission attempts ultimately resulting in a back-triangle- armbar.

When you begin to see grappling as a macrosystem of microsystems connected together, and the real skill becomes forcing errors, capitalizing on the mistakes, or progressing in a repeatable fashion to the same junctions whereby you then overwhelm the defenses leading to a submission, the attributes of speed, or athleticism, or courage blah blah blah, while necessary, seem to fade into the background, and it becomes more about sensible structure of training, details, and problem solving under duress. 

ACB (Pro) Dead...Absolut Championship Berkut 

Busy MMA August Fights Left: PFL, Bellator, & UFC

August 16th - PFL brings another installment of it's pre-season/season MMA format with player vying to reach the playoffs. Much like a bracketed tournament, I'll bite for the added flair of how guys win fights can figure into them making it past the alotted fights.

Next Thursday we've got Kayla Harrison's 2nd MMA fight on tap, Jake Shields, Joao Zeferino, John Howard and Yuri Villefort all on a cable TV channel. Having actually rolled with Jake and Zeferino in the blue basement at Renzo's, it's always awesome seeing them fight. True professionals, man. They come in early for Danaher's class and put in grappling work aside from fight specific stuff they're doing in camp et cetera. Tonon is the same. Neiman Gracie. Professionals.

August 17th - Next Friday night we get a Bellator card with Caldwell defending his newly crowned title, and James Gallagher in another builder fight to bring him along, look impressive, and build the hype train. I'll bite. I love seeing the grooming process come along for a prospect.

Not a bad weekend to hold us over until a new spate of UFC cards come along, the first of which brings us Gaethje vs Vick on Saturday, August 25th, and the remainder of the card featuring the likes of Fili vs Michael Johnson, Antonio Braga Neto, Eryk Anders, Yahya, Alcantara, Moraga, et al.

August will wrap up nicely for a month of combat sports as it featured the unthinkable upset of Mighty Mouse and the Dillashaw/Garbrandt rematch. 

BJJ Scout: Khabib vs the Notorious, Gordon Ryan, Craig Jones vs Diniz Sub Only Rematch

Monday, August 6, 2018

Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix Brackets Announced & Alternate Bout 

No easy matches first round anywhere in this bracket. Lima hopes to rebound against Koreshkov, Daley got his wish and will face MVP in a striker vs striker affair first round. Rory Macdonald faces Jon Fitch in a battle of UFC alums, and Neiman Gracie comes in as well. My pick for the overall win is Neiman Gracie. He's overwhelmed and finished his opponents in classic fashion: close distance, clinch, take down, pepper with shots and finish via submission. I'm pretty excited, between this and the HW Grand Prix, Bellator still offering up a ton of match-ups that I'll sit down to watch. I'm as excited for this as I have been to watch Covington vs RDA or the insanely terrible repeat rematch of Woodley vs Thompson....and by that I mean, this is more engaging for me as a fan than watching any of the UFC welterweight offerings for quite some time. I had high hopes for RDA to bum rush the title, but Covington's huggy bear Clay Guida attack ended that.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

August 12th - Finishers 6 Sub Only Main Event: Battle vs Williams 

Big day - something like 13 superfights booked, this is the main event, and a Pro -155 bracket EBI Format Invitational 

2 Weeks TIL Kasai 3 

This card is.....bonkers. The welterweight Grand Prix, the 3 main card matches...Toquinho reappears to fearsomely threaten the bodily health of Craig Jones, Durinho is gonna suplex AJ multiple times worse than Benson Henderson did him at Polaris, and EBI winner Jon Calestine takes on IBJJF alum Gianni Grippo.

BJJ Digest Episodes 40 & 41

UFC 227 Post Event Reflections

Man, that guy Perez threw 104 punches in the first round in stopping Torres. Torres, himself, had looked great coming into the UFC. Heads have to roll. Heads up for all the guys coming out and not fighting for rounds at a time (Lewis, Ngannou *cough cough*).

Tough seeing Swanson lose. I really wanted him to get a shot at the title after such a storied and lengthy career. Man.

Santos took a comfy decision over Holland as expected, if not a letdown there was not crushing KO.

Cejudo, man....did the unthinkable. Pulled the Weidman over Anderson style upset. My hat off to him. Mighty Mouse...seemed more relieved than anything after it was over. Not upset. Not fazed. Just like, my wife's having our third kid, gonna go home and be with them, see what's next. Also, my hat off to Cejudo for immediately offering to do what Mighty Mouse wouldn't, which was face Dillashaw. Now all of a sudden Dillashaw wants to be lukewarm. Lame.

Garbrandt. No excuses this time, pal. Dillashaw was even more on him this time, and I think that first time Dillashaw buzzed Garbrandt, the armor started to crack. Dillashaw brutally punishes him from the wrist ride to the knee wedge-turtle position. Would have been a falling tree slumped against the cage style KO if the ref hadn't stopped it. The talk of Dillashaw as the greatest bantamweight of all time, however, isn't accurate. Split decision loss or no, he lost to Dominic Cruz who is flat out the best bantamweight of all time. Period. Dillashaw has to beat him to lay claim to being the best bantamweight of all time. Battering Barao before anyone else did is legit, and beating Garbrandt twice is also legit. But that loss to Cruz still matters in the all time top BW spot discussion/narrative.

Ramos got a liver punch stoppage KO over Kang.

Zhang had trouble putting away Taylor who got on her bike and did some sticking and moving, and with her stockier frame, sloughed off the takedown attempts. Zhang, however, will be some good matches in her division going forward.

Friday, August 3, 2018

BJJ Scout Previews UFC 227: Dillashaw vs Garbrandt 2, the Rematch

UFC 230 - NYC: Poirier vs Nate Diaz 

The card was already legit with Weidman rematching Rockhold & Romero vs Costa aaaaaand there’s more: Branch vs Souza. Diaz sells tickets, and Poirier is coming off of 3 stoppage wins over very dangerous opponents. I also really like these cards that feature several bouts of significance in a given weight class. It helps with gaining a sense of what may be coming, being excited about a division, and a sense of the totem pole/pecking order.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Inside the Octagon - UFC 227 Dillashaw vs Garbrandt 2 - Analysis & Breakdown

Recent match of mine - Submission Mission - Sub Only/EBI format-ish....

4 guys pulled out the night before/morning of, so I had a bye the first round, this was the quarterfinal, my opponent also had a bye, so we were both fresh coming into this match. I had not been spending much time hunting legs in training, but had primarily been looking to pass the guard and/or create back take opportunities, so I was glad that the match led to me having to work diligently to overwhelm his defenses following the back take/back triangle being set following a guard pass to expose the elbow/kimura grip.

I lost in the quarterfinals to a heel hook after impatiently forcing a guard pass early in the match.