Saturday, November 30, 2019

Polaris 12 Prologue: Episode 1 - Langaker, PJ Barch, Ash Williams, Gilbert Burns

Will Burns show up 20 lbs overweight again? Will Williams get robbed by refs/judges like at Kasai? Will the butter panther return to form after ACL surgery?

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Takedowns for BJJ: Arm drag to Inside Trip/Kouchimakikomi

Starts off with me hitting it last night at the Grappling Idiots event in Brooklyn, NY, then a clip of me hitting it back at purple belt. Then there's a breakdown of one of my set-ups and entries then high level examples (JT Torres, Marcelo Garcia, and Renato Canuto) and ends with a couple from training recently.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Kasai Grappling Episode 3: Jon Calestine

Footage they put together with one of my two direct coaches, Jon Calestine.
Shot at Renzo Gracie Brooklyn where I'm at several days of the week. Accurate look of Mon/Wed training that we go through each week for competition class.

Folks might tell you otherwise, but Jon is the best leg locker currently competing in the world. Guys who've beaten him have won on points by running and disengaging in short duration matches. Anyone who's in the pocket with Jon for long at all gets caught. Training with Jon is a lot like when I trained with Eddie Cummings in that there's so many other things he's good at other than what you've seen in competition (what those are, I won't say) and people often confuse performances against guys willing to run or score 2 and stall and disengage with where Jon's skills are at. There's a finite amount of wins you can eke out by playing the margins (ask Cyborg for example) and eventually all those wins you got by running and disengaging and resetting cost you matches under other rulesets or when the game continues to evolve and your best skill is stalling til you get 2 points or riding out an advantage.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Finishers Open Recap/Expertise vs Skill

Competed Saturday at the Finishers Open in PA. Zach and JM put on a great tournament, proof of that is that midway through the day they made an announcement that guys who had only gotten a match or two, and wanted another one, could approach the table workers and effort would be made to throw together some matches to get more mat time.

I started out in JiuJitsu and in Judo with single elimination or competing up a division and/or weight class to get more matches, so to see tournaments not just taking your money but rather making the effort to get guys more mat time is always refreshing.

A year ago in August I lost in triple overtime of the finals of the Finishers Open Advanced -145 division. The goal since then was to win it. Rather than ask for a superfight on the Pro card, I wanted to do the Open and win the bracket. I missed out on the one they did early this year because I had ACL reconstruction. So, this past weekend was finally time after a year plus of waiting for another opportunity.
I won my first match via RNC in Overtime. Won my 2nd match via RNC in regulation. Lost by armbar with 3 seconds left in regulation after a lengthy leg hunting/entanglement game plan over nearly 8 minutes of regulation.

If you want to try new things, and test the drilling and theories and concepts, you have to give them their due time in the training room then put them under duress with folks watching. I hear a lot about legends of the training room and so and so being a beast, but expertise and mastery are defined as the ability to perform on command, and only being a beast where you're comfortable at times which you have set on a regular basis does not meet that criteria. Sorry. Show up and do it under the lights, otherwise, the truth is that the jury remains out on the certainty of your ability to execute under duress. Brass tacks, but it's the truth.

I implemented virtually all of the new things I've been working on since coming back from surgery earlier this year. It felt good to fight 3 hard matches with a lot of transitions and faith in my game and my process and implementation of new skills into my game against unfamiliar opponents. I had a fairly rudimentary game the first 2 years of focusing on NoGi with the beginnings of skills other than attacking the legs. It's taken the past year plus of a lot of drilling, watching footage, and trial and error & returning to competition to begin seeing success and seeing the 'Matrix" whilst competing. The real test of preparation is whether or not you can manifest/impose your game & simultaneously trust your ability to adjust on the fly under duress. Being good is fine, and a noble goal. Expertise, however, is actually a very different thing.

UFC Brazil Snoozer: Jacare Shows up, Barao Doesn't Lose, Shogun vs Craig ends in Draw

Oliveira spruced up the main card with that crushing KO in under a minute or so.

Jacare didn't do much to convince anyone he'll be a threat at LHW as he couldn't really initiate any close takedowns from pressing Jan against the cage for parts of the 5 rounds he had to make any grappling happen. Jan also dropped the ball in not putting away an opponent who after the first and second round didn't seem to be in much danger of finishing him.

Muniz and Arroyo put on a striker vs grappler match-up with some interesting moments and Perez vs Turman ran around throwing all kinds of strikes for 3 rounds.

It wasn't a terrible card by any stretch, but the Shogun/Craig fight and the main event left a blase feeling over the event whether that's fair as an assessment overall or not.

On the undercard, Krause finished off a fading Moraes with seconds left.
Trinaldo I thought lost but got the nod over Green.

Tracy Cortez made me a fan, I'll be watching her fights going forward.

Garagorri got overwhelmed and finished in short order by Ramos.

Randy Brown survived some early scares against Warlley Alves to finish him with a triangle.

The undercard was honestly the HL of the event. This upcoming we don't have much in the way of programming as we're all basically waiting for the 3 title fight December 14th Card with Holloway, Nunes, and Usman's titles all on the line. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Morning UFC 244 Hangover: Bad Beats and Turnarounds

Well, some guys I thought were fading re-asserted themselves to some otherwise upwardly mobile looking fighters.

Thompson, despite fist bumping Luque after side kicking him onto his butt twice, also punished him with straight right hands and ran away on the score cards with rounds 2 and 3 in an increasingly one-sided affair.

Lee exposed Gillespie's still developing stand-up with a violent headkick KO.

Arlovski got slept by a big up n' coming HW.

Tavares got put away by Shahbazyan.

Masvidal had the answers for Nate's style (leg kicks, controlling the clinch, power shots to the head and body, and circling off and out of most of Nate's power shots) and was taking the fight downhill for Nate by the stoppage and hadn't accumulated the amount of damage that normally begins to sway Nate's way midpoint through a fight.

Gastelum looked oddly flat, or Till just stylistically matched up well with him and minus a terrible weight cut. Both men looked not super enthused about a real barnburner of a fight (Gastelum coming off of that 5 round battle with Adesanya and a long layoff and Till coming off of 2 violent stoppage KO losses).

Derrick Lewis beat Blagoi in a super rare loss for Blagoi in a contested fight with Blagoi probably doing more volume but Derrick throwing the more visually judge impressing shots. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

UFC 244 Picks & Predictions: Masvidal vs Diaz

Masvidal vs Diaz
Masvidal for all this characterization is actually a very, very, very shrewd tactician. He has consistently proven that behind his toughness is actually a very clever gameplanner. For all the talk about this being about two very tough guys, the gameplan to beat Diaz has been laid out several times already. Chop the leg, circle off. Diaz's lack of wrestling acumen and one dimensional stand-up (while dangerous and effective) is the kind of thing that someone as sharp as Masvidal has clearly been able to dissect and train back into effectiveness his kicks. He has used them sparingly in some recent fights due to who he was fighting, but I expect to see his chopping high on the calf/knee kicks return. Masvidal doesn't wind up big on his kicks, and as he doesn't have to worry about Diaz kicking him much or shooting, I expect that lead leg of Diaz will be tenderized considerably by the close of round 2.
Masvidal via leg kick TKO in the 4th round

Gastelum vs Till
Gastelum by chopping right hook following a straight left with Till ending up heavily concussed from another head snapping back onto the canvas falling dead tree KO.

Luque vs Thompson - Thompson will try to run and pointfight as per usual, but I see Luque tagging him at least twice in the fight by round 2, and possibly putting him away in the 3rd in a fight that will be as ugly as Thompson and his summer olympics running around style will make it. Luque by stoppage in round 3.

Ivanov vs Lewis
Ivanov has fought ugly patient fights, but his patience here will be his undoing. Ivanov came into the UFC and immediately faced Cigano in a 5 round affair, but I see the work rate allowing "balls was hot" Lewis to work and chop at him and hurt him. This is the hardest one to call because Lewis as we know has finished guys in fights he was WAY behind on the scorecards.
Lewis by stoppage in the 3rd round.

Gillespie vs Lee
Gillespie by decision in a bodylock/clinch heavy affair with him pressing Lee against the cage, and riding him Khabib/one hook in + body lock style

Anderson vs Walker
Walker by violent KO in the 3rd round. Anderson will likely get him down in the first and possibly second round, and if Walker panics, finishes him, but otherwise Anderson tires from holding/keeping down the physically unpolished but explosive Walker and gets finished midway through round 3 on the feet by Walker.

Arlovski vs Rozenstruik
Arlovski....I hate picking your fights. I see a majority decision for Arlovski in another tough fight for the former champ. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

BJJ Scout's BJJ Digest: Demian Maia vs Askren Post Fight Analysis

Instagram Content

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