Thursday, August 30, 2018
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....
Monday, August 27, 2018
Sunday, August 26, 2018
BJJ Digest Episodes 50 & 51: Dern Called out, Gilbert Burns Called Out, Dillon Danis, Basically everyone of Name mentioned...
Friday, August 24, 2018
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.
Man. What a time to be a sporting fan.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
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.
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....
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
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.
|AJ Agazarm using this mic time to call out Geo Martinez but ignore Calestine's callout|
|Calestine on the mat after approaching AJ to point out that he's ducking him|
|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:
Friday, August 17, 2018
Thursday, August 16, 2018
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
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
On Friday Bellator brings us Darrion Caldwell & the return of James Gallagher (Bellator's Conor McGregor).
Monday, August 13, 2018
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.
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Friday, August 10, 2018
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
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
BJJ Scout: BJJ Digest 43 - Gordon Ryan Free Agent/ACB's on the Fence, Danis Dancing Around the Obvious
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.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
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.
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.
Monday, August 6, 2018
Sunday, August 5, 2018
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
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
I lost in the quarterfinals to a heel hook after impatiently forcing a guard pass early in the match.