Sunday, September 30, 2018

Conor McGregor - MacLife Interview - Bringin' the Heaaaaat

Man. I cannot believe this fight is a week away. Like what in the actual *&^%? This fight is happening. I am praying so hard nothing crazy happens to prevent it.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Oct. 27th UFC - could lead to Anthony Smith Title Shot 

Smith faces Oezdemir in one of those predictable Dana White presser comments along the lines of: "well, coming off a win over former champ Shogun, this could definitely get Smith a title shot, but Oezdemir probably needs a few more wins to get another crack at DC who stopped him last time around. And this, this is the real bummer about UFC fandom, the inexplicable ability to have anything resembling linear progression toward a title shot. Guys get injured, last minute opportunities arise, but simply saying the winner of a fight gets a title shot is like asking a fish to ride a bicycle with the UFC

Monday, September 24, 2018

EBI 17: Middleweight Combat JiuJitsu Countdown - This Coming Sunday - 09/29

BJJ Digest # 65 - AOJ Poaching Details, IBJJF Boycott,

Mmmmm, I'm over here eating popcorn. Loooove it.

Kavanagh Discusses Conor vs Khabib, Training, Ring Rust et cetera

Before I had ever heard of Conor McGregor (in fact before anyone had, years previously) I had read about SBG. This gym, overseas, that was cropping up in various ways online. McGregor popped up as the first undeniable evidence of proof in the pudding, so to speak. In the event that he produces more top level world champions, the repeatable production of top flight competitors, it will be more proof in terms of the efficacy of his training methodology and coaching acumen.

Combat Sports Weekend Wrap-Up: Bellator 205, UFC Fight Night 137, & Subversiv

There was a time when we were stuck waiting a month or more at a time to see a UFC on PPV. This weekend we got a 7 hour UFC Broadcast, a Bellator on cable, and a team formatted EBI event on Fight Pass. I spent Saturday night with friends flipping between the Subversiv matches during the interminably long commercial breaks that followed a UFC Brazil card laden with finishes.

Lovato showed weaknesses in his wrestling defense when Salter pressed him, though avoided any meaningful damage when taken down, likely gave up rounds to a solid wrestler before getting the tap. The rest of the Bellator card delivered finishes and the usual flare of Bellator with entertaining scraps throughout.

The UFC card was sprinkled with solid names, Santos and Anders cobbled together to save a main event scrapped due to injury. It was a "red panty" night for Brazilian fighters as even lil' Nog managed to pick up a win after being gone due to steroid suspension. He clipped Sam Alvey and pounced to get the finish. Cowboy Oliveira got another stoppage win. Ewell beat a "failed to make weight" Renan Barao, Charles Oliveira became the most submitting-est fighter in UFC history (modern era or otherwise - which makes it all the more impressive, he also holds the most versatile submission win list in history by a considerable margin). Francisco Trinaldo picked up a stoppage win over the now retired Evan Dunhm, and Leites went out into the retirement pasture with a win as well. Augusto Sakai battered Herman on the feet and on the ground and TBH felt the fight could've been stopped before the last flurry led to the ground and pound. The elbows straight down didn't stop the fight but the hammer fists to a guy blocking them with his palm did? I dunno.
Sergio Moraes became the first guy to submit Ben Saunders who was quickly taken down at the start of both rounds and Moraes took nary a punch or a kick dragging Saunders down and methodically advancing position to sink in the fight ending head-arm triangle.
Zaleski picked up another HL reel win (put this guy on the MAIN CARD). Whoo.....take a deep breath just soaking all that in. What a night. Just wish it wasn't a 7 hour event. How do football fans watch double headers?

For a more detailed MATCH BY MATCH Summary CLICK HERE.
Felt like Team Carlson Gracie tossed up some lower ranked guys to get crushed by far more experienced NoGi/heel hook knowledgeable competitors. TLI picked up some wins but then lost on a forfeit.
Beyond just their performance, guys finished heel hooks one-handed, folks tried to finish heel hooks and ankle locks but simply wrenching back and extended. People cheated at the outset of overtime rounds and set their hands illegally, referees wasted seconds of escape time by not fully understanding how the positions are defined as "escaping" et cetera. However, when mixed in with the superfights, we got a solid amount of finishes and grappling styles matched up with one another (and, holding us over until this ridiculously awesome Quintet 3 coming up in Las Vegas with it's own set of superfights booked as well).
TLI's 145 lb competitor forfeited, and thus gave what ended up being the tie breaking match out of 5 to Team 10th Planet. Curious....very curious. Also noticed Lloyd Irvin has continued to keep a very low profile these days. Weird, because this is the guy who once gave Dominic Cruz HIS BLUE BELT in the UFC ON CAMERA. Weird. Can't say for certain it has to do with hoping and waiting and praying his team avoids the whole #metoo movement, because his team won't be the only folks ostracized if the movement ever comes to JiuJitsu. There's a lot of scumbags out there sweating and hoping #metoo keeps its eyes away from the sport and the toxic gym cultures which abound. Back to TLI, All the domain buying and google analytics manipulation in the world won't hide the series of scandals that have surfaced in years previous if it becomes a hot button issue in JiuJitsu. Team 10th Planet manhandled their first team bracket then won on a forfeit. It is what it is. Not the way you want a team format event to be decided for the final, but then again, that's part of the draw. When you have multiple matches, and it's a team event, a set of more variables come to bear an impact on the outcome. 10/10 overall as it was cool to see EBI format, meets Quintet Team format, all in one event.  

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Subversiv Results - 10th Planet gets the Win over ***

Solid event overall. Some pretty severe mismatches in the sub only/heel hook skill set as people managed to get one handed extending away heel hook finishes and other such nonsense but it is what it is. Superfights had some flare even in the Gi matches. Solid night of grappling entertainment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Nothing so fragile on earth as a "UFC title shot" - Volkov Edition 

The only thing the UFC hates more than someone consistently winning decisions is actually saying and sticking to someone getting a title shot. Number 2 and 3 fight in a division? Does the winner face the champ? Depends. My favorite is when a guy is on a win streak and he’s facing a guy with a loss and White has literally said if coming off a loss and winning on fight doesn’t lead to a title shot but for a guy to beat a guy coming off a loss he could still then earn a title shot. Or that Brock Lesnar is fighting for a title which just invalidates any claims as to efforts to keep the belt and getting a crack at is as some sensical, orderly, legitimate process. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

BJJ Digest Episode # 61 - FloGrappling Snubs Gordon, DDS Fallout, Quintet 3 Coming in Hot

All I'm gonna say is that the internet is way behind on actually knowing what's been going on and for how long because this is just coming out now.

Gordon is spot on about FloGrappling opting to not cover him/omission....if anyone else competed at black belt for the first time and went double gold finishing all of their opponents at the 2nd biggest IBJJF NoGi tournament of the year they'd be tripping over their feet racing to gag on their dick. Imagine if Cobrinha's son had done the same feat? They'd line the figurative office with guys wanting to give him a handjob. Gordon does it and they barely mention it. ANYHOW, Quintet is also coming up along with the Subversiv card next weekend. What a *&^%ing time to be a grappling fan? Onnit invitational was this weekend? We had 2 kneebars/hamstring stretch/Suloev Stretches in one UFC, and there's Kasai 3 coming in November. *&^% Yeah.

Quintet 3 Announces Nicky Ryan vs Hideo Tokoro Superfight 

Before he faces Ashley Williams for the Polaris featherweight title, Nicky Ryan has a superfight at the first USA location Quintet in Las Vegas. My work schedule has had me missing a ton of training at Renzo's as of late, but Nicky's never not training, and whether something is booked or not, the grind never stops in the blue basement. Interested to see how the styles clash (assuming there's no heel hooks for this one? TBH, haven't heard as to submission legality), but at any rate, it's quite a slate of big names that night in the teams facing one another from the 2 reigning winning teams and the addition of other big names like Team Alpha Male and the returning members of Team Sakuraba. 

Quintet 3 - 10/5: Team Line-Ups Finalized 

Rise Invitational 5 - Middleweight EBI Bracket 

Top left Ryan Quinn (memelord on IGram AKA Pizzajitsu) - have trained with in the blue basement at Renzo’s. Bottom left Enrique Galarza who Ice also trained with at Renzo’s as Silver Fox is in the Renzo family tree. Bottom right is the worst, most unprofessional ref I’ve had the misfortune of having ref my matches at Grappling Industries. At the Secaucus event I witnessed him (while working as a ref) get into a shouting match with a competitor and then continue shouting at the competitor after the competitor had left the mat area. After the end of regulation in a match I was in at an NYC Grappling Industries event he declared golden score overtime/first points wins as a tie breaker because he didn’t want to make a decision. I refused because I didn’t sign up to have refs make up rules on the spot. He disqualified me. At a precious Rise Invitational he literally ran around from Jason Rau for 5 plus minutes to the point his own corner was basically heckling him. At a Kasai Pro event he somehow wormed his way into a super fight, didn’t engage at all, and when he did was submitted about as fast as humanly possible.

Rise Invitational 5 - Announces Jason Rau vs Mansher Khera

Fresh off an appearance at the Kasai Pro 3 Bracket, Jason Rau will face Mansher Khera. Khera last saw grappling action (correct me if I’m wrong) at the Brooklyn Fight2Win card a little over a year ago. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Neiman Gracie - Dec. 15th - Bellator WW Grand Prix 

Can’t wait. Newman is my pick to win the whole thing. You heard it here first.
Old school Gracie: strike when necessary, close distance, clinch, takedown, finish by dominant position leading to submission. Can't wait to see him back in action.

UFC 228 Post Event Reflections: Woodley finally not so wooden, Kneebars for days

TBH, I'm just glad Woodley had a not atrociously boring fight. Those last 3 "tactical" fests were throwbacks to that stretch Anderson Silva, and even GSP had with some very safe, measured, low risk win strategies.

As is sometimes the case, a semi lackluster card produces a bunch of finishes: we had kneebars, violent KO stoppages, RNC's, and the like. A title was reaffirmed, a young challenger starched, a women's title stripped after Monano figuring out another way to avoid fighting Schevchenko. She dropped the ole' "I stopped sweating early" line that is synonymous with "you cut so much weight your body shut down." Fighter want to gleam as much side advantage as possible, and particularly for women, physiologically, you're forcing your body to something completely unnatural after a strenuous training camp and before a potentially and in all likelihood certainly brain damaging ordeal. Anyhow, off the soap box. Monano's Randamie ducking the obvious threat to her title days are over, and Bullet will get a title eliminator/challenge/belt up for grabs fight soon. I'm just irritated Montano's song and dance for a year has kept me from seeing one of the true top tier women fighters in the world out of action and unable to fight for a belt she clearly deserves a shot at.

Andrade, that kinda power in such a small person. Male or female, it's rare that you see it, as Rogan said in the commentary. That jaw line. Let's just say I think she's been on a cyborg diet at some point in her career. Anyone who cries afoul or gets all butthurt someone suspects steroids is either naive or in denial. The Sochi Olympics were proof, if nothing else, that there is a doping problem in high end sports. Period. And that's in a sport where there is little direct compensation for performance. In the UFC there is literally direct compensation for high performance. The risk and temptation is too great not to take them for many athletes. Karolina looked far too calm for the firestorm she was walking into. I was worried when I saw how lithe and relaxed she looked leaning back against the cage prior to the intros. My fear was not misplaced. She got tagged, stayed in it a bit, but was leaving her jab extended and low while certainly concussed, and the end was imminent. Bummer, because I've wanted to see her fight for a title since her losing effort to Joanna.

Byrd vs Stewart
Byrd was fighting a great fight, movement, angles, kicks, punches, clinch, takedown attempts, elbows in the clinch and on the break...and got caught with a shot, then couldn't get back in tit. Good win for Stewart.

The Suloev Stretch has it's daaaaaaay! #leglocksdontwork ?

Zabit Magomedsharipov kneebars Brandon Davis after a feeling out round. Zabit seemed unpressured in the first round as he let Davis ply his stand-up game. That being said, as the second round began Zabit clearly decided to flip the "on switch" and after a step in trip, he quickly transitioned to the back, body lock control, mat return, then got the highlight reel submission.

Aljamain Sterling kneebars Stamman
Great fight from the outset with low single attempts from Sterling, and some good counter wrestling, bodylocks, and otherwise from Stamman. Sterling set up a decent triangle attempt to close out the first round.

Al Hassan vs Price
Price got caught early and got finished. It was obvious he wasn't in there to take punches with that heat from early on, and once caught in the pocket, with his back against the cage, the end was imminent. Al Hassan, ala Stewart are some of the  

Rise Invitational 5: Lutes vs Ronan Rematch 

A rematch from the Kasai Pro Qualifier: Lutes beat Ronan, and teammate Jason Rau via points in two tightly contested matches.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Subversiv 5 on 5 Team Event - Sept. 22nd: Team 10th Planet, Team CSW, Team Carlson Gracie Announced

A Great 2017 UFC Submission Statistics Breakdown

Click Here for the Original Data.
Some takeaways: a calf slicer, an Ezekiel from bottom while mounted, and that Mighty Mouse suplex to armbar. What a wild year.
Also the rise of the kneebar and the added calf slicer give a nice push to leg locks in MMA for the year is a nice trend.

UWW DQ’s Paulo Miyao Due to USADA suspension breach 

Paulo keeps not reading the fine print. He assumed he was eligible for the UWW because it wasn’t IBJJF. Guess that wasn’t the case. It’s slow going but the loop hole for Bomba is ever so slowly closing. God forbid JiuJiitsu becomes an Olympic sport, the podium will completely change. Guys can’t even pass the steroid test when it’s one knownnin advance day of the year. Off season it must be shenanigans what guys and girls are on.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

UFC 228 Picks & Predictions

Woodley vs Till
I've literally never seen footage of Till grappling. I have no idea if he trains with anyone worth training with for grappling. Woodley when he wants to will in fact put you down on your back, even if you fight backing up like Thompson. Till who will be coming forward, logistically will be much easier to put down. The danger, predictably, is that Till will connect with a big kick, or a big knee, but Woodley has won in dominating fashion and in atrociously boring fashion. The dude will fight literally WHATEVER type of fight necessary to win. It's hard to pick against that. That, and the fact that, as I hadn't realized, Woodley has faced a long row of southpaws ALREADY. I actually think Woodley takes Till down in rounds 2 and 3 and perhaps stops him in either round 3 and 4 via TKO and/or Till turtles to avoid punishment and gets pounded out.

Montano vs Schevchenko
Montano upset a lot of favorites to get this far. Unfortunately, that stops here. Schevchenko is literally a movie character brought to life. Schevchenko senses the chinks in the armor and punishes Montano and wins by stoppage in round 2 or 3.

Magomedsharipov vs Davis
Magomedsharipov is a tall order on a full fight camp. On late replacement? Maaaaaan. His creativity in the ring, his versatility, just all of a daunting task. I think Magomedsharipov by convincing stoppage in a fight entertaining as long as it lasts, likely 1 round or 2 at best.

Andrade vs Kowalkiewicz
Kowalkiewicz is in that realm of beating virtually anyone but those who have the strap or are strap worthy skill-wise. Andrade as well has a tough style for the vast majority of those she faces. Will Kowalkiewicz wilt under the pressure of Andrade's heavy come forward style? I don't know. The level changes and mixing up of clinch and takedowns and bodylocks I think holds the answer as to who wins this one. I like Kowalkiewicz but I think the Muay Thai upright posture in the clinch will have her backed up against the cage and likely taken down in at least 2 out of 3 rounds of this fight. Andrade by grinding, arguably boring decision.

Esparza vs Suarez
Esparza because when she's on point, she's tough for all but the best of her division to beat.

Diego Sanchez vs Craig White
The "YESS!!!" guy is still getting after it. Hard not to be impressed. His timing and skills and mileage at this point have me concerned for his long term health and brain status TBH. I honestly can't pick a winner in this one as Sanchez is in that middle ground of can be beaten by a barrage of young, prime athletic condition aggression or utilize craftiness to win fights against guys over the course of 3-5 rounds.

Sterling vs Stamann
Minus a few hiccups, Sterling has his moments when he cleanly puts together all the skills in mixed martial arts. I've actually rolled with him at Renzos. His top pressure, passing, and submission awareness due to his home gym are all IMHO above average compared to other pro and amateur fighters with whom I've grappled with in class at Renzo's. Despite a wrong place at the wrong time knee to face moment that led to a loss, Sterling can and will win this fight and several after putting him toward a title shot.

Rivera vs Dodson
Man, Rivera. Talked a mountain of trash to Marlon Moraes then got starched via head kick and simultaneously lost his perfect record and a shot at the belt. Dodson...just couldn't beat Mighty Mouse. Dodson has the speed and unorthodox punches and timing to give most guys fits. He has been at times frustrated by guys who could peg him on his way in and out. I dunno if Rivera is that guy. Rivera punches in bunches both in the pocket and coming off the break. Will he tag Dodson as Dodson flees/makes his getaway after landing a pot shot? I dunno. Dodson's movement makes him very hard to take down, but if Lineker could beat Dodson, I'd say Rivera does as well. I'd consider Rivera a better and more active version of Lineker if nothing else. Rivera by decision.

Jim Miller vs Alex White 
Miller's on the prelims. Man. A guy who's in his 30th UFC fight. What does that even mean? I had 5 amateur fights and the mileage on my body is there. I have Miller winning by submission. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

BJJ Digest: Episodes 55 & 56 (Quintet 3 SET FOR USA EVENT!!!!!!)



UFC 228: Woodley vs Till Full Countdown Episode

Well, it does a cliched effort to pump up the excitement about Till as a threatening challenger and Woodley as the now he's the champ and has young guys coming for him fresh off an absence due to injury. Woodley does some boxing at Wild Card (thankfully none of that sports science conditioning stuff where some guy has them tapping randomly blinking lights to increase reaction time) and Till doing Muay Thai padwork (there is literally never footage of him sparring or doing any grappling training in any footage I have EVER seen).

Schevchenko hits some pads on the beach and goes fishing to mix it up from showing her shooting guys (she's basically a movie character but in real life). Montano is, as always, facing someone everyone expects here to lose to. I just can't see her standing a chance against the life long combat sports athlete and one who's spent her career nearly beating Nunes and beating Holm. Anyhow, it is what it is.

This Sunday on FloGrappling - Sergio Hernandez 

My last two visits to SoCal I dropped in at Arena MMA (where you can find Baret Yoshida and his black belt Sergio Hernandez). My favorite place to train in SoCal. Sergio has a superfight this Sunday, streaming on FloGrappling. Tune in, support another Pro invitational event. Man, a few years ago, I'd never have thought there'd be this much grappling production/events/programming to watch virtually every week(end).

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Blast from the Past: Garry Tonon vs Keenan Cornelius Five Grappling Calif. Round Robin 5 Man Bracket

Coming up on nearly 5 years ago: Some things you'll recognize from both guys and their games that still look familiar.... Tonon locks up a guillotine forcing Keenan to sit. Keenan with some variety of passes that will remind you of Gi style passes he used to great effect at brown belt and earlier on at black belt. Tonon getting to deep half guard, and early on getting a double outside outside ashi garami/legs triangled around both of Keenan's legs with some leg attacks following. Garry utilizing the single leg x then the 50/50 to chop down/knock Keenan down, Keenan much akin to how he beat Miyao more than once I recall utilizing the leg/foot attack to claw grab/drag to the back (Tonon gives up the mount to avoid the back take). Keenan attacks the foot with a figure four grip but Tonon rather easily slips his foot out, Keenan comes to top, Tonon uses single leg x to deal with the pressure, then drives the foot across the hip to attack the heel hook, but Keenan again uses the transition to hunt for the back and again gives up mount to avoid the back take. Fast forward, Tonon is fighting in One FC after transitioning to MMA. Keenan is coming off controversy at Worlds in the Gi after his match with Gaudio, and having lost to Gordon Ryan in the finals at weight of the ADCC. Even though it's 5 years previous, 2.5 years prior to my even coming to NYC, there's systems and subsystems of what we do that are very visible in Tonon's game. Feet inside looking to trip and disrupt the interphase between no contact and a standing opponent stepping in to engage/pass/make contact. The use of single leg x, Tonon using deep half is familiar to anyone who's watched his footage. Keenan's backtake and step into heavy passing also should look familiar to anyone who's watched his game over the years.

UFC 228 This Weekend: Are You Able to Care?

Watching a guy who completely failed to make weight for his title contender fight.....get to fight a guy who set records for lowest punch output (not once....but twice in a row) for the belt....well, it's hard to feel the "needle move" in UFC brass jargon/speak.

There's some legit female fights on the card, so there's that I suppose. At this point, we're all actually waiting for UFC 229 with Khabib/Conor and Pettis/Ferguson. Let's just call it what it is. The title fight kinda makes sense for UFC brass in a way: Till pulls off an upset and becomes a UK champ which is great for the brand over there. Woodley puts on another snoozer and the UFC continues to be able to hardball with him and put it on him for sleep-aid effective performances until Covington is healthy and can fight him and drum up support for a fight.

A stellar UFC card it is not...but like I said, at this point we all know what we're really waiting for at this point in time: Khabib vs Conor, even if it has about zero promotion being done for it.

If anything, this card feels more like a coming out party for the women on the roster than anything: we've got Schevchenko, Kowalkiewicz, and Esparza amongst others. We've also got a big jump up in exposure for Zabit Magomedsharipov last in action on that ill-fated Brooklyn card where McGregor utilized the dolly tossing precision to take out 3 UFC fighters in one toss. Elsewhere on the card Rivera looks to rebound from that title shot defusion headkick loss after talking a mountain of *&^% about Marlon Moraes and faces the still no idea what to do Dodson who just can't beat # 2 and # 1 in the flyweight division. To give you an idea, Jim Miller and Diego Sanchez are on the fight pass prelims. I don't mind because I end up tuning in to the fight pass prelims because I'm still awake, and it's not super late, and I stream them from home on Fight Pass, but damn if this won't be one of those nights where I'm knocked out asleep 1 fight into the main card. I will prob set an alarm to wake up to see Schevchenko win a belt and see Kowalkiewicz then maybe possibly hopefully make it through to see Till vs Marathon runner non-punching Woodley. 

BJJ Scout Digest # 54: Gordon Ryan NoGi Pans, Kevin Lee vs Dillon Danis *yawn*, et al

Slow week in Combat Sports for the most part: We're all waiting for Khabib vs McGregor, but not a lot of promo for it, so it's kinda not the same. I felt like promotion for the fight wouldn't be much when they announced it 2 months out, if that, so now we're left with knowing it's the biggest fight in the UFC in a couple years (on several metrics) but won't be getting near the promotion to drum up all the reasons we already know to be true). Gordon Ryan's signed up for NoGi Pans at black belt which is exciting. Excited to see him compete against some big names even without leg locks because I've been at Renzo's for the past 2 years. It's an interesting perspective for me because I joined Renzo's just prior to him winning his first EBI title (as a last minute replacement), and the last 2 years for him...have, well, been the last 2 years with him winning ADCC at his weight, 2nd in Absolute, and crushing several EBI's, and a bunch of superfights. It's crazy to think that's all happened in barely 2 years time. At any rate, I'm excited to be there at the Pans all day watching it unfold, because 2 years ago I had just moved to the city and begun training in the blue basement. Now, we're coming up to the run up to another ADCC trials/season et cetera and the work has begun in the blue basement (it never really stops, it just changes focus/direction/format somewhat depending on what's coming up for the top tier guys).