Sunday, December 30, 2018
Friday, December 28, 2018
Group A is super hard to pick, man...Arges, Mathiessen, Burns...I’ll how ith either Arges or Mathiesen, with Mathiesen winnings the pool because submission wins are worth more than points wins.
Pool B, DJ Jackson or Satoshi, but the ironically named "Action" Jackson rarely wins by submission preferring a takedown and possible guard pass if anything and other guys in the Pool I could see winning for the same reason I chose Mathiesen.
Mathiesen is my pick for the whole thing.
Big names coming Jan. 12th
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
ACB 10 - features the following list of competitors: Quixinho, Musumeci, Hinger, Cavaca, Mafra, Rocha, Caporal, Simoes, Barral, Gaudio, Calasans, Wardzinski, Andre, Lerpi, Santos, Buchecha, both Miyaos, Augusto Mendes, and Panza. This amazing start to the year for ACB would prove ironic as the title matches in particular and even some of the undercard matches were guys riding out the 1 min penalized guard pull duration then sweep battles from 50/50.
Jon Calestine wins EBI and puts a new name in the mix for best -135/145 submission grapplers alongside Eddie Cummings & Geo Martinez, the only men to win at either 145 or 135 since EBI began.
Quintet 3 happened and despite the lack of heel hooks, this king of the mat/team challenge played out in about as entertaining a fashion as was humanly possible.
"Team Polaris X Team 10th Planet
Match 1 – Vitor Shaolin lost to PJ Barch by rolling armbar
Match 2 – Gregor Gracie defeated PJ Barch by kneebar
Match 3 – Gregor Gracie defeated Amir Allam by kimura
Match 4 – Gregor Gracie lost to Geo Martinez by kimura
Match 5 – Marcin Held defeated Geo Martinez by kneebar
Match 6 – Marcin Held lost to Richie Martinez by shoulder lock
Match 7 – Craig Jones defeated Richie Martinez by Caio Terra footlock
Match 8 – Craig Jones defeated Adam Sachnoff by RNC"
Gi Worlds 2018:
Malfacine became 10 time world champ, submitted all of his opponents
Musumeci became 2 time black belt gi world champion, back to back - first American to do so.
Lepri continued his legacy as greatest Lightweight competitor of all time.
ACB Basically Stops doing Pro Events because Gi competitors were boring. Promises to return with a different format.
Gordon Ryan basically carries Team Alpha Male to victory at Quintet.
EBI Combat JiuJitsu Produces 2 10th Planet winners (Ben Eddy & Jon Blank) so EBI officially makes men's EBI all combat JiuJitsu (shocker)
ADCC Trials - Great event, was there in person, lost first round like a clown. Got to see a ton of exciting brackets play out and some very tense, close matches. Loved it. Some familiar faces punched tickets as Ethan Crelinsten makes his 2nd ADCC trip. Mansher Khera is headed back. Jon Satava is headed back.
Gordon wins double gold Pan/Worlds NoGi - silences a lot of his critics and cements victory of Yuri Simoes and Cyborg. Mahamed Aly pulls out to avoid getting crushed and so does Tim Spriggs.
EBI Combat JiuJitsu Produces two 10th Planet winners (Ben Eddy & Jon Blank) so EBI officially makes men's EBI all combat JiuJitsu (shocker)
EBI 18: Female Strawweights crowns the 3rd women's EBI Champ: Mayssa Bastos joins Erin Blanchfield & Bia Mesquita as the triumvirate of women's Sub Only grappling inner circle.
Garry Tonon made his debut and fought 3x total in 2018, winning all three fights.
Finishers Sub Only & Onnit Invitational putting on professional level events to fill the void left by the changing format and focus of EBI. Finishers Sub Only recently announced they're expanding to the Midwest.
Black Belt CBD pumped a ton of money into the sport with its inaugural event (as always, we'll have to wait and see if it was a one off).
Fight2Win continues to put on shows across the country.
Grappling Industries continues expanding globally, and with its round robin format and laxity with leg reaping even in the Gi and the added submission legality, it will be interesting to see how the submission level changes in the coming years at lower belt levels and if this lures guys away from the stale IBJJF format.
FILA continues its quiet move into supporting JiuJitsu and submission grappling at a world level & Fuji also is semi quietly putting on events in what I suspect is a push by both organizations to position themselves to helm the sport into the Olympics. Fuji has the backing with its Judo development and FILA with wrestling. What makes it obvious is how lowkey both organizations are about doing events. They clearly have the funding to support the sport and make a big push, but I suspect they are corralling support at the grass roots level for down the road when the real fight for who will get that IOC support and funding when JiuJitsu joins the Olympics.
Dillon Danis actually finally made his Pro Debut.
Frank Mir vs Satoshi Ishii - Ishii unable to pass despite having the physicality to outclass Frank Mir. Would rather pour bleach in my eyes than watch again.
Frank Mir vs Forrest Griffin - Griffin was visibly frustrated as Frank Mir made it a non-match. Frank Mir showing up to collect a paycheck.
Craig Jones vs Palhares - Rolles was even pissed as I was at the event and saw him speaking to Palhares moments after. Palhares literally refused to engage in any capacity...and the dude is supposed to be one of the most fearsome leg lockers out there.
Cyborg vs Ryan* Not a superfight but had to make it on the list
- a terrible look for the decade plus black belt who initially said he exaggerated collar ties, then backtracked and said Ryan deserved it et cetera
Satoshi Ishii vs Dan Strauss (Strauss is a previous offender for that match with Jake Shields)
For being much bigger, coming from a more competitive background, Ishii basically can't pass guard. See also the match with Frank Mir.
Canuto vs Eddie Cummings - Canuto burns nearly 9 minutes off the clock with only 2 actual extended periods of touching Eddie in the first 10 minutes total. Loses on a penalty or because they awarded Eddie for actually attempting a submission whilst they were touching. I can't exactly recall.
Vagner vs Akbari - literally the last minute Vagner pulls a technical sit but otherwise I think Vagner shoots once in 9 minutes, but Akbari for his part also barely shoots for almost 9 minutes.
Vagner vs Lutes - circle, aggressive collar tie, circle, post on the head, shove the chest. Repeat.
Vagner vs Canuto - minutes and minutes of Vagner borderline fouling and Canuto circling and breakdancing and hip faking. Both guys will say things like "make my opponent uncomfortable" and "bring the pressure" and "come forward always" in the lead up to the match. I guess, bro.
Werdum vs Barbosa - let's stand up and collar tie and pretend to handfight for 10 minutes. This match was pretty obviously a work.
Honorable Mention *
Diniz vs Strauss but Diniz at least got to the back
Mansher Khera vs Lachlan Giles
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Click HERE, I ordered mine from RVCA because their customer service is probably the best I've experienced ordering grappling gear other than MUAE. The guys at MUAE shipped me Gi from South Korea and it got here in like one week.
Land *&^%ing speed record.
These are my favorite NoGi shorts to train in. Bar none. I've had my first pair for about 6 months, and liked the fit, weight, feel, and durability so at that point so I ordered a second pair. Shorter length NoGi Shorts can flare out leading to training partners or competitors getting their toes caught in them, I haven't had that problem with these, and given the usage of X-Guard and Reverse X-Guard at the gym(s) where I train, I'd say the cut of the shorts is spot on.
I'm not a die hard RVCA fan. Their overall aesthetic is cool and tugs at my SoCal growing up days, but these are simply a great pair of shorts for training.
They're all black so I can wear them to compete IBJJF. They fit great. That being said, if you feel awkward in shorter shorts for training/like the long AF board short look, these aren’t for you.
Was gifted this matching set about a year ago from a good buddy of mine/training partner - @Tazagarami. I like gear that's sturdy enough to avoid feeling like a soggy wet t-shirt and hanging too loosely, and also get through repeated use week after week in my rotation of training gear. I like the Scramble gear as it's held up, as well as the velcro in the shorts/crotch & waist band.
I've had a number of brands/gear where this is the first thing to give out over the course of 6 months -1 year, but at over a year since I got a hold of this gear, the shorts are still doing fine and the stitching in the Rashguard as well has held up remarkably well. I haven't noticed any discernible fading or holes as of yet, and like I said, that's at a little over a year or being worn at least a couple times a week in my training gear rotation.
You can scoop up the matching set for $130 ($20 cheaper than the Shoyoroll matching NoGi set I just acquired.
Vagner va Lutes for the aggressive collar tie championship of the world
Canuto VS Andre if you like watching Canuto dance and cartwheel and run time off the clock for minutes on end
DeBlass vs Bastos in what will be 5+ minutes of half-guard
Johnson vs Abreu - maybe Abreu gives up an easy ankle lock or kneebar like most of the guys who inexplicably don’t defend basic leg lock attacks in matches with Johnson (if you think I’m exaggerating watch his match with Sousa at NoGi Pans or that no name guy at the trials who grabbed Tex’s foot then got counter leg locked 30 seconds later.
Monday, December 24, 2018
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Got ahold of the a NoGi Matching set from the latest Shoyoroll drop.
Shoyoroll fits snug, so I'd suggest ordering on the next size up if you're torn between sizes. That being said, it feels great, I definitely felt a bit cooler than normal training in the gear. It doesn't hang loose, no tangled toes or fingers in excess fabric after about 1 1/2 weeks of wearing it.
I've worn/tried out/borrowed/and bought used Shoyoroll Gis and liked them, but wasn't interested in paying full price. That being said, after a midday training session when it's hot AF in the blue basement at Renzo's, I'll say that will indeed plan on buying their NoGi gear again, despite the price being about 1/3 higher than what I would pay for other brands.
The space under the armpit has vents/whatever that does legitimately make it cooler to train in, and avoids that plastic bag constrictor feeling you get in other long sleeved rashguards. I train in long sleeved rashguards in an effort to minimize skin exposure as we have a ton of visitors at Renzo's and people coming from the airport, the subway, whatever, may not have washed their hands et cetera.
All in all, it was $20 more than my Scramble matching set I bought a year ago. The stitching and construction seems sturdy, so we'll see how it holds up.
10/10 will buy again.
Also, can Cyborg and Nunes drop the "I don't want to fight another Brazilian" line. Brazilian dudes have been giving each other grievous bodily injury and brain damage in Vale Tudo and MMA for decades. Welcome to the big show. Get over it.
Ugh. It just feels....scummy, I guess, for lack of a better word.
I get it. Sue the guy. This, somehow, seems lame.
Saturday, December 22, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
Beat a number of world champions and ADCC champions, won double gold at Pans & Worlds NoGi.
Note that the IBJJF says as per its own policies any penalties and final decisions need not be announced publicly.
Hard to argue that you're the premier organization unless they handle the incident accordingly....interested to see how this plays out.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Sunday, December 16, 2018
@ Ultra Heavy:
2:06PM EST - Gordon faces Yuri (who he’s beaten). Assuming he wins he faces the winner of Cyborg (who he’s beaten) vs Max Dos Santos Gimenis (who he’s beaten) which goes on at 2:18PM EST.
The final for Ultra Heavy is at 5:06PM EST
Absolute: Gordon faces Yuri @ the end of the day.
Saturday, December 15, 2018
We got the long awaited Brent Primus vs Chandler rematch and Chandler did his best Chandler which was wade through dangerous strikes to outwrestle and ground and pound forehead on chest old school Mark Kerr/Coleman style Primus in a lopsipded decision.
AJ McKee picked up a quick submission win. Robson Gracie picked up a win in his first fight. Robson I see at Renzo's on the regular, he's always been cool to me, glad to see him fighting and picking up a win.
I was headed home at 1030pm after finishing the UFC on Fox final card/main card. What a gift. Normally, we're one fight into a main card at that time. I headed home just in time to see Neiman in a tough fight with a ton of skills on display take out a very dangerous opponent in Ed Ruth. I see Neiman at Renzo's in passing, and it was a pleasure to see his attacking style of Jiu-Jitsu off his back using a variety of things in the fight. Williams guard/clamp- trapping, leg attack entanglements, armbar reversal to a backtake, Ruth with some phantom tapping, and eventually old school get to mount, force your opponent to turtle, and the RNC. Can't wait to see him face the winner of Rory vs Jon Fitch. Machida picked up a narrow win over Carvalho and looks to challenge for a belt sooner rather than later.
Over in the UFC, Hooker faced the brutal stand-up onslaught of Barboza in a fight that should've been stopped a solid 2 minutes before it was and the man simply slumped down onto both knees in the middle of the cage after repeated heel/spinning back heel hicks to the mid section and torrid punches and punishment. His corner also could've taken a cue from what was happening and seen that no further punishment was necessary and saved him face and further unnecessary abuse.
Iaquinta and Lee put on a real scrap with Lee taking the back twice but not finishing and Iaquinta decisively winning the other 2 rounds and a very close first round between the two of them. The backpedaling of Lee throughout the stand-up portion of the fight likely cost him the nod from the judges in that crucial first round as the 2-5 rounds were decidedly for either guy at 2 and 2.
Rob Font showed that Pettis is in fact NOT a bantamweight with a clear cut unanimous decision with takedowns, ground and pound, a kimura reversal/escape from bottom and about 200 jabs landed. Oliveria used a body lock mat return style takedown to put Miller in trouble early and sink in a RNC putting an emphatic win to his resume over Miller who was the first man to beat him professionally 8 years ago. Wild. 8 years ago, man.
I was getting my haircut by my barber and missed the rest of the prelims and I'll have to go back over them tomorrow at some point after NoGi Worlds wraps late tomorrow evening.
Gordon Ryan savaged a number of opponents (not sure but that 40 something to 0 score prior to armbar finish may be a black belt record) and Team Lloyd Irvin which is always spouting the "no bitchassness" mantra did 2 high profile no shows (Aly and Spriggs). Hmmm. I guess the street only goes one way for them. If Gordon had pulled out "due to injury" last minute and avoided Aly they would have milked it for all it's worth.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Watching politics, and gossip, and jealousy, and perceived betrayal unfold within the gym(s). Watching sport grappling and MMA grow and change and evolve. Watching younger guys have their first big surgery/injury and be sidelined. Watching guys have quick success within a few years of starting grappling. Thinking about guys like Lepri who won his first black belt world title in the Gi in 2007 then didn't win another until 2014. It's also interesting to watch as competitors leave JiuJitsu for MMA, then later some return (Bruno Frazatto for example) and/or watch MMA fighters retire and begin doing sport grappling or even riding out Steroid suspensions by competing in pro grappling events (that's a debate for another day). Steroid usage is still the elephant in the room with the IBJJF doing testing of 10 athletes one day per year at only black belt adult. The lower belts and Masters and the rest of the year statistically much more than just "likely" riddled with cheaters on banned substances of everything from anabolic to diuretics et cetera.
At any rate, with 10 years spent in Judo, 5 MMA fights (and about 10-15 other training camps for fights that fell through), moving over to Gi training, then/now focusing on submission grappling I've seen a variety of trends and observations settle to the bottom the truth of it. You now have "juvenile" competitors who've been training for 10 years before they even turn 18. You've got a variety of rule formats with IBJJF opening up a ton of 30+ divisions but also a movement away from the Gi and the traditional IBJJF point/regulation format and in terms of submission legality across the sport as a whole. EBI in a way became the first non IBJJF and non ADCC format that really gained notoriety (I'm aware of the myriad of other efforts like Metamoris and random one or two off pro grappling events) but EBI A) still exists (though no longer for men's pure submission grappling format without strikes) that has continued and B)introduced a real format change beyond the scope of a blend of IBJJF's hierarchy of points and positions or the more takedown-wrestling heavy brand of ADCC submission wrestling.
C) you've got streaming services like flograppling and fight pass organizing an outlet for fans to invest money back into the sport and to event organizers by proxy.
It's been humorous to watch guys barely out of their teens expect to be treated like professional athletes because they win medals in an amateur sport. Social media is a whole other part of this equation of the ever changing landscape of competitive grappling. On the other hand, USA Judo has banned it's paid athletes from doing JiuJitsu professionally. 2018 was an eventful year and next year promises more of the same with Worlds, ADCC, EBI changing of the guard with slaps which has created space for someone or something to take its place.
The men's divisions aren't even that packed with notable black belt brackets like Feather totally up for grabs.
Black Belt men's picks and anecdotes of familiar faces:
Rooster - Paiva
Light Feather - Joao, Pinheiro, Hashimoto. Joao is the safe bet to take it, but Hashimoto continues to move up and up and improve as he gets more black belt experience. Joao will be the only Miyao competing as his brother got an additional ban of 3 months for violating his previous steroid ban prior to it's ending.
(Bendy Casimir is who I studied Kneebars by (Kneebar King of Leg locks on YouTube!) He had trained with a coach of mine at the time, Sean Spangler who had trained with Bendy in Vegas - who is on my bucket list of guys to get a private from down the road when I hit Vegas at some point) before moving to NYC. Alex Ecklin runs a pair of BJJ schools (with his teammate Van) in Brooklyn which I drop by occasionally. Suraj I met ages ago when I was in Florida for a wedding, we were both purple belts at the time. I see he's now a black belt and I was recently promoted to brown.
Feather - Marangoni or Cobrinha's son on black belt level experience/gamesmanship.
Castelle lost to my friend Rosenthal last week at Onnit. Murdock I worked with for the same grappling tournament company for several years and we fought for the same MMA organization.
Light - Grippo or Iwasaki, but likely Grippo. Without Miyao allowed to compete (as they did at Kasai recently), I see Grippo pretty handily taking this one. Iwasaki will podium though, is my expectation or Domingos.
Middle - is a stacked division, especially in this format with Giles, Perez, Lieira, Coco, Conaill, Canuto, Leon, Silverio. I honestly can't pick this division at all with so many solid, experienced black belts with high level experience and accolades.
Stanley Rosa I know through his coach Doug, who's an OG Renzo black belt, and I've rolled with him a few times at Renzos when he's there dropping in to train. Enrique is the son of an OG Renzo black belt, I've trained with him a few times when he's regularly at Renzo's to train.
Medium Heavy - Tinoco, Diniz, Hinger, Borovic, Gabriel Arges, Kit Dale, and Murilo Santana
- also an impossibly hard division to pick a winner or honestly, even the podium overall. Wow.
Skipping a few divisions I don't watch to get to Gordon Ryan's division of Ultra Heavy:
Gordon Ryan, Dopp, Cyborg, Tex Johnson, Mahamed Aly....
I'm gonna go with Ryan taking the cake, and Cyborg or Aly or Johnson rounding out the podium.
BJJ Scout's BJJ Digest 95: Creeps in BJJ, EBI 18, UAEJJF in Tajikistan Allegedly Hot Mess Express & My Thoughts on EBI 18
You could counter my criticism by saying, "well, go back and watch EBI 2 or 3 from the men's division" and my counter argument would be: locking a triangle correctly to the point that some casual fans who train UFC recreationally could do it more efficiently...or that....women's jiujitsu isn't existing in a vacuum. Watch EBI. Previous EBI's are available for dissection and analysis to anyone preparing for the event......Another woeful area of a boondoggle was the armbar overtime positions utilized: women starting with their knees flared/ankles crossed and posting to the headside arm - allowing opponents to immediately bridge and begin a stack escape.....on the back control allowing the attacker to clasp their hands tight under the neck instead of the sternum as the rules specify. I'm not only criticizing the athletes but the coaches, the training partners, and Bravo for using a number of competitors of lower rank, or upper belts who primarily compete in the Gi and/or virtually do not compete submission only or leg lock allowed events. I also think it's bogus AF he neglected to add a Renzo NYC competitor named Katya (who I've seen day in and day out since I moved to the city 2.5 years ago and has actually competed sub only and leg lock allowed events for the past couple years. I suspect it's sour grapes for him and would've been on suicide watch if yet again a Renzo NYC competitor won an event put on by him (as to why he got ride of men's EBI and is running with Combat JiuJitsu which 10th Planet guys have had some consistent success rather than pure sport submission grappling under the EBI format).
Welcome to equality. If an event provides equal pay, expect the same level of expectation on behalf of fans, on behalf of the athletes in terms of preparedness et cetera. I believe Bravo when he says he couldn't find 16 black belt competitors at this weight class as you can look at the NoGi Worlds this weekend and the total number of females competing at black belt across ALL weight classes is 34. Total. Anyhow, I watched the event, and in an effort to shoe equality in action rather than principle, I'm not going to refrain from undue criticism et cetera in a misguided and paternal desire to shield the poor, defenseless women athletes from the same which I would say about male competitors. Sugarcoating the deficient areas helps no one.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
A solid cable TV card to limp us on through to the end of the year card with it's 2 title fights. I'm not thrilled a 3 time USADA fail is getting an immediate title shot, but y'know, this is the fight game, not the what makes sense ethically game. I kinda don't really care to see Jon Jones fight again as it's been years of outside the cage chicanery and titles stripped, and the like. I would like to see Gustaffson get redemption as I think he actually won the first fight. It's once again time to see if Jon Jones' extra curricular life choices catch up to him in the cage and what he's really been up to with all the down time on and off over the past few years. I've run off the track, we've got Iaquinta vs Lee as both men look to stay in title picture contention. I don't see Lee beating Khabib but we all know Iaquinta didn't care any better but that was on very short of shortest notices.
Sunday, December 9, 2018
Shevchenko faded a bit over the last 3 rounds but banked at least 4 rounds and busted up Joanna with varied strikes and takedowns from the standing clinch. Hopefully, women's MMA has advanced far enough that we'll soon see them stop using various sundry head-arm takedowns. That will be when we know that women's MMA is advancing to the modern age.
Gunanr Nelson' picked a serious comeback fight that puts him right back after that starching by Ponzinibbio and a year plus away from the sport due to injury. Without the ring rust, I think he would've finished Cowboy from the back first round, but instead he had to weather some real punishment, get Cowboy to the mat, and then punish him with precision to get him to expose the back. Those laser like elbows were exactly the amount needed to force Oliveira to give up his back and he was tapping before the choke was even in.
Manuwa has fallen victim to the "I'm gonna call out pro boxers" curse and then proceed to lose by violent KO in most of my next fights (Santos last night, Oezdemir), and a tough loss to Jan Blachowicz.
Eye picked up a tough, close win over Chookagian. The card seemed to mercifully fly by as a quick night of fights. I was at a holiday party for work so that probably helped.
Bessa and Lillius elicited boos from the crowd by forcing spectators to watch a Gi 50/50 battle. I guess they've forgotten about Gi matches and ACB and how no one in their right mind wants to watch that bull*&^$. Way to bring the non-heat as the one Gi match people probably tuned in to see due to its proximity to the main card.
Strauss and Ishii was as boring as I expected with Ishii unable to pass guard, and Strauss having a tough time forcing opportunities from bottom as the smaller man.
Imanari vs Ryan exchanged leg locks which was exciting to watch 2 leg locking styles and generations do battle. Ryan eventually used a leg lock exchange to get to the back which I had considered a likely scenare. Imanari fended off several choke attempts and wisely avoided having a hand trapped, but also failed to address the crook of the elbow/choking arm with thumb posts and as he went to peel off the secondary hand it was far too late.
Munch beat Lachlan Giles by way of 4,345 failed guard pass attempts I guess. It's hard to recall that many nonstop guard pass attempts that still largely barely advance in another match in recent memory. Lachlan had one nice leg entanglement but Munch's usual knee in the middle/slice non-commital guard passing style and head down, ass up posture prevented most meaningful exchanges.
Vagner utilized sharper transitions to put Benson in trouble. Benson went for a toe hold that gave up the back against a standing Vagner (sigh) and would escape but that proved a bad omen as with barely a minute left, Vagner got the short choke palm to palm grip with the body triangle side lock in the mat to strap Benson's hips.
Much more exciting in spots than some previous installments when even the NoGi matches would all go to a dubious decision.
I felt like most of the match Keenan did most of the work and was forcing Craig to untie knows and traps rather than actually implement any meaningful guard passing. Keenan seemed to fade down the stretch (also what makes me suspect he's actually not on steroids unlike the other obvious caricatures with whom he trains out on the west coast.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Friday, December 7, 2018
Left hand side of the bracket, I expect Pati Fontes to make it through to the final. Right hand side, it'll be interesting to see if Lila pulls off a submission against Danielle Kelly. I don't see why Nina Navid won't get past Fiona, then face the winner of whoever wins between Kelly and Smadja-Cruz. My pick to win the whole thing is Pati Fontes.