Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Unpopular Opinions Vol. 2

For anyone who doubts that the poster boys for IBJJF aren't juicing, look at the cartoon character bodies of IBJJF and other organization(s) grapplers then look at the Olympic level Wrestlers and Judo players. Judoka and Wrestlers are oftentimes life long elite competitors and don't look like JiuJitsu competitors.  Guess which sport of the 3 only tests one day per year/10 athletes versus which two sports have anti-doping out of competition testing year round.

Click HERE for the searchable database to all athletes tested by year/by sport and HOW MANY TIMES they were each tested. Delpopolo in the Judo program, for example, was tested 5 times.
Dude was tested half as many times as ALL OF THE IBJJF BLACK BELT COMPETITORS THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE TESTED IN A YEAR (because it's only done at one singular event).
JiuJitsu is hard work and Jesus. Bruuuuuh. C'mon. Bunch of unregulated and hardly tested scam artists pushing a false narrative is more like it.

Continuing that point: Why you think we see some famous names suddenly retire before the one event per year that they could be tested at ^^^^? Hmmm.

Doederlein passed Shane's guard and should've won the match at Pans.

Finishers Sub Only, Rise Invitational, and Quintet are holding female focused events. Have you seen any famous women grapplers who complain about equal pay bothering to help promote the events? Any of them taking 3 seconds to share it on their social media? Weird how they don't forget to plug their own event/open mat with a suggested donation/mat fee/seminar, right? Weird. Care about the problem or just lip service when you want to promote your thing that you're benefiting from directly?
- It's hilarious when women grapplers complain about pay in JiuJitsu. There are literally more athleisure women-centric brands and fashion houses and entire consumer industries devoted to what women spend money on than I could count in the next hour of my time and they act like they can't figure out how to find sponsors for their events or to help build their own events. Quit waiting around for people to do it for you. Do the leg work and recruit your own sponsors or quit complaining. It's a niche sport. The money is out there. It's the same as women complaining about WNBA pay but couldn't name 3 WNBA players, have never been to a game, and own no WNBA merchandise. They just expect everyone else other than themselves to support the sport as some sort of token symbol.

I lost count of how many penalties I saw handed out after the first 5-10 matches I watched at brown and black belt at Pans. But to its credit, the IBJJF started throwing out them penalties and once that trend begins....historically, you get the kinda of sport that looks like Judo and Wrestling with passivity penalized in ever decreasing time frames. Will be interesting to see if this holds true for JiuJitsu. Any organization with an eye on that IOC money will find out very quickly that those purse strings are linked to what non-knowledgeable spectators find watchable/entertaining versus boring, because Olympic funding is based on advertisers which is tied to rating. Period. The IOC does research on how quickly people change the channel during lulls in action and programming et cetera. The science of human attention is already understood. And there's a behind the scenes race to be the organization that brokers the admission of the sport into the Olympics.

Continuing that Point:
The bottom players setting a lasso hook with the knee flared out and attempting no sweeps are boring AF. 50/50 for 7 minutes and two athletes literally grabbing bottom of pants fabric is ridiculous and the penalties are beginning to rain down. People wonder why Judo has so many rules...because people don't want to watch two elite athletes do nothing for minutes at a time.

ESPN+ Era has begun. The day when previously ESPN pretended the UFC didn't exist has been flip flopped by the race for streamed content in the streaming service era. I'm living for the fact that events start at 7 and 8pm. The 10pm PPV era days be damned. Way past my bedtime. That being said, we'll see what happens when I'm having to now have FightPass, FloGrappling, and ESPN+ as a minimum of 3 streaming services. That's now basically what my parents paid for basic cable back when I was growing up at one point. It may be one of those occasional lulls between meaningful fights what with Dillashaw popped. Jon Jones figuring out ways to not fight DC at Heavyweight, and Khabib suspended, but things feel very meh right now after some amazing moments early in the year. There are still meaningful fights to be had (Masvidal clobbering Till, Woodley losing his stranglehold on the belt, Cejudo making claim to being a legit champion. We'll see how we feel about the ESPN+ era when it hits early August, y'know?

The sport is changing (Hint: it is always changing, the nature of competition demands that it do as such). The IBJJF is paying its black belt competitors with the advent of Abu Dhabi, Kasai, ADCC, et al luring guys away, and other cash money events luring guys out of prestigious events, and I'm all for it. Know your worth people, pave your own way, live in the margins. If you don't like the only show in town, start a new show. Where there's discontent, there is opportunity. Look at what EBI became? Proof that there was market inefficiency in the IBJJF model and room for a totally different approach to what grappling fans will watch and support. The growth of the ADCC across the last 3 events is very clearly proof of that as well. The Trials this year and in the fall of 2018 were much larger events than years previously and combined with FloGrappling/increased viewership, that growth will likely continue.

Boring superfights continue. We're still being force fed boring AF big name grapplers and former fighters barely doing what they were paid to do which is *&^%ing grapple. I don't owe a formerly gloried person a false opinion of their trash match. You're paid for your value not your past accomplishments. If you want money for your past accomplishments sign autographs and pose for polaroids, champ. The sport improves because it continually cannibalizes. Paying these guys continually putting on comically low investment performances helps no one and does a disservice to the sport at worst. 

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