Most of the submission grappling world has been buzzing about this Metamoris Pro event since it was officially announced. This assembly of superstar talents is not something seen outside of the very top level tournaments. Everyone on this card is viewed as at least Top 5 in their natural weight division. Add in actual fight purses and an attitude of casting aside points while focusing on the submission and we have a recipe for something truly different than we normally see in grappling.
This could be something special and thus we at Bloody Elbow are dedicated to covering this for you.
The PPV live stream ($19.95) can be purchased/viewed at the Metamoris website (http://metamoris.com/live-stream).
The rules are simple:
- 20 minute matches. Start from the feet. Reset when going out of bounds.
- No points. Submission only.
- If there is no submission, the match is deemed a draw.
- Heel hooks are allowed only in the Lister/Ribeiro no gi match. Everything else is a-okay.
- Usual "no slamming, no striking, no biting" etc. rules.
And the video feed cuts in just after 5:30 PM ET / 2:30 PM PT. The feed is playing the Metamoris trailer while they figure out the technical stuff.
6:05 PM ET: Okay, it's been a half hour and the trailer is still playing. Not sure what's up right now.
6:11 PM ET: The Gracie Mag twitter is talking about the media people being let in and setting up right now.
6:37 PM ET: The trailers have finally stopped playing.
6:43 PM ET: Ryron is now pontificating to the audience in his role as an announcer, while looking super professional in a suit.
Oh that's a sweet mat set-up. The announcer is introducing the fighters and lets Rorion speak for a while.
The promo packages are seriously top-notch. They have Tale of the Tapes!
Jeff Glover vs. Caio Terra (gi match):
Caio Terra in the white Gameness gi. Jeff in the black Lucky gi.
Glover getting the crowd going while Caio stands there. Nelson Monteiro is the referee (was originally going to compete against Jean Jacques Machado, but a car accident stopped that).
Glover and Caio playing around. Caio swoops right into mount, but doesn't hold it too strongly and Glover gets out and back to the feet. Caio pulls DLR and Glover sits down. Caio goes berimbolo and Glover legfights to a different position. Caio trying the back take. Glover trying a toehold. Caio working for one himself and Glover disengages. They stand up and rearrange clothes. Glover shows the back and Caio pats his butt. Glover pulls guard and Caio works a standing guard pass. Glover staying strong with the open guard and works knee shield guard. Caio starts working from the side control, as Glover lets him pass. Glover trying a collar grip or two. Caio seems to be chasing a kimura grip, has it, goes for an armbar. Glover rolls backwards and outwards. Caio still has the grip and gets the legs in better position. Glover works free from a triangle attempt, but has his arm stuck in omoplata territory. Caio has a leg grip and Jeff is now navigating the escape/back take. Glover shifts out and is now trying to get the back. Caio gets out and takes top half guard.
At 15:45, Caio is mounted and trying to discomfort Glover into giving up something. Glover messing with the feet and staying strong. Glover pulls knee reap and goes upside down. Caio falls back and goes invert guard. Glover working a toe hold. Caio comes back to regular side up and defends the toe hold, while working guard pass/back take. Glover okay with Caio being in side control and works a d'arce. Caio defends and retreats to top half guard. Now side control again. Glover being patient as we pass the 14:00 mark. Caio tries a back take, but Glover doesn't cooperate and Caio is working from north/south and now Glover spins in for a leglock tangle. Caio and Glover smiling and gesturing to each other. It's guard vs. guard right now and Caio goes invert while keeping a pant grip. Glover is trying for a toe hold and stuffs Caio's back take. Caio spins to get out of the toe hold and stands up. Glover lets his half guard go and is in bottom side control.
Caio working a kimura grip/armbar again on Glover's left arm. Jeff doesn't look that concerned and clinches his thigh tightly to prevent the armbar. Jeff seems to be waiting it out and finger wags with his free hand. Caio smiles as the audience cheers. Glover still balled up defending the armbar. Caio working methodically, but can't seem to crack that arm fully free. Jeff tries to sit up, but the foot across the face keeps coming back from the little shove attempts. 9:30 mark passes. Glover basically doing the same stuff he's been doing and Caio keeping the armbar position. Caio switches a bit to a triangle, but the choke isn't strong. Glover seems to realize he's in more danger and has stopped doig goofy stuff. Caio working a bit on the free arm to try something.
7:45 mark and Jeff's arm finally pops free! Caio trying to get the armbar, but Jeff reaches above his head and snags it with the free arm. Jeff tries to roll backwards to no avail, but he does get the entrapped arm back in towards his body. Caio still has the triangle/armbar from mount. Caio yanks the arm super strong! The armbar is deep! Glover taps! With 6:35 or so left, Caio Terra gets an armbar on Jeff Glover.
Winner: Caio Terra, armbar, 15:25ish mark.
This announcing team is terrific. Insights into the mindset of the athletes, technical descriptions, complete knowledge of the athletes' achievements. I'd already rank it alongside the best announcing teams in combat sports and they're still raw.
Ridiculously entertaining match - for those who know BJJ. I can't pretend that this is more attractive viewing than freestyle wrestling though.
Kayron Gracie vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. (gi match):
Lovato in the white Lucky gi with black trim. Kayron in the white Gracie Barra gi (and he has black hair).
Nelson Monteiro as referee again. They shake hands and the match begins.
Lovato gets the first grip and they bend over to simultaneously prevent/work for the takedown. Kayron gets opposing grips. They break a bit and regrip. head to head while standing> Kayron pulls guard. Lovato stuffs the DLR hook. Kayron works the spider sweep! Lovato keeping the open guard going and twines his legs to prevent the pass. Kayron bringing pressure from one knee. 18:20 mark now.
30 seconds later, still in roughly the same position. Lovato trying to hip out and Kayron has a pant grip preventing that, but can't work the guard pass yet. Kayron gets ahold of one foot and looks to be trying to pass right. Lovato has the right grips to make that hard and pushes off Kayron. Lovato getting folded up, but still no pass. Kayron stands up a bit more and backs out. A near pass to the right, but Lovato stuffs it and gets spider guard and now in a toehold position! Brilliant! Kayron is unconcerned, but he's not moving to escape and Lovato seems to have it deep. They roll nearly out and Monteiro pulls Kayron around to the middle. They continue on at the 15:40 mark.
Lovato gives up the toe hold and stands up. He is now working a smash pass with the collar grip. Kayron is folded in half, but keeps the spider guard alive. Lovato settles down and begins working a pass to the left. Kayron shoving the left arm of Lovato to keep the guard and pushes himself away. Lovato still working a left pass, with a grip on both legs. Tries to go right and then left. Working to clear his arms from the foot placement of Kayron. Lovato now standing as Kayron works a nice spider. Lovato passes! Kayron turtles up and Lovato gets a clock choke! Kayron spins and falls right in a triangle!
He's out! 13:25 mark and Kayron is now in the closed guard of Lovato. That was an insane scramble from the guard pass for the submission from Lovato. Kayron tries a reverse step back pass, but it doesn't go. Lovato working the left arm of Kayron for an americana. Kayron falling back to defend. Lovato now somehow has an armbar set up. Kayron backs completely out and they stand up once more.
12:10 mark. They're standing with opposing grips. Lovato gets a very sweet overhead sweep from standing and Kayron goes flying. Lovato in top half and Kayron is trying to work his spider guard. Lovato nearly passes, but Kayron goes upside down. Working tornado stuff. Lovato tries a toe hold and arches, but no dice. Kayron spinning and spinning, nearly gets underneath Lovato. Kayron trying for a kneebar or toe hold, but Lovato staying in good base. Works to top half and knee slides his way to a near guard pass. Now standing with two knee grips in Kayron's open guard. Lovato trying to bring pressure on the open spider guard. Has a chest grip and is on his knees. Kayron seems to be slowing down. Lovato stands up and Kayron counters the pass for a while before Lovato breaks through to side control. Lovato moves to north/south. Seems to want his left leg over Kayron's head. Kayron is preventing it. Lovato eventually gets there and works the kimura on Kayron's left arm! He gets the tap after a momentary struggle!
What a finish for Rafael Lovato Jr!
Winner: Rafael Lovato Jr., kimura, 13ish minutes into the match.
That was a masterful kimura. First, Lovato immobilized the right arm with his leg, so it couldn't come down and help out in the defense. Then he got the two on one grip and chest pressure on the left arm. Lovato ripped that arm free from the belt very, very well and then exploded right into the submission. Just a dominant display from the man I believe to be the best native American grappling right now.
Kron Gracie vs. Otavio Sousa (gi match):
Otavio in a blue Gracie Barra gi. Kron in the white Kron/Rickson gi.
Sousa is the bigger guy, but Kron has the crowd's hearts.
They take a bit to get grips. Kron pulls closed guard. Otavio stands and Kron keeps the closed guard. Otavio goes to one knee and Kron has very active hands working for grips. Gets a low collar and same side sleeve grip. Trying to inch up that collar grip. Opens up the guard, Otavio is in a standing position and has a knee grip on the left, shoves his own right leg in. Kron keeping active and Otavio not getting anything going. Kron working and threatens an armbar very vaguely as Otavio backs out in a hurry. Otavio still trying to pass to his left (Kron's right). Kron staying very active with his grips. Otavio triees to toss Kron over, but active hips and grips prevent the pass. They go out of bounds and the referee restarts them. Kron passing up spider guard opportunities for a collar grip and nimble feet. Otavio stands up again and tries to go left again. Kron goes lasso grip spider for a bit and then shifts to a stand-up after some short gripping attempts.
16:20 mark. Kron pulls closed guard on a standing Otavio again. Open guard. Otavio wants a collar grip on the right to pass on the left. No dice, nearly gets a right side guard pass, but Kron scrambles out and goes lasso on the right arm of Otavio and then sits up in a weird single leg grip. Otavio bringing pressure, so Kron scrambles back and they go out of bounds. Reset in the middle.
15:15 mark. Referee stands them up again. Kron gets his grips first and Otavio snaps the grips vigilantly. Otavio pulls guard. Kron goes to his knees. Rolls up Otavio's gi around the stomach for a nice grip. Stands up for a bit. Back down. Otavio working between lasso on right arm and DLR on right leg. Kron stuffing nicely, but seems to be navigating towards a pass soon. Standing. Kron has two torso grips and is keeping his hips balanced nicely. Otavio has the lasso and Kron trying to stay centered and patient. Kron drops to his butt, trying to free his hands. Otavio stands up and Kron butt scoots in. Kron with open guard now. Otavio surfing the guard and gets swept nicely by Kron. Otavio slows down the game in the guard, while Kron works the same middle grips he had before.
11:10 mark. Kron going for the double unders pass. Otavio stuffs it and Kron backs out a bit. Otavio trying for a triangle, but Kron staying super low and tight. Kron is now in the closed guard of Souza. Working the stomach gi grips as Otavio tries to strip the grips. Kron stands and the goes back down. Otavio trying to climb up, but gets stuffed. Kron standing up and breaks the closed guard nicely. Otavio tries RDLR and Kron drops to his knees.
9:05 mark. Otavio working a lasso grip on the right arm of Kron. Kron giving up near omoplatas to try to crack something free and see if he can use a knee to break a grip at hte right time. Kron trying a single underhook with a belt grip and Otavio trying a triangle, but neither guy gets far along with it. Otavio trying to pull Kron into his guard. Kron falls backwards and Otavio stands up. Kron butt scoots to the center of the mat and Otavio walks in slowly. Kron working open guard with a sleeve grip and collar grip. Kron gets up into a closed guard on the standing Souza. Souza comes down to one knee. Kron working on the left arm of Otavio and gets a back grip. They are standing now, as Otavio decided to break grips and free himself. Kron coming forwards, Otavio keeps standing as Kron pulls closed guard. They are grip fighting and Kron once more attacking the left side of Souza. Kron's open guard is giving Souza fits, but no sweeps really getting formed. Souza tries an athletic jump pass, but no deal.
5:20 mark. They are standing. Otavio pulls guard and Kron drops to his knees. Kron gets the stomach grip he likes a bunch. Stands up, breaks the open guard. Souza waiting for a triangle. Kron drops for a footlock! Souza trying to hip free and does!
Kron back to the open guard of Souza at the 4:18 mark. Kron standing and Souza waiting for a triangle. Kron gets a bit looser and spins around to try something. Fights to side control! Souza attempted a roll back, but it was stuffed and Kron has a behind the collar grip and is working to S-mount.
3:30 mark. Souza tries half guard. Kron stuffs it and forces Souza to move around so he's on side control on the other side. Kron goes for an armbar and gets it so smoothly that it looks ridiculously easy.
Winner: Kron Gracie, armbar, 17:00ish mark.
Kron is extremely gracious in his speech. Mentions that Souza felt stronger than he, had Marcio Feitosa in his corner and so on. Very good speech with self-deprecating humor.
The replay shows that he was isolating the left arm of Souza in the s-mount position the entire time and that let the armbar goe very smoothly.
Otavio comes in for his speech. Kind of dull, but some of that is because Rener asked a badly formed series of questions.
15 minute intermission with a promise of an amazing video in 10 minutes.
The video turned out to be a Helio Gracie tribute video. May have shaded a bit into ancestor worship/myth at times, but seeing 3 year old Royler grappling and new, unseen photos and little video clips was worth it.
Dean Lister vs. Xande Ribeiro (no gi match):
Dean in red/white rashguard and shorts. Xande in black rashguard and black/blue shorts.
They start in standing crouches. Dean edging forwards and Xande frustrating him with the grip breaks. Dean shoots in and Xande sprawls, while Dean goes for a leg. Xande backs away and they go back to the standing grip fighting. Collar ties for both. Dean tries to shove Xande into a guillotine and it doesn't come close. Xande collar taies up again and tries a Russian. Dean backs out. They're tying up on the feet, but the counters are too good for anything to happen for real.
18:00 mark. Xande and Dean trying to get two on one grips at the same time. They break. Dean still being the more aggressive. Dean goes to his knees and bulls forwards a bit, but nothing happens. Still tying up on the feet. Xande tries a foot sweep. Dean is unmoved. More tying up going on. Grip fighting outburts. Xande coming forwards more.
15:45 mark. Dean sits guard. Xande comes in and works a pass. Dean thwarts a pass to the left and works armdrags/butterfly. Xande stays in base and tries an underhook pass. It works and Dean is in side control, up on his left side while Xande works the overhook and mount. Xande working a kimura from mount-ish position. Dean has the free arm clasped on the trapped arm and works down to his thigh. Xande gets bucked off, but keeps his grip on the arm. Dean is playing up to the crowd his defense. Xande wants that arm very badly, but Lister looks like his arm is immovable.
13:50 mark. Jeez, Dean Lister has an enormous neck. Xande trying to spin Lister onto his back and does! Lister goes back and tries to spin into Xande to free the trapped elbow. Xande is navigating the tangle slowly. Lister gets the elbow out and Xande bails.
12:40 mark. They are back on the feet. Lister coming forwards a bit and shoots a double. Xande's hips are too strong and Lister sits down looking for a leg. Xande comes in anyways and settles into top half guard. Lister appears to be working for a hand and Xande gets up.
11:24 mark. Dean shoots another slow double and Xande successfully sprawls. They stand again. Xande slowly pushing Lister forwards. Lister just standing in front of Xande posing and Xande tries a foot sweep.
10:40 mark. Lister smiles and Xande comes forwards more. Lister tries a slow shot and it's over before it really began. Lister shoots into a guillotine and sits out. Pulls guard. Opens it up and Xande stands up. Lister butt scoots in and Xande goes for the underhook on the right leg and settles into top half. Lister working on Xande's left arm and body. Xande working upwards on Lister's body and passes into side, but Dean regains half guard.
8:55 mark. Lister is in deep half and trying to scramble around. Xande stands up carefully and falls back down in top half guard. They remain relatively motionless, waiting for someone to make a move. Lister working slowly towards something and Xande looks ticked off.
8:00 mark. Xande appears to be bleeding slightly from the forehead. Lister has one leg up on Xande's left shoulder and is shoving Xande's head away. Xande works a kimura and spins Lister around! Lister defends mightily, but Xande is in there and spins Xande for an armbar! Lister still defending!
7:00 mark. Lister is on his side/on his back defending an armbar and Xande is trying to isolate the arm. Xande gets the arm isolated! Lister doesn't tap! It's extended! Lister gets the leg over the face off and spins free!
6:10 mark. They go back to the feet and Lister pulls half guard. Xande staying solid and Lister working around for an arm drag. Xande passes off an arm drag attempt into side control.
5:20 mark. Lister spins into Xande and Ribeiro stays heavy on top. Looks like he might be working a brabo/ guillotine. Lister on his elbows and knees. Not concerned about the choke. Spins to his back and free. Xande stands. Lister is on his butt scooting in.
4:20 mark. Lister stands and they are back to the feet. Lister coming forwards. They tie up again. Lister puts forth another slow shot. Xand sprawls and works a kimura grip on Lister's left arm. Lister defending by tangling up into a ball. Lister tries to invert into a leglock, but Xande abandons the grip and goes to the feet once more.
3:10 mark. Tying up on the feet. Lister sits guard. Xande comes in. Lister working an arm drag to half guard. Xande finally working half guard on the right side, which Lister prefers. Lister goes deep half to a leg lock! Xande bunny hops his way mostly free and Lister sits up to try for the other leg.
2:00 mark. Back to the feet. Lister sits guard. Xande picking his spot and passes to the left, stuffed, tries to go right, open guard of Lister now. Double unders pass is tried. Lister stays in open guard and tries to attack the left arm of Xande. Deep half for Lister. Xande has good base, but gets swept. Dean on top. Dean trying to tangle up in the legs, but Xande scrambles back out of bounds. They restart on the feet with 0:45 seconds left.
Dean sits guard. Xande spins around to the back. Dean is turtled up. Xande trying to get the back. Dean rolls to guard and they stand with 0:15 seconds left. Dean sits guard. Xande passes. Dean pulls mount and tries a leglock. Xande in side control and sits down.
Draw between Dean Lister and Xande Ribeiro.
Passing fair post-match speeches by both. Xande probably got the better of Lister there, but those leglocks are an instant game-changer. Xande's armbar was so close. Lister is awesome for sticking with the escape.
Andre Galvao vs. Ryron Gracie (gi match):
Galvao in a white Storm gi. Ryron in the white/blue GJJ gi.
They stand and grip fight for a while. Ryron tries to give Andre the grips he wants.
Andre gets a trip takedown and does a big reverse step to pass. Andre in side control/north/south/side control.
Ryron spinning and defending. Andre working gi grips and blocking the hips from coming into him. Andre steps over once more into north south. Trying to isolate an arm. Ryron has both hands down low and Andre starts playing around with the gi and belt. Ryron trying to work his way into Andre and spin onto his elbows and knees. Andre gets pushed up off and Ryron regains guard.
16:45 mark. Andre is standing and dives in looking for a guard pass. Ryron has half guard and is trying to push out Andre's leg for space. Andre has a gi tail wrapped around Ryron's neck and is bringing serious shoulder pressure. Andre goes briefly for a choke set-up, but has to go back to basing out with the free hand.
15:40 mark. Ryron chilling out basically while Andre keeps bringing the pressure. Andre flattens Ryron out for a moment. Ryron trying to stay up on his side, but it's not succeeding all the time.
14:50 mark. Ryron sweeps Andre very briefly before both men return to the feet. Andre gets his collar grip with the left hand and works for the right grip with the right. Ryron working opposing grips and tries a foot sweep. Andre bunching up the gi before circling back to the center. They get grips once more. Ryron getting more aggressive on the feet, but Andre still has the better grips.
13:30 mark. Still on the feet working for grips. Ryron pulls guard. Andre bases out and starts working passes on both sides. Ryron stays calm and gets a good collar grip. Andre working to keep his base and bring about a pass to the left. Ryron scrambling around and prevents it. Pulls Andre into 3/4 guard on his left. Andre flattens out Ryron and works to mount to immediately give it up for side control. Andre gets a collar grip and comes up. Ryron tries to regain guard, but Andre stuffs that. Has Ryron flat.
11:30 mark. Andre working the gi. Gets Ryron to try for a turtle. Almost gets the back take with a nicely timed roll. Andre working a collar grip from knee on belly. Ryron staying ultra conservative with his own defenses. Andre comes back to side control. Working a gi grip behind Ryron's neck.
10:30 mark. Andre has Ryron flattened out for a bit before Ryron gets up on his side again. Andre really sticking to the collar grip and gets shunted back to guard. Andre in the butterfly guard. Andre gets loose and tries the leg drag stuff before settling in top half guard. Ryron is flat on his back. Andre passes to side control. Has Ryron flattened and unmoving.
8:25 mark. Andre is in north/south. Andre stands briefly and Ryron scrambles around. Side control. Andre working gi tail grips and isolating Ryron's left arm. Knee on belly for Andre. Ryron's head is popping up. Andre working the gi tail/arm isolation still. Ryron scrambles back to full guard and opens it up. Andre jumps over and Ryron gets Andre back to full guard. Andre underhooks and then backs out to a standing position.
6:45 mark. Andre is standing while Ryron butt scoots. Andre goes for two calf grips whiel Ryron goes for the collar. They disengage and resume grip fighting. Andre backing out a bit and goes in hard. Ryron working a toehold and Andre defends. Ryron coming up Andre's leg and forces Andre to bail a bit. Andre back on top and working a leg drag position. Andre stands back up. Starts the passing chain to near side control. Gets shunted back to knee shield. Andre still working hard to pass.
4:30 mark. They stand once more. Grip fighting and pushing. Ryron tries a foot sweep and a trip. Andre kind of inert right now. Andre circles to the middle. Gets grips. Ryron coming forwards. Ryron pulls guard at 3:30. Gets a high guard. Andre defends by standing. Starts to break the guard.
3:00 Andre breaks the guard and Ryron stands. Andre pulls guard at 2:40. Ryron working a pass to the left, but gets shoved back to guard. Andre stands again and circles back to the middle. Standing, Andre pulls guard. Andre hits a very nice overhead sweep to come up top. Ryron pulls mount. Andre back to butterfly guard. Crowd very loudly in favor of Andre. Andre pulls guard once more. Ryron gets tossed over once more, but Andre stays down. Andre gets a high collar grip and working to get something. Ryron goes for a toehold and doesn't get anything much. Andre comes up and threatens a back take. Andre in top butterfly and working to pass guard.
Draw between Andre Galvao and Ryron Gracie.
The post-match speeches are kind of antagonizing in their actual content. Andre basically said that Ryron wasn't playing to win, but to not lose (which means the usual openings someone going for the win leaves open weren't there).
And the Gracie brothers go into a near-Gracie sermon with the Keep It Playful and self-defense stuff. Pssh. Andre really got the better of Ryron and couldn't quite crack him open. That's all it was.
The announcing team has lost all its momentum at this point. It's awkward to listen to them now. Pep it up! Bring someone famous up for a short interview or something. You have like half the BJJ world's luminaries in the building. That's a tremendous resource right there.
Roger Gracie vs. Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida (gi match):
Buchecha in a blue Koral gi, Roger in a white Storm gi.
They start off standing. Roger more upright. Buchecha looks to be faster already, despite being heavier. Roger goes for a high collar grip. Buchecha shoots in for a leg, hops up for a back take and Roger shoves him off. Nice attempt from Almeida there. Roger is slowly going for grips and Buchecha shoots in for a leg and a takedown. Roger goes for half guard and the referee moves them to the middle of the mats. Almeida is on top in half guard, looking for a knee slide, but Roger goes for an X-guard set-up. Turtles up with Almeida's near side leg inside the turtle. Roger staying near motionless in the turtle. Buchecha staying on top of the turtle and has a grip on Roger's far shoulder. Roger gets to his feet as Almeida tries to set up something.
16:45 mark. Not engaging much on the feet. Roger gets grips and pulls guard. Buchecha gets a knee up and goes for a knee slide set-up. Roger keeps the closed guard and starts spinning around. Buchecha tries a toe hold and Roger defends by rolling over. Buchecha briefly tries a kneebar as Roger tangles up the legs and touches the feet himself.
15:40 mark. Buchecha workign a toehold on Roger. Roger spins up to the top! Down to the bottom again! Roger shakes free and comes to the top. Roger pinches Buchecha's knees down in top half guard. Coaches are yelling loudly on both sides. Almeida goes for an underhook with his right hand and has a framing grip with his left, as Roger goes for a behind the collar grip with his left and dislodging feet with his right hand. Back to regular half guard. Almeida tries to rock to the other side, doing a base check. Roger stuffs it and starts to come in more. Roger working to get free of the half guard. Almeida has his legs bunched up in him, but has an open guard going. Roger bringing pressure.
13:00 mark. Roger is dealing with Almeida's open and inverted guard. BUchecha working a tornado guard sweep and gets Roger airborne! But Roger does a head stand and goes back down in guard! Again! Amazing! No sweep!
12:00 mark. Roger in the top of side control on Buchecha and being extremely heavy. Almieda tries to acrobat his way into guard. Goes to a turtle of sorts. Roger has a farside grip and a behind the collar grip. Almeida trying another sweep or backwards roll, but Roger is so heavy.
11:15 mark. Buchecha tries another tornado sweep, but Roger rolls with it and gets to top of full guard. Both guys look tired, but are gripping fiercely. Roger has good posture in the full guard, but isn't working at a fast pace. Almeida is trying to pull Roger down.
9:30 mark. Roger is still in the full guard and both guys are motionless. Buchecha takes energy from the crowd and starts working once more. Roger responds slowly and keeps the posture in the full guard. Almeida is switching grips constantly. Roger is kinda just sitting there.
8:30 mark. Roger stalling, yo. Almeida breaks the posture and gets up on his hip a bit. Roger moves over to flatten him out. Working a standing pass. Almeida opens the guard. Roger to top half. Butterfly now. Roger down and tight. Almeida working a belt grip and sleef grip. Gets the sweep! Roger in butterfly and working a straight armbar. Almeida pulls out and scrambls around to a back take!
7:10: Almeida had a body triangle from the back, but Roger's defense looks good. Roger moving over so Almeida is now in full closed guard.
6:30 mark. Roger has his good posture and seems to be slowing down once more. Almeida attacking the left arm of Roger more often. Has a two on one grip on the sleeve and elbow and goes for a wristlock, only to have it stopped before it really begins. Roger going slow again.
5:30 mark. Almeida has a sleeve and Roger stands. Open guard, Roger collapses and Almeida rolls to turtle and stands. They are standing and Roger pulls guard.
5:00 mark. Almeida standing and Roger trying to sweep with a sleeve grip. Roger doing a DLR to turtle move. Almeida keeps the top position and is trying to flatten Roger out and work to a knee slide pass to Roger's right. Roger has it stopped.
3:40 mark. Still stopped in Roger's half guard. They are grip fighting and Buchecha tries a step back to the other side. Roger doesn't let it go and starts to come upwards. Buchecha threatens a back take, but Roger stands anyways. They tie their belts as they stand.
3:00 mark. Grip fighting on the feet. 2:30 mark passes. 2:20, Buchecha pulls guard. Roger going at a slow pace in establishing his stand-up grips once more.
1:45. Roger in the full guard. Has a high sternum grip on Buchecha, who is trying to go to his right and attack Roger's left side. Roger stands up. Guard opens a scramble. Buchecha scrambles! Goes for an armbar off a back take/turtle scramble!
Roger tries to defend! Buchecha isolates the arm and pulls it back! Oh, it is deep! Are we going to have our first broken bone? No!
Roger scrambles out by clearing the leg over his head and coming up into full guard! They stay there as time elapses.
Draw between Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida and Roger Gracie.
I'd say Roger looked good, but on a look-see basis, the far more agile Buchecha would have won that. Points calculation might be difficult though, as Almeida would have gotten advantages for the submission attempts, but Roger points for the guard passes. Roger's defense is incredible though. That was a terrific match. Almeida is perhaps the fastest big guy in the BJJ world right now and it showed tonight. I wonder how he'd compare to someone like Jon Jones in a combine-type performance.
And Almeida displays his considerable charisma in his post-match speech. Very classy and speaks of watching Roger set the world on fire in the black belt divisions when he was a youngster.
Roger is actually smiling. Wow. This might be the longest speech in Roger's career. He gives credit to Almeida for a very tough match and speaks of his own difficulties with a recent illness and within the match handling the physicality of the younger champion. They walk off the mats and Roger holds Almeida's hand aloft.
The announcers are talking Submission Escape of the Night. Ryron gives it to Roger for the weight disadvantage over Lister's armlock escape. I actually agree, although I think Lovato's kimura submission was better than Kron's armbar.
Who is running this tournament?
Robert Zeps and the Rorion Gracie side of the famous grappling clan put this baby together. The Fightworks Podcast has a short interview with Zeps that explains where he's coming from. It is interesting to note that Zeps is somewhat famous for being an atheist and has sponsored some big conferences on the topic in the past few years. Ralek Gracie, best known in MMA for beating Kazushi Sakuraba at DREAM 14 in 2010 and full time BJJ teacher in the Los Angeles region, is the public face of the Metamoris organization.
Why are these people competing?
Well, first off, they're getting paid a good amount to compete and there's always pride and bragging rights. Every single one of these men has won a significant title in submission grappling and some of them are the most dominant competitors the sport has ever seen. However, there is more to it than that. Every match feature at least one amazing grappler with strong ties to the Gracie clan and now working or living primarily in the United States.
Ryron is Ralek's older brother and probably the best grappler of Rorion's many children. Caio Terra is connected with Paulo Strauch, Reylson Gracie and Cesar Gracie. Xande comes from the Royler Gracie Humaita branch and trained extensively with Helio Gracie. His student, Rafael Lovato Jr. is perhaps the most accomplished American black belt thus far. Kron is the son of Rickson Gracie and has somehow lived up to the often absurd expectations placed upon him by the grappling audience. Otavio Sousa is already a Gracie Barra icon at 26 and is connected with Carlos Gracie Jr., the father of Kayron, Otavio's friend and training partner. Roger Gracie is perhaps the most feared competitor of the last 20 years and the son of Mauricio Gomes and Reila Gracie.
Jeff Glover, Dean Lister and Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida are perhaps the only outliers here.
Glover was taught by Franjinha Miller, who in turn came from the Alliance academy under Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti, a Rolls Gracie student. Glover is known for a super-exciting style that often disregards points and he has had terrific results in no gi events like the ADCCs. His last match with Caio Terra was rather fun and this one promises to be more of the same.
Lister comes from a Rickson lineage (Jeffrey Higgs/Fabio Santos/Rickson) and is a beast on the mats. Although his BJJ journey has not been the smoothest, he has won multiple ADCC titles and actually had a fairly decent MMA career with a short UFC stint included. Lister is known for his leglocks and usually wins very quickly and very dominantly.
Buchecha (the nickname means "Fat Cheeks" in Portuguese) is a Checkmat product under Rodrigo Cavaca who recently won his superheavyweight division and the absolutes of the 2012 Mundials (world championships) in super dramatic fashion. He is extremely athletic for his size and the toehold has been a favorite of his for quite a while, but his game is very diverse and very exciting to watch.