Warning: There be a truckload of GIFS ahead.
The Metamoris Pro event on October 14, 2012 had a stellar series of submission grappling matches. Zombie Prophet, out of his love for all combat sports, has given us many, many GIFs of the best moments of the matches. Those with fragile browsing experiences and a lust for the best of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu matches should tread carefully.
I remind you that the full PPV can be replayed on demand at the Metamoris site for $19.95: http://metamoris.com/live-stream
Caio Terra def. Jeff Glover by armbar. Roughly 14:30 mark.
Rafael Lovato Jr. def. Kayron Gracie by kimura. Roughly 11:15 mark.
Kron Gracie def. Otavio Sousa by armbar. Roughly 17:00 mark.
Xande Ribeiro and Dean Lister battle to a draw.
Andre Galvao and Ryron Gracie battle to a draw.
Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida and Roger Gracie battle to a draw.
First off, we get the best self-referential butt pat in BJJ history. To explain, I have to give you a little backstory. Jeff Glover always pulls wild antics in his match out of a desire to entertain and to amuse himself. He did so in their first match at the World Expo earlier this year and this time, Caio started off with some funny stuff. Glover played with him right back and started backing in Akihiro Gono style. Caio then did the following:
Oh, you silly geese.
The two proceeded to have a wildly entertaining match and both guys readily gave up some interesting positions and potential submissions to try and work for their own back takes, toe holds and armbars. Terra ended up in an armbar/triangle position that Glover initially chilled out in, but realized was more serious than he'd bargained for.
Terra would get the finish after something like 4 solid minutes of struggling to get the arm free. Glover is a tough, tough purple-hipster-glasses-with-no-lenses-wearing dude to finish - even when he gifts a world class competitor 3/4s of a submission.
In the next match, Rafael Lovato Jr. and Kayron Gracie came out ready to brawl. Both men were displaying terrific guard work and bringing serious pressure in their passing games. However, as time went on, it appeared that Lovato Jr. was bypassing Kayron's spider guard several times with some very sweet technique and greater reserves of energy. Rafael worked a side control position into a dominant north/south, complete with a very technical placement of his right foot to trap and isolate Kayron's right arm. The foot placement is key because Lovato Jr. was attacking Kayron's left arm with a wristlock to get it free from the belt grip for a swift and cool kimura finish.
After that, we saw 2012 Mundials champion, Otavio Sousa, go up against Kron Gracie. The match saw both competitors pull guard, struggle to get sweeps set up due to fierce grip fighting and also experience considerable difficultly getting past the guard of the other due to the same grip battles. In the end stages of the match, Kron took advantage of a downturn in Sousa's energy to get into side control and successfully fought the battle to stay there. After transitioning to the other side, Kron immediately isolated Sousa's left arm and went straight into a lovely armbar. I still prefer Lovato Jr.'s finish, but all three submissions (Terra, Kron and Lovato Jr.) received a $5,000 Submission of the Night bonus.
In the next match, Xande Ribeiro reminded people once again why he is very firmly in the discussion for "Best Competitor of the Modern Era" in his match against Dean Lister. Xande constantly stuffed Dean's takedowns, mostly shut down the rolls for leglocks and passed Dean's guard several times. In one very cool sequence, Xande got to a mount-ish position and seized a two on one grip before rolling for an armbar.
Dean defended very well, but Xande got the arm to full extension - and Dean still got out! That head escape/walking escape is taught to many, but honestly, most mortals tap to that armbar. Wow. Dean's arm must be made of the same substance as the neck of Jon Fitch.
Lister displayed his willingness to keep battling throughout and threatened Xande later with a kneebar/toehold combination. However, Xande got out fairly quickly and proceeded to continue positionally dominating Dean until time ran out and a draw was called.
Next up, Andre Galvao positionally dominated and outgrappled Ryron Gracie from bell to bell. However, he could not quite get a finish set up and Ryron barely mounted any effective offense whatsoever. The grappling philosophy of the two was obviously very different and although Ryron displayed admirable defense, the match was somewhat dull at times due to the lack of true contesting going on.
Ryron and his family have adopted a strange characterization of their family's history as their ethos or marketing angle. BJJ or GJJ has strong survival and self-defense components to it, but it is used primarily to win matches and fights. The competitors and fighters of the Gracie clan rarely, if ever, grappled publicly as Ryron did that night. Renzo Gracie, Royler Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Carlson Gracie and even Helio himself would defend attacks and then launch serious attempts to finish matches or fights. Not losing by the rules at hand does not equate to winning and no amount of spin can change that.
In the main event of the night, Roger Gracie and Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida got us back to the "two fierce competitors both trying their keisters off to win" dynamic. Almeida struck first with a toehold attempt that had Roger using his usually impeccable defensive maneuvers to escape.
Roger performed very well in this match and passed Buchecha's guard several times (and had his passed a couple times as well). If there were points being scored, I think he might have won the match. However, the impressive moments really came from Almeida. The tornado sweep he was working on Roger had the 10 time world champion literally doing headstands to defend.
That stuff was bananas, but the following sequence was a whole banana plantation.
It is stunning to realize that Buchecha, at 22 years old, has given us three of the Top 5 Most Exciting BJJ Moments of 2012. There's the already legendary match with Rodolfo Vieira at the 2012 Mundials, the dramatic takedown to mount sequence in the Absolute finals with Leo Nogueira and this - the near arm-breaking of ROGER GRACIE. An enormous round of applause and mucho seminar bucks should be delivered to Almeida for his efforts this year.
All in all, Metamoris Pro was a success for the viewers watching it - even if the announcing team lost momentum or got a little too engaged in "GJJ sell mode". Top notch production values, good camera work, nearly invisible referee work and terrific, terrific matches between amazing competitors made this absolutely worth the 20 dollars.
Here's hoping there are more such events.