Things got off to a rough start with three less than exciting matches, but things turned around after the intermission when the announcement of Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie main event of Metamoris III got the energy going again. The main event really seemed to salvage the event as the negativity from the first three matches overshadowed some good, if a little a little slow, matches in the second half of the evening.
If nothing else this event busted the myth that submission only matches are always more exciting and have no stalling when compared to point jiu jitsu matches. Still it is an interesting format and should not be cast aside until we can determine if the lack of action tonight was a result of match making, the new judges, or if this is really what submission only matches will look like.
For full play-by-play check out Ben Thapa's awesome work on the event coverage.
Kron Gracie defeats Shinya Aoki by Guillotine Choke (No Gi)
After a few minutes of standing and feeling each other out, Kron jumped to closed guard. Aoki played low in his guard and Kron was able to threaten a guillotine and they rolled over a few times as Aoki defended. Kron then looked like he as going to let go, but then went back to the guillotine choke, rolled into the mount and finished the choke for an event, and possibly promotion saving finish.
Rodolfo Vieira defeats Braulio Estima by Decision (Gi)
Estima wanted nothing to do with Rodolfo's judo game and pulled guard right away. Braulio went right to his strength, the spider guard and it Rodolfo struggled mightily to pas, the grip game of Braulio negating the pressure passing game.
Rodolfo was able to pass the guard, after a 10 minute battle, but Braulio was able to invert and got back to guard. Braulio used his foot in Rodolfo's gi to stop Rodolfo's passes and frustrate him. At the end of the match Rodolfo got around Braulio's guard and threatened a very close armbar.
Andre Galvao defeats Rafael Lovato Jr. by Decision (Gi)
The energy was up the building going into this match after the video announcing Metamoris III: Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie, and Galvao and Lovato got things going after a very slow start to the evening on the first three matches.
They engaged in a very tactical judo grip battle and Galvao attempted a few flying triangles, one that he came rather close to locking up. Then things really got going with some nice throw attempts and Galvao really getting after Lovato's guard, passing it, threatening to take the back, and attempting a flying armbar as time expired. It was a very good match with a little of everything for grappling fans.
Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu defeats Brendan Schaub by Decision (No Gi)
This match was a flat out disgrace for Brendan Schuab. He spent almost the entire time refusing to engage and refusing to grapple with Cyborg. Abreu was very frustrated at times, when it became clear Schaub had no interest in grappling with him.
The best parts of this match were the jokes and taunts the crowd began throwing at Schaub and the fact that Cyborg called him out for not engaging him. There was a brief bout of action at the end of the match, but on the whole it was awful and it was all on Schaub.
Michelle Nicolini and Mackenzie Dern ends in a draw (Gi)
This match got off to an exciting and scrambling start as Dern challenged Nicolini's guard, and nearly passed at times. Things slowed down as Nicolini rallied and they spent a long time in the double guard pull position. They had some excellent grip battles, Nicolini came very close to a toe hold, but Dern desperately controlled one of Nicolini's hands, preventing the submission.
Then Dern jumped a triangle and transitioned to an armbar, but Nicolini turned it into a knee bar that Dern just escaped. In the end this math wasn't much to write home about, Nicolini came very close with another kneebar attempt at the end. This was the second draw of the night and it should have been a win for Nicolini, but again not dominant positions were taken so the judges didn't award a winner.
Victor Estima and JT Torres ends in a draw. (Gi)
The night got off to a slow start with a prolonged footlock battle between Victory and Torres. It was a very technical battle, but there were no real attempts to advance position, they stayed mostly locked in a state of leg entanglement. What as nice to see Estima locking up a reverse 50/50 guard, which is illegal in IBJJF competition. Both attempted several submissions, Torres had a few nice toe hold attempts, Estima had a sneaky kneebar attack, but they went the distance. In the end it appeared that Estima had been more effective but it was declared a draw.
Thanks to Gif Guru Zombie Prophet for the gifs of tonight's action