This Saturday will mark the third outing for Metamoris. The submission-only grappling super event has been wildly popular among hard core and casual martial arts fans, and this card has six amazing matches with some of the hottest names in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
My pal Crazy Aaron at Kountermove is a black belt under Saulo Ribeiro and loves to promote the art he's devoted many years of his life to. You all know what that means...a freebie tourney for our readers. I have a special breakdown for the casual fan from my other pal, Christie Sullivan. She's put together a solid feature for us, and for those of you saying to yourselves, 'Why should I read anything some girl writes about BJJ?', Christie is a brown belt under Ralph Gracie, so she knows her stuff.
Metamoris 3: The Grand Stage for professional Jiu-Jitsu
By Christie Sullivan
In MMA, the rematch is a compelling fight story. We've seen grudge rematches (Ortiz vs. Shamrock 2), rematches to test who fares the test of time (Liddell vs. Jackson 2) and rematches to settle the mysticism of whether the first go-around's winner simply "got lucky" (Silva vs. Weidman 2). The appeal of a rematch isn't unique to MMA -- it draws the curiosity and passions of fans across all combat sports because a fight with a complex story makes a fight come to life.
So follows the story of Royler Gracie vs. Eddie Bravo, a rematch eleven years in the making. When Royler Gracie met Eddie Bravo at the ADCC grappling championship in 2003, Royler, a Brazilian black belt and one of the top Gracie's at that time, was the favorite over Eddie, the American and then brown belt under Jean Jacques Machado. After almost ten minutes of back and forth in their no-gi match, Bravo submitted Royler by triangle from guard.
Many called Bravo "lucky" and the mysticism of their match only grew when Bravo stopped competing all together after their meeting. Both men went on to have very successful jiu-jitsu academies, with Bravo focusing on teaching / instructionals and Royler on his MMA career and the jiu-jitsu tournament circuit. Then, in 2011 it looked like they'd meet again at ADCC, but contractual disagreements forced the organization to scrap the rematch.
In comes Metamoris 3. The event is a six-match super fight card. Participants are by invitation-only and hand selected by the event's creator, Ralek Gracie (nephew of Royler). Each match is 20 minutes long, with no judge, and no points awarded. If no submission occurs, the fight is declared a draw.
The card includes match-ups in the gi and no-gi. The nature of the format allows a casual jiu-jitsu fan to follow along without knowing any intricacies of scoring within sport jiu-jitsu. Plus, any avid MMA fan will see quite a few familiar faces on the mats this installment-- including Dean Lister, Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Vinny Magalhaes.
This Saturday (March 29), Royler and Bravo deliver the rematch their teams and jiu-jitsu fans have been salivating over for a decade. It's a grudge match of the old vs. new generation, a test of time and the test of "luck".
The L.A. based event is sold-out, but you can order the livestream for $20 here: http://metamoris.com/live-stream. The live-stream commentary is led by UFC veteran/FOX Sports Analyst Kenny Florian and jiu-jitsu legend, Jeff Glover.
Here's a breakdown of the event's other 5 bouts, including epic preview trailers!
Eddie Bravo X Royler Gracie (No-Gi)
What to look for: Bravo's signature position is his "rubber guard", which is exactly what it sounds like, a flexible guard. This guard is what Bravo used to set up his triangle finish on Royler back in 2003. Royler, is more of a top game player. Royler is likely to take this top-game, passing style route once again in their rematch.
Clark Gracie X Rafael "Rafa" Mendes (Gi)
What to look for: Clark's signature move is his omaplata. The omaplata is a shoulder lock from guard. Rafa (and his brother) is known for the berimbolo and smash passing. The berimbolo is a sweep to back take off one's open guard. The smash pass is an explosive combination of a leg drag, dropping your weight and getting past an opponent's open guard. Rafael is an established competitor as a 6x World champion and 2x ADCC champion. Clark earned his first major jiu-jitsu title in 2013 when he took gold at the Pan Ams.
Keenan Cornelius X Vinny Magalhaes (No-Gi)
What to look for: Keenan has been the "Hot Topic" in sport jiu-jitsu since he earned the "grand slam" at purple belt in 2012, winning both his division and the open weight at the IBJJF European Open, Brazilian Nationals, Pan Ams and World Championships. Now a black belt, the 22 year old has been on a competition tear, defeating some of the sport's biggest names at black belt. Vinny, is a long time MMA and no-gi jiu-jitsu mainstay. The 29 year old is no stranger to the grappling/jiu-jitsu circuit. He's a decorated jiu-jitsu fighter winning the IBJJF World Championships in 2002, 2005, 2007 as well as earning bronze at the 2009 ADCC and then gold in 2011. Keenan and Vinny are both guard players, Keenan utilizing more of an open guard and Vinny a rubber guard player.
Renato "Babalu" Sobral X Dean Lister (No-Gi)
What to look for: Here's a matchup MMA fans and long time grappling fans can savor. Lister is a 3x ADCC champion, 2x Sambo champion and holds an MMA record of 12-7, with 10 wins coming by way of submission. Lister is best known for his vicious kneebars and heel hooks. Babalu, also a longtime grappler and MMA star, has 16 of his 32 MMA wins by way of submission. He's fought in almost every MMA organization including the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and OneFC. Since retiring from MMA last year, he's made a return to the jiu-jitsu competition circuit, competing in both the 2013 Master Jiu-Jitsu World Championships and the 2014 Pan Ams, where he placed 3rd.
Guilherme "Gui" Mendes X Samir Chantre (Gi)
What to look for: Guilherme Mendes, a 3x black belt World Champion and the other half of what is known as the Mendes Brothers duo, has a similar game to his younger brother of one year, Rafael Mendes. Expect Gui to use either a leg drag passing game, berimbolo and/or 50/50 (double guard) positions against his opponent. Samir, came to the U.S. as a black belt, but has had most of his black belt training under the watchful eye of Caio Terra. Samir is a guard player, favoring the 50/50 position and submissions from guard.
Sean Roberts X Zak Maxwell (Gi)
What to look for: These two competitors garnered their respective fan-followings and impressive accolades as young jiu-jitsu athletes moving up the colored belt ranks. Zak, a Gracie Humaita black belt & world champion has wins over jiu-jitsu royalty, Kron Gracie and seasoned black belt, Marcelo Mafra. Sean, a Ralph Gracie black belt, gained notoriety throughout competing in 150+ jiu-jitsu tournaments, along with an impressive 12-1 gi record at the BJJ Kumite challenge, where he competed alongside some of the world's best brown belts at the time, including Keenan Cornelius. Sean is a flexible guard player, who favors calf slicers and triangles.
Now that you've got all the information you need, it's time to pick your winning team and make some free cash. Before I link you guys, I wanted to give you some standard information about Kountermove.
Players use a $25,000 artificial salary cap to draft 5 fighters from the card before each event begins. Eachfighter has a salary designated by Kountermove -- salaries range from $3,000 to $8,000. The winners are determined based on how the fight plays out rather than simply a fight's outcome (pick'em format). Kountermove calculates a fighter's fantasy score based on the number of strikes, takedowns, submissions, dominant positions, and rounds won. Scoring data from the fights flows into the site in near real-time, so players can monitor their teams as the event happens. The data used in calculating a fighter's score is provided by UFC's official stats provider, FightMetric.
The site was started with the idea that MMA in general must market "up and coming" fighters to become a truly mainstream sport. "There are many great fighters out there that no one knows about because so much of marketing in MMA is geared toward the top fighters" said Aaron Ard, a co-founder of Kountermove.com, "we wanted to create a game that would create interest and engagement in preliminary fights as well as the headliners." Statistics are bearing this out; over 85% of Kountermove players' teams have at least one fighter competing on the preliminary card. No Kountermove player has won a major tournament without a preliminary card fighter on their team.
Here's the link to the $250 tourney:
You can follow Kountermove via their Twitter account, @Kountermove
Disclaimer: Kountermove is not an advertiser on Bloody Elbow, nor are we being paid to advertise the contest. They offered to provide Bloody Elbow readers with the free tournament and are fully responsible for the contest and any associated prize payouts.