Eddie Bravo has the opportunity to duplicate one of jiu-jitsu's most shocking results when he takes on Royler Gracie at Metamoris 3. Bravo, a brown belt at the time, caught Gracie with a triangle choke at the 2003 Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling championships.
Since then, there have been multiple failed attempts to organize a rematch. But March 29 will (almost certainly) see the long awaited bout take place.
Bravo sat down for an in-depth interview with MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas. The interview was filled with classic Bravo moments, such as advocating his no-gi only approach, his views on other sports and a sudden detour into the crazy with some 9/11 truther talk.
Here's Bravo talking about wanting to have fun against Gracie:
Yeah, me, too, man. In my eyes, if I can beat him twice, that removes all doubt I got lucky the first time. As long as he doesn't crush me and beat me really quick and I put on a good, valiant effort and I throw some heat on him; as long as it's a good, entertaining match, in the long run it might not matter who wins or loses. I think them most important thing for jiu-jitsu is, this is an opportunity to take jiu-jitsu to the mainstream where it should've been a long time ago.
Yes, I want to win. Yes, I've trained like a madman. I'm stronger than ever, my cardio is better than ever. My jiu-jitsu is better than ever, thanks to Jean Jacques Machado. I want to win. I'm going out there to win, but the most import thing - for everybody, for the sake of jiu-jitsu - is we put on an exciting show, a show that people can't stop talking about.
His views on wrestling and boxing being boring:
...nobody watches wrestling. All these people fighting for wrestling, 'Save wrestling, keep it in the Olympics', I want wrestling to be saved in the Olympics, I never watch it. I wrestled, I never watch it. Any time wrestling comes on, I think it's boring as f--k. It's a game of dudes trying to tackle each other. When you have jiu-jitsu out there, it's hard to watch wrestling. Just like with MMA, it's hard to watch boxing.
For a long time, boxing was still king and MMA was underground, but everybody in the MMA community, they came from the boxing community. Myself included, I was already into boxing. I was a boxing fanatic, then I saw the UFC and my unbiased opinion was like, 'This is way better because the only reason I'm into boxing is because it's the most extreme sport out there.' Man to man, they're just trying to knock each other out. I thought it was the most extreme and then when you look at MMA, the UFC, oh s--t, you can go way more extreme. You can actually fight on the ground? Fighting on the ground is considered fighting? Oh my god, it is. It looks awesome. It opened up a new dimension, so anybody trying to tell me that boxing was better than the UFC, I just thought they were retarded and I still think they're retarded.
How could you like boxing, which is a violent sport, they're trying to knock each other out, but you don't like MMA? To me, that's a clear example there's something wrong with your brain. And that's the same thing with submission only and points. If you are a jiu-jitsu fan and prefer a points system and then submission only, there's something wrong with your brain.
And then, suddenly when talking about the value of no-gi over gi in MMA, Bravo goes into conspiracy theory mode:
Roger Gracie said 80 percent of BJJ with the gi is useless in MMA. He said it! Rickson Gracie, quoted, 70 percent of Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the gi is useless in MMA. These guys are saying it. I've been saying it for 11 years and now they're saying it.
There should not be any debate anymore. It's ridiculous. It's like debating Tower 7. Demolition expert after demolition expert after demolition expert is on video watching it go down and telling you it's a controlled demo and there's no demolition experts on the planet who will get on video and say fires brought down Tower 7. But yet, people will still believe the government or believe that fires brought down Tower 7 when that's never happened in the history of skyscrapers ever. No plane in Tower 7. Demolition experts, 2,000 structural engineers, architectural engineers, they all confirm it was a controlled demolition. Yeah, people still believe the government because the government said, 'Eh, it was fires. It got hot.'
This is nothing new for Bravo. He has been on Joe Rogan's podcast where the two of them have discussed this nonsense. Hell, Rogan has talked about it with Alex Jones (who never met a situation lacking a sinister conspiracy that could be turned into a DVD) and with fellow 9/11 truther Rosie O'Donnell:
The good news is, we at least kind of understand why people believe this stuff. Even if it makes little sense on the surface. As Scientific American discussed in 2012:
Such examples, along with others in my years on the conspiracy beat, are emblematic of a trend I have detected that people who believe in one such theory tend to believe in many other equally improbable and often contradictory cabals. This observation has recently been confirmed empirically by University of Kent psychologists Michael J. Wood, Karen M. Douglas and Robbie M. Sutton in a paper entitled "Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories," published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science this past January. The authors begin by defining a conspiracy theory as "a proposed plot by powerful people or organizations working together in secret to accomplish some (usually sinister) goal" that is "notoriously resistant to falsification … with new layers of conspiracy being added to rationalize each new piece of disconfirming evidence." Once you believe that "one massive, sinister conspiracy could be successfully executed in near-perfect secrecy, [it] suggests that many such plots are possible." With this cabalistic paradigm in place, conspiracies can become "the default explanation for any given event—a unitary, closed-off worldview in which beliefs come together in a mutually supportive network known as a monological belief system."
This monological belief system explains the significant correlations between different conspiracy theories in the study. For example, "a belief that a rogue cell of MI6 was responsible for [Princess] Diana's death was correlated with belief in theories that HIV was created in a laboratory … that the moon landing was a hoax … and that governments are covering up the existence of aliens." The effect continues even when the conspiracies contradict one another: the more participants believed that Diana faked her own death, the more they believed that she was murdered.
If Bravo has concerns about taking jiu-jitsu mainstream, maybe he should leave the crazy talk at home.