Here’s a cool article one of my brown belts Jamey Bazes wrote about my Hudson Valley Martial Arts school Precision MMA.
No one in BJJ has a better bottom side mount than Javier Vazquez
Metamoris 1 was the arguably the most exciting professional jiu-jitsu event ever created. An eclectic assortment of different jiu-jitsu approaches – fast and furious, or slow and methodical, intense or playful all pursuing the ultimate goal of submission. Even when no submission occurred there was a sense that each competitor truly left their heart and soul out on the mat. Metamoris 1 was a landmark, torches were passed, rivalries intensified, questions were answered and even more were asked. Every fan of jiu-jitsu awaited the next event with baited breath.
Metamoris 2 was the worst sequel since The Godfather 3, a failure of colossal proportions unimaginable by even the most pessimistic of individuals. After any horrific tragedy the survivors are left with 1 question…why? Some actions are so deranged that no sense can be made of them; such is the case with Brendan Schaub. The only winner in that situation was Matt Mitrione, who gained a huge army of supporters for his UFC on Fox 8 bout vs Schaub. The question was asked by Rener Gracie, if you had to face Cyborg what would you have done differently? The answer is simple, I would have grappled him. If I boxed Flloyd Mayweather and simply fled the ring every time he came close enough to throw a punch I would not be proud of my performance or kid myself into thinking I somehow benefited the sport of boxing. The match was reminiscent of Nate Quarry’s battle against Kalib Starnes.
The Schaub abomination aside, the evening was full of people fighting tooth and nail for bottom position, tug of war lapel battles and monotonous half-hearted foot lock attempts. If not for Kron Gracie and Shinya Aoki there would have been no hope whatsoever.
The purpose of this diatribe is not solely to vent frustration (however cathartic that may be), but to hopefully offer some suggestions in the hopes that the greatness of Metamoris 1 may one day be repeated.
#1 – Create a closed perimeter
Rorian Gracie wanted to avoid having contestants flee the ring when he thought up the UFC. The use of a cage wall accomplished this end. While it is understandable that Metamoris wants to differentiate itself from MMA, some sort of physical barrier is necessary. A padded wall of plexi glass hockey rink esque barrier is necessary. Even in the name of safety the change should be made since multiple times fighters were nearly thrown from the mat.
#2 – No judges
Truthfully Metamoris is in many ways a repackaging of Rose Gracie’s “Gracie Nationals” tournaments. Rose got it right, you can’t get your hand raised unless you go for it. You must pursue the submission, period. The most exciting matches of Metamoris 1 were Xande vs Lister and Roger vs Buchecha. However, those matches were made amazing by the fact that the fighters wanted to win so badly that they constantly attacked. Beautiful submissions coupled with amazing escapes occurred as a result of submission being the only path to victory. The finality of a winner is not terribly important in this event since it is not a tournament and not about promoting the fighters as much as promoting the art. Also, in both cases the court of public opinion picked a clear winner anyway. The ironic part of Metamoris 2 was judges were brought in to prevent a draw and the first two matches were judged as a draw. Finally, it may be a moot point since Kron submitted Aoki, but I couldn’t help but feel like the game was rigged against Shinya since two of the judges could not easily remain impartial – JJ Machado is part of Kron’s extended family and Pedro Sauer is his father’s top black belt, it just seemed unfair if you ask me.
#3 – Disqualifications for stalling, timidity or flat out running away
If a competitor turns his back and runs away then they aren’t there to compete. 5 Minutes into the Brendan Schaub / Cyborg match it became apparent that Schaub wasn’t going to engage anywhere, on the feet or the ground. Simply end the contest and move on. I am a fan of a zero tolerance no warning system, just automatic DQ for obvious offensive. This would be the stalling equivalent to the IBJJF’s knee reaping rule. After the first couple of DQ’s the message would be crystal clear, grapple or lose.
#4 – Metamoris Tryouts
The problem is that grapplers are being brought in and the promoters simply cross their fingers and hope that they will be exciting. I believe that elite grapplers should apply be brought in and made to roll for 20 minutes. The ones who get to compete are those who attempt submissions and are exciting to watch. I don’t care if they aren’t the best or if they get tapped out, if they put on a show they get a chance to compete. Also let it be known that those who do not perform will not be invited back.
#5 – Cash Incentives
I don’t know how athletes are compensated at Metamoris, but putting a carrot on a stick would help encourage action. If a competitor knew they would make 50% more if they hit a submission then you can bet they would be hunting for them. The UFC has done this with performance based pay, the problem is MMA is very dangerous so going for a submission and failing can cost you quite a few brain cells. Jiu-Jitsu does not carry the same risks so hopefully competitors will be compelled to pursue a finish in order to fatten their wallets.
Brian McLaughlin is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and head instructor at Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY a Hudson Valley Martial Arts School
CFFC 24 – the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
My Atlantic City adventure started with Corey Bleaken taking the cage against tough as nails Paul Felder. The fight was high on drama from the start, with Corey getting clipped with a hard cross and waking up to find himself in a fully sunk rear naked choke. In this instance quitting was the most readily available option, but even half unconscious and unable to breath Corey escaped, seemingly by the force of pure will. He not only survived, but was able to get on top and mount some offense, shattering Felder’s nose in the process. Down one round Corey fought with a heightened sense of urgency and took round two on the strength of his top control.
When the bell sounded for the start of round 3 the crowd was on its feet. Both fighters clearly exhausted, bloody and determined put on an incredible display of heart and courage. Corey found himself on the bottom, but flawlessly executed multiple Heisaman escapes (click here to learn) to reverse and get back to his feet. Ultimately the pressure from Felder was too much and he took home the victory. Classy in victory, Felder was very respectful towards everyone at AMA Fight Club and reminded the crowd of how tough Bleaken was for the entire 15 minutes.
On the one hand the loss is a set back – an unwanted bump in the road. However, for each young fighter coming up the ranks there are certain unanswered questions. Will he fold under pressure? Can he overcome adversity? Will his cardio hold up for 15 minutes? Can he recover from being dropped? Will he look for a way out when defeat is near? Corey has faced these crucibles and shown he possesses an iron will and indomitable fighting spirit. Progress is not always measured by tallies of wins and losses. Through the blood and sweat of this fight Corey may not have found victory, but in some ways he discovered something far more valuable. May God help the next poor soul who shares the cage with Mr. Bleaken.
Following Corey’s battle all eyes were on Sean Santella. “Shorty” was looking to extend his win streak to five straight. As fight time approaches Shorty slowly goes through a transformation. He begins as an affable teammate and slowly transcends into a laser focused assassin. Once he completes his warmup and reviews his game plan his smile is replaced with a scowl. “It’s MY TIME!” he repeats louder each time as the fight approaches. Positive affirmations mixed with relentless intensity foreshadow the night’s performance.
Mike Constantino turns to me and predicts a Shorty victory via rear naked choke. I shake my head and tell him “Triangle…round 1″. Mike likes my premonition.
The fight starts with a long feeling out process, Shorty in the unique position of being the taller man. As expected Morgan shoots in and Shorty immediately begins his submission assault. A failed guillotine attempt brings the fight to full guard. Shorty traps the arm and slaps on his patented “Giant Cirlce” triangle. Morgan fights valiantly and attempts to slam his way out (unless you’re Quinton Jackson you should always posture out of a triangle rather than slamming imo), but ultimately passes out after refusing to submit.
The only thing more impressive than Shorty’s Jiu-jitsu transitions was his post fight break dancing routine. For his efforts Shorty earned a nice “Submission of the Night Bonus” (Corey was awarded Fight of the Night). This was without question the best fight camp and performance of Shorty’s MMA career. Winning 9 out of his last 10 fights, Shorty has proven he is ready to step up to the big leagues. With victories over past and current Strikeforce and UFC veterans Shorty isn’t simply ready to compete in the best organization, he could challenge for the title.
The other star performance came from my training partner and friend Joe Pinto. Joe showed age is just a number as he went out and dominated his 20 year old adversary en route to a TKO victory. Joe used some patented AMA ground and pound tricks to eventually progress to back mount, flatten his opponent out and rain down blows until his hand was raised. I watched this fight from the stands and apologize for the hearing loss I inflicted on those around me.
Live in Poughkeepsie and want to be the next MMA Champion?