Metamoris 2 was an improvement over the last event for many reasons, even though there is always some sort of disappointment for the viewers. Here are a few points to consider about the upcoming Metamoris 3…
The goal should be to win.
In the first Metamoris, Ryron Gracie showed us how good of a defense he had against Andre Galvao. He proved that jiu-jitsu is a self-defense art before anything else and that you can playfully repel your opponent. And that’s great and important for all of us practitioners to remember, but not at an event like this. If Metamoris is to be successful, the focus should always be to submit your opponent and win. It seems that the goal of Metamoris is to be the UFC of jiu-jitsu, and that’s great. But if it’s to find a level of longevity and not become a fossil event in time, we need to witness aggressive grappling. It’s the submission that will attract the mainstream audience, not ‘self-defense’ jiu-jitsu. The fights need to display something that doesn’t require explanation, which is hard when it comes to jiu-jitsu. So this leads to the next point.
Metamoris should not only be for practitioners.
Right now jiu-jitsu is going through a phase where it needs to find a way to be impressive as a spectator sport if it wants to grow quicker. MMA has the natural appeal of it’s striking - it’s brutish and people like that. Even when watching judo, the audience is in anticipation of the big throw, the ippon. Jiu-jitsu has submissions as it’s ace card and it needs to use that to it’s maximum potential in terms of eventual marketing for the main stream. A choke or arm-lock are things that new spectators can grasp easily. If you bring some friends that doesn’t train to watch an event like Metamoris, you should be able to explain everything in one sentence:
“Hey, what’s the point of this event?”
“They have to try to submit each other with things like chokes or armlocks.”
And that’s it. If the fights are exciting and submission happen, people will slowly start to learn more about the sweeps and positions that eventually lead to the submission. Unlike MMA, jiu-jitsu is a sport that anyone can train at any time and at any pace.
Metamoris is on the cusp of having the ability to really present jiu-jitsu to the public but if it’s going to be pure jiu-jitsu, then it has to show off the pros and hide the cons. Performances like Ryron’s, and especially Brendan Schaub’s, only do a disservice to, not only the practitioner that watch the event now, but also for the image of the sport for the non-practitioners that will eventually take interest.
Lastly, what is really exciting about Metamoris is their ability to combine big MMA names with our sport. Metamoris 2 presented Shinya Aoki, a big fan favorite. Metamoris 3 will feature Eddie Bravo versus Royler Gracie, which is a rematch that everyone has been waiting for quite some time. Some other names that would be great to see; Ben Henderson, George St. Pierre, BJ Penn, Nick/Nate Diaz, Vitor Belfort…and this is only a taste of the top BJJ + MMA names that Metamoris has the ability to pull in. We hope that they can continue to evolve and make the most sensible decisions.