2012 was an exciting year because of the efforts of pushing ‘sub-only’ tournaments and events. Rose Gracie was busy organizing her Gracie World Tournaments and there was also the first Metamoris event. It is clear that with these rules, a fight will be naturally more exciting to watch especially if we get to witness the following 5 dream matches in 2013.
1. Rodolfo Vieira vs Marcus Almeida ‘Buchecha’
These two giants have gone at it several times already, but Buchecha’s win over Rodolfo this year at the World Championships was significant since he eliminated the favorite early in the tournament and became the absolute world champion. The match itself is thought to be one of the best of all time and a rematch would treat us all to another explosive match.
2. Caio Terra vs Bruno Malfacine
These guys have been going at it for years, which is great since that just heats up the intensity of all their matches. This year, Malfacine defeated Terra, but very controversially. Another match between the two aces would be great especially if it’s in another Metamoris (assuming there will hopefully be another one in 2013) with submission-only rules. This way, the two champions can settle their rivalry in an absolute fashion.
3. Leandro Lo vs Kron Gracie
The current lightweight world champion, Leandro Lo, has been on fire this year in 2012. However, despite all his success, he is not undefeated. Of the handful of competitors that have defeated him, a rematch with Kron Gracie would create the most exciting match because of their style clash. Kron plays a very deceptive open guard style while Lo plays an aggressive non-stop attacking game. With a set up like this, especially in a 15-20 minutes time frame, someone is going to tap – neither of these guys stall.
4. Rafael Mendes vs Augusto ‘Tanquinho’ Mendes
Everyone has already seen Cobrinha and Rafael Mendes clash on many occasions with Rafa eventually coming out on top. However, a new rivalry is now developing between Rafael Mendes and the iron-gripped Augusto ‘Tanquinho’ Mendes. Tanquinho was successful in gaining a referee’s decision win over Rafa at the 2011 World Pro in Abu Dhabi. But, later that same year, Rafa got his revenge by defeating Tanquinho just by a few advantages. The rivalry is still strong between the two featherweight kings and a sub-only would hopefully prove who is the better man.
5. BJ Penn vs Nick Diaz
This is a real dream fight since neither of these UFC fighters compete in BJJ regularly. However, both competitors have a love for BJJ and still train consistently. We know that Nick Diaz did show an interest in competing against Braulio earlier this year (even though he didn’t show up) and BJ is most likely nearing the end of his MMA career, so perhaps some BJJ competition could keep him busy. It’s also quite possible that BJ would sure like some revenge against Diaz anyway, so why not do it via jiu-jitsu? Either way, both competitors have exciting jiu-jitsu and it would be a spectacular match. It’s not impossible for this to happen. Perhaps one day the right people can organize it – perhaps even the main event of a Metamoris – if Nick actually shows up.