How to Improve Metamoris – Part 2
Shorten the time of the rounds
Twenty minutes for these types of matches are just too long. I understand that by having twenty-minute rounds, you give athletes more time to get a submission and it’s easier to wear-out an opponent - eventually having them succumb to a submission. They are also useful for making the event longer, thus giving viewers the feeling that the value of their purchase is higher. However, a boring twenty-minute match is probably not worth the trade of possibly seeing a submission at some point, because the more evenly matched the athletes are, the more boring those matches will be.
So what to do? Well, ten minutes is an ample amount of time for gi or no-gi. That, with the combination of a submission bonus, will motivate athletes to push harder for those ten minutes. Even if there is no submission, at least both athletes were hungry for the bonus, so you can tell they gave it their all. It automatically creates a more entertaining match.
From the promoter’s perspective, this kind of strategy will cost more money. Firstly, they will have to have more matchups since most full-time matches will be cut in half. They can’t risk a night where every match ends by submission and the event is concluded much earlier than anticipated. Even if it was an entertaining event, people will feel like they didn’t get their money’s worth.
Secondly, the promotion will have to spend more money to pay submission bonuses. It may even be worth it to have a “submission of the night” award as an additional bonus as the amount of submissions per night rise in the future. This gives a double incentive to athletes and it also advertises and reminds viewers that a bonus is available. It will raise the viewers’ anticipation since they know more cash is on the line for the athletes.
There is nothing wrong with more mismatches
I think we have all seen this over and over again, especially with MMA in Japanese events like PRIDE and K-1. I’m not saying major mismatches are the key to entertainment, like David and Goliath matches, but there is nothing wrong with putting together two slightly different athletes against each other, where there is a clear underdog. It makes matches more entertaining for many reasons.
Firstly, most people love upsets and love to cheer for the underdog. This gives them someone to route for and automatically makes the whole experience more exciting. If the underdog wins, it adds to that excitement. It also develops a great storyline along the way, like revenge matches. The best example of something like this was when Eddie Bravo defeated Royler back in 2003. Not only did it launch the career of an influential figure in BJJ, but it set the stage for a very anticipated rematch, even if it was a decade later.
Secondly, if the underdog loses, the chances of that happening by submission are quite high. The larger the gap in skill between the two athletes will result in a greater chance of a more entertaining submission. Just think of when you roll with someone considerably less experienced than you. You are probably going to showboat and pull off some submission you’ve always wanted to do. Well, in many ways, that will work here as well. So why not give the fans something they all want to see?