Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa: Competitor, Teacher, Leader

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Feb 2, 2017 2:45:00 PM

Formiga.jpg

 

 

Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa is one of the more important jiu-jitsu figures to have popped up in the last decade, not just because of his competitive skill but also his ability to gather top athletes and be a leader for his influential team. The ability to lead and organize has been crucial to jiu-jitsu’s growth in the last few decades. While competitors and athletes do a great job of spreading the sport internally, it is the organization leaders, like Formiga, that arrange gyms and organizations to discover and raise new athletes and jiu-jitsu fans.

When it comes to competition, Formiga, meaning “ant” in Portuguese, is the 2011 New York Open champion and the 2002 Brazilian national champion amongst many other high-level competition medals. However, one of Formiga’s greatest achievements was co-creating the Soul Fighters jiu-jitsu team that brought together some of the best athletes in the sport.

Formiga is a Rio de Janeiro native who started jiu-jitsu at the young age of 11 after he saw Royce Gracie in the UFC. He then began his training with Andre ‘Dedeco,’ and after some years of hard mat time Formiga received his black belt from him at the age of 19 - a great age to really continue to train and develop his black belt skills. It is indeed very fortunate for someone to earn their black belt so early. They are able to gain experience competing in the adult division at black belt, which becomes physically harder for those who earn their black belts after the age of 30. This fortune gave Formiga plenty of time to hone his skills as with many other early black belts.

Six years later, Formiga and some of his friends, including world champion Augusto ‘Tanquinho” Mendes, joined forces to create the Soul Fighters team which would be a collaboration of several teams coming together to give everyone involved a better training atmosphere. Very often when a team is small and everyone trains together often, teammates begin to know each others’ games so well that they do not have a chance to practice against different body types and styles. When several teams unite, they are able to test their skills in a non-competitive environment. Going to competition is nice but the preparation for serious competition is heavy and can also cause serious injury. This way, people can train without any of these problems.

The school that Formiga and his friends opened was a great success and still runs out of Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro – a nice family area of town near the core of the city. The team also spread across the world with several affiliates and attracted top athletes like Osvaldo Queixinho, Manuel Diaz, Joao Gabriel Rocha, Diogo Araujo, and many others.

Eventually Formiga’s instructor made the move to the United States in 2005 and extended a similar invitation to him. It took some time for Formiga to think about it because of his commitments and love for his country, but ultimately he took the opportunity to move and teach in the gym in Connecticut.

 Some recent accomplishments, among many others, include:

2016 NY IBJJF Spring Open Championship- Master 1 Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

2016 IBJJF Pan American Championship- Master 1 Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

2016 IBJJF Pan American Championship- Master 1 Open Division- 2nd Place

2015 U.S. Open- Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

2015 U.S. Open- Open Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

2015 World Master Championship- Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

2015 World Master Championship- Open Weight division- 2nd Place

2015 Boston IBJJF Summer Open Championship-Open Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

2015 Boston IBJJF Summer Open Championship-Open Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

2015 NY IBJJF Summer Open Championship-Open Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

2015 NY IBJJF Summer Open Championship-Weight Division- 1st Place Champion

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The Dynamic Duo of Jiu Jitsu

Posted by admin

Jan 17, 2017 11:15:00 AM

Q and Samir.jpg

 

When it comes to jiu-jitsu competition, one can say that Osvaldo “Queixinho” Augusto Moizinho and Samir Chantre are the Batman and Robin of the scene. The only thing is that it’s hard to say which one is Batman and which one is Robin. Regardless of this labeling, both train together on the same team and have been competing together for many years – giving each other the support needed to succeed.

Both these athletes boast very impressive and prestigious title resumes. “Queixinho,” meaning “little chin” in Portuguese, is a consecutive 3-time World No Gi champion, winning titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In addition to this, he is also the current World Masters champion and has beaten some of the best names in the sport.

Samir Chantre has no particular nickname, he is simply known by his actual name even though it’s very common for Brazilians to tag on some sort of descriptive nickname. Samir is also a 3-time world champion, but not consecutively. His titles are from 2010, 2014 and 2016. He is also a 2-time Pan American No-Gi champion. Both Queixinho and Samir have plenty of other titles, but these are their greatest achievements.

Both their careers started around the same time. Queixinho started at the age of 8 with judo in Rio de Janeiro and tried various other martial arts. But it was only at the age of 16 that he was introduced to jiu-jitsu and decided to pursue it as his main martial art. He joined the team, Brazil 021, (‘021’ being the area code for Rio de Janeiro) under Andre Terencio who took Queixinho all the way up to brown belt. After Terencio’s move to Chicago, Quiexinho continued with the Soul Fighters team, still in Rio. Quiexinho eventually got his black belt from the Soul Fighters founders in 2011 and went to compete in the United States where he was invited by Caio Terra and Samir Chantre to join their team. Queixinho accepted and got on the first airplane. During these years he competed aggressively and won his best titles. But in 2015 he respectfully left the Caio Terra Association and became the head jiu-jitsu instructor at the Gracie Fighter Gym.

Samir Chantre’s story varies a litte from his friend’s. Samir is slightly younger yet he started competing one year earlier than Queixinho. He was also born in Rio de Janeiro and was first exposed to jiu-jitsu at the age of 9 at the grading of his brother. After this he joined the Fabricio Martins academy in Copacabana and then joined Sergio Bolao’s gym, a student of Carlson Gracie. Eventually Samir took a year off to attempt a career in soccer to only return to jiu-jitsu after he decided he wouldn’t go through with it. He then joined another gym, Alan Moraes’, and trained there until brown belt. Eventually he came to the United States on suggestion from his friend, Caio Terra, and also opened his own gym in 2010 after receiving his black belt in 2009 from Alan Moraes. Nowadays Chantre has his own team with Quiexinho and Milton Bastos called Ares Jiu-Jitsu.

 

 

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Five Grappling Super League Preview

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Jul 30, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Yuri5

In the last couple years, BJJ competition has taken a turn towards a different direction. In addition to having the tournaments we are all so used to, where anyone can compete and test themselves, more “pro” events have been popping up for pure spectating reasons. The most notable of the recent efforts have been created by Copa Podio and Metamoris. Although these two events are different in format, the goal is fundamentally the same – organize entertaining jiu-jitsu matches that people want to see, but also in a way that is a sustainable long term business so more events can be organized in the future. 

Five Grappling Super League has now stepped up to bring its perspective on how these events should be organized and presented. For those of who don’t know, Five Grappling is one of the top tournament circuits in North America, held throughout the year in major cities. They have placed a strong focus on helping North American BJJ athletes showcase their skills against other locals but also against top international BJJ athletes. On August 2nd, they will hold their first pay-per-view event which will include super fights and an eight-person tournament for both men and women – two separate categories. This will be the first time that an organization is making an effort to showcase women’s BJJ on this level. 

The men’s mini tournament is stacked with some talent that you don’t usually see in the spotlight. Five Grappling has created a great opportunity for rising stars to showcase their skill. The eight men participating are Tim Spriggs, Bruno Bastos, Yuri Simoes, Hector Lombard, James Puopolo, Joao Assis, Abraham Marte, and Lucas Rocha. These are all notable athletes, so the question is: who has the best chance of taking home the $10,000 prize money? When taking into consideration all the aspects of age, accomplishments, physical ability, and technique, the overall advantage must go to Yuri Simoes. 

Simoes is one of the youngest of the bunch. In no-gi he is the most accomplished, with Joao Assis as a close second. Both these guys are world no-gi champions. Assis has won the ADCC championship and Yuri won the absolute division at the Worlds. However, if we nitpick and look at the details, Yuri is younger and has been more active lately than Assis, which should give him the advantage. But it won’t be an easy win at all with athletic specimens like Marte and Spriggs in the mix. 

The 8-woman tournament also has a great mix of ladies including Fabiana Borges, Tammi Musumeci, Nyjah Easton, Karen Antunes, Chelsea Bainbridge-Donner, Luiza Monteiro, Mackenzie Dern, and Leanna Dittrich. Most of these names may sound foreign to most of you since the female BJJ scene does not receive nearly as much attention as the men’s, something Five is looking to change. 

Mackenzie Dern is the name that stands out most from this bunch and that’s for good reason, since she won the absolute World Pro title earlier this year, surviving a match against Gabi Garcia. She has, by far, the best chance of winning the $10,000 prize. Luiza Monteiro, another world champion, has the dark horse chance of winning as well. Expect these two to make it to the finals, assuming they are on opposite sides of the bracket. 

The event will also feature two superfights between some household names; Otavio Sousa versus Keenan Cornelius and Joao Miyao versus Gary Tonon.  Not only are these guys some of the top competitors in the world, but you get the whole “America versus the world” vibe from these matches – which is part of Five’s goal, to showcase American talent. Expect the favorites to win, Cornelius and Miyao.

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5 Matches You Will Want To See This Year

Posted by admin

Jan 22, 2015 10:00:00 AM

YuriNoGi

 

 

  1.       Michael Liera Jr. vs Gianni Grippo

 

Michael Liera received his black belt recently and shows a lot of promise in the division. He is a student of Andre Galvao and trains with some of the best jiu-jitsu athletes in the competition scene today, namely; JT Torres, Keenan Cornelius and the Mendes Brothers. 

Gianni Grippo is a Marcelo Garcia black belt but had spent most of his time until that point training with Renzo Gracie in New York. Gianni has been very active in the last year, fighting to an hour-long draw against Joao Miyao in Copa Podio later in 2014. 

These are two of jiu-jitsu’s rising American stars. They are about the same size - Liera is slightly larger - but this match would be, with a doubt, high intensity.

 

  1.       Felipe Preguica vs Keenan Cornelius

 

This is a match that will happen soon enough, most likely in the absolute division of the Worlds or Pan-Ams. 

Felipe Preguica is the current heavyweight world champion after beating Keenan’s coach, Andre Galvao in the finals. He is about the same age as Keenan and has been on a roll in 2014 with a win at the Copa Podio Heavyweight Grand Prix, beating savvy competitors like Claudio Calasans and Luiz Panza. 

Keenan Cornelius is one of today’s most exciting grapplers with one of the weirdest styles and guard. It’s going to be interesting to see how Preguica will match up against the flexible and long-legged Cornelius.

 

  1.       AJ Agazarm vs Lucas Lepri

 

AJ Agazarm and Lucas Lepri are two of the top lightweights in the game today. Although, Lucas Lepri is the more experienced athlete, AJ’s speed and energy would make the match very entertaining. It would be a more evenly matched fight in no-gi, so hopefully if this does happen at some point in 2015, it will be in rashguards. Perhaps it would make for a nice superfight at any of the big invitational events like Metamoris, Copa Podio or even the new Polaris.

 

  1.       Lucas Leite vs Andre Galvao

This would be a match of the legends, but both are still very active. Lucas Leite is world champion in both gi and nogi. Andre Galvao has captured some of the best titles in gi and nogi as well. Since they are both still often competing, it makes sense to have these two face each other before they choose to slow down. This would make for a great superfight and would be interesting to see who would have the better technique and conditioning. Andre Galvao is naturally larger but Leite has competed in the heavier divisions for a while now and would not be really feel the effects of the size difference.

 

  1.       Yuri Simoes vs Rodolfo Vieira (no-gi)

 

These two giants have fought before in the gi with Rodolfo coming out on top. However, with Yuri’s recent success in no-gi, it would be interesting to see the two test each other under those conditions. Rodolfo has mentioned in the past that he actually does not enjoy no-gi nearly as much as gi, which would really even the playing field for Yuri. Hopefully this can happen at either a superfight event or even the ADCC.

 

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What to Look Forward to in 2015

Posted by admin

Jan 8, 2015 11:10:00 AM

YuriMetamoris

 

 

IBJJF Tournaments

As always, the IBJJF tries to not only uphold its international network of tournaments, including the World Championship and Pan American Championship, but they also have their city tournaments. Every year they add new cities to the mix, so if you haven’t had a local IBJJF tournament in your area yet, it could happen this year. 

Although the IBJJF has been criticized for being too focused on moneymaking rather than upholding values that are best for the sport, they have made developments in areas like steroid testing and creating the Black Belt League where medalists receive financial compensation for performance. 

The IBJJF can definitely do even more than this and they do have the monetary means, so hopefully they can continue to do more, especially since they are considered the premiere organization in jiu-jitsu.

 

World Pro Trials

The World Pro circuit is the IBJJF’s largest competitor in terms of prestige. Many professional athletes actually consider the Abu Dhabi World Pro to be a much more important organization since they seek to really professionalize the sport by giving money prizes to the winners at both the trials and the finals. Their efforts greatly exceed that of the IBJJF in this regard, but still, the IBJJF hosts the more prestigious tournaments. 

2015 will introduce new talent to the international BJJ community. The trials for the World Pro are some of the most efficient competitions for exposing the most talented athletes of all time, like Rodolfo Vieira and Marcus Almeida. It’s exciting to see if the winners this year could become new world champions!

 

New Events – FIVE, Jiu-Jitsu World League, Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation, BJJ Tour

With the quick international growth of jiu-jitsu, there are more and more business opportunities opening where people can begin to compete with the more stable tournaments like the IBJJF and World Pro. 

These new events are spearheaded by some of the top figures in the history of the sport, like Rickson Gracie with the Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation and Rigan Machado with the Jiu-Jitsu World League. 

There are also older organizations that are taking a more professional twist to their competitions, like the BJJ Tour, which includes tournaments all over the US (including the US Open – a very professional and online-streamed event).

FIVE Grappling is another one of these events that holds tournaments all over the country to seek out the best American champions. These are only a few of the popular events developing within the jiu-jitsu scene and there are plenty more.

 

Copa Podio Grand Prix and Metamoris

These are two different types of events with the same goal in mind: to make jiu-jitsu as visually entertaining as possible. Metamoris is based out of the USA, so they try to appeal to their audience via invitational super fights. Copa Podio, although they also have super fights, focus their events on a Grand Prix style tournament. Whichever method looks best to you, both these events continue to develop and push the envelope as far as what they can do to make jiu-jitsu entertaining. This includes modifying the rules and creating the best possible matches. 

Hopefully we can see both these events take huge leaps in 2015. Metamoris will surely create some more championship divisions, having already created a heavyweight championship in 2014. Copa Podio is also known for flushing out new talent, similar to the World Pro.

 

 

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Copa Podio Middleweight Grand Prix - 3rd Season Preview

Posted by admin

Nov 18, 2014 10:00:00 AM

CopaPodio

 

 

On November 22nd, Copa Podio will continue their exciting competition series with a third season of the Middleweight Grand Prix. Copa Podio is by far the most intense invitational tournament for jiu-jitsu in the world. To win the grand prix, athletes must fight several times in one night against some of the toughest and most unpredictable competitors in the world.

 

Why are many of these athletes unpredictable? It’s because Copa Podio makes an effort to showcase unknown top athletes to the mainstream. Felipe Preguica is an example of this foresight. Copa Podio had featured him as a wild card brown belt that did exceptionally well. They weren’t wrong to give him the opportunity, Preguica ended up winning the black belt heavyweight division in 2014. For this event, Preguica will be defending his middleweight grand prix title against nine new challengers.

 

Copa Podio has its usual mix of superfights and Grand Prix bouts. The main fight of the night will feature Gianni Grippo versus Joao Miyao and Leandro Lo vs Gilbert Durinho in sub-only matches.

 

The Grippo versus Miyao fight is a classic berimbolo master match. Hopefully the entire bout will not be Berimbolo attempts off their butts, but don’t hold your breath. Otherwise it can be a very dynamic match as both fighters are both aggressive and like to take chances. Expect Grippo to make the first mistake and have his back taken by Miyao for the choke. Also, have some popcorn ready – this is going to be a long match.

 

Lo versus Durinho is a far more exciting match on paper. Both athletes are world champions but Durinho chose to focus his attention on MMA, so we have not seen as much of him on the BJJ scene as Lo, who was able to conquer the world title three times while Durinho has only won once. They have faced each other before, both in gi and nogi, but Durinho was victorious every time. This is Lo’s chance for revenge.

 

Who will win? Technically both these guys are as good as it’s going to get. Lo usually has an edge over his opponent’s because he is able to push the pace. Unfortunately for him, Durinho is unbelievably athletic and won’t tire easily – he will be able to keep up with Lo’s pace. Expect a long match, with Lo eventually tiring first and making the first mistake to get submitted.

 

For the Grand Prix segment, we have a huge stack of up and coming athletes that you will probably hear about a lot more after November 22nd. Of these nine challengers, the few that you should keep an eye on are Claudio Calasans from Atos, Luis Panza from Checkmat and Gregor Gracie from the Renzo Gracie Association. These are all tough and very physically gifted athletes. However, although Luis Panza and Gregor Gracie are game competitors, neither of them have the balance of experience and ability that Calasans has. Calasans has been more active on the jiu-jitsu scene and has a strong background in judo to compliment his jiu-jitsu. My predicition is that Calasans and Preguica will make it to the finals. But, ultimately, expect Preguica to be the victor after a hard fought and close match.

 

 

 

 

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Metamoris 5 Preview: Part 2

Posted by admin

Nov 14, 2014 11:00:00 AM

RenzoSaku

 

 

Kazushi Sakuraba vs Renzo Gracie

 

Now this is a match that deserves a section all to itself. We have two absolute legends, some of the greatest fighters of all time, facing off in a no-gi grappling bout. 

In MMA, Sakuraba is known as Japan’s greatest champion. In his era he had defeated the best of the best - he was PRIDE’s undeclared champion for many years until his first loss to Igor Vovchanchyn. Up to that point, and even afterwards, Sakuraba boasted victories over Vitor Belfort, Carlos Newton, Quinton Rampage Jackson and four Gracies. Many don’t view the Gracies as a force in MMA anymore today, but back in PRIDE the Gracies had a strong reputation - Royce’s dominance at the UFC and Rickson’s wins in Japan were still fresh. 

In 1999, Sakuraba had faced his first Gracie, Royler, which ended in ‘Saku’ winning by submission. The fact that a Gracie was submitted shocked the fighting world, especially since it was specifically by a kimura. The kimura was the technique that was used to defeat Helio Gracie decades before when Helio fought Kimura himself – the technique was named after the Japanese victor. 

With such a heavy loss on their minds, the Gracies sent the rest of their champions after the Japanese catch wrestler. Royce, probably the most popular MMA figure in history, was next to face the challenge. He had challenged Saku to a no time limit bout, which lasted 90 minutes – the longest in organized MMA history. Ultimately, Royce’s corner had to throw in the towel - he could not fight any longer, giving Saku the victory. 

This second victory only further pushed the Gracies to send more of their champions into the fire against this newly proclaimed ‘Gracie Hunter’. Renzo and his brother Ryan both got their chances next. Renzo would fight first, but fell victim to a kimura as well. His brother Ryan fought Saku later that year, but only to lose a hard fought decision. 

Seven years later, Royce had his chance for revenge in an MMA bout, but only won by an unsatisfying decision victory. What the Gracies really wanted was to see Saku get submitted. Saku had proved that jiu-jitsu was not the prime grappling art as everyone had thought. He had shown that his submission wrestling background had given him the right tools to be just as efficient as the Gracies. 

Now, Renzo has a chance to dispel what Sakuraba had done. The stage is set since it’s grappling only. Unfortunately both athletes are now far passed their prime - we will never know how they would have faired in their better years, but it will be interesting nonetheless. Saku fans around the world have wanted to view the Japanese master’s grappling skills for literally decades. Renzo has a very clean and smart jiu-jitsu game, while Sakuraba pulls tricks from his hat over and over again - completely unpredictable. 

So who can you expect to win this? Considering the amount of damage Sakuraba has taken over the many years, it’s safe to say that Renzo has taken better care of himself, just as expected from a Gracie. The bout could end in a draw, or Renzo could also wear down the battle worn samurai to get the submission victory to round out the Brazil versus Japan saga.

 

 

 

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Metamoris 5 Preview: Part 1

Posted by admin

Nov 13, 2014 12:40:29 PM

Metamoris5

 

Gary Tonon vs Zak Maxwell 

Here we have a strong all-American match. Gary Tonon had a stellar performance in the last Metamoris against, the always funny and amusing, Kit Dale. Tonon made quick work of Dale by finishing him with a guillotine after a strong attempt at a heal hook. 

Zak Maxwell is another American jiu-jitsu hero with his popularity stemming from a victory over Kron Gracie in 2012 - a completely unexpected upset. Zak also already had a match in Metamoris against Sean Roberts that ended in a tie, but Zak had the upper hand especially because of a strong armbar attempt closer to the end of the match. 

Who is going to win? This is a really tough match to call – both these competitors are very focused and highly technical. Expect the match to end in a draw with Gary Tonon having the slight edge since he will be more confident off his last Metamoris victory.

 

Vinny Magalhaes vs Kevin Casey

Here we have a bout between two UFC centric jiu-jitsu fighters. Both these athletes have an interesting lead-up to this match because both had been on TUF, The Ultimate Fighter, and have fought Keenan Cornelius. Keenan had submitted Casey and had tied with Magalhaes, however, he did have the upper hand most of the match. It’s as if this match is closing the triangle between these three athletes in no-gi in Metamoris. 

Who will win? Although Kevin Casey is a very gifted athlete with a lot of grappling experience, it is hard to compare that to the pedigree of Magalhaes who is a highly decorated BJJ champion. Expect Vinny to win within the first five minutes by submission.

 

Yuri Simoes vs Keenan Cornelius 

This is definitely one of the more interesting match ups. Yuri Simoes is on fire right now with his double victory at the World No-Gi Championship in his weight division and the absolute. He succeeded in defeating Keenan Cornelius in the finals. But, it seems by fate, they will face each other again.

Simoes was originally supposed to fight Rafael Lovato Jr. However, due to injury, Lovato had to pull out of the match. Keenan agreed to step in and take advantage of this opportunity for revenge. 

Fortunately for Keenan, this match will be in the gi, which is a relief for him since he has repeatedly admitted that he doesn’t particularly like competing in no-gi. It will be a slight disadvantage for Yuri because his recent victory over Keenan was in no-gi. This match will have a completely different pace than their previous meeting at the no-gi worlds. 

Expect and all out war. Yuri is very high energy and will push the action. Neither opponent is easy to submit, so it will most likely end in a tie, but a very entertaining match nonetheless.

 

Rory MacDonald vs JT Torres 

This is an interesting match because we have an ‘outsider’ coming in to fight a household name in BJJ like JT Torres. Rory is can be considered an outsider because he is known for his skills in MMA. His capabilities in pure grappling are unknown at the moment and he does have a considerable size advantage on Torres. So the question is whether or not Torres’ experience will be enough to cope with McDonald’s strength and athleticism. I think that this match will end in a draw with Rory defending Torres’ attacks. Torres definitely has the technical advantage, so expect attempt after attempt from him.

 

 

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How to Improve Metamoris - Part 2

Posted by admin

Oct 16, 2014 10:00:00 AM

footlock

 

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?

 

 

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How to Improve Metamoris - Part 1

Posted by admin

Oct 9, 2014 2:07:00 PM

Metamoris 

How to Improve Metamoris – Part 1

 

After every Metamoris event, the intentions and future plans of the promotion become clearer. They are now implementing weight classes and champion titles, as well as fun “surprise” matches to keep the fans engaged. But is this really enough to earn them their desired level of success? Below are just a few points that may help them reach their goals.

Add more gi matches

It’s understandable that the majority of matches were no-gi. Due to the popularity of the UFC, and that most of the brand-name fighters prefer no-gi, it’s not a surprise at all. Gi matches are a lot more foreign to many viewers, and by having no-gi matches, there is the possibility of pulling in a larger audience, since both jiu-jitsu purists and MMA fighters can appreciate no-gi.

However, there is something to be said about securing the gi-fanatic market, which can be a lot more loyal than the MMA crowd when it comes to grappling. Gi jiu-jitsu fans don’t see many “dream” match-ups. The only major occasions are the World Championships and the ADCC World Pro. Those events happen once a year, so gi jiu-jitsu guys definitely want more. Putting together intense single gi matches would definitely help attract a more loyal and enthusiastic viewers who are willing to pay the price for the online stream.

Copa Podio could fill that void of watching dream gi matches, however, Copa Podio’s format is tournament based, so as fun as it is to watch the top athletes have multiple matches - it’s generally more appealing to see several super fights in one night where the athletes can go one-hundred percent the entire match, rather than pacing themselves for the entire night.

This would also raise the submission rate and pace of the match. The entertainment factor is of the utmost importance for a promotion like Metamoris, even before technique. A less technical, but exciting match, will stick longer in people’s memories than a match that was technical but slow and boring.

Gi jiu-jitsu also offers a larger variety of things to spectate. In no-gi, the norm is playing a tight game and the top athletes do this so well that usually the pace of the fight can be very slow. However, with gi jiu-jitsu, since there are so many more options, it allows for athletes to compete in a more open and free style. You would see stranger guards and entertaining manipulation of the kimono – it would ultimately be more entertaining. This would also lead to a variety of more interesting submissions. Some of the best submissions are the ones you have to see replayed several times in order to understand what had transpired.

So to conclude, having more gi matches in Metamoris would; attract a more loyal crowd of viewers and create more entertaining and diverse matches. I’m not saying all the matches should be gi, but at least half. Matches can even alternate in type, the first match could be no-gi and the following match could be gi. It can continue this way throughout the night. That way fans don’t have to watch no-gi match after no-gi match of what will most likely be slow grinding matches.

 

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, Pro BJJ Players and Superfights, Tournament/Competition Tips

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