I am a shark, the ground is my ocean...and most people don't even know how to swim. - Rickson Gracie

Search Grappler Blog

пятница, 18 декабря 2009 г.

Strikeforce Evolution Watch Online

Watch Strikeforce Evolution online by clicking here

Main Card
Middleweight bout: Cung Le vs. Scott Smith
Lightweight Championship bout: Josh Thomson vs. Gilbert Melendez
Middleweight bout: Ronaldo Souza vs. Matt Lindland
Heavyweight bout: Muhammed Lawal vs. Mike Whitehead

Preliminary Card
Light Heavyweight bout: Scott Lighty vs. Antwain Britt
Lightweight bout: Daisuke Nakamura vs. Justin Wilcox
Featherweight bout: Luis Mendoza vs. Juan Nunez
Lightweight bout: Alex Trevino vs. Bobby Stack
Lightweight bout: Alexander Crispim vs. AJ Fonseca

I like the Jacare vs Lindland odds by the way, something to think about! (-300 vs 200)

суббота, 5 декабря 2009 г.

Bas Rutten Self-Defense Crash Course

Always been a fan of Bas Rutten. His personality I believe can take mixed martial arts to a new level and promote the sport across the globe. Bas in the past was a UFC Champion as well as 3-time King of Pancrase. He was also a great commentator during the Pride FC years and is now co-host of Inside MMA on HDnet.

Rutten popularized the the liver shot (both punching and kicking) in mixed martial arts today.

Check out this great video below and also visit Bas Rutten's website here :

пятница, 4 декабря 2009 г.

Judo for BJJ

Judo can improve your gi jiu jitsu game as I always believed so much that it could make the difference between winning and losing. Judo experts have also been tough to face even for the elite Mundials competitors.

Roger Gracie has been the most dominant athlete for years and the only way he seems to lose these days is from strong judo competitors. His two biggest rivals are extremely well-rounded athletes, I mean Jacare Souza and Xande Ribeiro. Both have won their finals against Roger by points by successfully carrying out Judo throws.

Now take a look at Roger Gracie's fight against Leo Leite in the finals of the 2008 mundials. Leonardo was winning on points and at some point you had to get nervous for Roger not pulling guard sooner.

Simply put, having a judo background only adds to you jiu jitsu arsenal. You have more options. You control the fight and I don't know how many times I've seen it before. A great throw can really demoralize your opponent if you lend right on top of them interupting the breathing.

Take a look at the video below as an example of what Judo can do to improve you jiu jitsu game. Cross training in Judo is a great benefit.

вторник, 1 декабря 2009 г.

Fedor Emelianenko New Video + Future Fights Comment

A new video covering Fedor Emelianenko has been released by M1-Global together with HDnet Fights.

Please check out the link here

There has also been a lot of discussion as to who will Fedor will fight. There are many ideas but I haev not see a trully definitive list so I thought I would include one here. The following opponents I think would be natural and some are lighter and perhaps would not enter the top-10 but for the sake of history would make a lot of sense. A few superfights would also be great, to read about them click here. (Strikeforce Dream Fights!)

1. Alistair Overeem - current Strikeforce champion and considered in the top-10 in the world but only just. Out of action for a long time but still relevant.

2. Fabricio Werdum - not in the top-10 but still in top-20 and a very solid fighter with good performances including in the UFC.

3. Josh Barnett - good record but his story with steroids is not nice. Still a good matchup that makes sense. Barnett is a monster that could take out any UFC top heavyweight.

4. Dan Henderson - yes, yes, he is light but could be a cool matchup that many would like to see.

5. Bobby Lashley - some believe Brock Lesnar the current UFC HW champ is unbeatable. Lets see how Fedor does against a WWE wrestler for a change.

6. Jeff Monson - Monson is a great wrestler and jiu jitsu player. He does not have the best record or the speed but there is something about him that could make a nice fight for Fedor. It would do nothing to legitimize Fedor as top p4p in the world for sure but Strikeforce could get this fight very cheap as Monson is so convinced that he can beat Fedor he does not want money for it.

7. Roger Gracie - Roger is the best submission artists/bjj/grappler ever. If you put him in the cage with Nogueira Minotauro, known for his submission prowess, you would be worried that Minotauro would be submitted. Roger Gracie has not been submitted since 1999 and the only time he gets beaten ever is by points and usually in the standup game. On the ground, there is no-one like Roger Gracie.

It has also been a long time since a Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighter fought in a major event and this could be it. Gracie Jiu Jitsu against Russia Sambo!

8. Gegard Mousasi - yes, I know they are friends but what better way for Gegard to show he is the new p4p best in the world if he did win. I doubt this fight will ever happen unless Gegard gets pissed off with M1-Global and leaves them.

9. Hidehiko Yoshida -

10. Jason "Mayhem" Miller - would be cool to see how the Slap boxing king does against Fedor. Would be cool to watch.

пятница, 27 ноября 2009 г.

Roger Gracie vs Andrei Arlovski

Frankly one the most interesting bouts that I would like to see is Andrei Arlovski against Roger Gracie. Andrei is a solid all round guy but he has really shown that his chin can be a problem so powerful strikers lately have done well by taking advantage of this.

Roger Gracie is in my opinion the best jiu jitsu player ever and it would be exciting to see him in the ring once more. Recently he pulled out of ADCC 2009 due to illness or injury but was looking to get back in the ring in November but since then we have not heard from him.

For Roger this could be a bout that could help propel him to the top while for Andrei this could be a good way to get back in the game especially since he will almost certainly will not get knocked out this time around.

Scott Coker has recently announced that he is going to sign two more heavyweights and this matchup could go very well with the fans in my opinion. Will Andrei's hands be too much for Roger or will Roger control the ex-UFC champ and take him to the ground? This could be a very cool fight.

Strikeforce: Evolution Trailer

Strikeforce is set for the next event with Strikeforce: Evolution on December 19th.

The main card will be as follows:

Lightweight Championship unification bout: Josh Thomson (c) vs. Gilbert Melendez (ic)
Middleweight bout: Cung Le vs. Scott Smith
Middleweight bout: Ronaldo Souza vs. Matt Lindland
Middleweight bout: Robbie Lawler vs. TBA
Light Heavyweight bout: Muhammed Lawal vs. Mike Whitehead

воскресенье, 22 ноября 2009 г.

Where is Josh Barnett?

Josh Barnett has always been one of the best mma fighters in the world using his strong grappling abilities. After the scandal with Josh getting caught using anabolic steroids just before his Affliction fight with Fedor very little we have heard from the guy.

There was some mention of him returning to wrestling in Japan. There was some mention that maybe he could fight an MMA fight over there since there is less substances regulation over there. He also seems to have trained with Brett Rogers to prepare him for the Fedor fight he recently had for Strikeforce.

Where is he?

It looks like he is continuing to train and teach in California and took part in the 2009 California Classic BJJ Tournament 2009 where he lost by decision to Romulo Barral the BJJ World Champion and an ADCC veteran. The video I found on youtube you can see below:

Anyway Josh Barnett is a real beast and is a brutal mma warrior. check out this video with him manhandling Quinton Rampage Jackson in training.

пятница, 20 ноября 2009 г.

Grappler Hall of Fame

Once every 50 or 100 years, there comes a champion so great that it is seemingly impossible to defeat him. Grappling sports have developed over decades and below are a few legends that have entered the hall of fame and will remain there for many years to come.

Judo - Masahiko Kimura

The world will never really know but most agree that Kimura was the greatest judoka that ever lived. Kimura is famous for many things. His incredible tough training is well known with training regimes averaging nine hours a day that resulted in concussion for his sparring partners. He trained by doing one thousand push-ups in a row.

At the age of only 30, the Judo legend attained 7th Dan and an unprescedented list of competition accomplishments. Today, the reverse ude-garami arm lock is commonly known as the "kimura" in the jiu jitsu and judo circles after his impressive victory of the brazilian jiu jitsu founder and champion Helio Gracie.

Sambo - Alexander Pushnitsa

Alexander is perhaps one of the greatest Sambo players that ever was having achieved more in the discipline than any other competitor throughout his exciting 20 year career span. Three years after gaining the title of master of sports he became USSR champion. His titles include 3-times World Sambo Champion (1974, 1979, 1983), 3-times World Cup winner (1977, 1980, 1987), 2-times European Champion (1976, 1984), 9-times USSR Champion (1974-1980, 1983, 1984), 7-times Russian National Champion.

Pushnitsa after becoming USSR champion in 1974 went undefeated until 1981. His trainer Vasiliy Grozin said about him "Pushnitsa is like any other fighter, just wins more often".

Freestyle Wrestling - Alexander Medved

Alexander Medved is one of the most accomplished free-style wrestlers of our time. A Soviet/Russian/Belurussian wrestler famous in his home country, he has been the first to ever win three gold medals in World Championships ever and was named the greatest freestyle wrestler of the twentieth century by FILA. He is 7x World champion and 3x European champion.

Greco-roman Wrestling - Alexander Karelin

Alexander Karelin throughout his brilliant career was the most dominant Greco-Roman wrestler of all time and universally considered so to the present day. He competed at the heaviest weight class of his day at 130kg and was known for his superhuman strength, incredible conditioning and a reverse body lift nicknamed "Karelin Lift".

Karelin's unbeaten streak was 13 years until his only defeat in the Olympic finals in 2000 to Rulon Gardner. He holds 3 Olympic gold medals (and one silver) and World Championship gold medals for every year between 1989-1999.

Jiu Jitsu and Grappling - Roger Gracie

Roger Gracie is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 2nd degree black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. and perhaps the most accomplished submission fighters of all time. (and still competing) Not only has he won the BJJ World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (the Mundials) a record 8 times including 6 time in this weight class and twice at open weight but he is a multiple time ADCC Champion and the only person to submit all of his eight opponents taking Gold in his division and in the absolute.

Roger Gracie is a phenomenon that we will hear more about soon. A competitor that has proven that basic jiu jitsu fundamentals can be used to defeat even the toughest opponents.

понедельник, 16 ноября 2009 г.

BJJ Worlds 2009 DVD Set Out Now!

One of the most exciting events of the year for brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners is now available on DVD at BudoVideos.com. Check it out and also see trailer below!

четверг, 12 ноября 2009 г.

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar For Charity

The latest news in the mixed martial arts community is the proposal for Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (formerly known as Chad Johnson) to fight Anderson "the Spider" Silva for charity. 

Dana White, the UFC President, has responded that he is more than open to this fighting taking place and if it does happen it could generate a great buzz for the UFC. Anderson Silva is the current middle weight champion of the UFC and is considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. 

Following the Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers fight early November, it is becoming more and more clear that the only fight left for Fedor today is Brock Lesnar. Brock Lesnar may not have the experience and technique to face the "Last Emperor" but he certainly has the UFC Heavyweight belt behind him and enormous power that many Fedor critics say will overwhelm the legend.

The big argument has always gone that Fedor Emelianenko by choosing not do join UFC following Pride demise has decided to keep his perfect record by fighting no-name fighters and wash outs that left UFC because they could not compete with the superior competition there. Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski fights were given as prime examples of fighters who lost their titles and following the Fedor fight showed that their careers were at a near-end having fought awfully against no-name fighters thereafter. Strikeforce have done well to attract some of the very best in the business like Overeem and Werdum however both can be criticized for fighting weak competition or in the latter case for losing to top UFC contenders like Junior Dos Santos. It seems even obvious that the UFC division is becoming stronger with a few talented fighters entering the top-20 heavyweight rankings like Dos Santos, Carwin and Cain Valasquez. These guys are great but there is little doubt today that the current UFC heavyweight champ is seen as the greatest threat to Fedor and could be the last question left unanswered.

Now I don't like this Gary "Jerry" Millen either that joined M1-Global and is part of Fedor's entourage but his point is great. Fedor Emelianenko should fight Brock Lesnar and if the UFC want this fight then they should organize it for free together with M1. No promotional tricks, advertising or any other crap. Of course stakes are high but then Dana White tells us that he is a real mixed martial arts fan. Let's do it because after all it should not be about the money all the time. We can watch this fight on DVD and enjoy it as one of the greatest fights of all time. The fans deserve it because they were the ones that made all this possible in the first place. 

понедельник, 9 ноября 2009 г.

Perhaps the Most Exciting Event of 2009

Last weekend we witnessed one of the most exciting line-ups in mixed martial arts better known as MMA. Strikeforce have managed to do a good job here and despite watching an edited Russian version of the tournament, I have to say the fights were brilliant.

Here are some of my comments on the fights and then on the show itself.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Thierry Sokoudjou - nice fight where Gegard's standing skills were just too much for his opponent. It frankly looked like Sokoudjou was having a really tough time throwing any kind of punch against the talented striker and in the end the result was predictable, TKO, as expected, should have put some money on Gegard here.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Silva - Fabricio is a very talented jiu jitsu fighter and was able to show his skills in the match but was unable to submit "Big Foot" Silva who has a black belt in jiu jitsu himself. The first round was certainly Silva's, who showed some superior striking ability and counter punching but the second and third rounds were Fabricio's. I especially enjoyed some of his muay thai knees to the head Fabricio tried to deliver. A very close decision win for Werdum in my opinion that does nothing to justify him fighting Fedor in his next bout at least.

Jake Shields vs. Jason "Mayhem" Miller - both guys are actually great on the ground and although shields was given such great odds, I think we all saw that at some point Miller nearly executed a nice rear naked choke on Shields (who was saved by the end of the round). His title fight for the middleweight Strikeforce belt was basically a submission grappling match and it was sad to see Miller not being able to execute his stand up kick boxing skills. In the end, after five exhausting rounds in the cage, Shields dominated with takedowns and grappling and that earned him the decision in the end.

Brett Rogers vs. Fedor Emelianenko - every fight with Fedor is exciting to watch whether it is a grappling or stand up battle. No one can really predict what will happen. Everyone was saying that Fedor would win by submission but there you go.

Brett Rogers looked relatively solid with his big punches, ground and pound and defending himself on the ground from submissions. I think it was also visible that Rogers was able to use his size advantage but Fedor's ability to overcome that was also obvious. The first round was tough on Fedor. Rodgers managed to cut and possibly break Fedor's nose in the opening punch. Blood was everywhere which prevented Fedor from breathing through his nose (no good if you are fighting in an MMA tournament no doubt). In the second, Fedor was able to evade some nasty ground and pound (while to be fair getting hit as well) and with a nice overhand right took Rodgers down and followed up with further strikes to the head of a grounded opponent. TKO for Fedor after a powerful punch to Rodgers who was expecting a takedown from the Sambo legend.

Fedor Emelianenko keeps his perfect record and has added further to his legend. Despite injuring his hand and getting his nose broken, he was able to show that he is still the number 1heavy weight in the world.

The production, at least the Russian edited one was horrible though. I have not seen the CBS version, but the version I saw should be rated as less than poor. (it was Pay Per View and live, not some cheap recording)

You probably would not even know that Strikeforce was organizing nearly the entire thing if you saw it. A ton of M1-Challenge flashbacks from Feb 2009 where no name fighters met were shown throughout the tournament. Instead of letting us hear about the fighters that we are going to see, they showed us over and over no-name fighters from M1. It was ridiculous. The under card was completely ignored. Did not get to see the entrances (apart from Miller's and that was criticized but idiot commentators), did not hear any comments about their past accomplishments. The Russian commentator at some point actually said that he has never seen Jason "Mayhem" Miller fight and does not know anything about him. Terrible! I would just love it if Fedor ditched that Finkelstein and his M1 cronies.

Great fights but poor promotion. Would love to hear some comments about what the CBS show was like.

понедельник, 2 ноября 2009 г.

Watch Fedor vs Rodgers this Saturday

For those of you living in Russia, watch Strikeforce's Fedor vs Brett Rogers live on Sunday at NTV Plus PPV

In US my understanding is that the fight will air on CBS and in the UK on Bravo (bu

This is going to be the event of the year with the most stacked card this year including Fedor Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi and Fabricio Werdum.

Also keep an eye out on Fight Camp 360: Fedor vs Rodgers that is supposed to air tomorrow on Showtime.


Keep Reading!

понедельник, 26 октября 2009 г.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competitions for Beginners

Once you have been doing jiu jitsu for a couple of months now you start to get better. As you begin to understand the basic moves, the sweeps, submissions, passing the guard, you begin to feel more confident. When you start submitting beginners your confidence grows and you enjoy your martial art more and appreciate the techniques you have learnt.

So when can I start participating in competitions you will ask. Competitions are an excellent way to give you even more motivation to train hard. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and also experience in fighting under pressure; under pressure of time and of losing. 

In the Brazilian jiu jitsu white belt category you will likely face guys with no experience but also guys that have done jiu jitsu for two years or so. If you walk in knowing very little and you don't have much background in any other related martial art, you will likely lose quickly.

Here I wanted to give some advice on things you can do to prepare. I recommend competing not before you have at least six months of jiu jitsu training unless you have studied or related martial arts in the past (like wrestling or judo).

1. Train more

You need to really train more than three times a week before competition. Sparring is very valuable and you don't want to be gassed during the match. Practice with opponents that you can learn from, that are better than you or about the same level as you. If you are always winning against weaker opponents, you develop slowly. 

2. Supplement your training with conditioning exercises

Sign up to the gym. I recommend group interval training to improve your cardio but also strength training helps. You must be fitter than your opponents and good cardio really helps to give you the edge. The bicycle and rowing is very good. They improve your strength and cardio but you also should not overlook the classic exercises like the jump rope, push-ups and pull ups.

3. BJJ oriented exercises

 I find it is very valuable to do specific jiu jitsu oriented exercises like grip training. Rope climbing helps you develop strong arms and a solid grip. 

Another good example is neck training. Having a strong neck is important for your ground fighting so exercises such as neck bridges can really help.

Also don't overlook the sprawl. You can incorporate it into your cardio-conditioning routine and develop a good takedown defense.

4. Judo

Brazilian jiu jitsu tournaments start from standing. Having a strong Judo background will give you an advantage here as you will be able to takedown your opponent and score points before you start to play your jiu jitsu game. 

Practicing Judo once or twice a week to supplement you jiu jitsu will really be beneficial. 

If you are training for a no-gi tournament, consider freestyle wrestling instead.

5. Recreational sports. 

When you are not training but relaxing with your friends, there are many activities that can also help you develop. Rock climbing is my personal favorite but also you can do swimming, football and pretty much any active sport.

Develop a nice timetable for yourself but don't over-train. If your body is hurting, then rest and recover. You should mix your exercises well to allow different parts of your body to recover before enduring more exercise. If you are really tired, watch some jiu jitsu instructional dvds instead and then go ask your teacher about certain moves you have seen.

четверг, 15 октября 2009 г.

среда, 14 октября 2009 г.

November 7: Brett Rogers vs Fedor Emelianenko

November 7 is promising to be a very exciting day for the mixed martial arts world. Not only do we get to see Fedor Emelianenko fight a very dangerous Brett Rogers but a whole lot of exciting bouts are promised for the audiences.

A lot of these guys did not join the UFC for various reasons, but certainly all of these guys are one of the best in the world. On the bjj side we will also have a chance to see Fabricio Werdum, the 2009 +99kg World Champion and perhaps the best grappler there.

-Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko vs. Brett "The Grim" Rogers

-Jake Shields vs. Jason "Mayhem" Miller (Middleweight Title Fight)

-Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry "The African Assassin" Sokoudjo

-Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum vs. Antonio "Big Foot" Silva

The fight is to be televised on CBS but also in Russia on channel 1.

Look forward to the fight!

вторник, 6 октября 2009 г.

Top-10 Submission Moves

So many different articles are featuring the top-10 submission moves used these days that I thought I would give you my list based on popularity. There are so many different submissions that you can use and so many small details which can change as to how effective a submission is. The arm-bar is a good example. There are so many different variations that it is almost like several techniques.

So in reverse order here we go:

10. Ankle lock – a basic and very effective move that can really kill your ankle. The main problem is of course that there are many ways to get out of it and that it is difficult to apply it in the heavier weight divisions as there is too much muscle there on bigger guys. Classic example is when Roger Gracie submitted Shinya Aoki with this move in ADCC.

9. Knee bar - knee bars are actually very effective techniques but are considered easy to get out of unless you are facing top jiu jitsu practitioners. Unlike the ankle lock, the opponent cannot take the pain here. Classic examples are Mauricio Shogun Rua submitting Kevin Randelman and Frank Mir submitting Brock Lesnar.

8. Kimura – a great technique named after the greatest Japanese judoka of all time, Masahiko Kimura, who defeated the grandfather of Brazilian jiu jitsu Helio Gracie with this move.

7. Omoplata – popularized by Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners, this shoulder lock is relatively popular nowadays. Royce Gracie, the victor in the early UFC events beat the sumo wrestler Akebono Taro (who weighed 500 pounds) with this move in the first round.

6. Arm triangle – known also as scarf hold, a popular bjj and judo technique which restricts blood flow to the brain causing loss of consciousness. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Valentijn Overeem is only one example of this nasty choke applied in competition.

5. Heel hook – considered to be a high percentage leg lock, the heel hook requires a lot of care as it can easily cause serious injury in multiple joints running from the heel to the knee. Shinya Aoki defeated Eddie Alvarez with the technique or if you saw the early UFC fights, Ken Shamrock eliminated Patrick Smith with this one in UFC 1.

4. Triangle choke – truly a great submission that defines Brazilian jiu jitsu. Only too many wrestlers have been submitted with this move. The truth is that it is impossible to escape it (unless your name is Roger Gracie). Take a look at how the legendary MMA fighter Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro submitted Gary Goodridge or at the highest level Eddie Bravo vs. Royler Gracie in ADCC.

3. Arm bar – although the arm bar is a high percentage move in all submission arts, Fedor Emelianenko is perhaps one of the best specialist here submitting Mark Coleman (twice), Hong Man Choi, Naoya Ogawa, Kerry Schall and Matt Lindland. Judo and Sambo practitioners adore this move and it certainly deserves the number three spot.

2. Guillotine choke – the guillotine choke, although relatively basic at first sight is extremely effective and has details that make it so effective. An example would be Cro Cop (a feared striker) submitting Kevin Randelman to everyone's surprise.

1. Rear naked choke – it just so happens that the human body works in such a way that the most vulnerable position you can be is being choked out with this move. Almost impossible to escape, the move is extremely effective both in submission wrestling, mixed martial arts or gi ground fighting. Take a look at BJ Penn vs. Kenny Florian. My favorite moment with this move is Roger Gracie vs. Ronaldo Jacare Souza in ADCC Absolute finals of 2005.

Honorable mentions for the Americana, the Toe hold and for the Anaconda choke, both worthy to be somewhere on this list as well.

пятница, 2 октября 2009 г.

Top-10 Jiu Jitsu/Submission Fighters 2009

1. Roger Gracie

Roger has displayed never before seen consistency and ability to systematically submit his opponents on the mats one-by-one. His performance in the 2009 BJJ World Championships was simply stunning even though his biggest rivals were not participating this time around, namely Ronaldo Jacare Souza and Xande Ribeiro.

It is only a shame that we did not have a chance to see him in the ADCC 2009 but surely his upcoming MMA bout for Strikeforce will be an exciting event whoever his opponent may be.

2. Xande Ribeiro

Xande is a phenomenal technician and looked incredible until the Absolute finals in ADCC 2009 against Braulio Estima when he had to tap out due to injury. He will surely be back to claim the 2011 gold.

3. Braulio Estima

2009 has been an excellent year for Braulio Estima. He has taken gold in BJJ Worlds in the Heavyweight division and then won his division as well as the absolute in ADCC. This is a tremendous feat that pushes Braulio right into the 3rd spot in my opinion.

4. Jacare

Like Xande, Ronaldo Souza has been focusing much more on fighting in MMA and therefore was not able to participate much in jiu jitsu/submission wrestling competitions these days. Nevertheless his Superfight win against Robert Drysdale in ADCC 2009 shows that he still has what it takes.

5. Fabricio Werdum

Fabricio Werdum is a mixed martial arts veteran and clearly one of the top heavyweights fighting in Strikeforce. His performance in the ADCC was simply outstanding this year. Best of luck to him.

6. Robert Drysdale

Robert Drysdale is a great technician but is no doubt better without the gi. Drysdale still has an impressive record and we look forward to seeing great things from him in the future.

7. Andre Galvao

Andre Galvao is a great fighter but is another fighter that currently is focused on developing a successful mma career. His absence in the BJJ Worlds and inability to place in ADCC put him down to number 8.

8. Marcelo Garcia

Marcelo Garcia has been greatly disappointed in ADCC, not taking gold in his own division for the first time. Nevertheless Marcelo still holds more ADCC titles than any other fighter in the history, so we expect great things from him next year.

9. Pablo Popovitch

A truely awesome athlete is growing every year. Pablo Popovitch has defeated Marcelo Garcia this year. Nothing more to say.

10. Romulo Barral/Sergio Moraes

These two are rising stars and are incredible in the kimono. Both have not yet proved themselves in submission wrestling therefore place at number 10.

четверг, 1 октября 2009 г.

Andrei Arlovski in Bullybeatdown - Funny

Andrei Arlovski participated in the MTV show called Bully Beatdown where the bully gets to fight two rounds with a professional mixed martial artist. This time the poor guy (the bully) got to meet the ex-UFC champion, Andrei Arlovskiy who delivered a serious beating on that poor guy that got him to change his mind about a lot of things. Take a look at the video below:

Also you can get the full episodes from the MTV website here including another episde where Eddie Alvarez got a chance to display absolute dominance especially in the striking department.

среда, 30 сентября 2009 г.

Joe Rogan talks about the cauliflower ear

Some guys think this is cool but most of us rather not have it. Take a look at the link below to learn more about a very typical injury that happens to guys that do wrestling, judo, bjj, rugby and boxing.

Click Here To Find Out More About Cauliflower Ear

By the way, for those who don't know, Joe Rogan is the guy that leads the commentary for the UFC and I think he does a good job doing it too. The guy is really cool and is very good at what he does. His knowledge of jiu jitsu is excellent and he does really well explaining what is going on.

I'm not sure whether he is on the Ultimate Fighter show, he should be and I think he could add a lot of value there to the production. I've seen the first season online and wanted to get the rest of the shows on DVD so I am waiting but I've not seen him there.

вторник, 29 сентября 2009 г.

ADCC 2009 Sensation - Photos

I have had the chance to personally witness the ADCC 2009 Championship fights last weekend and certainly this was one of the most exciting weekends ever. Check out the official results here.

Firstly of course it was the assembled team. Marcelo Garcia, Robert Drysdale, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Fabricio Werdum and so many others. The team was incredible despite some of the names that we were very much hoping for were missing or on the benches, including Roger and Kyra Gracie, Georges St. Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko and Gegard Mousasi.

Saulo Ribeiro was of course an exciting figure in the first half of the tournament showing impressive skill in submitting the younger jiu jitsu champion Romulo Barral only to lose later to the much bigger Fabricio Werdum who then went on to win the +99kg final to become Champion in the heavyweight division. Saulo displayed heart in fighting off Jeff Monson despite choosing to fight him with a kimono.

Another great name was Gunnar Nelson who impressed me immensely fighting in the absolute division representing Iceland. Gunnar showed surprising cardio and ability to attack the back of each of his opponents. Gunnar later faced the awesome Xande Ribeiro, losing to him by knee-bar. Xande would later win his division and lose via shoulder injury in the absolute finals to Braulio Estima.

Well-done to Xande who looked incredibly calm and displayed incredible abilities, the best fighter on the mats in my opinion.

Plenty of disappointments were also there, most notably Xande's injury to cost him the gold and Rafael Lovato who was submitted by Heel Hook which went too far and caused Rafael to drop out thereafter due to injury as Braulio applied the leg lock too far.

For Marcelo Garcia this was an enormous disappointment despite an impressive start when he submitted Kron Graice. He took silver for the first time in his division losing to Pablo Popovitch and later to Braulio Estima in the Absolute.

Well done to the organizers and participants! Well done ADCC!

Pablo Popovitch vs Gregor Gracie

Xande Ribeiro vs Vinicius Magalhaes

Fabricio Werdum vs Saulo Ribeiro

Tarsis Humphreys vs Igor Praporshchikov

Andre Galvao above working to pass the guard

Video of Marcelo Garcia in action!

среда, 23 сентября 2009 г.

Greatest Submission Fighters of All Time - ADCC Athletes Ranking

Gracie Magazine has kindly compiled a ranking of all the ADCC competitors and ranked them based on their accomplishments. Please see link here.
It is exciting to see how the top athletes of today compare to the legends like Royler Gracie and Mark Kerr, who have dominated in the past. Well done Gracie Mag!

What surprised me of course was how high Jeff Monson is on the list. He is higher on the list than many others, even higher than Roger Gracie, but I guess not for long since Roger will certainly return in ADCC 2011 as strong as ever.

Mark Kerr of course took the top position, closely followed by Mario Sperry and Marcelo Garcia. Marcelo Garcia however is set to take the top spot as he will undoubtedly take gold in his division this year as well. It is also exciting to see so many faces that have not competed for years come and participate like Ricardo Arona and Saulo Ribeiro. Both should do well but can they pull off winning their divisions, I don't know especially if Saulo competes in the +99kg.

Jacare vs Drysdale will be an exciting highlight but I am betting Xande will be in the absolute final and will probably take the most prestigious gold in the competition.

Anyway, I will be there, so look forward to seeing pictures and if you can't wait then watch the event live or on video on demand. Please click here if you are interested.

вторник, 22 сентября 2009 г.

Fedor vs Mousasi Exhibition Match M1 Breakthrough

M1-Global are doing all they can to promote themselves. Thanks to their August event called M1 Breakthrough held this year in the US, we got to see a sparring match with two great fighters displaying their skills to the American audiences.

Aoki vs Fedor was more exciting in my opinion due to the differences in style and weight. Still an interesting event. Take a look at the video below:

пятница, 18 сентября 2009 г.

Roger Gracie Out of ADCC 2009, Replaced By Jacare

Roger Gracie, the current BJJ Gi Absolute World Champion is out of the superfight with Robert Drysdale. Roger Gracie got mumps which took him away from training and after returning to training, Roger was unfortunate to twist his knee in a way that made competing no longer possible.

The ADCC Committee after careful consideration selected one of the best jiu jitsu fighters today, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, who has recently focused on this mixed martial arts career. He is a very formidable opponent for Drysdale and we will look to see how he does this September in one of the most exciting events of the year.

четверг, 17 сентября 2009 г.

November Strikeforce Event Coming Soon

A lot of news has been coming out in the grappling and mixed martial arts world over the last two weeks while I have been away. Should be back this Saturday to update everyone on what is going on at the moment.

So far it is looking like everyone is awaiting eagerly the Strikeforce event with what is most probably going to be a very strong roster. As you all will know, Strikeforce has recently strengthened it's roster of fighters to include some of the very biggest names in the sport including the legendary Fedor Emelianenko. Others include the jiu jitsu legends Roger Gracie and Ronaldo Souza and the new Strikeforce light weight champion Gegard Mousasi.

Both Gegard Mousasi and Fedor Emelianenko are hot commodities in the business. Gegard, a rising star with enormous talent and probably a decade of fighting to come while Fedor has beaten almost everyone in the business and consider the greatest fighter of all time.

While both seem to have refused to fight in the biggest promotion in the world, the UFC, they have signed with Strikeforce/M1 Global and have demonstrated their skill already, in an exhibition match called M1 Breakthrough.

The first of Strikeforce run events is expected to be in November and it already looks like the opponent of Fedor will be Brett Rogers, a strong striker with a perfect record and a first round KO of Andrei Arlovski in his last fight.

For those that love brazilian jiu jitsu will of course look forward to Roger Gracie's debut in Strikeforce in the heavyweight division. Roger is perhaps the greatest submission specialist the world has ever seen. Gracie is the current BJJ World Champion both in the heavyweight and in the absolute category, submitting all of his opponents from the mount in a spectacular performance never before seen. With only two mma fights behind his belt and so far little striking skill, he is yet to prove that he can beat the best but there is no doubt in my mind that Roger is a force to be reckoned with in any mma promotion and no matter who his opponent is.

The event in November will be spectacular and the only shame is that many of us fans living outside of the US and UK will not have a chance to watch it live.

sincerely yours,


вторник, 1 сентября 2009 г.

Judo World Champion 2009

It keeps surprising me still how unnoticed huge events are like the Judo world championship. Despite all the seats being taken at Rotterdam for the event of the year, the media does not pay much attention. The rules and the complexity of the sport is of course a major factor behind the relatively low popularity of Judo. It not as easy to understand as for example golf or tennis, nor is it as exciting for the uneducated viewer.

Check out the results here. Outside the sports world, many of the names are unknown. Russia has improved its performance taking one gold, one silver and one bronze. An improved result from the Bejing games but still there is room to improve.

Ivan Nifontov won the under 81kg category taking gold. Etsio Gamba, Russia's mens coach says that there is still have room to improve with Alexander Mikhailin and Tagir Haybullaev potentially able to take medals but showing disappointing performances this time around. It looks like Etsio has done well to return the Russian team to success.

The biggest surprise of the tournament no doubt has been the disappointing performance of the Japanse men's team, which took only one silver medal in the under 60kg. This is the worst performance in the 59 year history for Japan.

Overall, no doubt about it, this year Japan, South Korea and France were the countries with the strongest judo athletes. In each country, Judo is extremely popular, and it is not a surprise to see such an outcome. Most noticeably is perhaps China, which keeps climbing up the Judo ladder and no doubt as Chinese Judo grows, we will see some young new talent from over there.

Final List for Women's ADCC

ADCC has now announced the complete list of competitors in the women's divisions. Never really followed women's grappling although no doubt it will be exciting this year as the level of competitors continues to improve. Kyra Gracie is perhaps the most recognizable name on the list together with Cristiane Cyborg, the current Strikeforce Champion. Actually I thought Cyborg was only a bjj purple belt but perhaps she has other grappling experience and certainly her mixed martial arts experience gives her the right credentials to be able to compete.

Females +60kg

1. Hannette Staack. USA
2. Penny Thomas. USA
3. Hitomi Hiraiwa. Japan
4. Rosângela Conceição. Brazil
5. Ida Hansson. Sweden
6. Shanti Abelha. Denmark
7. Lana Stephanac. USA
8. Cristiane Cyborg. USA

Females -60kg

1. Kyra Gracie. Brazill
2. Sayaka Shioda. Japan
3. Megumi Fujii. Japan
4. Michelle Tavares. Brazil
5. Laurence Cousin. France
6. Ina Steffensen. Denmark
7. Hillary Williams. USA
8. Luanna Alzuguir. Brazil

After a disappointing Mundials performance from Kyra Gracie, it is interesting to see how she will perform in this no-gi event. No doubt the competition will be very strong and from the number of countries represented, a very international event. Women's grappling, like women's mixed martial arts, has a long road to go yet before it can reach any decent level of popularity compared to the men's events. Perhaps women's Judo is quite close to men's Judo. Carano vs Cyborg headline fight was the first step in MMA.

For me I think that women's grappling may be even more exciting than bjj gi championships for example. Gi fights are of course much slower and the men's fights really show more varied technique and speed. Too many women's fights that I have seen were about passing the guard for more than half of the match with little success. Whether it is stalling, lower level of technique or muscle strength, I really don't know but I envision that from a spectator point of view, no-gi matches may become a more exciting event.

понедельник, 31 августа 2009 г.

UFC 102 Couture vs Nogueira Review

UFC 102 was one of the best shows I've seen in a while even though apparently it did not make the numbers Dana White wanted to see. Impressive knockouts and most notably of course the spectacular KO of Demian Maia by Nate Marquardt in the Middleweight division. The fastest KO ever in UFC history, apparently only 7 seconds in to the first round. Of course a real setback for Demian, who has the best brazilian jiu jitsu in the UFC but has clearly shown his lack of striking skills which he will have to improve fast if he wants to progress further in MMA.

The fight that was supposed to make the night special, Couture vs Nogueira, did make a hell of a night. So much speculation and so many predictions for this fight were made that it is hard to include them all here. One most obvious fact was according to almost everone Couture was supposed to win this fight comfortably. The UFC SMS poll showed that something like 75% of the fans voted that Couture would win.

Big Nog is one of my favourite fighters and of course with his previous performance and the rumor that he got KOd in training, I was really disappointed. The Minotauro that we saw however in UFC 102 was not the same guy that got knocked out by Frank Mir. This was a tough guy who has successfully recovered from the staff infection and the knee injury. Clearly Nog trained a lot for this fight and although we perhaps did not see the Minotauro of the Pride days when he fought the Last Emperor, he looked strong, dominating both in the striking and on the ground.

Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro met Randy Couture in the headline non-championship fight in UFC 102. Randy looked his usual self, strong and I think the same guy that fought Brock Lesnar. This was the same Randy. He looked sharp but Nogueira simply outclassed him. In the first round, Nogueira proved his boxing is superior but also took some solid one-twos from Randy to the chin. This didn't affect Nog however and at some point they even engaged in some brutal striking, toe to toe. Minotauro proved to be the stronger man and sent Randy to the canvas but was unable to finish him as Randy was able to control Nogueira and recover. Randy's age was perhaps a factor here of course.

Later in to the second and third round we saw some very close submissions from Nogueira, securing first a D'arce choke which Couture incredibly managed to escape and later an arm-triangle. Nogueira also displayed some impressive sweeps from his very dangerous guard. He made them look incredibly easy. It was amazing. As a result Nogueira mounted Couture and dominated him on the ground for most of the second and third round.

Overall critics will say that Randy's age was a factor in this fight but really we all knew how old he was when he went in and everybody bet on Couture. Nogueira was the superior fighter last weekend, no doubt about it. Can Big Nog take on Lesnar? Well I think he still needs to improve his conditioning and in particular speed. He looked a bit gassed in the middle of the second round and I think speed and cardio is something that would help against a monster like Brock Lesnar. If Big Nog can sweep Lesnar from the guard and submit him, this could be a very different game. The problem was with Mir in my opinion is that he got taken down by Lesnar and could not maintain control and literally survive on the bottom. Lesnar took him down and kept striking and made sure he could not escape.

Can Nogueira be Champ? Some room to improve still but he could have a good chance here. Good luck to him.

пятница, 28 августа 2009 г.

ADCC Consolidated Competitor List

For all those eager to see the competitors so far confirmed for ADCC 2009, please see below the mens table. These are the guys that we saw were 100% confirmed. I did not include Fedor Emelianenko and Gegard Mousasi as there has not been any information about this so far.

As soon as there is some announcement in terms of which categories they compete, I will add them but so far I have not seen much confirmation for these guys and with so much going on in their MMA careers I would not be surprised if they don't compete.

Roger Gracie (Brasil) vs Robert Drysdale (Brasil)

- Rani Yahya (Brasil)
- Kouhei Yasumi (Japão)
- Rafael Mendes (Brasil)
- Nicolas Renier (França)
- Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas (Finlândia)
- Ryan Hall (EUA)
- David Marinakis (Austrália)
- Jayson Patino (EUA)
- Leozinho Viera (Brasil)
- Baret Yoshida. USA
- Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles (Brasil)
- Jeff Glover (USA)
- Hiroshi Nakamuro (Japan)
- Justin Rader
- Jeff Curran (USA)

- Marcelo Garcia (Brasil)
- K-taro Nakamura (Japão)
- Murilo Santana (Brasil)
- Marcelo Azevedo (Itália)
- Toni Linden (Finlândia)
- Don Ortega (EUA)
- Rodney Ellis (Austrália)
- Enrico Cocco (EUA)
- Georges St Pierre (Canada)
- Pablo Popovich (USA)
- Kron Gracie (Brasil)
- Yoshiyuki "Zenko" Yoshida (Japan)
- Bill Cooper (USA)
- Milton Vieira
- Ben Askren (USA)

- Demian Maia (Brasil)
- Kazuhiro Nakamura (Japão)
- André Galvão (Brasil)
- Kassim Annan (França)
- Trond Saksenvik (França)
- Jason Selva (EUA)
- Igor Praporshchikov (Austrália)
- Chris Weidman (EUA)
- Nate Marquardt (USA)
- Rafael Lovato (Brasil)
- Daniel Tabera (Spain)
- Rousimar Palhares "Toquinho"
- Gunnar Nelson (Iceland)

- Xande Ribeiro (Brasil)
- Ukiya Nato (Japão)
- Glover Teixeira (Brasil)
- Radek Turek (Polônia)
- Andreas Olsen (Noruega)
- Rafael Davies (EUA)
- Anthony Perosh (Austrália)
- Gerardi Rinaldi (EUA)
- Dean Lister (USA)
- Ricardo Arona (Brasil)
- Mike Van Arsdale (USA)
- Vinny Magalhaes "Pezao"
- Vesa Vuor
- Marcio "Pe de Pano" Cruz
- Renato "Babalu" Sobral

- Fabrício Werdum (Brasil)
- Kouji Kanechika (Japão)
- Antoine Jaoude (Brasil)
- Tomasz Janiszewski (Polônia)
- Janne-Pekka (Finlândia)
- Asa Fuller (EUA)
- Dennis Roberts (Austrália)
- Tom DeBlass (EUA)
- Saulo Ribeiro (Brasil)
- Rogent Lorent (Spain)
- Gabriel Gonzaga (Brazil)
- Jon Olav Einemo (Norway)
- Tom Erickson
- Jeff Monson, USA

With so many great names on this list, this is the biggest event perhaps to ever to take place. Keep reading to find out more.

четверг, 27 августа 2009 г.

BJJ Legends Looking to Make it in Mixed Martial Arts

Demian Maia

Demian Maia is perhaps the best brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner in the UFC sitting next to "The Prodigy" B.J Penn. The man is unreal and has so far shown himself with a clean record, looking to fight Anderson Silva for the middleweight title. Unlike B.J. Penn though, Demian relies far more on his jiu jitsu than Penn who has extremely solid boxing.

The question right from the birth of UFC has always been whether you can survive and be successful with just outstanding jiu jitsu. Demian Maia will be out there to try to prove this by attempting to defeat the likes of Anderson Silva, who has a black belt in jiu jitsu himself. Can he do it? Well, Wanderlei Silva certainly thinks so. He tells us that it is hard to defend for long against such an amazing brazilian jiu jitsu player. I believe him.

UFC 102 will certainly be a test for Demian but really it is the title shot (if he gets it) that will determine whether he can make it.

Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro

Although Minotauro is not a world class jiu jitsu player, he is damn good when it comes to submissions in MMA. His Pride days are long gone and now he needs to make it in a very different heavyweight division facing smart wrestlers like Randy Couture and huge wrestlers like Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar.

Minotauro has defeated excellent strikers (Mirko Crocop) and outstanding well rounded fighters with excellent grappling skills (Kazushi Sakuraba, Dan Henderson and Josh Barnett). He did this not due to his striking but due to his superior grappling and ability to withstand strikes, recover quickly and pressure opponents into making mistakes.

Rising Submission Stars

There are several rising submission specialists that are gradually developing their careers. The most successful so far outside the UFC has been Ronaldo Souza known as Jacare. The explosive jiu jitsu fighter has been the runner up in the Dream Middleweight Grand-Prix, losing only to Gegard Mousasi (the new Strikeforce Lightweight Champion). More recently he has signed up with Strikeforce and will surely be one of their top fighters looking to take the belt.

Roger Gracie and Xande Ribeiro have been looking to make their careers in MMA too. Each of them has had two fights so far, both displaying great skill but very different styles. Xande is more focused on developing his striking and displays more of it in his fights each time. Roger Gracie relies primarily on his sick jiu jitsu and particularly unmatched submission abilities. Any guy going to the ground with these jiu jitsu legends will not survive for long.

Lastly it is worth mentioning that two years ago Marcelo Garcia entered the MMA ring to test his skills narrowly losing by doctor stoppage due to a cut above his eye. Probably the most decorated no-gi grappler, Marcelo took the back mount position but was not able to execute the submission. I think he will be back, submitting many once his striking skills improve.

Each of these guys is incredible at what he does and is a great jiu jitsu submission artist. They are not well-rounded fighters but can they make successful careers in MMA? I think it all depends on their styles and strategies they use. They must focus to minimize their weaknesses and focus on their strengths in the same way as Randy Couture does when he fights his smart fights as a wrestler. It is all about control and not getting hit. Whether you use classical jiu jitsu like Roger Gracie or you utilize the Eddie Bravo innovations as Shinya Aoki does, you need to have control and not get into the situation where you don't end up as a punching bag for a good wrestler/striker.

понедельник, 24 августа 2009 г.

The Couture Vs Nogueira UFC 102 Prediction

Randy Couture nicknamed "The Natural" is a great fighter. He has fought the best in the UFC and has been the only man to take the belt in both the heavy weight and the light heavyweight divisions.

With a background in Olympic-level Greco-roman wrestling, Randy Couture is a very popular fighter, relying on skill and enormous experience to control and defeat his opponents mainly via ground and pound.

Randy has recently faced and lost via a TKO that saw him knocked to the ground and pounded on by the menacing Brock Lesnar, the current UFC Heavyweight champion of the world. Looking very good during the first round, Randy clearly was not able to take some of the brutal elbows and punches from Lesnar and collapsed in the second.

Following this defeat he is now due to fight the Pride FC warrior, Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro. Minotauro, also known as Big Nog, is a black belt in both Brazilian jiu jitsu and judo with decent striking. He has faced nearly every top heavyweight in his time including Mirko Cro Cop and Fedor Emelianenko. Minotauro is an amazing submission artist famous for his comebacks and for his iron chin which apparently runs in the family.

More recently, Big Nog had to face another submission master Frank Mir and surprised his fans with his visibly poor conditioning and even more notably for the first time in his career getting knocked out.

Despite the comments by Minotauro himself that he is in the best shape since four years ago, rumors are continuing to grow that he has been knocked out during training and this is certainly not the Minotauro that his fans including myself remember.

Prediction: Antonio Nogueira by Unanimous Decision

Both of these fighters may risk to put their careers in danger were they to lose this fight and yet at the same time for both this will be a very tough match. Randy Couture as old as he is still looking very good considering the opponents that he has faced while Antonio Nogueira has youth on his side but his current condition raises some serious questions. Is Nogueira ready for this fight? I believe he will do his best to prepare for this battle as it will no doubt affect his legacy as a fighter. The Couture vs. Nogueira fight has been long overdue and now it has come and I think both fighters were waiting for this battle for a long time.

From an analysis point of view, striking-wise, they are probably about even. Both are clearly grapplers with some decent striking but neither is spectacular on his feet. This fight will quickly go to the ground. I think that Minotauro will almost certainly look for a takedown which Randy Couture will try to control and reverse in his favor.

On the ground I would still favor Nogueira although Randy may have some success on top. Nogueira I believe would be very difficult to control and I believe that if Randy makes a mistake, Nogueira will almost certainly capitalize on it. Good luck to them!

среда, 19 августа 2009 г.

Gi or No-Gi: a few thoughts on the subject

Should one train with or without the gi many ask. I would like to give some of my thoughts on the subject in this article.

Gracie Magazine had a good page with all the experts giving their opinions on the subject a couple of months back. The traditional view is that one should train with the gi and then once he has absorbed the fundamentals of jiu jitsu he can transition to no-gi while continuing to train in the gi.

This traditional view is no often debated as jiu jitsu continues to evolve and new techniques are developed like the Rubber Guard for example. Guys like Eddie Bravo will tell you that it worth starting your jiu jitsu training without the gi. There are certainly fewer moves and if you are training in mixed martial arts, you don't have the gi to work with.

Training with the gi is no doubt more technical. There are far more techniques available here and in a way you get used to relying on the opponents gi which can be a bad habit. For both it is a little strange to transition from one style to the other.

Some also argue that no-gi is more effective in real life for self-defense purposes. You or your opponent may not have a gi and for this reason it is worthwhile training without it. The same argument also works the other way as well and I would argue that from standing the argument is especially strong. During the colder seasons of the year everyone has a coat or something to grab. Here judo players would no doubt be at a great advantage performing throws that could be very effective especially if you land on concrete. With the gi you have so much more control and you have many more options. You can use the spider-guard, you can use chokes, you can use the additional control to carryout effective sweeps.

The central issue is that everyone has his own opinion on this and that is mainly based on the background of the person. Wrestlers prefer no-gi while judo and often jiu jitsu guys like the gi.

The other issue is how exciting to watch each of the sports are. Many opinions here also. No-gi grappling is much more dynamic, much faster but less technical. Gi jiu jitsu like the BJJ World Championships are a great display of highly technical ground game and judo from stand up. I think that both are great as long as the opponents really look for the submission and do not focus on defense and stalling.

ADCC 2009 will be a very exciting event and I will be there to enjoy it:)

понедельник, 10 августа 2009 г.

ADCC Barcelona 2009 - the Event of the Year Plus Update

The Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling Championships is the most prestigious submission wrestling event in the world, period. The winners of this tournament are regarded to be the world's elite grapplers and the list of competitors alone reads like a who's who in the sport.

Fighters from many disciplines including jiu jitsu, judo, sambo and wrestling compete once in every two years in this elite invitation-only tournament created and sponsored by Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nayan, the son of the former United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayan, together with his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor Nelson Monteiro.

The event was first held back in 1998 and has since then seen many great champions and representatives of different martial arts participate. Although the majority of practitioners today represent brazilian jiu jitsu, there have already been notable exceptions including Sanae Kikuta and of course Mark Kerr, the free-style wrestler that defeated everyone in 2000, both in his category (over 99kg) and in the absolute division.

Many champions have shown their skills in this competition but perhaps the brightest has been Marcelo Garcia, the Alliance black belt considered by many to be the best no-gi pound-for-pound fighter.

This year the event is expected to be unlike any that we have seen yet. The competitor list that has already been announced is so strong and so decorated that we are sure to witness one of the greatest grappling events in the history.

Not only has the fight included every elite jiu jitsu competitor including the likes of Roger Gracie (current Absolute Champion), Robert Drysdale (2007 ADCC Champion), Xande Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia, Rubens Charles "Cobrinha", Leo Viera and many others, but two of the pound-for-pound mixed martial arts legends have been confirmed.

So why is ADCC 2009 special?

Today, there are three names that are undisputedly considered the pound-for-pound best in the world. These are the legends of the sport, Georges St-Pierre the UFC Welterweight Champion, Anderson Silva the UFC Middleweight Champion and Fedor Emelianenko the WAMMA Heavyweight Champion. All of these guys are legends in the sport and have proven time and time again why they are the best.

Now the grappling fans have a chance to witness something that has never been seen before. Two of them, Fedor Emeliananko and Georges St-Pierre (GSP) are scheduled participate. Both are extremely well-rounded fighters with a good background in grappling.

GSP is a brazilian jiu jitsu blackbelt while Fedor Emelianenko is a national Judo Champion and a multiple World Combat Sambo Champion. Now they will test their skills against the monsters of the grappling arts. The mere prospect of seeing GSP fighting Marcelo Garcia is an incredible sight.

There were some rumors that Fedor may not be competing but if we do see this MMA king battle in the open weight division, this will be for sure a memorable occasion. I know I will be there to see it.


ADCC 2009 will be held in Barcelona on 26-27 September. Tickets are already available on Ticketmaster.com.


The ADCC Committee has released even more names today. They are - 65.9 kg Hiroshi Nakamura (judo champion), +99kg Garbriel Gonzaga (UFC Fighter and Mundials Champion in 2006) and +99kg Jon Olav Einemo (the only human to defeat Roger Gracie in ADCC).

Check this link for updated list of competitors

UFC 101 Declaration - Takeaway Points

Watched the fights on Yahoo Sports PPV on Sunday. Really enjoyed it so here are a few takeaway points I had from the night.

- Anderson Silva is incredible. Yes well everyone knew this was the case before, but this fight really made me a believer. I did not have much of a chance to see the pound-for-pound king in action before this fight, but his display of striking skills was more than impressive against a dangerous Forrest Griffin.

I think that Forrest was injured. His jaw got dislocated and you can't blame him for losing with an injury like that. I mean that is incredibly painful. Anderson just tapped him the last time he went down. The injury was already there.

Nevertheless I think for Anderson, a win against Lyota Machida would cement his legacy as one of the greatest MMA fighters in the sport if not the best ever. He would be the Randy Couture with the double belts in middle and light heavy weight. There are few people that could do this in the sport.

- BJ Penn the king at 155. BJ Penn to me is a guy that never makes big mistakes. His jiu jitsu is unreal and his boxing is very good. Could someone beat him? I think yes but this guy must have unreal striking skill because there is I think no chance of beating BJ any other way.

At 155 he is really tough. Visually he appeared much stronger than the skinny Kenny Florian. The only way it seems to beat BJ is to out-muscle him with great takedowns and awesome wrestling which is what GSP did. It does not look like anyone in the 155 category can do this today.

These were the two fights that made the night. Pellegrino deserves a mention with his quality groundwork I think as well. Lets now look forward to the next tournaments coming up:

1) Carano vs Cyborg on August 15 with the main card featuring:

Gina Carano vs Cris "Cyborg" - 145lb Female Championship Bout

Nick Diaz vs Jay Hieron - Welterweight Championship Bout

Renato "Babulu" Sobral vs Gergard Mousasi - Light Heavyweight Championship Bout

Gilbert Melendez vs Mitsuhiro Ishida - Lightweight Interim Championship Bout

Roger Gracie will also be fighting in this event and for all the brazilian jiu jitsu fans out there I think this will be a fight to see. Roger Gracie is the current brazilian jiu jitsu Heavyweight and Open Weight Champion and in my opinion the best jiu jitsu player on the planet today.

Strikeforce is doing well signing up good fighters. With the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Roger Gracie, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Gegard Mousasi signed in the last month, they are quickly consolidating the pool of talented fighters under their banner.

All they now need to do is to get the media distribution, so that we, the fans, can watch these great fights live. Without the audience, Strikeforce just can't afford to pay these guys and that can lead to a demise a-la Affliction.

2. UFC 102: Couture vs Nogueira on August 29 with the main card featuring

Randy Couture vs. Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira

Keith Jardine vs. Thiago Silva

Chris Leben vs. Jake Rosholt

Nate Marquardt vs. Demian Maia

Brandon Vera vs. Krzysztof Soszynski

Apart from Couture vs Nogueira I think Demian Maia will be an exciting fight which will determine whether the bjj genius will meet Anderson Silva. A good card in my opinion. I look forward to also seeing several strong fighters return to the top of the mma rankings like Gonzaga and Brandon Vera. The Polish guy Krzysztof Soszynski is also considered to be very strong. (although he did lose to Ben Rothwell)

пятница, 7 августа 2009 г.

Gracie Magazine - I Love It!

I have already written a small post on the Gracie Magazine in the past but having enjoyed the publication so much in the last few months, I wanted to share some of my thoughts.

Gracie Magazine is the publication for brazilian jiu jitsu athletes and practitioners across the world. I subscribed to the magazine back in April and have enjoyed it immensely ever since. The publication is monthly and just take a look at the benefits:

The magazine provides quality coverage of top events each month. In June we had the BJJ World Championships and the coverage was excellent. Of course you always wish you went and actually so the fights in person but what they do is excellent. Great illustrations and nice articles throughout.Take a look at some of the pictures from the magazine I took.

There are several aspects that are normally covered apart from events themselves. You get interviews with the stars, tips and breakdowns of certain techniques. I can see that Alvaro Roman and his Ginastica Natural system is also very much covered here. Training-wise I also see very often invitations to participate in seminars and even camps. The July edition invited participants to get involved in a Judo camp that was being run by several very successful Judokas. Although most of the events do take place in the US, they do cover other locations and Europe is also mentioned, as the home of phenomenal athletes such as Roger Gracie and Braulio Estima.

I'm not really saying everyone has to be up to date with every bjj event out there, but many of us are just thirsty to find out more, what is going on and since there are still so few resources available I would certainly recommend this magazine as one of the best resources available. (by the way the website is also great!) The only thing is of course I was a little surprised that they have so far not covered the ADCC 2009 coming up in September but perhaps the next issue will.

If you are looking to get some nice gear, the is plenty of advertising of course from the top producers of jiu jitsu gear in the sport of course. It is not always easy to find good gear on the Internet or elsewhere and some of us (me included) like to get a new kimono from time to time, to treat ourselves for the hard training we had to go through.

Lets keep the training going. Motivation is key and its always good to stay knowledgeable, train smart and get the best advice. Jiu jitsu unlike any other martial art has gone so far in terms of growing the sport and I think with such quality resources out there we have much to look forward to.

I think maybe after a year of subscription it would be worthwhile writing a letter to the publisher to give our feedback on the magazine and ideas on how to make it even better. If you have any ideas, please post them on this blog and I will for sure include them.

четверг, 6 августа 2009 г.

BJJ and Judo Injuries

Many people say that BJJ and Judo result in fewer injuries than traditional sports such as Tennis and Basketball. While I do not disagree with this statement, clearly regular training in these martial arts results in a lot of injuries which can be broadly categorized between minor injuries and major ones.

Minor injuries I think are very common in most sports. They are blisters from golf, bruises from basketball and sore muscles from too much tennis. In grappling martial arts I would say the most common are mat burns and bruises.

Mat burns occur mainly on the feet of the fighter and result from constant friction with the mats. Bruises are extremely common and you often won't really notice these since you would get so many as a result of free sparring.

Other sport-specific minor injuries are neck sprains, minor back pain as a result of intensive training, finger and hand pain causes by excessive grabbing with the Gi.

Minor injuries list:

1. Bruises
2. Neck sprain - mainly avoidable with a good warm up
3. Blisters and mat burns
4. Finger pain - due to excessive holding of the kimono
5. Black eye - you can get this too!

There are others of course, but these are just a few I had. Most guys don't notice these, but they are common and at any time you will see people that have these. Intensive training also results in swollen finger joints and what I would call "rubbed of" fingers where the part just above the nail looks not normal after constant friction with the gi.


When I mention major injuries, I will only cover the common ones and by saying "major injury", I mean that it keeps you away from training. I don't mean things like broken arms and legs, something that is also possible but pretty avoidable if you practice grappling sensibly.

Photo by Trevor Haldenby

My list is the following:

1. Cauliflower Ear - while this barely qualifies as something a fighter takes time off for, if you do suddenly have swollen ears and have not bought an ear guard, you may want to take some time off and visit the ear doctor. Cauliflower ear is completely avoidable if you wear your ear guard or head guard, but an injury that many are not entirely aware of until they get it.

2. Knees - your knees are such a weak part of your body that they almost certainly suffer. They are prone to bruising when you train and I recommend wearing knee pads. They won't do anything to stop a heel hook going wrong, but they will save your knees for the next session and keep them away from bruises and mat burns.

3. Shoulders - some may not be aware but this is an injury that can take you from the mats for months if not longer. Shoulder injuries are common in many sports and they are perhaps even more common in grappling. A vicious omoplata (shoulder lock) can be the start of an injury that can develop gradually over time and then culminating in severe pain and the fighter not being to lift his arm entirely.

Treatment is a long and sometimes painful process with the treatments ranging from physiotherapy (unlikely to work most cases as the injury may be too developed) to injections and surgery.

Pain here is normally caused by muscle or joint inflammation leading to friction with the shoulder bones and resulting recurring pain.

4. Teeth - like the cauliflower ear, this one is entirely preventable. Just wear a mouth guard if you want to keep your teeth. Chipped teeth is the most common thing that can happen but anything more serious can set you back a lot of money with your dentist.

5. Nose - if you do Judo, this is very possible. Breakfall

6. Concussion. Techniques like the drop-seonage performed poorly can lead to injury. If you are practicing with a beginner, be mindful of this.

These are just some of the injuries you can get. I have had all of these injuries over the course of my training and more, so do your warm-up and take care.

M1 Global and Its Business in MMA

M1 Global has been at the heart of the historical events that have been unfolding in mixed martial arts among the heavyweight divisions in the world especially over the last few years. This promotion has been able to stir up so much controversy and anger leading up to today that it is worth seeing why this is the case.

So what is M1-Global?

-----First the background

In March 2007, Dream Stage Entertainment sold Pride Fighting Championships to Zuffa LLC which owned UFC. At this point the mixed martial arts world began changing. Most of the successful fighters from Pride started moving over to the UFC in USA to compete in the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world. Pride staff over in Japan were laid off and soon the organization ceased to exist entirely.

Although most fighters were lured by handsome paychecks offered by the UFC, some including the heavy weight champion at the time, Fedor Emelianenko, failed to make this transition.

-----Back to Russia

Back in Russia, Vadim Finkelstein and Sergei Matvienko were running M-1 Mixfight, a loss-making Saint Petersburg-based promotion trying to develop mixed martial arts since 1997.

Sergei Matvienko in fact is the son of Valentina Matvienko, a powerful Saint Petersburg governor and politician in Russia and it is no doubt that M1-Mixfight business strategy was to gain support from the government and monetize as much as possible. (remember the dinner they had with Vladimir Putin after the Bodog event)

Although some very limited air-time was given to M1-Mixfight, the market and the audience was not ready. MMA remained unknown in Russia which translated into a losses for M1. Something had to be done.

Both Vadim and Sergei were entrepreneurs, not professional managers. They were not focused on creating a viable business out of M1-Mixfight by gradually developing the pool of quality fighters and creating a distribution channel through pay television and pay-per-view. They focused on deals, doing deals with fighters that were ready to sign with them and doing deals with state representatives to get coverage. This didn't really work at all and its no wornder. They did not invest the time and money, and they didn't get anything back.

Vadim Finkelstein however got lucky. In 2003, Fedor Emelianenko won the Pide Heavyweight Championship. At the time he was part of the Russian Top Team but his success forced a conflict between RTT leaders and Fedor. Fedor accused his manager at the time Vladimir Pogodin of deceiving him on financial matters. The result was that both Fedor and his brother Aleksander Emelianenko left to join Red Devil Sport club in Saint Petersburg, a club founded back in 1996 by Vadim Finkelstein.

Vadim Finkelstein became Fedor's manager. Fedor Emelianenko was not happy Mr. Pogodin, his previous manager, represented him and this was the guy that he chose to represent his interests.

-----The Creation of M1-Global

M1-Global was born in 2007 as a result of an unlikely deal. Sibling Entertainment, a small entertainment business involved in theatre and production of Broadway shows got interested in mixed martial arts and finalized a deal to purchase M-1 Mixfight. Sibling, although claimed to be a relative success by its President, Mitchell Maxwell, struggled lately as it continued to make bad investments and lose money in a whole series of ventures such as downloadable films, battery companies and many others.

M1-Global hired Monte Cox, one of the biggest fight agents in the sport to become the CEO. At the same time, the infamous Vadim Finkelstein became the President of the new company. Joost Raimond and Apy Echteld, a promoter, event management expert and an MMA trainer were also hired. While the team had undoubtedly substantial knowledge of the industry, experts puzzled for a while over how the company without a real business model was expected to succeed. Very soon a preview of the strategy became revealed.

-----M1's money-maker

Within a matter of months (that same year, 2007), M1-Global signed Fedor to a six-fight, two year deal worth nearly $2 million dollars per fight and a $1.5 million signing bonus with the prospect to hold a piece of the pie if he sticks with M1-Global for five years. After a lot of talk, fans were given the impression that M1 is planning to create the new Pride that could compete with UFC as it did in the olden days. The question remained however, why would fighters of the highest calibre sign with M1 Global? Unlike UFC with its millions PPVs and pay television coverage, M1 Global did not have any real distribution channel. Essentially it could not sell its product and collect money to pay its fighters.

Today's Perspective

Looking at M1-Global today, it promotes a series of tournaments under M1-Selection and M1-Challenge. The goal of the organization is to popularize in MMA (including in Russia) and to make a profit while doing so. The M1-Selection tournaments are aimed at selecting the top talent in Russia while M1-Challenge is an international series of tournaments where new fighters develop their careers in country team-based events.

Are the goals set out by M1 being achieved? M1-Selection has recently held their fifth event but it looks like there is no success in finding new stars. Most of the fighters in M1 events from Russia are now mature athletes with so-so records. No new "Fedor Emelianenko" has been found while Fedor himself remains as unknown as ever in Russia.

M1 Global does nothing to develop not only media coverage of the events, but they also do nothing to improve the quality and supply of new fighters. Instead of supporting clubs to develop new talent, they do not do nothing of the sort. The latest video's of Fedor training in his hometown in Stary Oskol were simply shocking. He trains in a kinder garden playground with no facilities at all, no good sparring partners of his own level of skill and size. Could Vadim Finkelstein (his manager) and M1 do something about this? Absolutely, but instead they choose only to milk him for everything he can give them as I will describe further.

So what has M1 been upto in the last two years and the last few weeks then that is stirring so much disappointment and outrage among the fans across the world?

After M1-Global was formed and managed to sign the #1 ranked heavyweight fighter, its demands began to grow to enormous proportions without any real business justification.

Perhaps the first example of this was when M1 managed to agree a deal with Bodog promotion for a co-promoted event BodogFIGHT Clash of the Nations. Fedor had to fight against Mat Lindland, a middleweight fighter that was no high in any kind of rankings. Many fans across the world might have asked the question: "why did this fight happen? why did Fedor fight him?" Dana White famously said that Fedor did not fight top competition in 2007 and 2008, and few can argue him wrong. He was right and everyone knows this. This fight happened because M1 wanted its first co-promoted event. After the tournament, Vadim also explained that they will never work with Bodog again. M1 logos were not visible and Bodog did everything it could to hide the fact that it had to partner with M1. Why? Well, because it did not many any kind of business sense. M1 has nothing to offer when doing co-promotion deals apart from its only asset, Fedor.

Affliction, the mma promotion that has shockingly collapsed last month actually organized events in partnership with M1 Global. They were supposed to be 50-50 partners with the name "Affliction M1-Global". It is a surprise therefore that Vadim Finkelstein, the president of M1-Global actually blamed the failure entirely on Affliction. M1-Global co-organized the event and should get its 50% share of the blame as well. Of course, that is not how Vadim sees things.

After Affliction's demise, M1-Global quickly sought to negotiate with a number of other organizations. UFC, Strikeforce, Electronic Arts to make a video game and at least another 3-4 other promotions.

There is not doubt in my mind that Fedor was offered perhaps the best deal offered to any fighter by the UFC. This was swiftly declined by Finkelstein, the guy that was supposed to care about Fedor's interests. Only a week later, M1 Global signed a co-promotion deal with Strikeforce. Great, now we can all watch Fedor fight in a minor league with only 2 or 3 fighters of the same level as Fedor.

What is even more interesting is that Fedor has signed for only 3 fights. There is no one else to fight there if he beats Alistair Overeem, the current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, an almost certain free-agent two years down the road, it could certainly be that the career of the greatest fighter in the history is effectively over.

One might ask then, well isnt Fedor the owner of a stake in M1-Global? This is the company where most of Fedor's salary goes. Fedor's salary that helps balance out the losses that Vadim has in M1. Once Fedor retires, Strikeforce will almost certainly not want to share revenue with M1. Two years down the road, we will have Fedor cheated and left with his stake in M1, thats the only thing he will have left. The fans will be gone, disappointed that he could not fight Brock Lesnar, the UFC champ that he should have defeated. The money will be gone, invested in a bunch of loss-making ventures that Vadim and his entrepreneurial mind came up with.

The only thing that Fedor will have left will be his stake in M1-Global.

What is that worth? Well, lets see. M1-Global will lose its partnership with Strikeforce and go back to being the entrepreneurial outfit running the M1-Challenge/M1 Selection tournaments that it was recently. There are many stories about companies like this. Vadim & associates will be back to square one with a loss making outfit that is M1, not worth a dollar and soon to be pronounced dead. Fedor is not getting any younger and can M1 get lucky and make another deal thereafter? Sure, but in all certainty the story will not have a happy ending.

Fedor has not tried to limit M1-Global's ambitions and has let down his fans. He kept telling us how he wants to fight for his country (Russia) and for his fans, but really in practice he fights for Vadim Finkelstein and the private company with unknown beneficiaries that is M1-Global. He could have achieved far more fighting for the UFC, taking the title and retiring. By doing so he would have done so much more for his country and his fans than by fighting in a minor league for the benefit of M1 Global.