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Fighter to Watch: Grappling Superstar Pablo Popovitch to Make MMA Debut June 4


(Pablo is built like a fighter — a PRIDE fighter)

If you’ve followed the grappling and jiu-jitsu circuits for the past decade, chances are you’ve heard the name Pablo Popovitch.

If not, you’re likely familiar with some of the recognizable names the 30-year-old Brazilian, who is a third degree black belt under the Machado brothers, has defeated on the mats like Marcelo Garcia, Gregor Gracie, Ben Askren, Saulo Ribeiro, Roan CarneiroRenzo Gracie, Marcus Avellan, Jake ShieldsDiego SanchezKenny Florian, Antonio McKee and Hermes Franca.


Set to make his heavily anticipated MMA debut June 4 against a yet-to-be-named opponent at Rumble at the Rock’s "Rock and Rumble 3," Popovitch  is the latest grappling superstar to make the jump to MMA and is said to be working vigilantly to ensure that the gap between his level of stand-up and ground game is as narrow as possible for his premier in the cage.

The 2009 ADCC 170-pound champ, Popovitch, whose style and skill set is comparable to that of Demian Maia‘s, and resembles a smaller Vitor Belfort, will compete as a welterweight in the cage as well.

Also on the card will be a lightweight title bout featuring Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett and a yet-to-be-decided opponent.

According to a press release, the event will have 11 main card fights featuring Jessica Aguillar, Ailton Barbosa, Effrain Ruiz, Caleb Archer, Rafael Dias, Hayder Hassan, James Winn and UFC vet Crafton Wallace. 

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Griff- May 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm
I agree with David Banner: Lay & Gay is definitely a better base in today's MMA. In fact, they should discard the moniker "MMA" and just call it "Lay and Gay". Call it what it has become; a contest to see who can lay on whom and land the most girly strikes.
CheechFace- May 12, 2010 at 10:11 am
ytrebil -
Just screwin with you.
Family Guy runs a bit behind here so I only saw the Quagmire's Dad/Mam episode yesterday.
David_Banner- May 12, 2010 at 8:41 am
Is it just me or does it look like the white guy BJJfreak is handshaking has prosthetic legs?
ytrebil- May 12, 2010 at 8:04 am
CheechFace - I've no idea who 'NewDad' is, and if you are detecting aggression in my typing, then you are mistaken.

Any-who, hey back'atcha!
CheechFace- May 12, 2010 at 7:53 am
Hey ytrebil
Did NewDad fuck your dad or something? You seem to have a bit of pent up aggression towards him or something?
jimbonics- May 12, 2010 at 7:16 am
I am a better grappler.
ytrebil- May 12, 2010 at 7:14 am
Popovitch doesn't wear a gi, he just wears The Reem.
nicey- May 12, 2010 at 7:11 am
The gi is on steroids as well.
ytrebil- May 12, 2010 at 6:39 am
A 15lbs gi - what is it? Made of lead?
Mike Russell- May 12, 2010 at 6:25 am
 185 could have been with the gi.
ytrebil- May 12, 2010 at 6:20 am
Russell, I didn't say he ONLY has competed at 185... but that looks like what he has mainly competed in. Middleweight/open weight @ 185lbs.

It would be interesting to see what he looks like when fighting at the different weights.

Doesn't look like a steroid user to me... maybe in the past.



Mike Russell- May 12, 2010 at 6:14 am
@ytrebilHe competed at the ADCC at 170...Men’s -77kg (-170 lbs.) Opening RoundMarcelo Garcia (Brazil) def. Rodney Ellis (Australia) via guillotine chokeKron Gracie (Brazil) def. Enrico Cocco (USA) via rear-naked chokeMarcelo “Uirapuru” Azevedo (Brazil) def. Mike Fowler (USA) via leglockKeita “K-Taro” Nakamura (Japan) def. Milton Vieira (Brazil)Pablo Popovich (Brazil) def. Don Ortega (USA) via rear-naked chokeBen Askren (USA) def. Toni Linden (Finland) via arm-triangle chokeLeonardo Santos (Brazil) def. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (Japan) via pointsGregor Gracie (Brazil) def. Murilo Santana (Brazil) via points
nicey- May 12, 2010 at 6:10 am
Obvious steroid abuser is obvious.
ytrebil- May 12, 2010 at 6:08 am
I've just been reading Wiki.

Popovitch is 5'10 but in these tournaments it looks like he has grappled mainly at around the 185lbs level which would make much more sense.

So he'll be shedding a lot of that lean muscle mass to get to 170lbs.

He looks like a beast.
fatbellyfrank- May 12, 2010 at 1:46 am
@donkeypunch, yeah, I may be a bit naive but I see nothing about that photo that makes me think "fuck he's juicing". If he's finishing a training routine as the photo seems to indicate you'd expect him to be pumped
TheArtof8Limbs- May 11, 2010 at 9:48 pm
@skeletor

I've never liked you...but goddamm welcome back...surprised you were so quiet, even when 'old dad' left.

PS - fuck you
donkeypunch- May 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm
Sad that many including author think Pab's on the juice. So many pussies these days...forget how to work hard.
ghostboner- May 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm
Skeletor is alive??? Well praise Odin.
Ratel- May 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm
Do a search for this Pablo mofo on Google Images, and click the 1st one that comes up. If this guy is 170 pounds and looking as he does, I have to ask: is he 5'4"? Otherwise, if he were 5'10" or more, looking like that, he'd be about 210.
Ratel- May 11, 2010 at 9:23 pm
Jeezus - that's the biggest looking 170 pounder I've ever seen. He even makes Anthony Johnston look like a pipsqueak in that picture. Well, I'm all for it.

Lord knows that WW is falling to shit these days, and nobody really has any faith (AT ALL) that Rosscheck is going to pose a threat to GSP, so it's good to have some new blood in there.

If things go the way I'd like them to, this guy and a few other non AKA members will rip through the AKA bitches who won't fight each other and knock them out of contention. Why be a fighter if you won't fight your teammates? Business in business, and a brotha's gotta eat, nawm sayin?
Mdot50- May 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm
Don Frye is a better grappler.
ByrneDout- May 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm
This picture is photoshopped I mean look the shadows are all wrong, it's just like the end of Never Back Down.

Sorry I am tired.

This does sound like a fighter I would be interested in seeing.

But in all honesty is this the only pic CP could find? Who is this guy sasquatch? Can we not find a picture of him in focus? The guy he is shaking hands with doesn't even have legs is he flying? That is the real story.
cecils_pupils- May 11, 2010 at 8:18 pm
Whassup skeletor... nice to have you back. I hope by 'being busy' you mean you had to go choke-out He-Man or put your foot down in the land of Eternia or some shit like that. I was thinkin' that maybe you knocked-up Sheera and had to lay low for awhile...
evaritol- May 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm
I actually train at Pablo's school, and know the guy personally, so I'm certainly biased, but he has none of the signs of 'roids besides the crazy physique. He just works out like crazy and is constantly training, and I hear from some the guys that have trained there awhile that Pablo's dad (who used to teach there before moving back to Brazil) is in crazy good shape too, so he's got the great genetics to go with the hardcore work ethic.

As for wrestling being the better base on an absolute scale, that seems undeniable at this point, but that doesn't mean BJJ can't carry you pretty damn well- especially when it's terrifyingly good and your opponent has to respect it.

However, you do need to bring something else to the table besides BJJ (looking at you Demian Maia), so I don't think he'll be challenging GSP in 2011 or anything, but I think it's cool he's branching out. He has solid, though not world-class, wrestling experience (I think he was a high school state champ or something like that and he did some open collegiate stuff), so that won't be a whole new world to him, but it will be interesting to see how it goes with the striking!
skeletor- May 11, 2010 at 7:38 pm
I have been very busy lately and haven't been commenting. And everyoe knows i love a good trolling when done with humor and style. So 513 please let everyone know you are joking, because since old dad left to many people have tried trolling this once great site. It is coming along nicely and I'm even growing fond of this M Russell character, but these new trolls need to stop.
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