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Tag: Metamoris 2

Successes, Straw Men & False Choices: Looking Back (And Forward) in the Aftermath of Metamoris II


(Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu discusses his disappointing draw against Brendan Schaub, backstage after the event. Video via YouTube.com/CagePotato)

By Elias Cepeda

The six-match Metamoris II Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational card from two weekends ago produced some good action in a number of matches and not great action in others.

The main event, however, left everyone but Shinya Aoki satisfied. The Japanese MMA lightweight and submission ace went up against one of the top submission grappling competitors in the world, Kron Gracie.

The match produced the event’s only submission, with Shinya losing fast to Kron via guillotine choke. With how effective Aoki has been with submissions in MMA, it is fascinating to see him lose to Kron in a similar way to how he lost to all-time great Marcelo Garcia a few years ago at ADCC.

Shinya knows he can make his submissions work against guys who punch and kick him, whereas Kron and Marcelo have less assurance of that right now given their limited MMA experience. However, with strikes removed, Aoki is no match for the likes of Gracie and Garcia, likely because they are able to spend all of their training time on grappling, instead of having to split their time between that and the many other things you need to do in MMA.

The main event finished furiously and in exciting fashion but Kron and Aoki did spend the opening few minutes on their feet, hand fighting with not much happening. Apparently Kron wanted it to go to the ground, however, because eventually he chose to jump full guard in order to get it there.

Once Kron forced it to the ground, he made short work of the MMA fighter Aoki.

Stalling – The Controversy

Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu could have done the same against the vilified Brendan Schaub, but did not. I’m not saying that Schaub was going for the win in his match and one could criticize him for that, but he certainly isn’t the only one to blame for he and Abreu’s uneventful match.

“Cyborg” told us after the match that he was angry. Hell, he told everyone as much while still on the mat, criticizing Schaub for not engaging with him enough.

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Royler Gracie on Eddie Bravo Rematch: “Some People Like to Talk, Some People Like to Fight” [VIDEO]


(Video via YouTube.com/CagePotato. Subscribe, dammit!)

At the age of 47, BJJ legend (and retired MMA fighter) Royler Gracie is preparing to return to competition later this year at Metamoris 3 (date/venue TBA), in a grappling rematch with Eddie Bravo. In this interview following the match announcement at Metamoris 2 earlier this month, CagePotato reporter Elias Cepeda recaps the first meeting between Royler and Eddie back in 2003 — which made Eddie Bravo’s name overnight and legitimized his forward-thinking approach to jiu-jitsu — and gets Royler’s take on their second meeting ten years later. As Royler puts it, “I’m not trying to make history, I’m already part of history.”

For more behind-the-scenes videos and MMA interviews, please visit CagePotato’s YouTube channel.

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“Adversity Is the Dust That Polishes the Diamond”: Backstage With Mark Munoz at Metamoris 2


(Props: YouTube.com/CagePotato)

In this interview with Elias Cepeda at Metamoris 2, UFC middleweight contender Mark Munoz defends the controversial performance of Brendan Schaub, opens up about how his last loss to Chris Weidman sent him into a depression — which he buried in food, at the expense of his health — and discusses how re-ordering his priorities and relying on the support of family and friends allowed him to focus on being a fighter again. Munoz will return to the Octagon at UFC 162 against Tim Boetsch on July 6th. Follow Mark on twitter @Mark_Munoz, and for more hard-hitting MMA interviews, subscribe to CagePotato on YouTube.

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“There’s No Points on the Street”: Royce Gracie Talks BJJ, Exit From Fighting + More [VIDEO]


(Props: YouTube.com/CagePotato)

In this chat with CagePotato.com reporter Elias Cepeda at the Metamoris 2 pro jiu-jitsu invitational, UFC godfather Royce Gracie gives us his thoughts on modern BJJ — he prefers the old-school basics, big surprise — and tells us how he’s been spending his days now that his MMA life is officially behind him. And believe us, it’s behind him:

“You gotta know when to stop. It’s not an easy business to be in. I’m just teaching and enjoying life [now]. I’m 46 years old, been there, done that, fought everybody. There’s always gonna be a new guy that [says] ‘Hey, can we fight?’ Nahhh. Been there, done that.”

Follow Royce on Twitter @RealRoyce, and subscribe to our channel for more good stuff.

Previously — Backstage Interview: Renato Laranja, The Unofficial Rabbi of Metamoris 2 [VIDEO]

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Backstage Interview: Renato Laranja, The Unofficial Rabbi of Metamoris 2 [VIDEO]


(Props: YouTube.com/CagePotato)

While attending the Metamoris 2 pro jiu-jitsu invitational in Los Angeles on Sunday, CagePotato reporter Elias Cepeda had a backstage run-in with 27-time BJJ World Champion Renato Laranja, who gave his thoughts — if you can call them that — about Rickson Gracie, “poonchang,” Eddie Bravo’s facial hair, somebody named Señor Aoki, and how Andre Galvao vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. looked like two guys fighting for the covers in bed. It’s a moral victory for Elias, just for surviving to the end.

Stay tuned for more of Elias’s Metamoris 2 interviews, and subscribe to CagePotato on YouTube for all of our latest vids.

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[EXCLUSIVE] UFC Heavyweight Brendan Schaub Takes on New Challenge at Metamoris II

Brendan Schaub UFC 134

By Elias Cepeda

There are two high-level and well known international MMA fighters competing on the June 9th Metamoris II card. One is Shinya Aoki, who takes on Kron Gracie in the main event.

Metamoris is a unique submission grappling event filled entirely with super-fights. No points are counted, the matches are twice as long as usual grappling competitions, and the only way to win is by submitting your opponent. Aoki, largely known as one of the most dangerous ground specialists in MMA, is a perfectly logical cross-over guy to bring in to Metamoris.

The other famous MMA fighter on the card is TUF 10 runner-up Brendan Schaub, and his placement doesn’t make nearly as much sense at first glance. Because of his success in the UFC, Schaub is surely one of the most well-known competitors on the card, however, none of the former college and professional football player’s MMA wins have come via submission. He’s young in the sport and is certainly not considered to be one of the best grapplers in the heavyweight division, let alone the UFC.

No, most of Schaub’s success has been achieved in the standup department, by knocking his opponents out silly, not by relying on “the gentle art.” But to the former TUF finalist, competing at Metamoris II against top Jiu Jitsu and submission grappling champion Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu no less makes all the sense in the world.

“A lot of people don’t know this,” Schaub tells CagePotato. “But, Jiu Jitsu is my passion. It was the first real thing I did in martial arts. For me, competing at Metamoris is a way for me to give back to Jiu Jitsu for all it’s done for me. Jiu Jitsu has changed my life.”

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CagePotato Exclusive Interview: ‘Mini Megaton’ Mackenzie Dern Looks to Make Her Mark at Metamoris II


(Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Competitor Mackenzie Dern | Photo GracieMag)

By Elias Cepeda

[Ed. note: This is the second in a series of interviews with the fighters and promoters behind Metamoris II: Gracie vs. Aoki, which goes down June 9th in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more, and follow Metamoris on Facebook and Twitter for important event updates. You can purchase tickets right here.]

I’ve got two stories about Rickson and Royler Gracie black belt Wellington “Megaton” Dias. One is a first-hand story and the other was passed on to me through others in the gym when I was growing up. Both are short and teach a simple lesson – “Megaton” is a skilled, mean, junkyard dog.

During the summer of 2000, I went to Los Angeles to watch the second Rickson Gracie International Jiu Jitsu Invitational. There were tournaments for all belt levels as well as “super fights” between black belt stars of the day. Dias took part in one of those featured bouts against another black belt. It is just as well that I don’t remember his opponent’s name because I’m sure he doesn’t enjoy this story being told. In short, Dias made that other elite black belt look like an amateur - putting him on his back, keeping him there, and basically toying with the guy from mount for the majority of the scrap. In short, it kinda looked like this. It was almost a worse way of losing than getting submitted in ten seconds. Dias dominated his nameless opponent for an entire match. Dias’ display is still the best single argument for a slaughter rule in Jiu Jitsu matches that I’ve ever seen.

The second-hand story I know of “Megaton” goes roughly like this; the Brazilian was brought to a Midwest town to conduct a Jiu Jitsu seminar — the timeframe escapes me. The people who paid the seminar fee more than likely did so because of Dias’ renowned skills, in hopes that the Professor would teach them some tricks. How wrong they were.

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Interview: Metamoris Founder Ralek Gracie Seeks a Return to the Pure Roots of BJJ


(Photo via Ricardo Bayona)

By Elias Cepeda

[Ed. note: This is the first in a series of interviews with the fighters and promoters behind Metamoris II: Gracie vs. Aoki, which goes down June 9th in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more, and follow Metamoris on Facebook and Twitter for important event updates.]

When your father invented the UFC and passed the name ‘Gracie’ down to you, there’s got to be a lot of pressure to become great at Jiu Jitsu and fighting. However, with two older brothers who got a head start on training because of age, Ralek Gracie had to wait a long time before he could even begin to compete with Ryron and Rener, the oldest sons of Rorian Gracie.

“I was probably eighteen or nineteen [before I could begin to compete with Ryron and Rener],” Ralek admits to CagePotato.

“It was rough, for sure. But getting through it made me who I am. Pressure creates diamonds. It absolutely made me tougher. You’re only as good as who you train with. They were competing with each other and then with me, so I got the best of both worlds. They sharpened themselves and then sharpened me. Life is about accepting that you are sharpening yourself along your journey, every day.”

Getting beaten up every day by your trained-to-kill older brothers made Ralek more than philosophical, however. It can be argued that it made him a mean son-of-a-gun when he needed to be, namely in fights.

With their “Gracie Breakdown,” national product endorsements and television segments, the fight world is growing accustomed to hearing from Rener and Ryron Gracie. In addition to being extremely technical Jiu Jitsu practitioners, they’re charismatic, verbose, and gregarious in public.

They seem poised to replace their father Rorian as the voice of the Gracie family, and its related public relations/business operations. On the other end of the spectrum, Ralek isn’t heard from often.

As he tends to his infant son while speaking with us one recent afternoon, Ralek is thoughtful and well-spoken, almost a surprise given how rarely he has a microphone in his face and how quiet he seems on the rare occasions that he does.

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Shinya Aoki vs. Kron Gracie to Headline Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational II on June 9th; Braulio Estima, Brendan Schaub Also Featured


(Props: metamoris.com)

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu — it’s so hot right now. And for fans of the so-called “Gentle Art,” Metamoris’s next tournament on June 9th will be required viewing. The promotion announced its second Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational today, which will be headlined by highly decorated BJJ champion Kron Gracie against MMA submission expert (and new OneFC lightweight champ) Shinya Aoki. The event is slated to place at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, and will be available for viewing online through a live HD pay-per-view stream on Metamoris.com.

Since launching last October, Metamoris has set itself apart with marquee names from the worlds of BJJ and MMA, and a competition system that focuses only on submissions. “Jiu Jitsu tournaments have devolved, especially at the elite level, to a game based on who can score points with a sweep or dominant position in the last few seconds of a match to win,” said Metamoris founder Ralek Gracie in a press release distributed today. “I founded Metamoris to create a tournament where submissions are the only goal, not points. With the introduction of judges, we will avoid draws. Someone in a fight is always sharper. And now, the fighter who controls the bout with technique, the fighter who shows more varied and frequent submission acquisition, will get his hand raised.”

Five more bouts have already been booked for the 6/9 lineup. They are…

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