Last month, the Nevada State Athletic Commission smacked Chael Sonnen with a two-year suspension after he tested positive for a pharmacy’s worth of unapprovedsubstances, following two separate random drug tests back in May. As Sonnen and PED-apologist Ralek Gracie see it, that suspension shouldn’t stop the American Gangster from headlining a submission-grappling event in California this weekend. But according to the NSAC, it should stop him from competing, and they’re pretty upset about it.
Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter broke the news that the NSAC is attempting to prevent Sonnen from competing at Metamoris 4, scheduled for this Saturday, August 9th, in Los Angeles. As Botter wrote:
“Multiple sources confirm NAC has threatened to fine Sonnen $250,000 per failed drug test violation if he competes at Metamoris. Sonnen has hired Vegas lawyer Ross Goodman to represent him in the case…Sonnen camp’s contention is that grappling is not fighting and suspension shouldn’t cover it.”
A follow-up report from MMAJunkie adds more details:
“[W]e don’t currently test for PED’s and we are not an MMA organization. Metamoris is a grappling event with different rules and we require our own unique set of regulations for all aspects of participation.
“We are concerned about the issue of PED’s overall but we have a lot of research and work to do before accurately defining our stance. Due to the instability and controversy surrounding the regulation of PED’s we are taking our time to discover the best approach and fit for our organization.
“Lastly, for the people who understand the level of opposition Chael is facing at Metamoris 4, his use of any supplement or drug is not likely to provide any advantage whatsoever.”
Yes, I’m sure Metamoris has its best scientists working around-the-clock to determine whether steroids give an athlete a competitive advantage or not. (Spoiler alert: They do, and we figured that out decades ago.) Plus, for anybody who thinks that Sonnen’s PED-use shouldn’t matter in this case because he’s already at an enormous talent-disadvantage against Andre Galvao, allow me to blow your minds: What if Galvao is using PEDs too? Remember, Metamoris isn’t testing any of its fighters, so there’s nothing preventing the entire lineup from juicing.
Honestly, Ralek Gracie should just stop talking about this subject, because it’s only going to draw negative attention to his operation. Instead, he went on Inside MMA to further explain why steroid use isn’t such a big deal in jiu-jitsu competition. I mean, what are steroids, anyway? Does anybody really know? Here’s what he told Kenny and Bas:
It’s important to note that Sonnen’s second test was administered before the results of his first test were made public, meaning that he was still technically competing while loaded to gills with a veritable pharmacy heading into UFC 175. Following his all but forced retirement shortly thereafter, the question quickly became not where Sonnen’s fighting career was headed, but if the UFC/FOX would continue to employ a multiple time steroid cheat simply because he was charismatic in front of a camera. It would send a hell of a mixed message to the rest of their fighters in their roster, that’s for sure.
Well today brings an answer, and that answer is “Eff no.”(via a UFC-FOX press release sent out this morning):
The UFC and FOX Sports organizations announced today the termination of their respective broadcasting services agreements with analyst Chael Sonnen. This decision comes in light of Sonnen failing a second test conducted by the Nevada Athletic Commission for banned substances in June. Sonnen was previously under temporary suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission for failing an initial test conducted in May.
I guess this means Sonnen won’t be given the opportunity to defend himself via a laughably rushed interview on America’s Pregame, then?
The fourth installment of submission-only grappling series Metamoris will be headlined by a stunt-match that makes very little sense from a competitive standpoint, but we’ll probably watch it anyway. According to an MMAFighting report, Metamoris 4 (August 9th, Los Angeles) will feature freshly-retiredsuperheelChael Sonnen vs. highly decorated jiu-jitsu champion Andre Galvao.
Though Sonnen will enjoy a size advantage against Galvao — who has spent most of his competitive grappling career between 181-194 pounds, and used to compete in MMA as a welterweight — this is a talent mismatch of cosmic proportions. Galvao’s accomplishments include seven gold medals at the BJJ World Championships between 2002-2008, and three golds at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, including his first-place finishes in the 88kg and Absolute categories in 2011.
Sonnen has no such pedigree to rely on. His effective ground-game earned him submission wins against Mauricio Rua and Brian Stann later in his UFC career, but keep in mind, this is the guy who used to get subbed by Brazilians on a regular basis. Our prediction: Sonnen sells a lot of tickets, then gets styled on. (And I guess Metamoris doesn’t drug test its competitors, huh.)
Eleven years after Eddie Bravo put his name on the map by submitting Royler Gracie at the 2003 ADCC tournament, the two grapplers met in a rematch on Saturday, at Metamoris 3 in Los Angeles. Officially, they fought to a draw — because Metamoris doesn’t use a point system, and every match that doesn’t end in a submission is counted as a draw. But it was a moral victory for Bravo, who controlled most of the action and put Royler in a number of uncomfortable positions.
Unless you’ve studied jiu-jitsu yourself, you might look at sequences like this and be totally baffled. So, a helpful Redditor named MisaCampo recorded a play-by-play commentary video for the entire Bravo vs. Gracie 2 match that explains what’s happening without getting too technical. If you’re a grappling noob who wants to know a little more about the intricacies of human-chess, this is a must-watch.
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.
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.”
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.