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Tag: Ricardo Almeida

Exclusive: MMA Fighter/Grappling Guru Robert Drysdale Talks Training, Fighting, Judging, and Body Hair

(Photo courtesy of Jason Norwood)

By Nathan “The12ozCurls” Smith

Robert Drysdale’s BJJ credentials include being a six-time World Jiu-Jitsu champion, ADCC Absolute Division Champion as well as winning over 90 BJJ tournament titles. He has a MMA record of 3-0 with all three victories coming by way of submission, showing his versatility in those fights by using a guillotine, an arm-bar and an arm triangle choke. Within the MMA community he is regarded as one of the best BJJ instructors with a virtual all-star list of hall of famers, former champs and current contenders to support the claim. Names like Randy Couture, Wanderlei Silva, Forrest Griffin, Martin Kampmann, and Evan Dunham have all excelled under the tutelage of Drysdale, just to name a few.  He was also brought in on TUF season 8 by Frank Mir (a black belt in BJJ himself) to help coach his team. Despite having enough trophies and medals to fill a dump truck while instructing some of the sport’s elite, Drysdale still trains/teaches at his BJJ academy in Las Vegas.

This past weekend, Robert Drysdale hosted a seminar at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo in Long Beach, California, where he was kind enough to give CagePotato a few minutes of his time. You have trained the cream of the crop in MMA, both skill-wise and personality-wise. Do you have any personal favorites?

Robert Drysdale: There are a lot of guys that I really like but me and Frank [Mir] get along pretty well. John Alessio is a very good friend and then there is Danny DavisForrest [Griffin] is a trip and it’s always fun to have him in the gym. There are so many guys down at the gym that it is hard to name all of them but I get along with all my students.

CP: Are the stories true? Is Forrest really that hairy?

RD: (laughs) He tries to be as hairy as me but he is not winning that fight because I have better hair distribution.

CP: According to your Wikipedia page, you fought in Houston Texas last night. Apparently not everything is true on the internet. What happened?


Ricardo Almeida Nervous but Ready to Judge his First UFC Bouts

(No, Frankie, I will not judge your next title fight, so quit asking.)

After retiring, former UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida announced that he would begin judging MMA events. He’s been doing that for awhile now in his home state of New Jersey, and this Saturday’s UFC on Fox 3 will be the Renzo Gracie black belt’s first time judging fights on the big stage.

Almeida will not be judging fights where he has a conflict of interest (see fighters he coaches or that are affiliated to him or his Renzo Gracie lineage like Jim Miller, for example) but we do already know that he will be one of the judges scoring Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks and several more from the card. Almeida tells ESPN’s Franklin McNeil that he is both nervous and prepared to judge UFC fights.

“Yeah, I’m going to be nervous. It’ll be like I’m walking into a fight myself. But the spotlight only makes me want to be sharper and do a better job,” Almeida tells McNeil.


Photo of the Day: Frankie Edgar Takes Being Pranked By Teammates Like a Champ

Frankie Edgar is one of the most easygoing, respectful and likeable fighters in the UFC, so it’s no wonder that he was able to laugh off a prank that was pulled on him by his teammates and a media outlet earlier this week.

According to “The Answer’s” Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Ricardo Almeida, Yahoo! Sports orchestrated the stunt in which a phony repo man attempted to tow away the UFC lightweight champ’s BMW from the parking lot of Almeida’s school in South Jersey.


When Good Submissions Go Bad: Six Fighters Who Ignored the Tap

(A little club soda will get that right out.)

When discussing his fourth round tapout loss to UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones, Rampage Jackson explained that he lets no man put him to sleep because he doesn’t trust people. I’m not exactly certain what Jackson fears might unfold once he goes out, but vile atrocities such as antiquing and billboarding have been perpetrated on unconscious fighters before. But there’s a certain amount of trust that goes into tapping out as well. The tapout is nothing more than a gentlemen’s agreement, really, in which one fighter admits that he’s taken enough punishment for one day. But not everyone in the face-punching business is a gentleman, and sometimes your opponent may not agree that you’ve taken all of the damage you deserve.

When you hold a submission too long there’s a chance of causing damage to a limb or unconsciousness, but it always leads to hurt feelings.


Retired UFC Vet Eugene Jackson Giving Back to Community by Turning Wannabe Gangstas Into Fighters

Growing up in the gang-infested town of East Paulo Alto California, Eugene Jackson used his fists to settle any conflicts he had. He soon realized that his punching prowess could be used to earn him some cash in addition to the street cred he had behind his name in EPA, so in the 90s he began fighting in MMA where he would fight 25 times, under the UFC, Strikeforce, IVC and IFC banners against guys like Wanderlei Silva, Joe Doerksen, Jeremy Horn and Ricardo Almeida.

Having retired with a 15-9-1 record after losing to Joe Riggs in Strikeforce back in 2007, Jackson decided he wanted to give local kids a leg up that he never had so he opened up a a non-profit gym for at risk youth with his own money in 2009. The facility, which was little more than a warehouse with some mats, heavy bags and a crudely thrown together collection of weights became a hugely popular community center where teens who might normally be enticed into gang-banging would hang out every day to hone their fighting skills.

Eventually city authorities demanded improvements to the building that he could not afford and he was forced to close the gym, but that didn’t deter him.


Video: Ricardo Almeida Discusses Retirement, MMA Judging

It’s been less than a month since Ricardo Almeida announced his retirement from MMA competition, but so far, it seems to be treating him pretty well. Though nobody likes to go out on a loss, Almeida recognized it was time to hang it up. As he says in this revealing new video profile from Veazy Street Productions:

I have a lot of things going on outside of my fighting career — my family, I have a jiu-jitsu school to take care of, I train other fighters — so perhaps I felt like I wasn’t giving 100% to everything and doing everything I could. To be in the Octagon not 100% focused, to be in there not giving 100% of everything that you have is a dangerous thing…I just felt that after the loss to Pyle it just pushed me a little lower on the ladder. I felt it was going to take too much time to climb back up. I can’t say that if I had won, that I would be retired

I didn’t want to wait until I got knocked out 4-5 times in a row for people to tell me that I should quit. I wanted to walk out of it happy, I wanted to walk out of it healthy, I wanted to walk away with love, and I think the next step is to focus on myself as more of a diplomatic approach of being a coach, being an instructor, and being able to focus on my family.”


Ricardo Almeida to Judge in NJ: Is Fighters Judging Fighters Really Such a Good Idea?

(Is that a thumbs-up, a hang loose or a 2-out-of-10? We already have a problem here, Ricardo. Pic: MMA Convert)

Suck on this, F. Scott Fitzgerald: Recently retired MMA veteran Ricardo Almeida has apparently wasted little time starting the second act of his fighting life, as Pro MMA Radio’s Larry Pepe reports via tweet that “The Big Dog” will become a licensed judge in New Jersey. Obviously, the immediate reaction to this story is, “Hey, that’s great.” It’s good to see Almeida appearing to make a seamless transition to the next phase (one that baffles so many professional athletes) and it’s nice that he’s looking for ways to stay involved in the sport after hanging up his gloves. Since MMA is still, ahem, technically illegal in the state where Almeida resides, it’s also super cool and neighborly of Jersey to give him a chance. The Dirty Jerz has always fancied itself a forward-thinking athletic commission, so this is a good fit for it as well.

Let us say right off that we have no problem with Almeida the specific man/fighter becoming a judge. He’s always seemed like an agreeable sort and we have no doubt he’ll do a great job. But after the initial warm and fuzzies of this particular story wore off, we were left with some questions. Lots of questions, actually. For starters: Is having newly retired fighters become ringside officials really such a hot idea? Doesn’t it sort of set the stage for some clear cut conflicts of interest?


Ricardo Almeida Announces Retirement

(Almeida retires with a record of 13-5)

In 2008, after a near four-year absence away from fighting, Ricardo Almeida’s desire to return to compete in MMA coaxed him out of an unannounced retirement to sign with the UFC. Since then he has fought eight times, losing three and winning five.

At 34 years of age, Almeida has decided to walk away from the sport despite having a few good fights left in him to spend more time with his family and to focus on running his Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy.

It’s been a pleasure watching you fight, Big Dog. Props for realizing when it was time to call it quits.

Read Ricardo’s statement after the jump.


Four Fights Added to UFC 124 in Montreal December 11

("Tough loss against CB." "Yeah. How’s your leg doing?"

The card for UFC 124 is filling in nicely with the addition of four fights reported by various sources today.

MMAFighting reports that Jason MacDonald will return to action following one of the most gruesome leg-break injuries in UFC history he incurred in his UFC 113 bout seven months ago in Montreal against John Salter.

MacDonald (24-14), who is on his second go-around in the UFC will be looking to make this stay in the Octagon a permanent one when he takes on Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt,  Rafael Natal (12-3) who lost by decision in his Octagon debut against Rich Attonito at UFN 22 in September.

Also on the card, according to MMAJunkie and MMADiehards will be MacDonald’s fellow Canadians Joe Doerksen and TJ Grant who will take on Dan Miller and Ricardo Almeida, respectively.


UFC 117 Is Basically ‘USA vs. Brazil’

UFC 117 poster Silva Sonnen
UFC 117 lineup Anderson Silva Chael Sonnen
(Images courtesy of UFC and Wikipedia)

Are you noticing a pattern here? By bizarre coincidence, the top six fights at UFC 117 (August 7th, Oakland) all feature an American fighter taking on a Brazilian fighter. It’s not an official gimmick like UFC 58′s "USA vs. Canada" setup — in which the Yanks went 5-3 against the Canucks — but it’ll be an interesting theme for the night, and hopefully the UFC will make the most of it. (Sorry Chandella, but we’ve found your replacement.) I’ll go out on a limb and say Brazil takes this event in a 4-2 rout, with Fitch and Guida scoring the only wins for the home team. Your predictions?

After the jump: Joe Rogan runs down the Hughes vs. Almeida matchup, and Jon Fitch discusses his co-headlining rematch against Thiago Alves.