This past Sunday, jiu-jitsu may have had one of its greatest pro tournaments in ages as the first-ever Metamoris Pro Invitational tournament took place in San Diego.
For this event, the rules were different from what the public is used to seeing in IBJJF events. Each match would be 20 minutes long and there would be no points; the only way to win was to submit your opponent, and if neither competitor got the finish it would be declared a draw.
At first, many were skeptical of this format, unsure if it would turn out well. But based on the results, there is certainly no skepticism now.
There were six fights for this inaugural event, and each bout featured some of the best fighters in the World today. So, without further ado, let’s recap the action from Sunday’s Metamoris Pro Invitational.
The very first match of the evening was already an intriguing spectacle, as it was a rematch between Jeff Glover and Caio Terra where in the previous match-up, Glover came out the winner.
After a war of words between the two athletes, the action would finally be settled on the mat, where for 12 minutes the pace was non-stop. At that very 12-minute mark, Terra finally found an opportunity to get the finish and took full advantage, catching Glover in an armlock and forcing the Paragon black belt to tap.
In the post-fight interview, Glover asked for a rubber match with Terra, this time in No-Gi. Who would like to see this rivalry continue one more time?
Going into this match-up, many people were looking at Kayron Gracie to be the clear favorite for the win, but everyone once again underestimated the former World champion, Rafael Lovato Jr.
Although Lovato was the elder competitor in this bout, he still had a lot in him to get the win and he proved it. A lot like the Terra and Glover match, the Lovato and Gracie match held such a frenetic pace throughout. At the halfway mark, seeing that Gracie seemed fatigued, Lovato took the opportunity, gained sidemount and soon finished Gracie with a slick kimura lock to seal the victory.
Kron Gracie is made for events like these. Everyone knows Rickson Gracie’s son as a much different competitor from the modern day jiu-jitsu athlete. He doesn’t care about the points—all he is looking for is the submission. Unable to show his full talents in the IBJJF’s system, Kron took full advantage of his opportunity at the Metamoris Pro to show his great talent.
In a match that would go to the very end, Gracie earned the finish against his old rival in the final few minutes of the match with an armlock, much to the joy of his father, Rickson.
This win was big for Gracie, as Sousa is still coming off his World Championship win in June. So, one could imagine “Ice-Cream Kron” has to be feeling pretty confident going into the 2013 competition season.
Going into the only No-Gi match of the event, there was plenty of talking back and forth between the two ADCC champions.
Dean Lister hadn’t been submitted in competition since he was a blue belt and “Xande” guaranteed he would bring an end to that run, so things started to heat up.
On the mats, Ribeiro had a determined look to follow through on his guarantee. He constantly attacked Lister’s feet and arms, looking for the submission. But Lister displayed fantastic defense and an equally impressive attacking game, making the fight (once again) a back-and-forth affair. When time ran out, the fight would be declared a draw since no one attained the submission.
What many considered to be the biggest mismatch of the event soon turned into the most controversial.
Ryron Gracie was given no chance against the multiple-time World Champion, Galvao, and wasn’t expected to make it past the five-minute mark. But that wouldn’t be the case.
In the end, Gracie would survive until the end of the 20 minutes, making the fight a draw, much to the disgust of Galvao.
In the post-fight conference, Galvao said he felt that Gracie wasn’t fighting to finish, but only to survive. Galvao dominated the match, always being in the better position, yet he still didn’t win the fight, which could be the one major drawback in this event.
In the main event, it was a classic match-up between new school and old school.
“Buchecha” entered as the reigning World absolute champion, at 22 years old, against the former three-time World absolute champion and 10-time World gold medalist, Roger Gracie.
In the 20-minute affair, there was no shortage of action between the two men, as there were numerous exchanges of sweeps, submission attempts and guard passes. Almeida, who was the more aggressive of the two on submission attempts, locked on a beautiful armlock in the final minute, forcing Gracie to squirm and wiggle out in this unfamiliar scenario.
When time ran out, the fight was declared a draw, but in the public’s view, many saw “Buchecha” as the better fighter in the fight, which certainly came as a surprise.
So there we have the first-ever Metamoris Pro Invitational. What did you, the reader, think of the event? Also, what match-ups would you like to see for the next event? Comment below and let your voice be heard! Osss!
Photo: Roger Gracie (Gracie Mag)