Metamoris 4 has a star-studded lineup that’s sure to make both MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fans happily drop some cheddar to watch some high-level grappling.

The event takes place at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and airs live via internet pay-per-view stream on the Metamoris website at 8 p.m. ET on Aug. 9

Kicking off the event is a match between Garry Tonon and Kit Dale.

Tonon is a two-time Pan Am and World champion in the brown belt no-gi division. He’s also a former Abu Dhabi Combat Club qualifier. Tonon was also at one point ranked as the top brown belt in no-gi according to the IBJJF rankings. He has never placed below third in any of the IBJJF tournaments he’s entered.

Dale is among the top grappling artists from Australia. He’s a two-time World Pro BJJ champion, a Brazilian National champion, an Asian Open champion, Copa Bull Terrier champion, a two-time World Pro Jiu-Jitsu silver medalist, a Pan Am bronze medalist, a 14-time Pan Pacific champ and a nine-time Australian national champion. Dale is also one of the rare grapplers to earn their black belt in an incredibly short amount of time, as the Aussie has only been grappling for the past five years.

Both guys should bring the action and get the audience on the edge of their seats. Tonon isn’t afraid to go out of the box, which means we could see some interesting scrambles between the two. Dale has hopefully prepared himself for an unconventional attack in order to not look lost when Tonon attacks. The difference in this fight will be the quality of training partners available to both men. While Dale is among the elite of Australia in terms of BJJ, it’s hard to imagine he has the same resources that Tonon, who travels to Renzo Gracie’s team, does. In the end, that will play a big part as Tonon will catch Dale in transition.

Vinny Magalhaes is a name that should be very familiar to MMA fans. The Brazilian made it all the way to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir before losing to Ryan Bader. Although his UFC career never panned out the way many predicted, Magalhaes has been able to find quite a bit of success outside the Octagon. He’s a former M-1 Global light heavyweight champ and is scheduled to take on Jason Brilz for the Titan FC light heavyweight strap. The Brazilian is also among one of the most accomplished grapplers in today’s sport. Magalhaes has a gold medal from the 2011 ADCC championships to go with two bronze medals in the 2009 ADCC competition. Another gold and bronze from the 2007 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships are on Magalhaes’ grappling mantel as well.

His opponent, Keenan Cornelius, needs no introduction to those who follow the grappling circuit. The American has completed what is called a grand slam, winning the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Pan-American Championship, European Open Championship and Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship at his given belt rank, something that has never been accomplished in IBJJF history. Cornelius was a part of the now infamous Team Lloyd Irvin, but he has since moved on to Atos Jiu-Jitsu. Interestingly enough, he was promoted to the rank of black belt by the Metamoris 4 headliner, Andre Galvao. Cornelius and Magalhaes were originally scheduled to meet at Metamoris 3, but Magalhaes was forced out of the contest. Cornelius took on Rickson black belt Kevin Casey and defeated him via heel hook.

The two men match up very well in terms of styles, with Magalhaes aggressively chasing after submissions and Cornelius being aggressive while on top. With both men playing a more active game, the door is open for either man to take the advantage. Cornelius will likely enjoy more control of the match, but Magalhaes’ submission defense and offense will make things interesting. Magalhaes will be the bigger fighter, but it will be interesting to see how his conditioning plays out. He’s had cardio questions in the past, but the fact that he’s doing just grappling will help his muscles not require as much oxygen and prevent him from being too tired. Cornelius won’t be able to tap Magalhaes unless the Brazilian completely gasses and makes a big mental error.

A pair of vaunted instructors will collide when Saulo Ribeiro and Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros square off. Ribeiro is among the most well-known names in the BJJ world who is still competing. His list of accomplishments could take up an entire article. The same can be said of Comprido. Medeiros is one of the few grapplers to win the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships at open weight twice. Medeiros is a name many MMA fans will recognize, as he’s coached many of Brock Lesnar’s former training crew, including the former UFC heavyweight champ himself.

Both men are a throwback to the “old guard” of BJJ, so it will be a nice form of nostalgia for grappling fans to witness the two icons square off. What could end up being the difference in this match-up is the willingness of Medeiros to give up position for what he believes provides a greater end result. In the preview video for their fight, Ribeiro talks about being the aggressor, while Comprido talks about his particular style of giving up a little to take a lot. If Ribeiro does in fact come out aggressively, we could see the advantage slide into his corner early on. Both guys will have too much respect for each other’s skills to take too many risks. This fight will end in a draw.

If Ribeiro and Medeiros are a throwback to the old guard of BJJ, the heavyweight scrap between Josh Barnett and Dean Lister is a throwback to the old days of MMA. Barnett debuted in the MMA world back in 1997, and Lister took up the combat sport in 2000. Although Lister sports an average MMA record, that’s not where Lister’s claim to fame lies. It’s in the grappling world where Lister is a two-time ADCC winner and a runner-up at the 2013 competition in his weight class. Lister was among the first of the great grappling artists to try his hand at the sport of MMA, and his name is well known to MMA fans.

Also well known among MMA fans is “The Warmaster.” Barnett is coming off a loss to Travis Browne at UFC 169, but he as enjoyed continued success at a high level despite his age. He hopes to continue that high level of athletic ability against a dangerous grappler in Lister. Barnett may have made his money inside the cage and the Pride ring, but he’s no stranger to grappling. Barnett owns a black belt in BJJ and won the IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (No-Gi) in 2009. Twenty of his professional MMA wins have come by submission.

The biggest difference in this contest will be the size of the two men involved. Lister has competed in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions in MMA and in the -99kg division during his matches at ADCC. Barnett is a true heavyweight and knows how to use every bit of his heavyweight frame to his advantage when it comes to grappling. Lister is notorious for his leg attacks, which may slow down Barnett’s advances. Although Barnett should be able to utilize his size and take control in the position battle, Lister will do enough scrambling to keep Barnett from locking anything in.

The evening’s main event is still a bit of a question mark. Although the aforementioned Galvao is still slated to headline Metamoris 4, Chael Sonnen’s appearance is up in the air. However, Sonnen’s coach has said his fighter will still compete. That’s good news for the grappling promotion because, despite Sonnen’s reputation, the fact is he draws a lot of eyeballs to his competitions and Metamoris was certainly hoping for some MMA crossover appeal with its lineup for Metamoris 4.

Assuming everything goes down the way the competitors planned and Sonnen does compete, MMA and grappling fans are in for a real treat with the main event. Galvao has been competing in jiu-jitsu tournaments for years and is clearly the more experienced submission grappler. The Brazilian has tangled with some of the best in the world on the BJJ mats, and he’s also tapped out some of the best competitors in the world. He’s tried his hand in MMA, but his last MMA bout took place in 2010. He has chosen to focus on his grappling career.

Sonnen is a guy who virtually everyone in the combat sports world knows for one reason or another. He’s among the most accomplished wrestlers to compete in the UFC, and one would expect his game to be more top-heavy. Sonnen has taken down virtually everyone he’s faced inside the Octagon and odds are he’ll get the takedown against Galvao. But the questions heading into this match don’t involve Galvao’s ability to stop Sonnen’s takedowns, but instead how the match plays out from there. Sonnen’s submission defense has been pretty questionable at best throughout his MMA career, and it will be put to the test against Galvao. On the other hand, Sonnen will have a huge size advantage over the Brazilian, which should help him initially.

But how will Sonnen’s conditioning come into play? He’s never been one to tire in an MMA fight and he’s been wrestling since childhood, which one would assume means he can hang for 20 minutes. However, we haven’t seen Sonnen compete since he stopped testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT). Sonnen had spoken numerous times about how coming off TRT has affected him, which could mean Sonnen won’t perform like we’re used to seeing him. That spells bad news for the former UFC title challenger, who can ill-afford to make a slip-up against a dangerous grappler like Galvao.

Even though Sonnen doesn’t have anywhere near the experience of Galvao, it’s not as if he’s never stepped foot on a grappling mat. He knows what to do and how to achieve victory through his top game. Galvao will have to work from bottom to either get a tapout or reverse the position to negate Sonnen’s size advantage. Part of the original foundation that BJJ was built upon is that the smaller guy can win with better technique. Sonnen looks to prove wrestling is the ultimate martial art, whereas Galvao aims to show that size doesn’t matter. Galvao will be able to weather the early storm of Sonnen’s constant pressure and eventually secure a tapout victory.

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.