As MMA fans, we can often appreciate all forms of combat. MMA makes the best possible attempt to create a real world fight, within the realm of safety and reason. Sometimes it can be just as interesting to see specific forms of limited combat. Currently, boxing is by far the most popular form of limited combat as we recently saw with the huge hype and big paydays following Pacquiao and Mayweather.

In the same way that boxing is limited combat, it’s a fight but only uses one’s hands, Kickboxing and Muay Thai follow similar agreements. But other sports, such as wrestling, judo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu follow the reverse position. These are fights without strikes. While this isn’t always as visually appealing, especially to the casual viewer, it has very specific advantages. Fighters can compete in these events far more often, as they generally sustain far less damage than athletes who takes multiple strikes to the body and head over the course of the competition. These events are often far more cerebral than the striking arts, and in many cases the more intelligent competitor can triumph over their athletic superior.

Wrestling and judo have both long had their place for athletes to compete and show their skills, as they are common place among U.S. High schools and colleges, in addition to being Olympic sports. Jiu-jitsu on the other hand is very different.

Jiu-jitsu is still very young; it was relatively unknown until Royce Gracie showed it to the world in the first UFC events. This wasn’t pure jiu-jitsu of course, striking was allowed, but against such unprepared opponents Royce was able to dominate the fight without extensive training in the other arts. The UFC was largely created to show the power of jiu-jitsu, and several years later the Pride Fighting Championships followed a similar path when it was created for Royce’s older brother Rickson to showcase the gentle art, which he did with even more dominance than Royce.

The effectiveness of jiu-jitsu is nowhere near what it once was, as fighters can no longer train in a single discipline and win fights, and jiu-jitsu based fighters don’t dominate the way they once did. In fact, with the exception of both female champions and Jose Aldo, all of the current UFC champions started out as wrestlers. Mixed Martial Arts has evolved to be exactly what its name implies. All forms and styles must be mixed and utilized to create a truly effective fighter.

Competitive jiu-jitsu has never seen the same kind of spotlight as any of the other disciplines. jiu-jitsu was hugely responsible for the creation of MMA, yet it has never received anywhere near the same level of prestige or financial interest. Professional Jiu-jitsu competitors generally don’t compete with the hope of earning anything near what MMA fighters do.

But that is slowly changing; Jiu-jitsuj has been on the rise for several years now. There are hundreds of local tournaments that have arisen, many of which have proved to be the training grounds for future MMA stars. Now there are several big tournaments that offer hundred of matches both in the Gi and without. Tournaments such as the Mundials, Pan Ams, ADCC, Copa Podio, EBI, FIVE Grappling, NAGA and Grapplers Quest are just a few of the venues giving both regular people and professionals the ability to compete on a regular basis not just in the states, but all over the world.

All of these events have plenty to offer, The Mundials and Pan Am’s attract the best and the most prestigious. ADCC happens every two years and gives the best no-gi players the chance to shine, NAGA and Grapplers Quest put on dozens of events per year all over the map. EBI is submission only and forces zero sum outcomes with its unique overtime system.

But the one that seems to have true star potential is the pay-per view and submission only event, Metamoris. Like both UFC and Pride, Metamoris finds its roots with the Gracie family as well. Ralek Gracie, Royce’s nephew, started Metamoris in 2012. With only 5 events so far, Metamoris has managed to attract a lot of attention and high level sub only matches that do not often take place within the usual tournament setting. Metamoris is allowing Jiu-Jitsu to be shown in a way that no other event has managed.

Metamoris events have attracted several current and former UFC fighters. Former UFC fighter and current MMA exile Chael Sonnen is making his second appearance on the mat co-headlining Metamoris’ next event against Babalu Sobral, a man who beat him almost ten years ago in the cage. Chael has managed to find an outlet for competition after his failed drug tests forced him to retire from MMA. For better or worse, Metamoris doesn’t fall within the State Athletics Commissions jurisdiction, thus Chael Sonnen is free to bring his star power and skills to the grappling scene.

Other fighters that will appear are current UFC heavyweight contender and Metamoris Heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, who will be headlining and defending his title against the 3xMundial champion and 2013 Open Weight ADCC champion Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu. We will also see perennial fight of the night winner Joe Lauzon battle against the Jiu-Jitsu only player and Marcelo Garcia student, Dillon Danis. There is also a fantastic matchup between jiu-jitsu legend Xande Riberio, perhaps the most accomplished jiu-jitsu player of all time, who takes on the fast-rising and innovative jiu-jitsu star, Keenan Cornelius.

With high quality streaming, high production value, and color commentating, usually done by the UFC’s own Kenny Florian, Metamoris always looks to impress. May 9th’s event should be no different. jiu-jitsu has given much to MMA, and it still has plenty more to offer.

About The Author

Josh Souter
Staff Writer

Josh Souter was raised in the state of Hawaii, where he recently completed his B.A. in English, before moving out to Denver with his wife. When not obsessing over MMA he enjoys training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reading, writing, and working with computers.