The much-talked about BJJ superfight event finally happened this weekend with the Metamoris Pro Jiujitsu Invitational talking place at the Viejas Arena in sunny San Diego.
Put on by organizers Ralek Gracie and Robert Zeps, the aim of Metamoris was to showcase BJJ grappling in as pure a form as possible, devoid of the constraints driven by a point-scoring sport jiujitsu environment.
The event eventually came down to six 20-minute matches with submission only rules. You either win or you go home.
In the end it couldn’t have gone any better than expected for fans on hand and those watching via the live stream on the Metamoriswebsite.
From the first match to the last, the crowd was entertained by a showcase of Jiujitsu’s best.
Already organizers are talking about making Metamoris an annual if not bi-annual event with future editions earmarked for Japan and Brazil so it should exciting times ahead.
Before then though, let’s break down the matches from the inaugural edition on September 14th.
Metamoris Pro – Superfight Summaries
Caio Terra and Jeff Glover would start of the evening off in extremely playful fashion. Having already met at the World BJJ Expo earlier this year (won by Glover via points), these two were certainly no stranger to one another and it showed. They would display showmanship throughout the bout like Caio turning his back or and Terra responding with a pat on the butt to amuse the crowd.
Eventually though things would get serious with both men going for submissions. While Glover was ineffective with his toe hold attempt, Terra fared better and pulled off the armbar to win in this, the first bout of the evening.
Jeff Glover vs. Caio Terra – Caio Terra wins at 14:30 (armbar)
The second bout of the night featured two talk and well-known guard players with American Rafael Lovato Jr. facing off against Kayron Gracie. Both these guys are known for their terrific guard play and this match was no different with both looking to impose their pass/sweep game on one another.
It did seem throughout though that Rafael Lovato Jr. was more focused on the match and you could clearly see that in his overall demeanor. As the match drew on it was clear that Lovato Jr. was more on top of his game this day specifically with his cardiovascular shape as he eventually moved ahead in both aggression and position until working his way to the north/south position where he set up a beautiful kimura for the finish.
Kayron Gracie vs. Rafael Lovato Jr – Lovato Jr wins at 11:15 (kimura)
The third match of the evening so divisional rivals Kron Gracie and Otavio Sousa (2012 World Champion) go against each other to establish superiority at the time being.
It was a closely contested match with both competitors pulling guard at various points in the hope of landing a timely sweep. They would strategically battle for grips and try and find any advantage they could to no avail until Kron finally took advantage and found the lone pass of the match around the sixteen minute mark that eventually led to the finish with Kron taking Sousa’s arm for the win.
Otavio Souza vs. Kron Gracie – Kron Gracie wins a 17:00 (armbar)
Next up, Xande Ribiero and Dean Lister competed in the lone No-Gi match of the evening. The match was full of exciting with both aggressive in going for takedowns and hunting for submissions. For Lister, than meant rolling for footlocks while Xande was more effective passing the guard and hunting for the armbar.
The Brazilian even got close on one attempt, fully extending Dean’s arm and yet the ADCC champ still managed to head/walk escape out of it much to the cheers of the crowd.
Dean Lister vs. Xande Ribiero – DRAW
In the fifth bout of the evening, Ryron Gracie and Andre Galvao battled it out to a draw after a fight much like everybody expected – with Galvao attacking and dominating much of the positional battle from the bouts opening moments to the end but with Ryron also doing well enough to not get submitted.
For his part, Ryron expounded his family’s longstanding belief that BJJ/GJJ is not just about offensive grappling but rather about survival and self-defense. He stated that being able to go with one of the best competitive sport grapplers in the world (Galvao) despite not having a strong competition background himself was a challenge he undertook to see how good his understanding of those aspects of jiujitsu would hold up. Just keeping it playful, he says.
Ryron Gracie vs. Andre Galvao – DRAW
Finally in the main event of the evening, the crowd got perhaps its most exciting fight of the night with living legend and 10x world champion Roger Gracie facing the most dominant grappler of 2012 in Checkmat’s Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida.
Many did not know what to expect in this match but the consensus would eventually do what he has always done – finish his younger opponent. That turned out not be the case as both men fought fiercely in this match with both having their moments.
It was actually Buchecha who struck first with a toe hold attempt escaped by Roger. Gracie would then go on to pass Buchecha’s guard a few times but found himself unable to capitalize with his younger opponent moving well to stay out of trouble while passing his opponent’s guard as well.
The most exciting point in the match came towards the end with Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida nearly breaking the arm of Roger Gracie after going for broke to finish things late. Roger would get out but this sequence literally had everybody on their feet at the venue. Surely it was the same in homes and academies around the world as well to finish a very exciting night for jiujitsu.
Roger Gracie vs. Marcus Buchecha – DRAW
To conclude, it is pretty safe to safe to say that Metamoris Pro was a resounding success in its first effort. Production was great, camera work was impeccable from what we hear, and the six matches highlighted everything awesome about the sport.
It’ll be exciting to see what they come up with next and when they return.