Written by James Jayme
A lot of people today are complaining about seeing high level competitors stay on double guard positions for the whole duration of the match, trying to rack up points than to finish an opponent. The first Metamoris Pro answered the clamor for a submissions centric jiu jitsu tournament. After so many years of adding one restrictive rule after the other, Metamoris brought back the essence of what jiu jitsu is. The first Metamoris Pro was such a success that the BJJ community asked for more. Now that the dusts have settled regarding the 2nd Metamoris Pro, was it really as good as its original billing?
Here’s our list of hits and misses of the recent Metamoris 2.
20 minute time limit
Old school practitioners jiu jitsu matches were designed for the long hours of grappling. In fact, classic matches of Helio Gracie involved 2 to 3 hours of grueling chess match waiting for the opponent to make mistakes. The early Ultimate Fighting Championships were also programmed the same way. With no time limit, the more technical guy, despite being physically disadvantaged, has a stronger chance of winning.
In contrast to IBJJF competitions, the 20 minute submission-only matches were less restrictive. Reap whatever knee you can, it doesn’t matter who sweeps who. The point is, to get the sub. The first Metamoris proved that 20 minutes is enough for two willing competitors to get a submission from each other. In fact half of the fights in the first one ended with a submission.
Galvao vs. Lovato
After the lack of convincing finishes in the first 3 matches, Andre Galvao and Rafael Lovato Jr raised the benchmark for the rest of the fighters that night. From the opening salvo until the end, it was a back and forth fight between the two men. Galvao and Rafael Lovato tried to win the grip fight battle followed by attempts to establish a dominant position via numerous takedown attempts.
Galvao then pushed the pace with his devil may cry flying submissions. Though Rafael Lovato wasn’t caught in any danger, whatsoever, the gutsy performance by Galvao and the willingness of Lovato to engage reclaimed the essence of the Metamoris.
If there was ever a fight of the night pot money on the line, Ralek would’ve been poorer because of Michelle Nicollini and Mackenzie Dern. Michelle Nicolini versus Mackenzie Dern was the second fight that night. From straight up leg hunting to tenacity all throughout the 20 minutes, the only surprise was that no one ended up with the sub victory. In fact, there was a close call when Nicolini attempted a toe hold at one point in the match. Though it ended as a draw, it was an exciting match all throughout.
Metamoris 3 Announcement
Just after Brenan Schaub glided throughout the 20 minutes, Ralek’s announcement made an impression that Metamoris is here to stay. Featuring Royler and Eddie Bravo, this fight is ten years in the making. Finally, we are going to see whether or not Eddie Bravo’s Abu Dhabi performance against Royler years back was a fluke or legit.
Impassable Guard vs. Unstoppable Passer
On paper, Braulio Estima and Rodolfo Vieira is the most intriguing matchup in Metamoris. Estima managed to increase the anticipation to this Metamoris match by performing well during the Mundials. On Braulio’s part, his spider to knee bar transition, just a week before raised a lot of questions whether or not he can finish the young passing machine from GFT.
As for Rodolfo Vieira, with a dominant run in his division and the inevitable finals with Buchecha, he also had an equally impressive performance in the Mundials. After all the hype and speculation, Rodolfo and Braulio on fight day didn’t disappoint at all.
Braulio started playing spider guard. Unlike the usual foot on the bicep, Estima looped his foot to Rodolfo Vieira’s lapel. Becoming a puzzle all throughout, it was a technical showcase of continuous pressure cooker guard passing and crafty guard recovery. In the end, it took Rodolfo Vieira 19 minutes to finally figure out the puzzle and almost take home the arm in a buzzer beater fashion.
Ryan Hall and Bill “The Grill” Cooper would have been an exciting opener for Metamoris. After Ryan Hall getting injured and Bill Cooper failing to meet pre-fight requirements, instead, it was replaced by Victor Estima and Keenan Cornelius. Because of all the hype surrounding Keenan Cornelius, it was actually a good replacement. Just after Keenan Cornelius pulled out because of an injured knee, JT Torres became the last minute replacement.
No one really expected Schaub to survive against Cyborg so he really proved everyone wrong. He managed to poke around Cyborg’s head and not get into his guard. His unwillingness to compete grapple in a grappling match gave him a draw. Refer to the video below for the a3 minute summary of their atrocious 20 minute fight.
One Submission Finish
There was really a reason why Metamoris was called a submission-only tournament. We are supposed to see finishes. Though some would argue that it is really difficult to find a submission against high level practitioners, the first Metamoris, which was equally composed of high level jiu jitsu black belts, managed to produce 3 finishes out of the 6 fights. Only Kron managed to finish his fight with Shinya Aoki. But really, was it such a convincing win when half of Aoki’s body was already about to fall from the stage? You can blame it on the matchup. They say styles do make fights and definitely, it showed particularly well in the recently concluded Metamoris 2.
$20 Tag Price
I wouldn’t pay $20 for an event not delivering what I was actually looking for—submissions. Also, when you can already see the whole event on YouTube after just an hour, what’s really the point of ordering the event?
Based on the reactions of people online, and on the points we have established above, Metamoris 2 wasn’t as good as the first one, but it still lived up to what we expected, which was high level BJJ. Metamoris was a breath of fresh air for people who are disappointed by some limitations brought by IBJJF.
written by James Jayme
I’m a Filipino BJJ practitioner from Manila. I started practicing Judo in 2008. After discovering my flawed newaza, I decided to join New Breed back in 2010. Now, I am practicing the Gentle Art under professor Mike Ancheta with Hevtek United-Ancheta Jiu Jitsu. I compete every once in a while in local tourneys in under -70kg division. I work as a freelance writer, SEO manager and an overall web guy by day. I am also the founder of Manila Kimonos and blogger for OSS and Roll (Ossandroll.blogspot.com).