Monday, May 14, 2012


Yeah, I took this pic with my point n' shoot Samsung!
Grapplers, you may have already heard the punchline to Saturday's inaugural World Jiu Jitsu Expo Superfight event.  Yes, Nick Diaz, for reasons never explained to me or anyone I know, did not show for his main event superfight against Braulio Estima.  It did make us sad and it was kind of difficult to be cheerful around my mom yesterday after living through that debacle, but I, like you, carried on.  Brunches were had, girlie handbag gifts were given. 

Instead of focusing on the bad, let's instead talk about all the amazing Jiu Jitsu that we saw.  Below is my brief recap along with a handful of my personal amateur photos from one of the best seats in the house (thanks to an all access press cred that allowed me to sit right beside the seated ref). 

Kyra Gracie vs.  Alexis Davis (no-gi).  Despite Alexis' early advantage on Kyra and a decent armbar attempt, this match was all Kyra.   Alexis still made a strong showing, but she spent the final minutes of the match defending herself in side control with no way to escape.  Great match.

Bill Cooper vs. Nino Schembri.  This match turned out to be a lot more interesting than it looked on paper.  Nino had already lost to Bill back in 2010, and most expected Bill to easily win.  But, The Grill had to work for this one, and he barely eked out a ref's decision after the match ended in a tie.  Props to Nino for battling the beast to what was essentially a draw.

Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Lucas Leite.  This was, straight up, just two absolute pros going at it.  As with a lot of  RL Jr. matches, this match hinged on the guard pass/sweep game and he played it to a tee.  You could call this is grinder, but that would not do it justice.  Even though we don't see RL Jr. nabbing subs the way  guys like Marcelo or Kron Gracie often do, we have to take our hats off to him for his mastery of this kind of smart, athletic and strategic BJJ game.  One key sweep won him the match and it was over.

Kron Gracie vs. Victor Estima.  Another pitch battle between these 2 middleweight powerhouses (Estima beat Kron 2-0 at 2012 Pan).  Both guys held nothing back, so this one got crazy and both had the other in bad positions throughout the match.  In the end, Kron narrowly won and immediately taunted Estima with some kind of "baby arm cradling" pantomime-thing, which resulted in anger and shoving from Estima (supposedly Victor did the same to him at Pan, so this was a quid pro quo; who knows [I read that on te Internet]).  Later I saw these dudes sitting and talking it out, so I'm sure any beef is now quashed.  

Jeff Glover vs. Caio Terra.  This was the match I really wanted to see, and it delivered.  All kinds speculation swirled about this match in the days prior, with most predicting Terra as the victor.  He's the multi-time World (and Pan) champ, and Glover has a much shorter competition resume, despite having obvious talent and skill.  Terra attacked early and held a lead, until the final single minute of play, when Glover flipped the switch and took the back.  The crowd went nuts as he pulled of a 10-6 victory by passing and taking the back.  It was a thing of beauty.

Braulio Estima vs. Nick Diaz.  [Insert profane joke here]

1 comment:

  1. Rl looks like a giant next to leite, there had to be a 25+ pound weight advantage for rl, and lucas didn't blink at the chance for that fight, great job by rl though, not taking anything away from him.

    as a whole I was really disappointed in the expo, not many vendors and they needed more grand stands, We had to stand on chairs to see the super fights, There was one convention center worker who tried to make everyone get off the chairs, He was doing a pretty good job until he got to jacare who was standing on a chair, Jacare just ignored the man's request, even laughing at him at one point. After that everyone just ignored him and we were able to stand on our chairs.


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