Metamoris has finalized their May 9th card for the 6th iteration of their now popular grappling promotion. The event is going to be headlined with a title fight against ADCC absolute winner Roberto Abreu and current Metamoris Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett.
Co-headlining the card will be MMA veterans Chael Sonnen and Renato Sobral facing off against one another. Sonnen testing his Division I wrestling skills against the 2nd degree BJJ black belt of Sobral will make for an interesting style matchup.
MMA fans will also appreciate Joe Lauzon facing off against Marcelo Garcia brown belt Dillon Danis. And MMA veteran Jeff Monson will face the eventual winner of the “Road to Metamoris” tournament that will precede the event.
Official card for Metamoris 6.
Josh Barnett vs. Roberto Abreu
Chael Sonnen vs. Renato Sobral
Joe Lauzon vs. Dillon Danis
Alexandre Ribeiro vs. Keenan Cornelius
Roberto Satoshi vs. Clark Gracie
Jeff Monson vs. RTM champion
In their initial promotional push leading up to the card, Ralek Gracie hosts a Q&A session with the Warmaster, Josh Barnett, to re-cap and deconstruct his impressive submission win over the then un-submittable Dean Lister and to answer fan questions. One highlight in the clip is when Barnett takes the time to explain his reason for choosing to don the black banana hammock and wrestling shoes.
“The uniform is very specific and it was [an] homage to my roots as a Professional Wrestler.” explained Josh Barnett. “It was a throwback to the legendary old school professional wrestlers that helped train me. Billy Robinson and Karl Gotch, who had passed away. It was also [an] homage to one of my teachers over in Japan, Antonio Inoki, who helped form who I am as a professional wrestler in the working and shooting aspects. And to make a statement, this is what an old school catch wrestler looks like.”
You can view the rest of the video below.
Talking to the Snowman: An interview with Jeff Monson
We got the chance to interview crack grappler and MMA fighter, Jeff Monson, recently, a very unique character, Monson’s iconoclastic world views add much more intrigue to a man already known for his extensive in-cage exploits.
Although he looks like (and is) the archetype of a testosterone-fueled, no-nonsense alpha male, Monson embodies a truly salt of the earth personality. From donating an entire fight purse to help children in the war-torn region of Donbas, Ukraine, to broadly advocating for the end of wars and poverty, the “Snowman” has done much to endear himself to the MMA community and beyond.
In addition to the recent Metamoris 6 grappling event, which Monson unfortunately had to withdraw from due to his mother’s passing, we talked about his future in combat sports, his training regimen, and which historical figure he would most like to give a beating to, among other topics.
Hi Jeff, Thanks for the letting me interview you. I’ve been a big fan of yours for awhile.
Yeah, no problem.
Let’s start by talking about Metamoris 6. You were supposed to compete but had to pull out at the last minute. You’ve already said you’ll compete in a future Metamoris event; who would you like to see as an opponent?
There are a lot of guys I’d like to go against. Also, I’d really like to compete against Josh Barnett.
That was going to be the follow up question. Do you want to fight Barnett, Metamoris’ Heavyweight champ, immediately?
I think they’d want me to win a fight to put me in that situation, but ultimately I want to fight Josh. I used to grapple with him. We used to train together in Seattle for many years and he’s just getting on top of smaller guys, taking them down and crushing them. He can’t do that with me, I’d get on top of him. It’d be a totally different situation.
What would the game plan be against Barnett? How would you mitigate his size advantage?
Take him down, my wrestling is better than his, and look for submissions. He’s a great player and a great competitor. I’m not trying to make it sound easy or anything, but he’s a great match-up for me. He’s not going to be able to take me down or lay on me.
In the lead up to Metamoris 6 there was a video online of you going through your training preparation for Jimmy Friedrich, who you were going to compete against. As you’ve gotten older, have your training methods changed or stayed pretty much the same?
Its changed. I’m grappling and sparring, but I can’t do that 6 days a week anymore. I only do it 4 days and then we have active rest days where we’re lifting, swimming, and doing other stuff, but you’re not getting beat up. (laughs)
You’ve fought in almost 80 professional MMA fights. How much longer are you going to compete?
You know, I don’t know. I’m going to finish out this summer; I have a couple fights planned in Russia. I’ll try to do my best in those events and see how I feel. I’m going to start transitioning to grappling events. Picking and choosing my fights.
Speaking of Russia, there is word on you possibly seeking Russian citizenship. Is that true?
Yeah, in my visit next month I’m hoping to secure Russian citizenship. It’s been a long process but I’ll have dual citizenship. I have a lot of admiration for the Russian people and the history of the country. It’s something I want to be a part of.
That’s pretty cool. Still speaking of Russia, have you heard of the TFC (Team Fighting Championships) MMA promotion? It’s based in Russia and has 5-on-5 bouts.
Yeah! You’ll never see me do that! (laughs)
Do you think something like that could come stateside?
Yeah, I could see people being interested. We’re always trying to push the envelope. That’s literally a war with no weapons. (laughs)
What’s your opinion of Vladimir Putin?
Well I’m not in favor of any politicians or government in general. I think that when people vote or elect someone to take charge of them it’s a lazy situation. They don’t want to take responsibility for their own life so I’ll let someone else choose for me. I don’t think Putin is any better or any worse than Obama or whoever.
You’re an anarchist, correct?
Could you explain that? When most people think of anarchy, it’s often in a negative sense.
Yeah, it’s like a dirty word. Basically, anarchy is the absolute expression of freedom. In every other system like capitalism, communism, etc. you have to sit in a box. Hopefully the box fits you, but there are going to be parts that don’t.
Anarchy is a system where the people’s needs, as a whole, are put first, but at the same time it allows the absolute expression of individual freedoms so it’s the best of both worlds. It’s a system where there’s no hierarchy. You’re not better than me and I’m not better than you. There’s no racism or sexism or any other kind of ‘isms. (laughs)
So I take it that you won’t be voting in the 2016 presidential elections?
You train at American Top Team, correct?
What do you think of ATT’s performance so far on The Ultimate Fighter?
Obviously it’s not been what we’ve been hoping for so far but it’s not over yet. You know the thing is when one guy loses it’s not just that one guy that loses, it’s the whole team. It sucks.
But I think it’s been a more interesting format than it has been in the past. The rivalry between the camps is real. It’s not just guys in a house, nobody knows each other and they’re hanging out, which is pretty boring. Eventually they get the guys to stir things up a little bit, “Oh hey you put my laundry in the sink!” or “You ate my stuff!” and other B.S. like that. This season is real.
These next questions are going to be a speed round. Just answer them as quickly as possible.
Best food to build muscle?
What’s your favorite strength training protocol?
Functional training. Things like tire flips, sled pushes, things like that.
What’s the best base martial art to train for MMA?
Who’s your favorite athlete?
He retired, but Darien Hatcher. He was a defenseman for the Dallas Stars.
You have a lot of tattoos; does getting a tattoo hurt and do you recommend everyone getting at least getting one?
It depends where you get it. For as many tattoos as I have, I’m kind of a baby. I don’t really like that kind of pain. My advice is to get something you really, really like. My first tattoo was a scorpion and it meant nothing, but it looked cool.
What’s your favorite T.V. show to watch right now?
I don’t watch a lot of T.V., but I like watching documentaries and ESPN. I’ll watch Cartoon Network with my daughter. There’s a channel called Democracy Now that airs a lot of good documentaries.
What’s your favorite song to jam out to while training?
I like stuff by Rage Against The Machine, Nine Inch Nails, some alternative stuff. When I walk out to a fight I like something soft. I’m already wired, I don’t need to get anymore wired.
Who is one person you’d like to meet from the annals of history?
Che Guevara, the revolutionary.
Who is one person you’d like to beat up from the annals of history?
Oh, a lot of people. Just about every president we’ve ever had. (laughs)
Is there anyone specific?
Winston Churchill would be my number one. He was a racist, exploited India, and colonized a large part of the world for England. Terrible guy.
Why You Can’t Knee Bar Keenan Cornelius
This past week at the Long Beach Convention Center there was a little grappling event you may have heard of called Metamoris. This was the fifth iteration of the event with the headliner being a somewhat re-match between Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba.
On the card was an anticipated trilogy re-match between Keenan Cornelius and Yuri Simoes. Simoes was initially supposed to compete against Rafael Lovato Jr. but Lovato had to rescind the invite due to an injury incurred during training. Cornelius was more than happy to step up and take the bout, setting the stage for the match up.
Though the match would end in a draw there was a dramatic point during the bout where Simoes seemed to have had Keenan’s knee hyper extended in a knee bar. Despite the extension, continued pressure, and the blood thirsty excitement from the crowd Keenan didn’t tap. People were shocked, clearly he must have taken some injury during that exchange. David St. Martin of MMA Fighting describes the moment, “This is pretty awful to watch. Here we go, Yuri attacking the knee now. Ouch this is brutal. The crowd goes nuts as Cornelius doesn’t tap. That hurt to watch.”
In that moment Keenan looked like the burliest bad ass to have ever touched the mat. No stress on his face, no grunts of pain, no pants of exhaustion.. just a cool, calm, and deliberate focus. What many of us didn’t notice though, was Keenan’s hand placement during the knee bar. It turns out that his hand placement was key in re-directing Simoes’ pressure, saving Keenan’s knee. In a video posted by Keenan himself, he describes the technical nuances of his knee bar defense.
UFC middleweight, Kevin Casey, out of Metamoris 5
Current UFC fighter, Kevin Casey, was slated to face former UFC fighter, Vinny Magalhaes, at Metamoris 5 in Long Beach, California this Saturday.
Unfortunately, we have learned that Casey had to receive emergency surgery on a blood clot in his calf over the weekend, and is now scratched from the anticipated event.
Normally, when these types of incidents happen, the fighter is replaced with someone else that the promotion has in mind.
Well, Metamoris isn’t your typical promotion.
The creator of the premier grappling event, Ralek Gracie, recently appeared on The MMA Hour and dropped some interesting news.
“if you can beat Vinny Magalhaes, we’re putting $10,000 on the line.”
Ralek told Ariel Helwani on Monday, “what we want to do is, we want to invite the entire community of martial artists, and practitioners, and grapplers. We’re basically creating an open opportunity for any athlete to come in. You basically have to have a black belt in jiu jitsu.”
“If you don’t have a black belt in jiu jitsu but you’re like a really solid judo guy, or sambo or something like that and you have a black belt in that art, that works.”
“Vinny is willing to fight anybody at any weight,” Gracie said. “It’s pretty exciting. I’d like it to be somebody out of nowhere, that underdog story. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Ralek lays out the requirements by saying, “all you have to do is email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send in the necessary information. You have to send in a picture. You have to send in your age. You have to send in your weight, where you train, what academy you’re from. That can be any kind of academy but you have to be a black belt. You have to talk about where you got your black belt, you have to talk about how many years you’ve been training and give us a good reason why you should be able to go up against Vinny.”
Of course I would like to see 27 time champion, Renato Laranja, grace the mats but I just don’t think that’s quite fair to Vinny at this point. However, I would love to see one of the local Southern California black belts get a chance to display their skills and take on Magalhaes.
Jump on this as soon as you can because Ralek will choose someone by 10 pm PST on Tuesday, November 18.
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