Above: Jeff Glover and Caio Terra will compete in a gi superfight at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.
While the boxing world has been dreaming about the potential of a Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao superfight for several years now, Jiu-Jitsu fans have been secretly dreaming about a superfight between two of their sport’s equally exciting smaller fighters in Jeff Glover vs. Caio Terra. While boxing fans may never get to see that blockbuster championship match pitting rivals Mayweather and Pacquiao against each other in an epic grduge match, Jiu-Jitsu aficionados will get their wish on Saturday night.
What makes this match so interesting starts with the fact that they are two of the most technical jiu-jitsu players in the world. However, like their pugilistic counterparts Mayweather and Pacquiao, there is no love lost between these two jiu-jitsu superstars. The rivalry started late last year when they had a heated exchange over Facebook, where the discussion did not involve a friendly debate about the IBJJF rules or their favorite gi company.
Terra posted a comment after winning the 2011 No-Gi Worlds despite suffering from injuries. Glover showed up on his wall to remind him that he is not the only one who gets hurt in the sport, that he should stop his whining, and that he sounded like a parrot.
Terra responded right away, inexplicably taunting Glover about rarely competing at and winning jiu-jitsu tournaments. Many, including Glover, found that response a bit odd considering that Glover had just medaled at ADCC 2011 about 5 weeks earlier. That would be the most prestigious submission grappling tournament in the world, which Terra ironically did not compete at.
Now 6 months after that incident, Glover and Terra will settle their differences on the mat at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo on Saturday, May 12th, 2012. The match was originally set to be a no-gi superfight, but was later changed to a gi match 5 days ago, after Terra insisted since he was in the middle of his gi training camp for the Worlds. The Worlds takes place 3 weeks after their superfight.
That means the fans in attendance and the thousands of others watching the stream via www.MobileBlackBelt.tv will witness Glover’s return to gi action. He has not competed in the gi in nearly 4 years due to hand injuries, but welcomes the challenge as a way to test himself against a multiple-time world champion while giving jiu-jitsu fans around the world the match they want. If only boxing fans could be so lucky.
After the Jeff Glover vs. Caio Terra superfight was announced, many have been wondering how Glover would match up with Terra after a 4 year absence from gi competition, while others were curious as to how Terra would match up with the one guy who rivals his technical ability and excitement factor, as well as his seminar and DVD popularity. This is why we have decided to analyze and breakdown this match in 20 categories. Both jiu-jitsu players will be rated on a scale of 0 to 5 in each category. A score of 100 would mean they are a perfect jiu-jitsu player. This scale will give us a more accurate view on how close their skill sets are headed into Saturday’s showdown.
These are two of the fastest and most exciting jiu-jitsu players on the planet. It could look a lot like two electric eels fighting on a Slip N’ Slide. Try not to blink during this one. Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
What has made these two so popular, beyond their obvious talent, is the fact they use all technique in their matches, because they are almost always the smaller guy. Terra is also one of the most outspoken people about steroid use in the sport. Glover will be the slightly bigger man in this match. Glover 3.0 | Terra 2.5
These are two of the greatest guard players on the planet, which means they are also two of the most effective guard pullers as well. Takedown points will not be the storyline here, but who is able to establish their guard game will be. Glover 3.0 | Terra 3.0
While Glover and Terra are known for their devastating guards, their top game is often overlooked because of it. This has proven to be a costly mistake to many of their opponents. Once on top of you, they will either finish you or take your back and finish you. Glover 4.5 | Terra 4.5
This is where their already striking similarities gets even more interesting. Not only are they known for having arguably the two most exciting guard games in the world, which sees them submit and sweep people at will, they are more specifically known for their half guards. They also happen to be the geniuses behind the two most popular half guard DVD sets on the market: "Jeff Glover’s Deep Half Guard" and "111 Half Guard Techniques with Caio Terra". Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
Glover has been known for his Triangle Chokes and Rear Naked Chokes, long before he ever got his black belt, but it was the perfection of his D’Arce Chokes that made him truly devastating. Terra has an equally formidable Triangle Choke, but also possesses a knack for Cross Chokes and other Gi chokes. Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
The brutal effectiveness of both men’s choke arsenal has only raised their ability to armlock their opponents just as easily. While Glover has been known to effortlessly attempt and land flying armbars, Terra submitted Fabio Passos via armbar in the quarter-finals of the Worlds last summer. Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
While both men prefer to submit their opponents with chokes and armlocks, they are very well versed in the leglock game as well. Last summer, Glover submitted Alfredo Barum via kneebar in a no-gi match and it’s hard not to forget how calm Terra was against Lapela’s constant leglock attack in the American Nationals absolute two years ago. Terra also submitted Rafael "Barata" Freitas via kneebar in the finals of the Pan Ams last month. Glover 4.5 | Terra 4.5
This is an area of jiu-jitsu that neither prefer. They are natural finishers by instinct and their world-class talents usually allow them to win that way. However, when they have lost, it is usually due to point fighting. Glover lost in the semi-finals of ADCC 2011 to Cobrinha via points, while Terra lost the same way to Bruno Malfacine in the finals of the Worlds last year. Glover 4.0 | Terra 4.0
There is no question that these two men are gifted athletes with unique skill sets that have allowed them to experience success in this sport that only a select few have, but this is due more to their world-class technique and not their all-around athleticism. Glover 4.0 | Terra 4.0
Both of these grapplers come ready to fight with a full tank of gas. They have been competing on the tournament scene for years and live on the mat. This allows them to go 100% from start to finish without fatiguing, which will only add to the excitement of their match. Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
In some cases, the best defense is a good offense. That sentiment holds true for both Glover and Terra. They are usually the ones swinging the ax in a stick fight. To find a submission loss on their record, one would have to scour the results of absolute divisions against much larger men. Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
Both of these grapplers have been competing for years. However, Glover came on to the scene earlier and sustained some injuries to his hands, which has prevented him from competing in the gi for almost 4 years. This is part of the reason he took exception to Terra’s complaint of competing with an injury. Glover 4.5 | Terra 5.0
Glover fires himself up before matches he feels he should win. After feeling slighted by hometown officiating in Utah in 2006 against Ricky Lundell, he made quick work of Lundell in their rematch 3 months later in Las Vegas. Glover and Lundell are friends now, but that was after the ax was buried. He still feels he has an ax to grind with Terra, who is usually more concerned with jiu-jitsu’s refereeing, steroids, or competing with injuries than grudge matches. Glover 5.0 | Terra 4.5
The only thing worse than encountering a Great White Shark in open water is giving it a reason to attack. They are born wanting to do it, but are more eager when instigated. That is the case of the grudge match between Glover and Terra. They are natural born finishers that now have a will and a reason to prove a point. Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
Glover isn’t just one of the most natually gifted people in the sport, but he’s constantly learning and studying his opponents. However, he has not had to game plan for a gi match in almost 4 years. Meanwhile, Terra was already deep in the middle of his training camp for the Worlds, when this superfight was announced. Glover 4.5 | Terra 5.0
These are two of the more flexible people in sports, not just jiu-jitsu. This has helped contribute to their ability to lock on submissions without warning, as well as escape danger just as quickly. Some might say they are a lot like rolling with a monkey, who can grab and control you with all four limbs. Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
Both men are world-class jiu-jitsu black belts, but Terra has the experience advantage by winning the Worlds and Pan Ams (and multiple silver medals) over the past 4 years, while Glover has taken a break from gi competition. Glover won the Pan Ams twice as a brown belt, but it was just a month ago that Terra defeated Brandon Mullins, Fabio Passos, and Rafael "Barata" Freitas to win his black belt division at the Pan Ams. Glover 4.5 | Terra 5.0
Quality of Opponents
The quality of Glover’s opponents over the years is unquestioned. He has competed in multiple ADCC tournaments against world champions like Cobrinha, Rani Yahya, and Robson Moura, but he has not competed in the gi since winning the Pac Sub in Hawaii nearly 4 years ago. Terra, on the other hand, has faced Bruno Malfacine, Rafael Freitas, Yusuke Honma, Fabio Passos, and Pablo Sousa over the past 12 months. He also won the 2012 Pan Ams last month. Glover 4.5 | Terra 5.0
Glover is from southen California and will be cornered by his coach Ricardo "Franjinha" Miller, Bill Cooper, and he will have a large number of Paragon students and fans cheering him on. On the other hand, Terra has relocated from Brazil to California and will have his coach Cesar Gracie, the Diaz brothers, and several Gracie Fighter students and fans cheering him on. This category is equally stacked, which should make it even more fun to watch. Glover 5.0 | Terra 5.0
Even after anlyzing and breaking down this superfight and seeing the overall points, picking a winner is no easier than it was before. However, we do have a better idea of how each would most likely win. Their jiu-jitsu style alone will see them both try to dictate the outcome of this match via their guard game. While both possess an extremely high submission rate, Terra has been much more active in gi matches, which gives him an edge if this goes the distance. Glover’s hand injuries and layoff from gi competition will play a big factor, but Terra has never faced anyone with the unique skill set and approach of Glover either. The grudge match aspect will also act as a motivator for both men, which really makes the match a toss up. Glover 91.0 | Terra 92.0