Before you start this column, run out and buy yourself a copy of the latest (March 2004) issue of Grappling Magazine. Hey!
Before you start this column, run out and buy yourself a copy of the latest (March 2004) issue of Grappling Magazine.
Good. Now flip to page 4.
Awwww, yeah! Thanks much for the props Todd. Of course, if you’re reading this column then you probably already knew what Todd is talking about. It’s still nice to get some props in print. As you may have noticed, both Scotty and I have contributed articles to Grappling Magazine in the past, and most likely will continue to do so in the future. What Grappling Magazine is trying to accomplish is a nice compliment to what we here at OntheMat is trying to accomplish.
(Gratutitous plug out of the way.)
I’ve got to get this off my chest this week, because I never get around to it. Learn your fundamentals people, and practice the basics. Now, I’ll admit that we here at OntheMat are as guilty as anyone of popularizing the flashy, flying moves on our highlight videos, and I love the fact that many people come up to me and get excited about the maneuvers they saw. The people we highlight in those videos get to do all that fancy stuff because they’ve mastered the basics. People will complain about “sandbagging” and point to the amount of beginners that will attempt things like flying armlocks. I personally see it as the equivalent of someone trying to jump over the Cesar’s Palace Casino Fountain before they’ve taken off their training wheels. Do you think you’ll have more success in tournaments if you had the best flying armlock in the world or the best guard pass? Think about it. On the highlight videos I’ve been working on lately they’ll always be the flashy stuff, because quite franky it looks great. But I have to sort through a lot of missed attempts and grapplers looking downright silly to get those choice clips. So I’ve been trying to include or balance it out with what I consider to be excellent, well grounded technique.
(Preachy section out of the way. )
Well, lot of superfights and upcoming tournaments to talk about. I’ll be in Capitola this weekend for the Pain Inc tournament, where Scotty returns stateside for Grappler’s Quest Beast of the East. We’ll each have copies of the new OTM DVD, Scar Tissue for sale BEFORE it is our online store, so be sure to say hello!
(Obligatory sales pitch out of the way)
Speaking of the Beast of the East, it’s time for the insider view and odds making of the superfights and professional tournaments! Funny how a tournament titled “Beast” would featured no grappling over 173, but hey, big talent comes in small packages sometimes. Consider this your insiders view from an informed observer. I’ve learned no to make outright predictions as to who will win or lose, but I’ll lay Vegas style odds for your enjoyment purposes. For those who don’t know what the numbers mean if I saw +140 then a bet of 100 dollars would get you 140 back. If I saw -600 a bet of 600 dollars would be needed to recoup a hundred dollars? Get it yet? Okay, then read on!
Submission Grappling Super Fight: Tyrone Glover vs Joe Scarola Tyrone Glover -300 Joe Scarola +280
Now these odds are likely to get the Renzo/Serra guys, whom Scarola is a brown belt representative riled up that I’m placing him so low (which is good for than fans, because they’re way more dangerous when riled up). That’s largely because other than the knowledge of his ranking, and the fact he’s won two past GQ tournaments, I have little information to go on. I’m expecting an exciting match however, because anyone that trains with Matt Serra is sure to inherit his go for broke let’s finish this match mentality. On the other hand, I have a LOT of information on Tyrone Glover, who I’ve been hyping on this very column for sometime now. Grappling wise he’s pretty much the complete package of athleticism, mat savvy, and skill and he’s dangerous in any number of ways. Furthermore, I think Tyrone has more experience right now in terms of spotlight fights, who was very active last year winning the Pan Americans purple belt division over the extremely dangerous Jason Brudvick, taking second in the So Cal Pro Am losing in the finals to the much larger (and positively deadly Rener Gracie) but along the way tapping out a black belt or two, tearing up the World Grappling Games scene and making his MMA debut at Gladiator Challenge. This will be Tyrone’s debut on the East Coast, where as Scarola has the hometown advantage.
BJJ Gi Superfight: Jared Weiner vs Renato Miglaccio
Jared Weiner +100 Renato Miglaccio -125
Both these guys are winners and class acts in my book, as they are donating the fight purse to Joe Priole Cancer fund (http://www.wantjoepriole.info) Also, attendees to the tournament should be aware that Chris “Balls” Savarese is donating Tribe Gear to whomever makes at least a $10 donation to the cause, so props to everyone here for a great cause.
Don’t blink on this match. Both Jared and Renato are known for being extremely quick and aggressive games and are both black belts in judo as well as BJJ! Jared recently got his black belt from Lloyd Irving and has been on a roll since then. Renato comes from Ryan Gracie and has a bit more seasoning in black belt competition, thus making him a slight favorite, but as I said before, don’t blink, anything can and probably will happen in this match up. One determining factor may be Jared’s leglocking ability, as Renato fell victim to one courtesy of Russ Miura recently.
Lightweight 4-Man Superfight Division (under 160 lbs.):
Jeff Glover -150 Mike Fowler +150 Kurt Pellingro -125 Brian Dunez +300
Jeff Glover has been in the spotlight in the West Coast for a few years now since he was a blue belt (currently a purple) and has a streak of never being scored upon in GQ competition. He’s slowly moving up in weight (he’s still a growing) and while he began at 134, he’s always taken on the big boys as well. He’s one of the fastest competitors around, always looking to improve his position or go for a lightening quick position. If allowed to move he will win this tournament. He trains under Franjinha and with teammate/long lost brother Tyrone Glover. Rumor has it he’s lately been training in Las Vegas and simply soaking up technique like a sponge there as well.
Mike Fowler, a purple belt under Lloyd Irving has been attracting an amazing following and achieved an incredible amount of notoriety for less than two and half years of training over all! You’re likely to continue hearing his name for years to come. Towards the end of 2003 he competed in seven tournament in eight weeks, including GQ’s on both coasts, the US Nationals, the World Grappling Games and NAGA. He’s extremely creative on the mat, and while he has a wide variety of attacks his best finishing move is probably the triangle choke.
The 1st round match pitting Mike Fowler against Jeff Glover promises to be a highlight reel and has every fan on both coasts salivating at the possibilities. Jeff has a slight edge on experience and is the faster of the two, where as Fowler is stronger.
Kurt Pellingro wants his chance in the spotlight, and in has a victory over Mike Fowler in the previous mentioned whirlwind of activity. Pellingro holds numerous titles on the East Coast for both grappling and MMA. Look for this Renzo Gracie/Ricardo Almedia representative to bring the anger in front of what is likely to be a very favorable crowd. A few insiders are picking him to shock the world here. Brian Dunez is the sleeper of the tournament, and literally about the either competitor to fill the 4th spot in this tournament. Other than he trains at the Yamasaki academy I have no information on him, which also means he’ll be hard to scout out. Guys with nothing to lose are always extremely dangerous, of course.
Look for a report on Florida’s Submission Wrestling One coming up next week, followed by an analysis of the Arnold Gracie Submission tournament the week afterwards!
Well, since starting this column I’ve had to endure both my car going to the shop and my word processor crashing with the finished column. Grrrr, I can’t wait for the weekend more than ever now!
Train hard, Fight Hard Party Hard,
Your friend Gumby