My Brasiliero Experience... (long and possibly boring)
Sun, 2008-05-04 22:32 — ryanhall
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I was really glad to get to fight here because the day before I fought at the Pan Am's (on our way to fight in the absolute), I was in a pretty serious car accident. Brendan Raedy, Nyjah Easton, and I were the middle car in a 5-car pile up on the highway (going about 70mph). Our car got hit 3 or 4 times, and it ended up looking like an accordion. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt, but Brendan and I ended up with pretty decent concussions and vertigo (we were in the front seat). Against better judgment and medical recommendation, we decided to fight anyway. That didn't really go according to plan. Apparently full-body trauma and closed head injuries have a negative impact on your ability to function athletically. Who knew? haha. Never felt worse at a tournament in my entire life.
Got down to Rio early yesterday with Brad Court. The hotel people were kind enough to let us check in early, so we chilled at the hotel for a bit, then got a quick workout in to break a sweat before going to sleep.
Woke up today and got some waffles. They were delicious in spite of the fact that they had no syrup or butter. Naturally, this aroused my suspicion. We eventually agreed that it is some sort of South American witchcraft that allows for this maple-less excellence, because it's un-American to have waffles without syrup.
I fought Falconi D'Angels (Cia Paulista) in the first round. He was tough and had good grips, but I ended up catching him with a triangle from inverted guard about 2 minutes in.
In the second round, I wrestled the current Pan Am champ at my weight, Jacob Mackenzie (Akxe). We had a match at the Copa do Brasil last year where I triangled him, but we've both come a long way since that point and he's SUPER tough, so I knew things would be different this time around. Our match was close. He pulled half guard and I was passing for most of the fight. Almost took his back and choked him a couple of times, but Jake's defense was really good and I only ended up with advantages. I thought I passed and got knee-on-belly one time, but the ref didn't give me any points. Oh well. Jake ended up coming up on top out of a scramble for the back to get 2 for the sweep with about a minute to go. With about 30 seconds left, I managed to lock a triangle from the bottom and switch to an oma plata as he scrambled out of bounds to get 2 for the sweep to tie. The clock ran out and I won 2-2 (5 adv-0 adv). Really fun match. Jake's a super tough competitor and an all-around nice guy.
In the quarterfinal, I drew Jose Alberto Junior (Monteiro). He pretty much walked through his half of the bracket with a strong top game. He was super strong and had good pressure, but he ended up trying to stall for the better part of the match. It was 0-0 with about 30 seconds to go when Felipe Costa started yelling to me that I was going to lose if I didn't do something. I spun out of inverted guard to armdrag Jose and got both hooks for the back. He cleared one of them and started to escape, but I transitioned to the oma plata and started to sweep in the final seconds to get the win.
In the semi-final, I fought the guy who ended up winning. I had the same ref that Fowler did when he fought (and got illegally slammed by) Daniel Moraes. To put it nicely, that guy SUCKS and really shouldn't be reffing anything. He threatened to DQ me for using the 50/50 to sweep (the same position Cobrinha uses ALL THE TIME), in spite of the fact that it's completely legal, and also gave the other guy 2 points for a sweep that wasn't one (also from the 50/50) before standing us up out of the position which prevented me from getting my points back.
I ended up losing 4-2 (1 adv-5 adv). The guy didn't really want to engage (he ran all the way to the other side of the mat one time), and he kept faking knee injuries to try to get me DQ'ed. Pretty weak. After almost putting the guy to sleep with a loop choke, I triangled him with 20 seconds to go, but didn't think I had time to finish, so I ended up sweeping him instead and coming up to pass (4-2 now). Had him squashed pretty good and was trying to take the back as time expired.
Oh well. If I had been better, I'd have tapped him anyway. Next time, I hope. haha.
Overall, this tournament is awesome. There are no scrubs, and no easy matches. Every guy fights every second like it's the finals, which is a lot of fun. Can't wait to fight at the CBJJE version of it in 2 weeks.
HUGE thanks to Brad Court, Felipe Costa, and Wilson Reis for coaching me :)
Tagged: On The Mat