June 27, 2014

Metamoris 4 - The Royal Roid Rumble

Metamoris broke the news this week that their next event will be Saturday August 9th 2014 in Los Angeles California, and Ralek Gracie (spokesperson for Rorion Gracie, owner of Metamoris and father of Ralek) also announced some of the fight card which has some folks scratching their heads. 

Along with a last minute "secret match" (supposedly neither the fighters nor the public will know until last minute) the following match ups were presented:
  • Andre Galvao vs. Chael Sonnen
  • Josh Barnett vs. Dean Lister
  • Saulo Ribiero vs. Rodrigo "Compridos" Medeiros
  • Vinny Magahales vs. Keenan Cornelius
  • Gary Tonon vs. Kit Dale
Keeping true to the original declaration of presenting exciting matches showcasing the true talent of grapplers in a venue encouraging submissions the match ups of Ribiero and Medeiros, Magahales vs. Cornelius, and Tonon - Dale promise to bring some amazing grappling to the stage in fights we all would love to see.  But I must admit the main event and co-main event have left a bad taste in my mouth.

Both Chael Sonnen and Josh Barnett are MMA fighters with extensive backgrounds in wrestling and Catch As Catch Can respectively, and both have been popped repeatedly for using steroids and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to the extent that Barnett was stripped of his UFC title over a decade ago. Though Galvao has passed one drug screen (IBJJF just started random tests last year) anyone who has watched his rise in BJJ has to wonder about the sudden muscle gain coupled with extreme acne often witnessed on him.



Seemingly Metamoris is looking to cash in on the WWE type of hype that trashy shit talkers such as Sonnen and Barnett bring to anything they are involved in.  It also seems to be sending a very mixed message to both the general public and impressionable participants in the grappling arts.  As I understood it Metamoris had the objective of getting grappling (BJJ / Judo / Sambo etc.) into the mainstream all the while showcasing matches we normally would not see.  Apparently the Gracie family will do this at all costs without thinking about the quality of men they are promoting.

When asked about Chael Sonnen's "medical condition" (for those unaware... Chael, a professional level MMA fighter, claims to have a problem with low testosterone.  Hence his need for TRT (testosterone replacement therapy.  My eyes could not roll further back into my ginormous skull!!) Ralek Gracie responded with:
“I don’t really know what his situation is with the commission. In my school of thought it doesn’t matter who takes what PED in grappling. It won’t change the game for him anyway. He can roll with half of the black belts I know and he’ll be in serious trouble.”

These comments are common with the Gracie family as they typically beat their collective chests making obnoxious, ego-saturated claims.  The amusing irony in Ralek making these statements is that apparently he did not have that much confidence in his family's grappling back just four years ago in Dream 14 and a unanimous decision over Kazushi Sakuraba where Ralek tested positive for steroids after the win!   Keep in mind this was at a "catch" weight of 194 where Sakuraba normally fights as a middleweight and Ralek typically fights at light heavy. 

All this coupled with the 50% increase in price (now $30 for the stream) has really left me shaking my head.  I can think of a dozen stand up classy men, and women that are far better role models and representatives of the art I love and cherish that would be better fits.  I had high hopes for this event and organization when they were trying to arrange a Jean Jacques Machado vs. Nelson Monteiro fight, but the fact that UFC president Dana White has been discussing scooping up Metamoris for his "Fight Pass" online money pit should be a huge red flag for those of us with some dignity. 

I have grown tired of the hypocrisy and lack of class in an art that was supposedly created to deter such elements of our society.  Yet we turn around and applaud it every chance we get.  I am just as guilty in that I will most likely give them my hard earned greenbacks as I enjoy combat sports entertainment more so then most things available.  This has me pausing and thinking twice about it this time though.  Time for us to raise the standards in our martial community folks. 

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