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Metamoris Pro


Reprint: Strikeforce’s Roger Gracie Responds to Tim Kennedy’s Challenge

As we get closer and closer to the fight between Roger Gracie and Tim Kennedy at UFC 162, let's not forget the role I played in orchestrating this match up. And, by that, I mean this interview I conducted with Roger Gracie back in August during the UFC on FOX 4 open workout.  Gracie was nice enough to take some time out to talk with me about the comments Tim Kennedy made on twitter and BOOM, ten months later, now they're fighting each other.

See how quickly I made things happen, people.

I recently ran into Roger at Metamoris II and thanked him for being my first article back at Studio MMA.  He couldn't have been nicer about it.  I'm really looking forward to the match up between him and (the always entertaining) Tim Kennedy -- and, frankly, can't wait to see it in person next week in Vegas.

Since the Studio MMA website is temporarily down, the guys over there were nice enough to let me reprint the article here at Verbal Tap (sadly, you're missing the accompanying picture of me interviewing him, but I think you'll live).  So here, for your reading pleasure, was my quick interview with Roger Gracie.

Strikeforce’s Roger Gracie Responds to Tim Kennedy’s Challenge By Raf Esparza

While the focus of the open work out for this Saturday’s UFC on FOX 4 may have been on his Black House teammate Lyoto Machida, Strikeforce middleweight Roger Gracie was on hand to talk with StudioMMA about a recent challenge issued by Tim Kennedy.

“What happened was Strikeforce President Scott Coker mentioned that I was the best grappler in Strikeforce and then Tim Kennedy said on Twitter that he’d like to prove him wrong,” said Gracie.

When asked if a future match up against Kennedy is in the works, Gracie expressed interest in the idea and said the fight is certainly a possibility, while also making a case on how his fighting style might prove difficult for Kennedy to overcome.

“I mean, I think my jiu-jitsu is better than his… and I think, of course, the ground game is in my favor, and I have a better reach [than him]. But you cannot predict, you just plan for the best.”

Gracie, however, was complimentary of Kennedy’s recent split decision loss to Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Luke Rockhold.

“I think he did well, but in the end he lost—even though he looked better by the end of the fight. I think [Rockhold] kept him under pressure a lot more and that’s what lead to the loss.”

So how would a fight against Kennedy or another competitive middleweight contender play into the Brazilian’s long-term fighting aspirations?

“I think in MMA, for me, my plan now is a very long goal: Trying to become the best fighter you can. But before that a lot of people say, ‘Oh who do you want to fight next?’ and I think that is a very short goal. Because if you do fight that person, then, when it’s gone, what do you do next? For me, as long as I keep winning, I’m just going to keep fighting better people.”

Originally published on Studio August 3, 2012.




We are reporting live from Metamoris.  I am joined here with John Evans who is nice enough to lend his credibility to our dog and pony show here. We're gonna keep you updated as things progress throughout the day, but we took the time to record our first short audio summary of what down between Metamoris - Estima v. Torres.

***Keep checking back to our page for all the latest Metamoris coverage!***

Nicolini and Dern ends in a draw, no audio update here as things are moving RIDICULOUSLY fast this year.  No two hour delay.

Oh good,as we start Schaub vs. Cyborg, we have our first two Karate Kid references from the crowd.  The event is now complete.

At this point we've discovered that press row is out of power outlets, so we're going to reduce some of the online reporting so that we can conserve energy so we can make it through the evening. Updates to come in the form of tweets.

From @VerbalTapCast

Schaub vs. Cyborg (cont'd)

  • Schaub is touching Cyborg's head so much you'd think he's about to give him a haircut. #metamoris
  • The crowd is now turning extra feisty. They're heckling more than one of my own comedy shows. #metamoris
  • With a Cyborg guard, the crowd ooohs then awws when it's gone. The crowd might win this match. #metamoris
  • I've seen Lucha Libre matches with less defined good guys and bad guys. #metamoris
  • It's another DRAW... jk's. It's Cyborg all day. #metamoris
  • Snap. Post fight call out to Schaub. Cyborg: I think you should have tried to pass my guard. #metamoris
  • Is there an award we can give Rener for keeping a straight face and keeping positive. #metamoris
  • Did you just feel that? Eddie Bravo vs. Royler Gracie announced for Metamoris 3. The place goes nuts! #Metamoris

Galvao vs. Lovato Jr.

  • Well that was intense. Lovato and Galvao entertain the crowd after the intermission in a match that goes the distance.
  • Galvao was superb. Deserved that win and those two are amazing to watch. Just amazing high level competition. I'm in awe. #metamoris
  • Galvao comes in to plug Lovatos pressure passing system. This is what competition should be like. #metamoris.
  • .@lovatojrbjj apologizes to the crowd 4 not getting it done. Think I speak 4 the crowd: "no need to apologize" #Champion #metamoris #thanku

Vieira vs. Estima

  • Holy shit. After a 19 min pressure and recovery war, we had an action packed last minute with a set of submission set ups that looked sick.
  • Vieira says he was exhausted and couldn't finish. Must be something about worlds and beasting it for twenty minutes. #metamoris
  • Guy from the crowd yells "it'd be great to see a submission now." Think there should be an open invitation for that guy to try. #metamoris

Kron vs. Aoki.

  • Well we got a tap, but about as crazy as you can imagine. Just as they're rolling out of bounds Kron pulls off a guillotine. #metamoris
  • But Kron gets it with the assist of a audience member who ducked underneath the fighters, keeps them steady & prevents a reset? It was weird

Post-Event Press Conference

  • EddieRoylerEddie Bravo and Royler Gracie are up first.
  • Bravo and Gracie are very complimentary of one another.
  • Bravo talks about his respect for gi jiu-jitsu and clears up the misconception that he created 10th Planet as a means of revenge.
  • Press row is very happy to see the both of them, no Metamoris III date announced just yet.
  • JT Torres and Estima up next.  EEstima JT
  • Torres and Estima have a short discussion about their match as we then about-face to the main event (?).  Seems like we may be doing this out of order.
  • Kron Gracie and Shinya Aoki make their way out to the presser.
  • IMAG1400-1Metamoris President Ralek Gracie mentions Kron fighting for a Metamoris title.
  • Aoki takes the high road when asked a question about any discomfort with the audience member who provided support as he and Kron were falling, says it was not a factor in his loss.
  • Aoki and Gracie head out.
  • IMAG1403-1My sincere apologies to Michelle Nicolini and Mackenzie Dern, as my cell phone was starting to act up around this time of the press conference.  Our coverage here (or lack thereof) does not accurately reflect the superb exhibition of jiu-jitsu you two displayed on the mats today.  Thank you very much.
  • Right now we're at Schaub and Cyborg in the presser. All in the room admit, "this should be interesting."
  • Also, Aoki is sitting next to me. I'm terrified. #HeSeemsNice
  • Evans just re-ignated the conversation between Schaub and Cyborg. And now we've got a real war in the press room. #Awkward
  • The temperature in the room is pretty chilly between the two, as we have a difference in perspectives.
  • The question seems to be: Who is charged with needing to bring the fight? Schaub respecting a great guard or Cyborg having to respond to a "runaway opponent?"
  • The mention of "what would Royce Gracie have done, what if he just sat down the entire time?" There may be #Metamoris3 in the press room.
  • IMAG1407-1Yay, everyone respects each other again. We're all good!
  • Lovato and Galvao up next.
  • There's mention of "no fire" in the Lovato/Galvao fight. Not sure I really agree with that contention here.
  • Lovato and Galvao both take a moment to acknowledge one another and Metamoris. Perhaps also competing for sportsmanship of the event.
  • Lovato and Galvo exit, as Vieira and Estima make their way out.
  • VERBAL TAP's John Evans asked about Vieira about looking tired after the match, asks if it had to do w/ Worlds or just trying to pass Estima
  • IMAG1408We've got confirmation. It is called the "galaxy guard." #Estima
  • Estima closes with a money interpretation joke. Says Vieira's interpretator didn't mention Estima was one of the best looking people he's fought.
  • In response to a question about Schaub's performance, Ralek tries to play devils advocate, says he wasn't ready but applauds desire to test himself.
  • Ralek comes back w/ saying he was disappointed, seems he feels Metamoris was hindered by part of Worlds & the concept of time still a prob.
  • Ralek says not sure, but thinks he Kron gets "submission of the night."
  • Ralek says fighters get double the money if they land the submission. Interesting incentive.
  • EA Sports connection with Metamoris. Ralek says despite reluctance to video games that it can be a positive experience for kids.
  • When asked about the contingency for fighters falling off the mats: If you fall out the ring, you get disqualified. Yikes.

And that pretty much closes out the Event and Press Conference coverage.  Thanks for sticking it out with us this evening.  For more on Metamoris II check out our match-by-match breakdowns here and our podcast review here.

Thanks much everyone!