A few days ago, GracieMag.com dropped a bombshell of an announcement. The announcement which could quite possibly open the door to a plethora of rematches and new matches alike that all fans of submission grappling/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have pined for. According to GracieMag:
Due to the initiative of a group of American sponsors, fans of good Jiu-Jitsu are about to be treated to a dream match: a bout between featherweights Rafael Mendes and Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” with no time limit or points, ending when one of the two gets the finish.
According to the initial proposal by the sponsors, who are situated in Atlanta but are in no way linked to the Alliance academy where Cobrinha teaches in the state of Georgia, the rules are straightforward: it is to be a gi Jiu-Jitsu match where the one to get the submission wins. The winner takes home a 10-thousand-dollar purse.
The investors are still in the negotiating stage with Rafael, the current world champion, and Cobrinha, four-time world champion (2006/07/08/09) and runner-up in 2010. So as not to hinder the
negotiations process, the sponsors requested GRACIEMAG.com keep them anonymous, for now.
Confirmed representative of the said “sponsors”, Bray Deavours (Brown Belt under Paul Creighton), confirms Cobrinha’s willingness to participate. The email sent from Cobrinha to Bray read as follows:
Thank you for making such an offer and let me say right away that I am happy about the chance to take this fight. I think this is a great idea and is good for the sport. The submission is what Jiu-Jitsu is all about, and I think the fans will enjoy it. I have said in many interviews that what I like most about fighting is the chance to show great Jiu-Jitsu, and this format will let us both show our Jiu-Jitsu. The money and opportunity are great – let’s do it! I will have my manager call you to work out the details.
Ramon Lemos (Rafael’s instructor and Leader of Team Atos) has expressed his excitement for the prospect of this possible matchup, but not surprisingly offers his favor toward his star pupil:
“Cobrinha, after all he’s being called up for this match because of who he is. But these days, through great humility and lots of hard work, Rafael is number one.”
I think I can speak for all fans of BJJ that this announcement is indeed on the EPIC side. Finally, we’ll be treated to a BJJ match how our predecessors once competed, and how they insist the art should be competed. No time limit,
loser submits. Both of these athletes are the perfect pair to start such a hopeful revolution in BJJ competition. The 4-Time World Champion versus the current King of the Feathers. With all of the hullabaloo across the internet regarding this potential “Battle of the Ages”, there seems to be a monkey wrench thrown into the mix. It appears the defending ADCC and Mundial champion, Rafael Mendes, feels his presence in the event is worth more than the proposed $10,000 American dollars. As per Graciemag:
“I’m not going to do a no-time limit match just because it’s a good idea. I want to make it clear that I have no problem with facing Cobrinha or whoever else they might want me to face. I entered this division in 2009 when I got my black belt and faced everybody, I beat the best, and now I’m number one, so I ask that I be valued as such.” – Rafael Mendes
Us fans hope this minor hurdle can hopefully be passed without issue. But even if it’s not, perhaps this format could still continue to bring back together other possible match ups. Let’s take a look at potential rebirths of solid rivalries or fantastic matches.
Fernando “Terere” vs. Nino Schembri
A rematch from the tremendous 2000 Mundials. Both Nino and Terere are currently on the “comeback” trail, with Nino more recently returning to his competitive dominance. The Omoplata king has vowed to return to major tournament competition. Nino attempted to attend this past years Mundials but suffered an injury in his first place performance at a local Grappler’s Quest event prior to the Worlds.
Terere looks to have finally cleaned himself up, and is ready to smash the competition yet again. He’s already started to dedicate his training towards competition, reuniting with his former master “Gigi” Paiva. With him only being 30, Terere could possibly prove any negative critics wrong and come back stronger then ever.
Andre Galvao vs. Braulio Estima
Braulio and Andre have most recently met in this past years ADCC (2009) in Barcelona, Spain. Not only was the match a must watch, the ending was finished brilliantly by Braulio. I’d love to see this match up again, this time with the gi and with Andre training more for BJJ tournaments and less for Mixed Martial Arts. It’s no secret that since
beginning his MMA career, Galvao has changed his ways of training BJJ to suit MMA more fluidly. BJJ fans hope that Braulio’s sport Jiu-Jitsu also doesn’t suffer with his thrust toward a successful MMA career. Braulio’s first attempt at a MMA beginning was postponed due to a canceled event versus Judo ace Rick Hahn.
Ricardo Vieira vs. Robson Moura
These two marvels put on quite the show at the 2001 Mundials. The crowd was surely divided as both representatives pressed hard for the full ten-minute limit. Trading sweeps like American children used to trade baseball cards, this nail biting fierce rivalry showcased two of the most talented practitioners in modern day BJJ. Who wouldn’t want to see these two juggernauts battle it out one more time, with no time limits, no points, only submissions.
There are so many possibilities. Who would you want to see matched up? No time limits, no points, submission only. Post your match-ups below.