We’ve had a lot of Erberth Santos in our weekly match commentaries, but never Mr. Pena. Felipe Pena is a gi and no-gi competitor who has fought and is himself considered one of the best BJJ players in the world right now. In an interesting matchup between the lax and the explosive we see a demonstration of skill and a deep-understanding of BJJ competition. These people have competed and won so many times that even their body language suggests that they’re playing a game not unlike that of a chess-match.
Being a well-rounded and explosive grappler, Mr. Santos’ prefered attack sequence is that of throwing, passing or submitting and as you’ll see he often takes chances with knee-bars to counter leg-weave guards like the De La Riva or X.
On the other hand, Mr. Pena, although no stranger to stand-up grappling, will pull guard much more often than trip and throw specialists like Mr. Santos. Perhaps the strongest aspect to his game however is guard retention. In fact, due to his lax disposition competition screens usually have him labeled as Pregucia (sloth in portuguese). If you haven’t seen it, check BJJScout’s guard retention video on youtube featuring Mr. Pena. The video goes over stiff-arm, stand-up, granby combination defenses. It’s probably one of the most insightful videos about BJJ on youtube. Check it out.
Like I said there’s a lot of points being awarded for pulling guard against guard. Other than that, it’s a pretty exciting match. Pena attacks with a lot of X, single-X sweeps. Santos looks to counter with the knee-bar and almost gets it. But it’s not enough. Mr. Pena gets the back body-lock, climbs on top and catches a back-choke off of X-Guard. The match almost went another way though. In a counter to Pena’s takedown Mr. Santos catches a fully extended armbar. I swear it looked like his elbow popped. It had to have undergone some damage, but Pena persevered and got the win. Kudos to both competitors for the great match.