This was a match up between two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialists who besides being beasts on the ground don’t mind stand-up grappling. We’ve seen a lot from Mr. Santos during all of 2017 and he has made a name for himself as one of the best in today’s game. However, this one turned out to be an upset. Mr. Joao Gabriel, a force to be reckoned with in his own right, comes out on top. Watch and see for yourself.

A Takedown and a Backtake

Mr. Gabriel went the takedown first. Holding a collar grip, he breaks the grip on his other hand and goes for a traditional drop seoi-nage where you underhook the cross arm. It turns out to be a risky move with Santos taking his back for four points.

Thoughts on the Seoi-Nage

The Seoi-Nage is a traditional judo throw which oftentimes frowned upon in BJJ communities exactly because of the risk of having your back taken. Another variation which we’ve seen before from Gabriel’s opponent is using the lapel and sleeve to throw, either cross or mirror. We mention this for reference’s sake. If interested look up Morote Seoi-Nage or Eri Seoi-Nage.

Swept and passed

During Mr. Santos’ attempted transition into the mount Mr. Gabriel uses the quarter guard to transition to deep half and sweep with a simple shin sweep. Failing to use the 50/50 to get a footlock Mr. Santos ends up getting leg dragged. Mr. Gabriel uses the leg drag to pass get the lead with a single point lead.

Thoughts on the Leg Drag

This has to be one if not the most powerful passing position in BJJ. All it takes is putting your knee across the opponent’s thigh and his other leg on top of your thigh. Recovering guard is extremely difficult because your hips are trapped and can often tire your opponent out.

The Finish

Santos recovers guard during Gabriel’s attempted transition into the mount but soon gets passed with a knee slide into the mount. Gabriel sets up a head and arm choke and taps him out. At this point, psychology probably played a part. Losing the lead can have a diminishing effect on one’s determination and when someone gets tapped out in competition it’s because of one of two things: surprise or giving up.

Finishing Thoughts

Much can be learned from watching top notch competitors. Consider analyzing these matches yourself. Godspeed.