by Daniel Johnson
Metamoris is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu company running out of Los Angeles, California and founded by Ralek Gracie, a member of the famous Gracie family. Although Metamoris is marketed as a straight Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu company rather than an MMA organization, if you’re a pro wrestling fan first, Metamoris is a great way to transition into also being a MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
I know, I know! Hardcore pro wrestling fans and hardcore MMA fans are probably crapping on this piece already. If you’ve witnessed even a fraction of the online debate between pro wrestling fans and MMA fans that I have you know that combining the two in anyway is considered by many to be an abomination. Yet, pro wrestling, MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are fields that each produce a ton of fun stuff to watch. As Dean Lister said in the video package building up to his fight with Josh Barnett at Metamoris 4, “If you don’t have an open mind you’re not going to go very far.” This is true not only of combat, but of fandom. So if you’re a fan of one of these areas and not the others consider expanding your interest and taking in Metamoris as a way to aid this growth.
If you’re still reading this then you’re open minded enough to allow me to make a pro wrestling analogy. Metamoris reminds me of your standard fairly popular regional wrestling promotion. Big, yet aging stars are on top to attract the casual fans and younger guys fill out the undercard. Wait, a minute that doesn’t just sound like a regional promotion! That sounds like WWE Wrestlemania XXX!
Anyway, the reason so many companies use this formula is because it works. At the most recent Metamoris event, Metamoris 4 held on August 9. The two marquee matches were Chael Sonnen vs. Andre Galvao and the aforementioned Josh Barnett vs. Dean Lister. All four competitors were over 30 and three of them were 36 or older. Yet, using these fighters allows for a fun introduction to some people who have done great in the MMA world. Just by looking at him you can see that Josh Barnett today is not the same Josh Barnett at his peak in the early 2000s. However, the former holder of the UFC Heavyweight Championship and former NJPW superstar can still go and create memorable moments. At Metamoris 4, Barnett submitted Dean Lister for the first time since Bill Clinton was President of the United States.
Sure, if you want to get into MMA you can and should watch UFC as well as go back and watch older fights. Yet, Metamoris adds some perspective worth having. The average age of a marquee name for Metamoris 4 may be greater than that of the upcoming UFC 177, but these Metamoris fighters aren’t beaten down horses ready to put out to pasture. Barnett was knocked out by Travis Browne in a minute in his last UFC fight and it can’t be said he still shows signs of his former greatness. How could it? His greatness never left. At Metamoris 4 he had an intensely physical performance that went nearly 20 minutes and once again ended with him submitting someone just not known to tap. Looking beyond Barnett, Sonnen also has plenty of gas left in the tank. Sonnen may have lost three of his last four UFC fights, but his opponents for those losses were Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Rashad Evans. All three of those men had momentum going into these fights ranging from decent (Evans) to incredible (Silva and Jones). Heck, Silva and Jones are arguably two of the best MMA fighters ever regardless of weight class. If Sonnen had any competition less than the very best his recent win/loss record could look very different.
Other than the fighters another reason pro wrestling fans interested in becoming fans of MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu should check out Metamoris is the theatrics. Metamoris has some stuff that UFC currently is very unlikely to do. One of the more interesting contests was an unannounced secret fight between Baret Yoshida and Jeff Glover. Glover was only announced after Yoshida had already come out. The real kicker though is that Glover had been doing commentary then after being announced took off his headphones and revealed he was wearing tights. That’s some pro wrestling schtick right there!
Lastly, the pure spectacle of Metamoris offers makes it worth watching. Like UFC, Metamoris has top notch production values. The buildup packages heading into fights get you pumped for the showdown. Likewise, the highlight videos give you anything you could want of any combat sport organization wrapped up in a nice little package. In about ten minutes you are fed six stories worth of action and even more awesome smaller bits. If you can’t set aside some hours to watch an entire Metamoris event than 10 minutes can offer a great condensed version of the spectacle the company offers.
Metamoris held it’s first event in 2012 and produces a slim amount of content compared to the likes of UFC. Yet, it is a case of quality over quantity. Metamoris is a three in one company that has something to offer if you are a pro wrestling fan, a MMA fan or just a fan of straight up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Although not a flat out MMA organization Metamoris offers a great chance in particular for pro wrestling fans to expand their interests into MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu due to it’s fighters, theatrics and spectacle.