Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie 2, a GIF Breakdown and Analysis

Posted: April 3, 2014 in Breakdowns

Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie 2, 11 Years in the Making

The much anticipated rematch of Eddie Bravo and Royler Gracie ends in dramatic controversial fashion, a draw. I don’t know how anyone could have watched this match without their hearts racing. While I don’t think it illustrates if the match back at ADCC  2003 was a fluke or not, it does show positives and negatives to both grapplers styles and put on one hell of a show.

Let’s start at the beginning:

The match makes its way to the ground via a half-guard pull by Eddie Bravo. In the gif below, you’ll notice he does three major things during the pull to establish a strong half-guard.

1. He blocks the far hand so Royler cannot cross face him immediately and put him flat on his back.

2. He brings his half-guard side elbow to the inside and close to his body, to prevent Royler from getting the underhook.

3. He makes sure he is on his side when he lands.

Things Eddie could have done better with the guard pull:

1. Making sure Royler did not get his knee through initially.

pullinghalfguard

From here, Royler takes a ranged knee slide approach. Ranged meaning that since he doesn’t immediately have the underhook, he tries to keep his distance to stop Eddie from getting underneath of him, which is what Eddie wants. They continuously fight for the underhook, and when Eddie reaches under to grab under Roylers far side leg, Royler does a few different things to prevent Eddie from going to full blown deep halfguard, he flattens his own hips out, steps his leg back  and/or cross faces Eddie in an attempt to create distance, put pressure on Eddies body to turn it away and make Eddie unable to get that underhook on his leg.

An example:

stoppingthedeephalf

Eddie eventually gives up the under hook to Royler, and Royler gives him the Shoulder of Justice:

shoulderofjustice

But, getting the underhook would actually be Royler’s undoing… well, as far as electric chair sweeps are concerned. In this sequence Eddie gets the underhook back, but far far more importantly get’s Royler’s knee back to the ground between his legs a la traditional half guard. Up until this point Royler’s knee had already been cut through with only his foot stuck between Eddie’s legs which made it impossible for Eddie to put the Lockdown on Roylers leg. Let us take a look at how Eddie gets to the Lockdown.

lockdowncontrolandunderhook

In essence, the Lockdown can be a great tool for bringing your opponents hips over you, which can set up Electric Chairs, which Eddie hits for the first real action in the match, albeit almost 7 minutes into the match:

firstelectricchair

This puts Royler into the Electric Chair submission, it’s something one of my instructors does quite a bit and if you’re flexible it’s not too difficult to bear. Royler defends by grabbing the back of Eddie’s head. Eddie eventually tries to use the Lockdown/Electric Chair combo to sweep, get’s rolled back over and then once again comes up on top.

electricchairsweep

Royler becomes frustrated from not being able to escape Eddies top control (visibly throwing his hands up) and Eddie capitalizes by passing to side control.

pass-to-side-control

 

Once in side-control Eddie sets up a pretty slick rolling backtakethingymajigneckcrankmaybeiddontfingknow (I’m going to name it Gandalf’s Pipe, since a teammate made that name up):

oilcheckbacktackthingy

Well it’s not that complicated, but still, it’s a rolling back take that Eddie slaps a reverse Lockdown on whilst going for what Jeff Glover called a Neck Crank but looks more like a Spinal Lock/twist (like a Twister) from a RNC grip on his opposite arm.  Royler eventually gets out by shrugging Eddie off the top of him.

Note: This writer does not approve of Oil Checks. No sir.

From here, we end back in a familiar place, half guard, with Royler on top.

Eddie eventually hits the same sweep as Royler does not seem to know how to deal with the Lockdown:

sweep2

 

Eddie eventually comes up on top, but Royler reverses it with a sweep of his own…back to….you guessed it…half guard.

Roylersweep

 

Eddie hits his third and fourth electric chair sweeps in the following gif, but with one minor variation. When Royler tries to counter the fourth (second in the gif) electric chair he brings his leg over Eddies head, but does so without bringing his weight to the same side, which allows Eddie to counter by bringing Royler back the way he came, and in a much worse position then he had been in previously.

eddiethirdsweep

From here, they tried to restart in the center of the ring as they were super close to falling out of bounds. A little drama ensued where Royler refused to put his legs back in the correct place, but to be fair, it did appear as if Eddie layed down as if he thought he was in guard anyway. A little grumbling from both of them and the ref  (Scotty from OTM, Lucky Gis, etc) got a video as evidence and restarted them properly.

restartconfusion

Eddie pulls off a rolling calf slicer he calls the “Vaporizer” from the position they restart in. Although it appears painful, Royler doesn’t tap and the time runs out with them sitting in the same position for a few minutes:

endofmatch

Below is not a gif but rather a screenshot of the final position again. Both men seemed to realize that this is where they would end the match at. For a calf slicer, you want to be able to bring someones calf as close to their hamstring as humanely possible, one issue with the way Eddie tried to finish this move is that Eddie’s own body stops this from happening. Also, paired with a high pain tolerance, great flexibility and the mental fortitude of a reinforced concrete wall, Royler wasn’t going to tap.

vlcsnap-2014-04-02-21h46m28s135

 

What this match means in regards to their ADCC match:

Nothing.

Why “nothing” you ask? Because these men have been training 11 years since their match in 2003. Whether Eddie Bravos submission win over Royler Gracie then was a fluke or not will never be known, people change, perhaps Eddie has been training harder in those 11 years. We will never know.

However, there are some things we DO know now about the two grapplers:

These are my personal thoughts, and I assume many will agree and disagree, please feel free to comment on your take of things!

  • Royler did not have any answer whatsoever for Eddie’s Lockdown game. Eddie was able to sweep Royler with the Electric Chair sweep 4/4 times he tried. Although I’m sure Royler prepared for Eddie, I’d question whether he trained with people who know and can implement Eddie’s specific style. There are many counters to the Lockdown and I didn’t see Royler employ any. Perhaps his game hasn’t evolved as much as it should to at least counter new threats.
  • Although many would argue Eddie bested Royler in this match (and I would agree as far sweeps and submission attempts go) I have to point out that staying in bottom half-guard being crushed on for literally over half a 20 minute match does not speak well to the positional dominance of Eddie’s style. He didn’t seem to have an answer for Royler until he was able to finally get to the Lockdown. Which makes me question Eddie’s comments about 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu being better for MMA.  Bottom half guard is not a place you want to be for 10+ minutes. Although it being a grappling match, it could just very well be that Eddie knew his strongest aspect of his game was his halfguard when he specifically obtained the Lockdown and implemented his game as such.
  • I didn’t view any of the submission attempts Eddie applied as “legit” submissions except the “Vaporizer’ calf slicer near the end. Not as far as Royler Gracie is concerned. Kind of like how I didn’t view Clarks omoplata attempt on Rafa as a legit submission, it wasn’t close and it wasn’t going to happen. (Do people even remember that he tried?)
  • Royler and Eddie represent two extremes in BJJ to me. Royler represents the old age grinding “stick with what you know” BJJ. Eddie represents the new age grappler who is too caught up in the future to remember to master the past. I think this was represented well in their match. Royler focused on positional dominance but had no answers for Eddie’s newer style. Eddie’s threw out submission attempts that I would view as low percentage and generally reckless. There’s good to be had from both men FOR SURE. And I think the best grapplers are somewhere in the middle of the Eddie/Royler scale of grappling extremes.
  • I was pretty bothered by the fact that both men couldn’t agree on equal NOGI rules, but I understand where both were coming from.
  • I forgive them for their heightened tensions during the match, this was one for the ages and both men felt that they had a lot on the line. Royler his legacy, and Eddie vindicating himself.
  • I would have preferred they be in the same weight bracket.
  • Scotty’s beard is manly as hell.
  • Relek should not be allowed near a microphone or a backpack.
  • This was my favorite Metamoris by far despite only having two finishes. My heart literally exploded BJJ feels all over my computer monitor during the Bravo vs Gracie match.
  • I liked both guys speeches, but was a little sad Royler didn’t give more props to Eddie.
  • Eddie is a legitimate BJJ Black Belt under Jean Jacques Machado. He also has been and always will be. But it’s pretty evident that the Lockdown has lot’s of potential situationally. It’s something I used to use a lot when I was first starting out, and will have to spend some time investigating some more.
  • The match doesn’t show how effective 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu is as a system, but it does show that using new techniques can best those who are unfamiliar.
  • Royler really really likes the knee slide pass. When he already had his knee through I kept asking myself why he wasn’t switching to a reverse knee cut or going to mount. Maybe he felt something I didn’t, but it seemed readily available.
  • The commentary team of Jeff Glover and Kenny Florian was AWESOME and very FAIR to all competitors.

 

Overall 10/10 would have a BJJ heart attack to again.

 

 

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Comments
  1. aiseop says:

    Man, this should have been the only thing written about the Metamoris 3 rematch. Thank you. I’m gonna spread this so we can lay this to rest. Excellent excellent post.

  2. nenzo says:

    Hey — I know this may sound fanboyish but if you were familiar with Eddie’s “half guard” game , I think you would see that there was actually no “back and forth” going on. Eddie at some point realized that Royler clearly could not do ANYTHING about his lock down. Every time Royler would regain “top” position it was really Eddie just setting up his series from the lockdown (which is an essential element to his most powerful setups).

    So basically what was happening (to my mind) was Eddie: “ok this guy cant stop the lockdown so imma set up a vaporizer from there (or whatever) , o crap he got out — whatever, ill just repeat the lockdown setup again, come on top of me bro”.. this is what happened over and over throughout the match.

    If anything this showed that the 10th planet system indeed works as a SYSTEM because you could follow the step 1-2-3-4 and be successful. On the other hand it may have revealed a weakness: in that Eddie kept having to restart from scratch every time a chain in the link was broken (as opposed to adapting and progressing from any given point). But then again: why adapt when you have an an ace that you do exceptionally well ( similar to the Miyao’s berimbolo game).

    Just my thoughts.

    • DanofEarth says:

      Well, in the cases where Eddie had a dominant position (side control, almost the back, top half guard) every time Eddie lost the position it was because either A. Royler was able to push him back over or B. Because Eddie failed at executing his sub and surrendered position.

      The argument you’re making doesn’t pass the logic test because why would Eddie go back to step 1, when he is already at step 2…just to go back to step 2 again? Royler was definitely forcing Eddie back over. And yes, it was clear Royler had no answers for his Lockdown game. And I still stand by my comments about as 10P as a system not being realistic nor effective, and still think this match supports that. And Eddie hit the Electric chair sweep continuously on Royler, there was no systematic progression to get there, just lockdown and then sweep. Super simple stuff. When Royler went for the escape by bringing his leg over the head, and Eddie swept him back the way he came, it was probably something Eddie has drilled and would fit into his step by step playbook, but I don’t think allowing yourself to get smashed for almost 10 minutes straight qualifies as showing the effectiveness of a system.

      • nenzo says:

        hey man — not saying your breakdown was invalid, quite the opposite actually.

        But I guess i should have been clearer with my view on the matter. General BJJ theory dictates that you progress all the time and never give up position, or at the very least not to regress. From that stand point yes my argument does NOT make sense. But what if — and lets assume for a second that this may actually be a valid mentality — one believed that progression, if not in a perfect state, is less preferable than restarting from a perfect state?

        Further what if, and again lets try to not fall into one specific BJJ dogma — Having the lockdown with some one fully pressing down on you made some people more relaxed than, lets say, a Caio Terra style knee shield ( or even a foot on the shoulder “knee” shield). No one considers the latter as being smashed, in fact classically, people teach that this is ideal space management for “half guard”ish style guards ( including RDLR, Sguard, Tornado guard – whatever ). But 10p half guard is essentially lockdown-centric. Stated otherwise, their system gives more premium to getting the lockdown than “proper space management.” Now, whether or not this is a good/better/terrible idea — it is STILL their system and Eddie executed it perfectly. The results were undeniable.

        More concretely: that last part when he was hunting for the vaporizer. Eddie had his lock down cinched up tight and he knew that he was in a position of immense control, which also acts as a base for all his attacks. He needed to get into that legdrag with lockdown position (im pretty sure they have a name for it but it escapes me), but he couldn’t get the leg over to the other side (legdrag side). So what does he do? He lets Royler come on top — then just gets the leg to the other side from the bottom and then easily sweeps back to top — now perfectly poised to roll under for the vaporizer.

        BTW im not from 10p haha, but I like to consider myself a student of JJ, not gracie JJ or, Mendes JJ or MG JJ or whatever popular schools are out there. I study them all and based on the fact that you have this site means that you do to… so,,, What im tryong to get at basically is : we shouldn’t be too quick to judge a style (or ANY element thereof) based on our own standards of measurement, no matter how “obvious” and dogmatic they may be– lest we fall into the ol’ “my kung fu is better than your kung fu” trap. Instead of saying that this style sucks because my tenants say that you shouldn’t do such and such, it may be safer to judge based on results. And Eddie delivered the same in spades.

        Putting it into perspective: it is much like how guru martial artists used to think that fighting on your back was absolutely impossible/retarded. Similarly 10p may say : who needs space management when you can tangle people up into full control. Besides, part of this no space, id rather be “smashed” mentality is an outgrowth of Eddie’s vision, again whether or not its viable, to import 10p JJ into MMA.

      • DanofEarth says:

        I actually use to use the Lockdown a ton, and simply found my way growing out of it naturally. Whether that’s because I preferred other stuff or whatever.

        My only point was that if Eddie is on top with the lockdown, why would he go back to the bottom with the lockdown just to get on top again?

        I realize that the lockdown means different things than a knee shield. Like having your back flat is actually ok with the lockdown because it means you’ve taken your opponent off his base.

  3. Nano Pipino says:

    GREAT breakdown. Thank you. Regards from Argentina.

    @GoodSprawl

  4. manny says:

    lmao at oil checks

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