Hot dog, starting tomorrow, more fabulous jiu jitsu on display at the Long Beach Pyramid....
If you don't read any other stuff about this year's Worlds, read THIS PIECE by JSho over on the MMA Underground forum. He delves into each [mens'] division with copious and fascinating facts, and I enjoy reading his predictions. I just wish I knew the fields of contenders half as well as he does. One would wish he would have commentated on the womens' divisions as well, but one takes what one could get. I'll quote from his introduction:
"Some random Mundial stats to start us off:
*Of the 150 black belt golds won since 1996, Gracie Barra & offshoots have won 51 gold, Alliance & offshoots have won 41 gold, Gracie Humaita have won 22 golds, Nova Uniao have won 13 golds and Carlson Gracie Team & offshoots have won 11 golds
*Roger has won 10 golds (7 weight and 3 absolute)
*Xande has won 6 golds (4 weight & 2 absolute).
*Saulo Ribeiro and Robson Moura have both won 5 golds at their weight.
*Royler Gracie, Fabio Gurgel, Roberto Magalhães (Roleta) & Rubens Charles (Cobrinha) won 4 golds at their weight.
*Robson Moura won his first black belt gold in 1997 and his most recent in 2007, the longest span in terms of first and last golds. If he wins this year, that will break the record.
*Only 4 men have won 10 or more medals at Black Belt: Xande Ribeiro (10), Saulo Ribeiro (10), Comprido (10) and Roger (13)
*Roleta and Cobrinha have both won the Pan Ams and the Mundials 3 years in a row.
*Royler, Robson and Cobrinha have won their divisions 4 years in a row.
*Saulo won a different weight division 4 years in a row (1997 - 2000 Medio, Pesado, Meio Pesado, Super Pesado).
*Roger Gracie has been in his weight category final 7 years in a row, winning all 7.
*Marcelo Garcia and Cobrinha are the most decorated champions here, with 4 Mundial Gold apiece, but in terms of black belt titles at all the various Mundials (CBJJE and CBJJ/IBJJF) and the older CBJJO Copa Do Mundo, Mario Reis leaves them for dust with 8 gold."
I'll be in Houston for the weekend, planning on doing as much training as my family schedule, knee and foot allow. I hear there's a women's open mat in Spring, which is where I'll be, so I look forward to that. Of course when not training, I will be paying close attention to Caleb's online commentary on the Fightworks Podcast live blog... and I know BudoVideos is putting up a free live stream on Saturday, and cheapie (under $10) on Sunday...
I finished my big work deadline yesterday, phew, and now have two more! But I do plan on reviewing BJJ Style and the hemp gi from Datsusara MMA by this weekend. And I have a LOT of thoughts to share on the recent boys vs. girls discussion, too.
Last but not least, I set up an appointment with Dr. Hurt for my foot, tomorrow afternoon, so we'll have answers. ANSWERS, dammit :)
And for your viewing pleasure...
A mount flow drill by the brilliant Emily Kwok.. she's fighting Ida Hansson of Checkmat in the first round of Mundials..
Hillary Williams is bracketed against Vanessa Oliveira first... here's Vanessa vs. Emily at the 2011 New York Open..
Here's Penny Thomas vs. Gabi Garcia in the finals at this year's Abu Dhabi World Pro..
This year, Lana Stefanac is competing at Worlds, on the other side of the bracket from Gabi. I look forward to the possibility of these ladies meeting in finals.