We come now to a stage primed for a night of stories. The actors wait in the wings, the props are all in place, and a tense murmur spreads throughout the crowd. They’ve traveled from gyms far and wide, from the rolling Gracie Barra hills to the smoke-filled halls of 10P Castle.
Welcome to the latest installment of the Aces BJJ News Roundup!
We’ve got a lot of big bits to get through, including the first-ever UFC champion to get flattened by an illegal knee, a possibly inappropriate BJJ sale, and the most dominant female MMA fighter of this age.
One of the longest active win streaks in MMA was broken at last week’s UFC 259. Bantamweight champ Israel Adesanya suffered a loss to Light Heavyweight champ Jan Błachowicz in a close decision. With his win, Błachowicz has set the foundations for a new dynasty run in the division.
The fight began very patiently, both men throwing probing strikes for the opening minute. Adesanya began baiting shots and throwing counters as Błachowicz looked for the big left. Błachowicz got off some solid shots and a takedown attempt, but Adesanya defended well and stayed hot on the feet for the round.
Round two, however, belonged to the Polish Powerhouse. Błachowicz started pushing Adesanya with his jab and controlling more of the cage. He checked Issy’s leg kicks and maintained a good pace. Save for a few great shots from Adesanya, the matches began to favor the naturally larger fighter’s strengths as they wore on.
Round five saw Adesanya light up an expended Błachowicz early on, landing a spinning back kick and multiple combos without giving up many big shots. But halfway through the round, Błachowicz shot another double-leg landing, this time in closed guard. Adesanya opened up, seemingly looking to attack, and Błachowicz was able to pass to half-guard and later mount. The clock ticked down, and Błachowicz rained down blow after blow looking to end the fight on an emphatic note. Adesanya scrambled to make space, but the buzzer rang before he could get back on the offensive.
Soon after, the judges awarded Błachowicz the decision victory. He credited his size and grappling skills with helping him in the later rounds, as it was a known weak point in Adesanya’s game. “I thought he’d be a little bit faster, but he hit harder than I thought,” Błachowicz said in a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. This win brings the champ to 28-4.
Cool in victory and defeat, Adesanya took the loss in stride. “It’s just a bad day of training, but this one happened at the office,” he told Rogan. Adesanya claimed he’d return to heavyweight at some point but first wanted to defend his Middleweight title again. This loss puts Adesanya’s record to 20-1.
Błachowicz was also quick to announce his future plans, naming Glover Teixeira as his desired opponent. “I would like to fight against Glover next because he deserves it,” he said.
Sterling Wins via DQ
In a shocking turn of events, former Bantamweight champion Petr Yan was disqualified due to an illegal knee on a downed Aljamain Sterling during their UFC 259 fight. The ref called a stop at 4:29 of round four, and a visibly unwell Sterling failed to rise to his feet. The fight was soon called for Sterling as the first-ever win via DQ in UFC title history.
The fight was an explosive affair, with Sterling kicked off round one with explosive kicks and an early takedown against the cage. But as time wore on, Yan’s championship experience and patient style began to outperform Sterling’s incredible athleticism. Several takedowns and a notable massive right in round two shifted the momentum, and Yan walked the wrestler down through round three and into four. With less than 40 seconds left, Sterling shot in for a takedown that Yan defended. Sterling put one knee down, and Yan proceed to knee the downed fighter.
According to Khabib Nurmagomedov, there to corner Islam Makhachev, in a statement to the commentators, Yan’s corner gave him the green light to kick from the corner in Russian.
A visibly shaken Sterling tearfully apologized to the fans in a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
Amanda Nunes Dominates Again
Adding another skull to her throne, Amanda Nunes defeated Megan Anderson in round one of their UFC 259 duel via submission. Only barely passing the two-minute mark, Nunes continues to prove to the entire planet that her reign is here to stay.
Starting patient, Nunes defended a takedown attempt from Anderson and launched a massive right to the chin. A shaken Anderson was unprepared for further strikes as she fell, and Nunes transitioned to the ground game and took the back. Too high for an RNC, Nunes moved to a triangle to get the choke. Getting into the squeeze, Nunes collected the left arm for an armbar to get the tap from Anderson. The ref called the fight at 2:03 and crowned the Lioness victorious once again.
Always the saint, Nunes apologized for her complete clearing out of the featherweight division. “It’s not my fault!” she exclaimed in a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. A mother with wife Nina Ansaroff, Nunes thanked her family for their support and expressed concern and well-wishes for the people of Brazil in the face of COVID-19. Nunes record now stands at 21-4, and her win streak extends to 12.
Andre Announces Slap Sale
In what may be one of the crassest yet most ingenious moves in the history of BJJ marketing, Andre Galvao has turned his recent altercation with famed Puerto Rican Gordon Ryan into an advertisement for his online course. The former champion Galvao had been quiet about the scuffle in the days following, and over 7,000 people at its peak viewed his subsequent live statement.
Galvão first gave a statement in his native Portuguese, then in English.
“First of all, I would like to apologize to all you guys, apologize to my family, to apologize to my students, my team, the entire jiu-jitsu community for being involved in this situation, for getting involved in this situation, it was a sad situation,” Galvão started. He then proceeded to take responsibility for escalating the issue by swearing at Gordon backstage and flipping him off. He followed by stating that he failed to recognize where the situation was headed.
“I said mean things, and the violence just escalated. Then he slapped me, so I maintained my self-calm, and I recognized that I made a mistake,” he said. Galvão, a former MMA fighter, was criticized and mocked by many BJJ players online for seemingly letting Ryan intimidate him and not retaliating. “I just thought about my life and my future,” he said. “A street fight is completely different than a fight on the mat.”
He discusses trash talk next, claiming that his online behavior towards Gordon mainly aimed at building hype for a match. “I think trash talk is good to promote a fight, but it’s not good for life,” he said. He addresses the consequences speaking too freely can have and that people could get hurt.
Galvão then proceeds to try to bury the hatchet. “I don’t want this spirit of revenge in my heart,” he said. Then he forgave Ryan, apologized for his part in their feud, and called on all Atos members to drop the issue. “Gordon, I forgive you. I made a mistake, I recognize my mistake, some people tell me to do differently, but I forgive you, man,” he said.
Galvão proceeded to discuss his Christian faith, crediting God for giving him patience and forgiveness, and ended the video by announcing a flash sale of his online instructionals and thanking all of his well-wishers.
And that’s it for this week! Be sure to stick around and catch all the new blogs from our staff and guest readers. See you all next week!
Aces BJJ Blog staff writer and BJJ Blue belt under Edward “Scissor Hands” Berberich of Soulcraft BJJ. Kevin has been training BJJ for four years and complaining about Star Wars for over 20. Follow him on Instagram @kbrads_bjj