UFC 263 was a massive night for mixed martial arts, and it was also a night that made history. There have only been three champions in that division, and they were all dominant title runs. So when Mexico’s Brandon Moreno fought Brazil’s Deiveson Figueiredo for the UFC Flyweight championship in a tightly contested rematch of their previous draw, the world watched anxiously.
On June 15th, 2019, I made my commentary debut on “World Series Of Fighting: Submission 1”, and it was my first step through the door of high-level martial arts. Being from Puerto Rico, it was a dream come true to meet so many great athletes and work with them.
So you train all day, and you listen to “The Joe Rogan Experience” all night all day, but you get on social media and see your art major friends screaming for Joe Rogan’s head on a pike.
A lot of us in the jiu-jitsu community get a little skeptical when it comes to pro-wrestling. People tend to think it is fake fighting. But, even though it is choreographed, they still take the bumps to entertain fans. The biggest pro-wrestling company in the world, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), considers themselves “Sports Entertainment,’ and what’s not to love about that? The theatrics, the lights, and the energy of the crowd are something that is not like other art forms.
There are many ways to prepare for competition, and a lot of us use supplements whether they are legal or not. So, as I am preparing for my “High Rollerz” debut, a tournament that requires its participants to “indulge” in cannabis use before they step on the mats, I realized I needed to work on more things than my jiu-jitsu before compete. I also needed to work on my THC tolerance.
In this crazy world of submission grappling, many of us focus on the sport aspect of the martial art because, let’s face it, it is entertaining. But, other aspects of the art are more fundamentally fulfilling—most of all, the benefits it has on your mental health.
Puerto Rico has a colossal fight culture. But it is primarily focused on the sport of boxing. With fighting legends such as Tito Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, and “Macho” Camacho calling the island home, it is pretty surprising there is not much of an MMA scene there as well.
I can imagine when most jiu-jitsu practitioners start training, there is a bit of relief that at least the possibility of obtaining massive head trauma while practicing the art is slight. Still, if you are going to practice the art of violence, you should be open-minded to study all aspects of violence and learn when to use it. We all have heard that quote, “90 percent of fights end up on the ground.”, and it is true, but we can learn a lot from other martial artists that can help improve our jiu-jitsu.
As a comedian and a 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu blue belt, I get asked the same question a lot, “What is harder? Performing stand-up comedy or training Jiu-Jitsu?” and the answer is quite simple. They are both easy to start but hard to stay consistent at.