Jiu-jitsu legend Rickson Gracie has created a new MMA event, ‘Mestre do Combate’, that debuts on November 22nd in Rio de Janeiro.
The event promises an unusual rules set, including:
•Fighters weigh in on the day of the show, to eliminate big weight cuts.
•Bell will not sound at the end of the round if it looks like a fighter is nearly about to be knocked out or submitted; the action will be allowed to run its course.
•Judges have also been eliminated - the winner will have to get the victory by KO/TKO or submission over two rounds, being the first of ten minutes duration and the second of five. If there is no submission or stoppage, three votes will decide the winner - one vote from Rickson, another from the referee, and the third from the public.
•Elbows are prohibited.
Given that day before weigh ins are the norm for combat sports that include knockouts, due to the increase in potential head trauma for a dehydrated fighter, the weigh in rule is problematic. Troubling too will be the definition of "nearly about to be knocked out or submitted." Asking the ref to also judge the fight has very widely been found to be asking too much of what is already one of the most challenging jobs in MMA; asking the crowd to choose a winner is absurd, and without precedent in any serious sport worldwide. And marketing an event as "Vale Tudo is back" while prohibiting elbows is a little weird.
The IFL's city vs. city approach proved to be uncompelling, as summarized uniquely by UFC President Dana White - "No one wants to see the Hairy Beavers of Oregon vs. the LA Goonies." However, rather than purely singles competitions, Mestre do Combate is borrowing a page from the IFL - city teams!
•The fighters go one-on-one but each of them will be part of a team that will represent a Brazilian city. •One coach and five athletes (at heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight and lightweight) form the teams.
•The winning team will be the one that gets three victories from the five match-ups.
•The winner will go through to the next event.
•Approximately $350,000 will be distributed in purses during the 2012/2013 season.
•A nine-event calendar has reportedly been scheduled.
The debut will reportedly feature a Murilo Bustamante-led group from Rio de Janeiro vs. the São Paulo team under Francisco Veras of the Ryan Gracie academy.
“We want to create a new paradigm and recover values from the fight that were lost over time. Today, MMA fighting means blood and money. We will honor the warrior spirit and the fighting art,” says Rickson.
“Brazil generates wizards as in the ring the same as in soccer, and MMA is today the number two sport on pay-per-view. The proposal of Mestre do Combate is to provide a demand from fans and free TV. Besides that, we offer noble and exclusive events for the fans of all ages in night club for up to four thousand peopoe”, says Carlos H. Moreira, president of the company that controls the event.
Mestre do Combate
Vivo Rio, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
November 22, 2012
Fernandão Miúdo vs João Izidoro
Armando Sapo Sixel vs Marcos Rogério
Gersinho Conceição vs Bruno Oliveira
Gabriel Monkey vs Viscardi Andrade
Cristiano Bananada vs Celso Venícius
Alexandre Pulga vs Pety Mafort