Guide to the Gracie Breakdowns

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Underground Blogger Jack Brown is “The Part-Time Martial Artist,” offering a full-time fan’s perspective on UFC and major MMA news, developments, and hypotheticals.

In his lastest Underground Blog, he breaks down the Gracie Breakdown.

In my last blog, I mentioned that I’d love for Joe to have Ryron and Rener Gracie on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.  I also told you that the brothers would definitely be the subject of a future blog.  Well, my friends (spoken in Rener’s voice, or better yet, in Pouya Rebek’s Rener voice), the future is now, and this is that blog. 

Currently based in California, Ryron and Rener are the sons of Rorion Gracie.  Rorion is the second oldest son of Helio Gracie, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.  Rorion is one of the original founders of the UFC.  Ryron and Rener created Gracie University, the world’s largest online Jiu-Jitsu training program.  But it’s the numerous “Gracie Breakdowns” that these two have been posting on YouTube that have shown the world the infectious enthusiasm that these Gracie brothers bring. 

In other sports, when the big game is over, fans thirst for more and tune in to post-game coverage.  With FUEL TV, Ariel Helwani’s interviews for, UFC press conferences, and Sherdog’s “Beatdown after the Bell” shows, we MMA fans have some of that same experience.  But I’ve come to appreciate the post-fight ritual of watching a Gracie Breakdown on YouTube.  Usually posted within 24 hours of an event, Ryron and Rener, and sometimes other special guests, demonstrate and analyze the most noteworthy Jiu-Jitsu from that night’s fights.

Currently, the Gracie Breakdown channel has over 40,000 subscribers and over 4,000,000 views.  Since they started the channel in November of 2010, Ryron and Rener have posted 43 videos.  The videos vary in length, the shortest is just over 7 minutes and the longest is over 40 minutes, but most are between 10 and 20 minutes long.  I believe that the brothers’ first breakdown was the one that featured Dan Hardy vs. GSP at UFC 111. |

 And I know that the most recent was posted this past Sunday, and features the brothers’ breakdowns of cousin, Roger Gracie’s, and Jacare’s submissions from Saturday’s Strikeforce finale.  It also includes a belated breakdown of UG favorite, Joe Lauzon’s, flying scissor heel hook attempt from his incredible fight with Jim Miller at UFC 155. Below is my guide to the highlights from six of my favorite Gracie Breakdowns, but I encourage you to watch them all.  Enjoy. 

Ronda Rousey Breaks Miesha Tate’s Arm – Viewer Discretion Advised

 By far the most watched Gracie Breakdown video, with nearly 650,000 views, there’s probably a number of reasons why this breakdown is their most popular.  Anything with Ronda’s name on it is sure to attract attention and “viewer discretion advised” always invites morbid curiosity.  It also helps that the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight championship fight between Rousey and Tate, back on March 3, 2012, was a landmark moment in WMMA with a great finish.  Who doesn’t want to know more about how Rousey gets her armbars?  And who can break it down better than Ryron and Rener?  

The First “Twister” in the UFC

This is the fourth most popular Gracie Breakdown, with nearly a quarter of a million views, and it likely attracted more than a few 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu devotees.  This featured Ryron and Rener’s analysis of Eddie Bravo’s “twister” submission, used by Chan Sung Jung to submit Leonard Garcia, in their rematch at Ultimate Fight Night 24, on March 26, 2011.  This was the first time that this submission had been used in the UFC, and it was impressive that the brothers would highlight something that was not traditionally associated with Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

UFC on Fox 4: Lauzon’s Spectacular Triangle

For this breakdown, Rener was without Ryron and was instead joined by Brian “T-city” Ortega from the “Bubba Gracie” prank video.  In this video, they paid special tribute to Joe Lauzon’s triangle finish of Jamie Varner, from the UFC on FOX 4 event, on August 4, 2012.  Lauzon, with 18 of his 22 wins coming via submission, is the perfect subject for the Gracie’s analysis of Jiu-Jitsu used in MMA.  That’s why his skills have already appeared in two breakdown videos, and are likely to appear in another again soon.

Korean Zombie vs. Dustin Poirier

Like Lauzon, Chan Sung Jung, the “Korean Zombie,” has been the subject of multiple Gracie Breakdowns.  This video features the Korean Zombie’s fourth round D’arce choke that he used to finish Dustin Poirier, in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 3, on May 15, 2012.  For this special edition, Ryron and Rener are joined by their brother, Ralek, and their father, Rorion.      

Vitor Belfort POPS Jon Jones’ Arm

This video features another special guest, actor and Gracie Academy black belt, Ed O’Neill.  O’Neill, the “Married with Children” and “Modern Family” star, is a long-time student and family friend of the Gracies.  Here he helps Ryron and Rener with their breakdown of the main event from UFC 152, held back on September 22, 2012.  Together they demonstrate and analyze both Belfort’s armbar submission attempt and Jones’ eventual fourth round Americana finish of Belfort.  

Royce Gracie vs. Dan Severn

In February of 2012, this video was posted in which Rener broke down a famous match from the distant past.  The match was his uncle, Royce’s, championship fight against Dan Severn, back at UFC 4, in 1994.  The fight ended with Gracie tapping out Severn with a triangle choke.  And what makes this breakdown even more special is that Rener is joined by pro wrestling superstar and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, CM Punk.

Shout-outs to my new PTMA Twitter followers (So many after that last blog – Thank you): @ASH1MMA – Los Alamitos, CA, @bob_and_weave – Manchester, England, @bunkybrewer – Phoenix, AZ, @tassinari_files – Gustavsberg, Sweden, @stevenhouchin – North West, UK, @Bidnis47 – Minneapolis, MN, @zhg1273 – Bollingbrook, IL, @GatorCworley – Houston, TX, @myko_mcmichael – Boston, MA, @gerardohannel – Phoenix, AZ, @langlaisb – Boston, MA, @gar_wafer – Wexford, Ireland, @lamquoctrung – Netherlands, @kayseajames – Springfield, MO, @Bamboujikin – Canberra, Australia, @hellasick – San Francisco, CA, @Doombeard_Dave – Richmond, VA, @jplasaleta – Vancouver, BC, @DanvanRensburg – Sydney, Australia, @AConrad1886 – Miami, OK, @nasty45 – Jupiter, FL, @KirkSmithSA– Johannesburg, South Africa, @ryan_taber – Champaign, IL, @bradleyJarith – Gilfach, Wales, @AngelOfGeoff – Huddersfield, England, @MMARoasted (Adam Hunter) – Hollywood, CA, @JColossus (James Thompson) – Bristol, UK, and @MMAOdds (Joey Oddessa)

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Thanks for reading,