The latest edition of WNO has generated excitement within the BJJ community. Initially, Felipe Pena was set to grapple Gordon Ryan, but due to Ryan’s withdrawal (which was only released three days later by Flograppling), Nick Rodriguez of B Team stepped in to compete.
Despite the short notice, Rodriguez put up a good fight and proved to be a worthy adversary. However, in the end, Felipe Pena won the match by a narrow judges’ decision.
Craig Jones, the co-founder of B Team, shared his thoughts on the match in a video on the team’s channel.
“One thing I will say about this match is we have to stop doing any matches over 15 to 20 minutes.”
“Literally, I want you to ask yourself in your head: ‘Has anything good ever happened after the 15 minute mark?’, just like when you’re out at the club, has anything good ever happened after 3am? Cut your losses on that.”
“We want to see two guys basically try to kill each other for 10 to 15 minutes. We don’t want to see these long, grueling dragged out matches. I can’t emphasize that enough. I believe most people feel the same way.”
“No one wants to. People barely want to watch grappling as it is, let alone commit 30 minutes to a grappling match. It might be more entertaining. If it was like MMA. We had some rounds in between. So at least we can reset the position from time to time, dry the guys off and allow them to come back with a little bit more freshness but I can’t emphasize enough. I think that’s holding the sport back.”
Jones makes a compelling case for limiting the round length despite the fact that Gordon Ryan and John Danaher went so far as to call this ruleset the ‘purest’. It’s interesting to note that UFC once felt that way about MMA as well.
During UFC 1, there were 5 minute rounds. From UFC 2 onwards the bouts were no time limit until an attempt to legitimize the sport in 1996 compelled them to reintroduce rounds.
Freestyle wrestling is another great example of a sport trying to stay relevant. The sport penalizes inactivity and instead features two three-minute periods separated by a 30-second break.
Craig Jones went on to share an interesting breakdown of what happened in the main event but never directly addressed greasing accusations nor any of Ryan’s long rants. Instead he offered this:
“Obviously it’s a long, grueling match, especially for guys of that way. I would definitely love to see him do it again. And obviously we all love to see both Felipe and Nicky Rod take on Gordon Ryan, again.”
“But again, I think shorter duration matches, what do we want, we want to guys to try to kill each other for 10 to 15 minutes, that is exciting. When the matches are too long, we start to pace ourselves.”
“And you can see again, as the match goes longer, sweat becomes a bigger factor in the match. And the slippery gets, the harder it is to get a submission early in the match. We’re seeing technique versus technique and obviously gonna be have to use technique to submit your opponent. ”
“And again, it’s gonna be a little dry early in the match as the match goes on. Sweat plays a big effect that makes that technical aspect harder, makes cardio a more of a deciding factor or your efficiency in technique more of a deciding factor in fatiguing the other guy but again later on in the match you really only typically see submissions when one guy starts to mentally break when they become they become too fatigued to one out from a tough match. “