Surging grappling promotion Metamoris held its fourth event this past weekend, and it was a star-studded affair that featured some notable names from the MMA world.
The evening's festivities kicked off with a dominant showing from Garry Tonon against one of Australia's top grapplers, Kit Dale. Tonon secured a nice guillotine choke in the midst of a scramble that secured the tapout in a matter of minutes.
Saulo Ribeiro and Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros put on an entertaining showcase of gi grappling as two legends of BJJ faced one another. The two spent much of their match attempting to gain top control over one another.
Both men would fall to guard on a couple of occasions and looked to threaten with submissions when applicable. Ribeiro was even able to secure mount on Comprido at one point but was unable to get a finish.
The two men fought to an entertaining draw.
Also competing to a draw that featured excitement were Keenan Cornelius and former UFC fighter Vinny Magalhaes.
Cornelius showed incredible flexibility in his attacks on Magalhaes. The Brazilian displayed his usual charisma at moments during the bout, smiling to the announcing crew while Cornelius looked for a toe hold and shaking his finger at Cornelius as the American looked for a triangle-armbar combination from mount.
Magalhaes may have played a bit too much defense for some people's liking, but he was able to fend off Cornelius until time expired.
In the Metamoris 4 secret match, Baret Yoshida and Jeff Glover displayed a grappling exhibition on the weird but fun.
Yoshida and Glover ended up in a number of positions that only the most serious of BJJ players would be able to fully describe. Leg attacks were heavily featured in their contest, but in the end, neither man could secure a tapout.
The Metamoris 4 co-main event featured former UFC heavyweight champ Josh Barnett taking on one of the pioneers in MMA grappling, Dean Lister. Despite Lister having the more accomplished grappling background, it would be Barnett who controlled the match.
Barnett used his size to keep top control for virtually the entire match. He utilized side control and north-south positions to wear Lister down. In a moment that shocked grappling fans across the world, Barnett was able to get Lister to tap out using a headlock from scarf position in the final seconds.
The Metamoris crew announced it was the first time Lister had tapped in 16 years.
The main event of Metamoris 4 featured what was likely the most discussed grappling match before the two competitors stepped on the mat. According to C.J. Tuttle of Sherdog, Chael Sonnen reportedly reached out to UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture to take his spot with threats of a fine from the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Then, Sonnen's coach let it be known that his fighter was coming to grapple despite the threat of a fine, per Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting.
Props should go to Sonnen for competing in a grappling contest against one of the best BJJ grapplers in today's world. Andre Galvao may not have had an extensive MMA career, but the man is one of the world's best when it comes to BJJ.
Sonnen was valiant in his effort, securing takedowns and working from guard. Sonnen didn't attempt anything drastic while in Galvao's guard, but he was able to stifle Galvao's offense.
The end came in the second half of the match as Galvao quickly moved to secure Sonnen's back in transition. The Brazilian locked in a body triangle and worked for the rear-naked choke, eventually getting the submission finish.
Overall, the event surely provided fans with enough entertainment. There was plenty of action throughout the contest, and given the name value of the MMA competitors on the card, I'm sure Metamoris gained some new fans from those who tuned in out of curiosity.
Metamoris has quickly become one of the more popular grappling competitions due to their ability to secure big-name grapplers. If they can continue to blend high-level BJJ players with MMA names, one would assume the promotion could explode in popularity among combat sports fans.