The second person who decided to volunteer for my interview series is a regular from the NYC area. The Pride is a precocious poster who hails from America and is one of the youngest bloggers on the site.
1) What is your favorite base martial art to watch? Why?
My favorite base martial art to watch in MMA is BJJ. Watching guys like Demian Maia and Roger Gracie easily submit their highly trained opponents is a thing of beauty. That said, I hate watching people who are bad at Jiu-Jitsu. Every time I see an idiot on TUF fall off of someone's back, I die a little inside. I also hate anyone that does any 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu shit (Rubber guard, crack head control, twisters). Please kill yourself and stop naming moves (that BJJ guys have been doing for years) dumb things.
Brown belt Roger Gracie mounts Demian Maia to win in 2002, one of the exciting outcomes common to the Brazilian Team Nationals.
2) Who is your favorite fighter from that base MA? Please give an example of his/her greatest moment or a highlight you feel that captures the essence of said fighter.
My favorite fighter from BJJ has got to be Rousimar Palhares. That guy is terrifying, no one wants to fight him. As for his greatest moment, choose any of the times his opponent is screaming in pain.
My favorite BJJ competitor is Marcello Garcia. His jiu-jitsu is so pure and he is the nicest guy on Earth. I also respect how humble he is,win or lose, he never runs around acting like an idiot (See : Bravo, Eddie).
3) For those of us that are ignorant about the BJJ world, please explain Eddie Bravo and his 10th Planet BJJ terms. Compare and contrast to traditional BJJ. Why do you feel that way about Eddie? Please provide specific examples.
Eddie Bravo is a BJJ black belt under Machado and is famous for his triangle of Royler Gracie in 2003. After this upset, he used his new found fame to market his style of jiu-jitsu and make a lot of money. Most of his 10th Planet BJJ is working from the rubber guard, a term I'm sure you've heard Rogan yell out 47 times, but it also combines wrestling moves. I have a few issues with this system, the main being that only certain people can work it effectively. Bravo is very flexible, and if you cannot match this, the system isn't for you. 10th Planet can work, but it is lower percentage and seriously wears on the joints. That is my (mostly) non-bias section of this answer.
My personal dislike of Bravo comes from the fact that I think he is cocky and claims a bigger influence on BJJ than he actually contributed. After Bravo beat Royler, he acted disrespectfully. I'm all for celebrating a victory in MMA, but Jiu-Jitsu is different. Like I said earlier, Marcello is always polite and never runs around like a tool after a win. Bravo also acts like he is the first person to use an omaplata or do a high school wrestling move like the banana split. BJJ guys have been doing that stuff long before he wrote a book on it. Honestly, he reminds me of Steven Seagal saying he showed Anderson the front kick. Really? Silva didn't know that before you showed it to him? Bullshit. I could continue on this, but no one wants to read 11 pages about why 10th Planet BJJ isn't as good as other BJJ systems.
4) Do you participate in any MA today? If not, which base MA would you pick? Why? What attracts you to it?
I chose to train Jiu-Jitsu because it is the only martial art where you can 100% spar with your partner and not get injured. I've been training and competing for a little over two years.
My BJJ lineage is Helio Gracie-Relson Gracie-Phil Migliarese-John Hassett- Me. I got my blue belt after two years of training, one week after my 16th birthday. I am proud to represent Mr. Hassett in tournaments, and although I eventually plan to move to a larger academy/gym, I will always consider myself to be a Hassett's Jiu-Jitsu product.
I did my first tournament after only 4 classes and got smashed. After losing my first 3 tournaments, I started training every day and have placed in every tournament I've done since. I have competed in 20 tournaments and have taken first in US Grappling, NAGA, Grappler's Quest, Goodfight, and Copa Nova tournaments.
My proudest tournament moment is a flying triangle I did about a year ago in a Grappler's Quest. I am doing the NY Open in a few weeks, and another Goodfight in May.
My overall BJJ record is 41-16 with 27 submission victories.
Side note: I may be in NNR's division for NY Open. It's gonna be Maniac on Maniac crime!
5) Please describe your favorite offensive/defensive manuever(s) in BJJ. Provide examples (if any) in any MMA matches.
My favorite offensive maneuver is a tie between the Marcello Garcia guillotine and a D'arce choke.
A good example of the Marcello Garcia guillotine would be CB Dollaway's guillotine on Joe Doerkson.
Here I am doing a variation of the guillotine in a tournament in February (I took 2nd place) : http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=348368545215688¬if_t=video_comment
My second favorite offense move is this tricky D'arce choke from the bottom in side control, and here is an instructional vid on it : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD7DVKhUU1U.
My favorite defensive move is a trick I do to prevent being mounted -
Being midgety, it is not uncommon for people to try and force their way through my half guard directly into mount. This sucks. Normally, the person being mounted pushes the leg that is slipping out of their half guard and tries to recover half guard. This works to an extent, but it really just delays the inevitable mount. I do just that until I am 99% mounted, and then I switch sides and capture their other foot in my half guard. My opponent is so focused on getting the mount that they often forget about their other foot. From there I can lift up the leg and go to either deep half or full guard.
6) List your top 3 favorite MMA fighters of all time. Why? What do you feel is the most defining moment for each fighter. Give examples.
A) Forrest Griffin literally has nothing going for him, he is not athletic at all, his chin is not great, and he doesn't have knockout power or great wrestling. Despite all this, he became the champion entirely through his work ethic and toughness.
B) Frankie Edgar is my favorite relevant fighter right now. In addition to demolishing my least favorite fighter ever (The Cryin' Hawaiian), he is always smaller than his opponents and still wins. Edgar did what no one thought he could and became champ. Guess what bitches, he's going to do it again.
C) Finally, we have Stockton's Nick Diaz. Diaz's anger and toughness have made me a fan. He also destroyed "The Prodigy", which made me laugh.
7) List your top 3 MMA fighters on your shit list. Why? What do you feel is the most defining moment for each fighter that made you feel this way. Give examples.
A) Fuck BJ Penn. He is what is wrong with the world. BJ Penn is a lazy cock sucker and I hope he gets a 5 round rematch with Diaz. He has more natural talent than anyone else EVER in the history of the sport and his record is 16-8-2? Don't give me any of that he fought outside his weight class bull shit, it isn't Lyoto Machida's fault that BJ Penn eats too fucking much. If he had Forrest Griffin's work ethic he'd still be champ.
B) On to LHW king Jon Jones. To put it simply, he is a douche. He reminds me of a spoiled child. "Oh, I don't like people who have belts like mine! Rashad is being so mean too me!" Boo fucking hoo. He's like that hot retarded chick at a party; really fucking awesome until she starts talking. That said, he is a talented prick who is going to hold onto the title for a long time.
C) If Melvin Guillard was as good as Melvin Guillard thinks he is, he would be the champ of every division, even the ones that do not exist yet. Thankfully, he's not. He will always be a powerful striker who gets subbed by anyone with decent Jiu-Jitsu. The worst part about Melvin is his fans. "Oh, Melvin is gonna be the champion! He's gonna knock Edgar out!" Bitch please, Melvin only knocks out middle tier guys, not champions.
8) Please describe how MMA is viewed by people in your age group. How does it compare versus all of the other mainstream sports? Try to capture the feelings of the average, mainstream teen.
MMA is not followed by many teens that I know. I'd say I probably know around 500 teens, give or take, and of that 500 maybe 10 are hardcore fans. When I say hardcore, I mean they can name all the current UFC champions and watch most of the PPV's (not difficult requirements at all).
I think about 30 are casual fans, who know kind of what the sport is, but then they ask when Chuck Liddell is fighting again. They may watch reruns on Spike.
The rest have likely heard of the UFC but don't know what MMA is. They may have flipped past it once or twice, but I don't think they could name any current fighters. In short, the UFC is not as popular as Uncle Dana likes to tell us - at least not with teens.