Metamoris 3 was held this past weekend, on March 29, 2014. Everyone was anticipating the (re)match between 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu founder Eddie Bravo and the legendary Royler Gracie. But after 20 minutes, their bout yielded no winner, timing out to a draw.

How nice – two masters of their craft showcasing comparable, highly developed skills on what’s becoming the sport’s foremost competitive platform!!

Except that’s not what happened.

Many people said that, had points been awarded, Eddie would’ve won easily. But that’s not the way Metamoris works. And after Eddie finished the match, he was very emotional – his mom was in the audience, as were most of his students. The crowd was clearly there for him. Then, as many might in a comparable situation, he got a little sick…

…only to then be greeted by a snarky lurker stating something like: “It’s nice that you’re not talking shit about my family.” It was Royler’s brother, Royce Gracie. Eddie then proceeded to get a bit *animated* – after developing his own system of no-gi jiu jitsu, 45 successful schools worldwide, four books, and global fame, he had always credited Royler for putting him on the map. Royce took Eddie’s animation for further disrespect, blah blah, and an IRL/internet cat fight of epic junior high school level proportions ensued.

Why do we care about this?

The beef between Eddie and Royler goes way back – in May, 2003, Eddie beat Royler in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) submission grappling tournament, held that year in Brazil. Eddie was happy about his ABCC win, but Royler not so much – he attributed Eddie’s success, not to skill, but to a mistake and sloppiness on his (Royler’s) part. Read: unprepared, sour grapes, sore loser.

So this match last weekend, which both men had been pushing for – Eddie to prove his skills and Royler to avenge his own honor – was super loaded.

The fall of any top dog is inevitable – pack animals get a new alpha, your favorite edgy professor gets tenure and/or retires, all the NKOTB fans age out of sixth grade. When Royler got tapped out in 2003, he had been the champion for eight years (at least), and Eddie was just this stoner kid with a brown belt. No one outside of LA even knew who he was. Since 2003, Eddie’s stock has only risen; Royler however is kinda like the New Kids when I was in eight grade.

Again, why do we care about this?

Power operates in any and all subcultures and groups. For a time, Royler garnered power from his own merit. Now, he garners power from his lineage (you’ve all heard of Gracie Jiu Jitsu – same Gracies). Eddie in the meantime has cultivated the quintessential rockstar story – talent so developed that he makes it look effortless, a hot porn star wife, and a general lifestyle schtick that hits many chords across contemporary society. Both men are traveling unique-yet-similar paths, it’s just that Royler is further along on his.

Somewhere, someday, some young pup will beat Eddie Bravo. Or maybe Eddie will just hang back as he ages out of sport-combatives-mega-aggro-competition. The thing to think about here is the inevitable cycle of life – eventually, it impacts us all. Will you act graceless, or will you tear up while talking about your mom?

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(pictured: Metamoris 3, from MMA Junkie here)

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You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, Ph.D.”