The Gracie family has played a huge role in the evolution of MMA, and it looks like they plan to continue to do so.
8th degree black belt, Rickson Gracie (11-0, 11 submissions), isn't a fan of some of the rules in modern MMA, and he's created his own promotion with a unique set of rules.
"Mestre do Combate" will kick things off on Nov. 22.
"We want to create a new paradigm and recover values from the fight that were lost over time," Rickson stated about his new endeavor. "Today, MMA fighting means blood and money. We will honor the warrior spirit and the fighting art."
Fighters who plan to fight under Rickson's banner will have a hard time making extreme weight cuts, since they'll be required to weigh in on the day of the fight. Contestants will no longer be saved by the bell, as rounds won't be stopped if a combatant is close to finishing the fight via submission or strikes.
Mestre do Combat will also imitate some of the now extinct Pride FC's concepts. Fights will consist of two rounds, with the first lasting ten minutes, and the second lasting five. Fights will no longer be scored per round, and there won't any judges either. Contests will be judged by three votes, with Rickson Gracie getting one, the referee getting the other, and fans getting the third.
Rickson's promotion will also include an IFL-style team concept, with each squad representing a city in Brazil. Each team will be made up of a coach and five fighters, one for each weight class from heavyweight to lightweight. Two teams will collide on any particular fight card, and the team with the most victories will be dubbed the winner. It isn't yet clear how injuries will be dealt with, but I'm guessing teams will have to use replacements at some point.
I'm not really sold on the team concept, but the MMA purist in me does like most of Rickson's ideas.
Same day weigh-ins should work in MMA (it's been used in NCAA wrestling for quite some time), and the idea that a fighter can't be saved by the bell sounds like music to my ears. I was a huge Pride fan, so the round format and voting system (instead of the 10-point must scoring system) sounds good to me. However, the idea that fans get to vote does bother me a bit, as there's a decent chance it'll end up being a guaranteed vote for the hometown hero.
What do you think guys? Is Rickson on to something here or is it a bit too much?
Fightersonlymag.com, "Rickson Gracie heads new 'old school' fight show in Brazil"
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.