Deconstructing MMA Myths... [Part 24] - Carlson´s 'Silence'...

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  1. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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    Warning: TLDR here.

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    Today :

    Carlson´s 'Silence'...during the SAKU G. vs Vitor Gracie fight.

    > Myth 1: This fight was a work.
    > Myth 2: Vitor Gracie was 'well-rounded'.
    > Myth 3: SAKU G. was one-dimensional and had no striking.



    Was @ Pride 5 [April 29, 1999].

    This fight is a fascinating one, not so much because of the action inside the ring, but rather because of the context: before/after the fight, and during the fight at ringside.

    Like in all these Decons., this is all about Skill Set Evolution...

    1/ Myth 1: This fight was a work:

    Context 1:
    This was the 3rd Carlson BJJ BB that SAKU G. had to face since the beginning of his career (HW Conan Silveira & LHW Allan Goes, B4)

    Context 2:

    Contrary to what Bas was sayin´ at the beginning of the fight (that Vitor came lighter, from 230 lbs to 205), this was actually inaccurate since Bas forgot about the Wand fight after the Joe Charles one:

    Vitor Gracie vs Joe Charles.png
    Vitor Gracie vs Wand.png

    Consequently, there was no problematic weight cut.

    saku bel.png



    > Technical Analysis of The Turning Point:

    After the failed 'blitz' during the 1st 90 sec. of the fight, Vitor found himself in a dominant position:

    Vitor 2.gif

    But the fact that he couldnt capitalize was not due to a limited skill set: it´s rather a 'mindset' issue, as Vitor
    convinced himself that he was more a boxer than a MMartist, despising the ground game, relyin´too much on a pure boxing gameplan.
    In short, Vitor´s HL against Wand was workin´ against him now:
    instead of transitionnin´ on the ground, he gave Saku time to recoup and pull a kimura attempt that released the pressure.

    Let´s compare: after he split with Carlson, Vitor went to BTT and started to rebuild his game.

    @ Pride 13, 30 months later, he got the same dominant position against Bobby Southworth, and the outcome was different this time:

    Vitor Gracie vs Bobby Southworth.gif

    Against Southworth, he also possibly threw his 1st kick in a MMA fight IIRC:
    @ 4mn50:

    https://www.mma-core.com/videos/Vitor_Belfort_vs_Bobby_Southworth_Full_Fight_Pride_13/10102685


    Vitor´s assessment:
    Interview Vitor Gracie [July 2000]:
    Reporter:
    "Many fighters want to fight with Sak. Who can defeat him, you think?"
    Vitor Gracie:
    "When I fought Sak I had an accident during the fight, I broke my hand. I want a rematch to display my game properly. Sak is an outstanding fighter but he doesn't show so much aggressiveness and disposition, his game is grounded in the opponent's mistake. There are a few fighters that can defeat him."

    "By the first time I had a knee surgery 1 month before the fight and broke my hand during the match. I will give my heart, my soul and my life in the rematch. I will teach him a lesson. He talks too much. He will learn to be just a little humble. My two cents."

    He even released a picture of that injured hand:

    Vitor_s-hand.jpg

    But it´s tough to assess: judging by his corner´s reactions (amazed at what they were seeing during the fight), it´s fair to assess that they didnt know about this 'broken' hand, and Vitor didnt seem like he wanted to communicate between Rounds...

    > Context of the Fight : Conflicting Corner/Instructions:

    A lil bit tricky here, since this analysis is based on voices (off camera, more often than not)...
    I dont see any other Brazilian at ringside, only Hickson in the audience...

    The fight:




    3 'Voices' in Vitor´s corner: (L 2 R)
    Paulo Filho
    Carlson
    Al Stankie


    Corner x 3 - 2.png
    View attachment 487249

    Al Stankie started to get more vocal in the 2nd Rd: [Voice in English]
    "Take charge!" [@ 18mn27]
    "Combinations!" [@ 19mn15]
    "Get off 1st!" [@ 19mn08>19mn32]

    Carlson : [Voice in Portuguese]
    1st Rd:

    "Pedaladas!" = "Upkicks!" [@ 04mn29]
    "Fique em pé vitor!" = "Stay on your feet, Vitor!" [@ 05mn37 / @ 06mn22]
    "Levante a perna!" = "Use your leg!" [@ 06mn37]
    "Levante-se!" = "Get up!" [@ 11mn30]

    2nd Rd:
    "Cadê o soco, Vitor?" = "Where´s the punch, Vitor?" [@ 14mn10]
    "Agora Vitor!" = "Now, Vitor!" [@ 18mn10]


    Paulo Filho was omnipresent and very upset at ringside: [Voice in Portuguese]
    1st Rd:

    "O braço!" = "The Arm!" [@ 05mn19]
    "Roda!Roda!" = "Circle!Circle!" [@ 08mn55]
    "Sai dai, mermao!" = "Get outtah here, brotha!" [@ 09mn54]
    "Pedaladas!" = "Upkicks!" [@ 04mn13 / @ 05mn26 / @ 10mn00]

    2nd Rd:
    "Fique de pé, tá maluco, meu irmão?" = "Get back to your [email protected]!Are you crazy, brotha?" [@ 15mn27]
    "Acabou a brincadeira, cintura ele, porra!" = "Stop jokin´, clinch him, dammit" [@ 18mn36
    "Derruba ele, porra!" = "Take him down, dammit!" [@ 18mn40]
    "Não pode ficar aí Vitor!" = "You cant stay there, Vitor!" [@ 19mn56]
    "Bote ele pra baixo!" = = "Take him down!" [@ 17mn07 / @ 18mn43 / @ 20mn47]
    "Levante-se, meu irmão... Desgraçado!" = "Get back to your feet, brotha... Loser!" [@ 21mn39 / @ 21mn58]
    "Tá surdo?Tá surdo? Levante-se!" = "Are you deaf?Are you deaf? Get back to your feet!" [@ 22mn28]

    In the 2nd Rd, while Filho wanted Vitor to take the fight to the ground (when he was on his feet),
    Stankie was askin´Vitor to stay on his feet and get off 1st...


    As crazy as it may sound, Filho, who was 20 yrs old then and hadnt even started his MMA career, was literally 'in charge' at ringside!? And literally scoldin´ Vitor!
    More: except in the few seconds following Saku´s 1st TD, he was never near Carlson at ringside,
    Stankie was always in-between, so Filho wasnt realistically shoutin´Carlson´s instructions...

    Context: Rumours had it that Filho was dominatin´ Vitor on the ground in sparring @ Carlson´s gym...

    Compared to other fights cornered by Carlson in Pride [see the Goes vs Saku fight, or the tense Igor vs Barreto fight where he shared the corner with Sergio Batarelli, important figure of the Brazilian Vale Tudo scene], Carlson was abnormally 'quiet', showed limited urgency.

    Carlson´s assessment:
    Carlson explains the losses in the Ultimate XV:

    "How does someone that spends two weeks locked in a bedroom with his girlfriend before a fight expect to win? A day before the fight, he had boxing training with Al Stankie and got tired. I told him that if he didn't win the fight within five minutes, he was going to lose. And that's what happened.".

    Allan Goes´ assessment:
    Reporter:

    "Sakuraba said after the fight with Vitor Belfort, “I want to fight with a little stronger fighter”. I heard that you were very upset about it."
    Allan:
    "Vitor made a mistake in his tactics. Sakuraba was well-prepared for his punches and calculated that if Vitor can’t knock him out, he will be tired. Victor was not prepared for a long fight. It was his mistake in tactics. Sakuraba studied Vitor’s past fights and came up with the right tactics to win. On the other hand, Vitor didn’t use good tactics, because he thought he could knock Sakuraba out."

    Hoyce´s assessment:
    Interview Hoyce Gracie [after Pride 1, in October 11, 1997]:
    Reporter:
    "What did you think about Vitor vs. Couture?"
    Hoyce:
    "I think that he [Vitor] exaggerated the preparation of boxing and weight training and forgot about what was the most important thing. What is going to win the fight is not boxing, it is jiu-jitsu. It was the first real test for Vitor, with action on stand up and on the ground, against his first real opponent It is easy to win by beating someone down. The difficult thing is to get beaten down and come back and win. "
    Reporter:
    "What do you think of Vitor Belfort and his abilities as a fighter?"
    Hoyce:
    "Just average. [...] Vitor come in hit somebody hard in the head and knock him out..."Yeah man, he's the greatest!"...as soon as someone went the distance with him..8 minutes! He pass out tired."

    > Historical Context:

    It´s rather doubtful that Carlson would have agreed to corner Vitor if he had known about any possibility of a fixed fight.
    Indeed, during the Vale Tudo era, in the 1960s, when George was the Family´s Champ, at one point he went to South Brazil and competed there...
    Then, the rest of the family heard about him accepting fixed fights, and George was ostracized...
    Carlson wouldnt have accepted it, realistically...

    Rewatchin´ Carlson in the corner jus´ B4 the start of the fight, something went unnoticed:
    Vitor was literally givin´ him the 'cold shoulder' !

    Vitor 1.gif


    > Fight Configuration:

    In the 2nd Round, Vitor got a gifted stand-up (unwarranted since SAKU G. was pretty active: leg kicks, GNP, stomps,axe kicks, even punches to the legs...) [see @ 16mn10]


    2/ Myth 2: Vitor Gracie was 'well-rounded':

    Back in the days, this infamous UFC 'breakdown' about Vitor would appear on the screen:

    vitor gracie no known.jpg

    But The truth is... Vitor´s career was actually a 'misunderstanding'...
    He 1st started in boxing when he was a kid, then took on BJJ under Carlson.

    Carlson actually viewed Vitor as his big ticket to fame & $$$ in Modern MMA (more than Goes, Barretão or Morais, and perhaps even more than Filho):

    Interview Carlson Gracie [after UFC 15, at the end of 1997] :
    Reporter:

    "And in Vale-Tudo? Who is the best fighter that you've seen?"
    Carlson:
    "Until now, it's Vitor Belfort. There are a lot of good ones, but Vitor is the best."

    In the 1990s, Carlson kept talkin´ about a potential fight with Marco Huas, but it always seemed to exist only in Carlson´s head, tbh... He was talking about a 1M$ purse...
    Vitor was then trashtalkin´, sayin´ he was going to look for Huas in the streets and give him a beating...

    In interviews, Huas replied that this matchup made lil sense since Vitor was only a "kid" and a Blue Belt at the time.

    Vitor´s Black Belt was actually controversial back in the days...inside the BJJ community.
    People were questionning how he went from Purple Belt to BB, without competing in tournaments.


    Poor Vitor was in the middle of a game of influence between Horion, Hickson & Carlson, and Hickson was threatening to 'steal' him...:

    Interview Hickson Gracie [after Pride 1, in October 11, 1997]:
    Reporter:

    "What are your impressions of Vitor Belfort?"
    Hickson:
    "Good young fighter, with excellent punching ability. I question how he went from purple to black belt though. As far as Iknow, he never competed in Jiu Jitsu tournaments in Brazil."

    Reporter:
    "Is it true that you were going to take Vitor under your wing?"
    Hickson:
    "I told him if he comes to train with me, it has to be either me or Carlson."

    Reporter:
    "What happens when you roll with him?"
    Hickson:
    "It has been two years but he is not a superstar on the ground. With gi he taps quickly. Without it takes a little longer."

    Then, a Producer from Hollywood decided to promote Vitor, hired Al Stankie (Boxing Coach Vet who had worked with ODLH, but who was kindah sidelined...he got some 10,000 USD as a 1st payment).
    This was obviously seen as another menace to Carlson´s master plan, and you could feel the tension in his interviews:

    Reporter:
    "What do you see in the future for Vitor?"
    Carlson:
    "Well, in Vale-Tudo, he's already at the top. In boxing, according to Al Stankie, he has a big future ahead."

    Reporter:
    "What do you think of him leaving the Vale-Tudo and staying only with boxing?"
    Carlson:
    "This doesn't exist, it's only gossip from the opposition. He's going to fight in both."

    Reporter:
    "You wouldn't let him leave Vale-Tudo now?"
    Carlson:
    "Who am I to tell him not to fight. I would be against it, but if he wanted to leave, what can I do? But I think not, he loves Vale-Tudo, it was Vale-Tudo that gave him the fame. I think that he can do both at the same time perfectly."

    Vitor´s boxing career didnt really materialize, and he had his lone boxing professional bout in 2006 (11/04), in
    Brazil, against Josemário Neves [KO - 1st Rd 1:01]. He had to cancel his 2nd fight due to an injury.

    Seems Carlson was right to distrust his pupil...
    'Creontes' (= 'Traitors')...'Creontes', Everywhere...


    3/ Myth 3: SAKU G. was one-dimensional and had no striking :

    It kindah all started at SAKU G. vs Allan Goes: very interesting fight, fundamental in SAKU´s career, even though he arguably lost (no judges, was ruled a Draw...but even SAKU acknowledged it...).

    Goes was the 2nd high-level BJJ Black Belt that SAKU had to fight in his early career, right after his triumph against Conan in UFC.
    But Goes was far more creative from the guard [see his legs game> striking & sweeps].
    This fight showed him his limitations (he appeared clueless at times) and helped him to deal with BJJ Guards, and especially the butt scoot position.

    http://forums.sherdog.com/threads/an-underrated-fight-in-saku-goat´s-career.3734199/

    Vitor was the 2nd Carlson BJJ BB that SAKU had to fight in 6 months, and given the result of the last fight, and how Vitor looked great against Wand in UFC, SAKU had to be the clear underdog.

    Still, SAKU G. indeed mixed it up in this fight: especially the kicks>front kicks, leg kicks, roundhouse kicks...
    But also feints, fake cartwheel to jumping straight punch, ankle pick, hooks, straights,...
    Using an innovative striking (1st time a fighter would literally punish the butt scoot position), he reversed the Alan Goes Configuration (instead of diving into the BJJ guard, he chose to strike from top and nullify the Guard/Butt Scoot Position)...

    Unexpected striking from the submission specialist, as if he wanted to challenge himself after the grappling challenge against Ronin...

    This sequence says it all:

    Vitor vs SAKU GOAT.gif


    Indeed, the Gracie killing started with Vitor...Gracie...
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019 at 10:08 PM
  2. tonil

    tonil ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

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  4. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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  5. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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  7. Oddmonster

    Oddmonster Blue Belt

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    Very good read. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
     
  8. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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    Even Filho at ringside cant believe what he´s watchin´ tho...

    Vitor 3.gif

    Vitor 4.gif Vitor 5.gif Vitor 6.gif Vitor 7.gif
     
  9. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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  10. TheExpert

    TheExpert Banned Banned

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    Who's that guy again? I was looking up a rant he did on seinfeld.
     
  11. Pressure Project

    Pressure Project Don't ban me bro!

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  12. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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  13. Coconutwater

    Coconutwater Purple Belt

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    I saw it as Vitor knowing Saku was no joke after tapping Conan and wilted after he couldn’t KO Saku or control him.
     
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  14. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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    True, but Goes somehow showed his limitations at the time...
     
  15. Coconutwater

    Coconutwater Purple Belt

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    I thought Goes got the better of him. He had a sophisticated guard for the time. That fight educated Saku and raised his game.
     
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  16. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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    SAKU G. indeed acknowledged it:

    Of all the Brazilians you have fought, who was the toughest?

    SAKU G.: "Alan Goes. In that fight, I fought his style, not mine.
    I think I lost that fight."



    Saku.jpg
     
  17. Coconutwater

    Coconutwater Purple Belt

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    Yes, he is my favorite fighter of all time, him and GSP. From an I-don’t-give-fuck- fearless standpoint, I like Wallid Ismail and Krazyhorse.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  18. Ralph Wiggum

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  19. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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    Wallid (2).gif

    wallid-e-carlson.jpg




    Wallid is GOAT, but SAKU G. AND No Rush....

    "To introduce such fans to a match in which you shut down your opponent without motion, it will leave no memories for them. If it's the choice of a sluggish match that I'll win by decision, I'd rather choose to lose in grand fashion by KO."
    SAKU G.
     
  20. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

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