of Combat, the fledgling promotion created by Rickson
Gracie, held its inaugural event on Thursday in Rio de
The show opened with a video recalling the history of the Gracie
family, and a series of electrifying fights pitting Team Rio de
Janeiro against Team Sao Paulo began shortly thereafter. Gracie’s
goal was for the fighters to try and finish at all costs – as a
result, only one bout made it past the first round.
The "Samurais" of Rio, coached by Murilo
Bustamante, fell behind 2-0 against the Francisco
Veras-guided "Scorpions" of São Paulo but ultimately rallied
for a 3-2 victory.
The event was contested under a unique set of rules devised by
Gracie. All of the athletes weighed in on the day of the fight, and
all reached their agreed-upon marks. Only one fight went the
distance – the first round is 10 minutes, the second is five -- and
the decision was rendered not by a panel of judges, but by Gracie,
referee “Big” John McCarthy and the audience.
The first matchup of the challenge pitted Sao Paulo’s Glauke
Eugenio e Silva against Rio’s Jefferson
Nunes. It did not take long for Sao Paulo to get the evening’s
first win, as Silva caught Nunes in a kimura and elicited a tapout
46 seconds into the fight.
Baldow escaped an early kneebar attempt from Udi Lima but
eventually succumbed to a triangle choke from the Team Sao Paulo
member at the 1:52 mark of round one.
Team Rio began its comeback in the third fight, as Gerson
da Silva Conceicao locked horns with Sao Paulo’s Alexandre
Nunes Brandao. The first round was characterized by plenty of
ineffective striking, but a beautiful takedown by Conceicao may
have given him the frame.
Brandao got the better of the standup in round two, but Conceicao
would eventually impose his will through a takedown and top
The fight was decided by votes from Gracie, McCarthy and an online
vote from the audience. It was Conceicao who emerged with a split
decision triumph, as both Gracie and McCarthy sided with the Team
Rio fighter. Only the fans felt that Brandao had done enough to
Sapinho tied things up for Team Rio, transitioning from a
kimura to a north-south choke to submit Thiago
Fernandes Lopes at 6:07 of the opening frame.
In the final matchup of team competition, Fernando
Camolesi needed just 1:17 to submit Kitner
Moura with a heel hook to give Team Rio de Janeiro the
Miranda submitted Elton
Rodrigues with a first-round arm-triangle choke in the
evening’s main event. The Team Nogueira fighter played it safe on
the feet in the early going before asserting his dominance on the
mat. Rodrigues asked out of the contest 4:23 into the initial
Petter defeated Pety
Maffort by TKO 7:52 into the first round, while Oseias
Viana submitted Luciano
Correa with a rear-naked choke at the 4:30 mark of the opening
At the end of the night, Gracie declared the initial Master of
Combat event to be a success.
"I was very pleased with the outcome of the event. We are already
planning a second edition in January. It will be the beginning of a
grand prix between teams," he said.