Monday, 6 October 2014

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 13 - Royler Gracie vs. Mario Sperry - World Championships 1998

(Last week’s edition can be found HERE)

This week I'm sharing with you guys a true classic. The match is Royler Gracie vs. Mario Sperry from the absolute semi-final of the 1998 World Championships. This match is famous for only one reason, and that is because Mario Sperry was the first person to submit Royler Gracie in competition. I'm sure many of you have seen this match before, but I'm sure there are a few people who haven't. 

Royler Gracie is the son of Grandmaster Helio Gracie and is a true legend in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling. He is considered to be the first king of the featherweight division, and held records for the most number of World and ADCC titles during his time competing. He has since gone on to create some of Jiu-Jitsu's finest talents such as Wellington "Megaton" Dias, Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, Vinny Magalhaes, Leticia Ribeiro and many others.  

Royler has won the world’s most prestigious titles in Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling on multiple occasions. He is a four time World Champion (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999), a three time ADCC Champion (1999, 2000, 2001), and a two time Pan American Champion (1997, 1999). As I mentioned previously, for a period of time, Royler held the record for most amount of World and ADCC titles. In 2012, Royler was inducted into the IBJJF Hall of Fame. 

For the most part, Royler is mainly a top player but is also very comfortable on bottom. He is known for his throws at that start of matches and from there he passes the guard extremely well. Once he passes the guard, he makes phenomenal use of pressure and flawlessly transitions to submissions or the back. 

Royler Gracie
Source: GracieMag

Mario Sperry was a prominent figure in both Jiu-Jitsu and MMA in the late 1990's and early 2000's. He is probably best known for his time with the Carlson Gracie team and received his black belt from Carlson in 1995. However, in 2000, he left the team and decided to form his own team, Brazilian Top Team (BTT) along with Murilo BustamanteRicardo Liborio and “Bebeo” Duarte. 

Just like Royler, Mario has also won many of our sports major titles multiple times. He is a four time ADCC superfight champion (1999, 2000, 2011, 2013), a three time World Champion (1996, 1997, 1998 absolute), and a two time ADCC champion (1998 weight and absolute). 

Mario Sperry in particular is known for his guard passing much like most of the Carlson Gracie team back in the 90's. He is also notorious for the use of the clock choke in competition. As you can tell, Mario is a top player. Consistently throughout his matches you will see him take the guy down or let the guy pull guard then immediately pass to a dominate position where he can put his size to good use and from there submit his opponent. 

Mario Sperry

In this match, Mario dominates for the most part. At the start, Royler does a good job in preventing Mario from passing and manages to get the fight back to the feet. From there however, Mario manages a takedown and instantly passes. It's not long after that he gets the submission. I should point out however that there is a major weight difference between the two. Mario fights at super heavyweight (-100kg) and Royler fights at featherweight (-70kg). However, it's still a classic match between two legends of our sport.  

The video of the match can be found below. I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

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