Metamoris 3 Breakdown: Rafael Mendes vs Clark Gracie
Another interesting matchup at this weekend’s Metamoris 3 event is between Rafael Mendes (pictured) and Clark Gracie. Clark is a Carley Gracie Black Belt, who spawned the “Ridiculously Photogenic Jiu Jitsu Guy” meme with his omoplata win over Ken Primola in 2013. Clark has a fair amount experience at the highest levels of submission grappling, with his major achievement as a black belt being his gold medal win from the Pan-American Games in 2013. He also competed in ADCC in 2013, but lost in the first round to Keenan Cornelius. Rafael Mendes, a Ramon Lemos black belt, is one of the most decorated grapplers in the game today, having won multiple gold medals in both ADCC and Gi competitions such as the Pan-American Games and the World Championships.
Clark is famous for his modified omoplatas, which combine the traditional shoulder-lock omoplata with a collar choke from a back-crucifix position. While he has some other attacks from the guard, and a decent sweep-game, his primary offense from the bottom is definitely his omoplata, and when he can’t threaten with that, he tends to get shut down. Defensively, Clark is fairly sound, and is generally good at limiting points scored against him, and not often getting submitted.
Mendes is famous for his use of the “Berimbolo,” which is a sweep/back take using the legs to entangle the opponents, as well as the 50/50 guard. While some criticise his style of jiu-jitsu, it is undeniably effective at scoring points and winning matches. However, with the submission-only format of Metamoris, he will be forced to finish hunt more if he wants a win. Clark also has a fair weight advantage, with Mendes usually competing in the 154 lb division, while Clark generally competes at around 180. Despite these advantages, Clark is simply not as talented or experienced of a grappler as Mendes is, and this will most likely play out in a match that ends in a draw or a decision win for Mendes. Expect to see a lot of 50/50 guard, Berimbolo attempts, and an overall more effective offense from Mendes.
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