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Metamoris 4 predictions

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The fourth installment of jiu-jitsu's most popular superfight organization continues Saturday evening with a card filled with some of the sport's rising talents as well as popular MMA figures trying their hand at a different kind of competition. In the main event, now retired UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen takes on nine-time world champion Andre Galvao while UFC heavyweight Josh Barnett tries his hand against leglock master Dean Lister.

Will Sonnen pull the major upset and put Galvao away? Who will come out on top in a battle of leg attack masters in Barnett and Lister? I answer these questions and more with my predictions for Saturday's matches.

What: Metamoris 4

Where: Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, California


More Coverage: Metamoris 4 Results
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When: The live stream for all matches begins on Metamoris.com at 8 p.m. ET

Andre Galvao vs. Chael Sonnen

Unless he stalls, it's hard to see any real way Galvao gets caught here. This isn't MMA. Accidents don't happen in jiu-jitsu, at least not to the extent they do in MMA. What Metamoris shows is that submitting someone who doesn't want to be submitted can be very hard. That's especially true when your competitor is significantly better than you. Galvao can do it all, if we're being honest. He's got a great arm drag to single leg sequence, sensational back takes when opposition turtle, some of the best passing ever seen in jiu-jitsu, threats from knee of belly and on and on. For me the question isn't who is going to win, but how long Sonnen can survive.

Pick: Galvao

Dean Lister vs. Josh Barnett

I hope to be wrong, but I'm not the biggest fan of this match. Barnett's going to win any sort of takedown battle and will definitely look to apply top passing and pressure. The issue for me is Lister in submission only contexts isn't all that exciting. He'll put himself in bad spots and predictably get out of them knowing points don't matter. That's fine if you're looking for a high wire act, but he doesn't apply enough offense in those situations for my liking.

Pick: Draw

Saulo Ribeiro vs. Rodrigo Medeiros

Two old school giants going at it is always fun, especially since I prefer their style of jiu-jitsu to a lot of the modern game of inversions and berimbolos. MMA fans might remember Medeiros coached Brock Lesnar for a time while Ribeiro is nothing short of jiu-jitsu royality (who has also trained a number of fighters including Diego Sanchez for a time). It's hard to say, though, where they're at or what the current iteration of their game looks like. This is also the only gi match of the evening. There also could be a fairly substantial size difference here, although that's not clear at this point either. In any case, look for Ribeiro's patented pressure passing to mount while Medeiros plays retention and open guard. From there, it's anyone's guess.

Pick: Draw

Keenan Cornelius vs. Vinny Magalhaes

This is one of those matches where the difference in what it would like like in gi vs. no gi is really apparent. Cornelius is the inventor of the worm guard, something that requires a gi, but I actually see him as more of a guard player in the no gi setting than not. He loves to use various forms of inverted attacks and reverse or inside De La Riva. What's interesting about that is Magalhaes is also a no gi guard player to a large extent, with am emphasis on 50/50 or closed guard. I don't think either guy is really going to be put in a position to get submitted and this one might look like a game of footsie time to time, but both will probably be threatened with leg attacks throughout.

Pick: Draw

Garry Tonon vs. Kit Dale

On paper, this is the best match on the entire card. By far. In Tonon, you have a risk taker who routinely puts himself in bad positions as a way of forcing action. He's also insanely proactive on offense, has a very sturdy defense and most importantly, does not get tired. 20 minutes to Tonon is nothing. He also has a lot of submission only experience as the winner of the recent Eddie Bravo Invitational and as a participant in the BJJ Kumite. With Dale, you have a more methodical approach to offense, but one that's very creative and unique. Dale really favors working techniques he's discovered or adapted. In truth, I doubt a submission occurs here in the allotted time frame. The defense of both competitors is too good, but this should be one hell of a scrap.

Pick: Tonon