Josh Barnett's MMA future remains uncertain, but his grappling present is in cruise control. The former UFC heavyweight champion is two-for-two in Metamoris competition after submitting Ryron Gracie at Metamoris 6 on Saturday night in California.
The bout started with hand fighting and searches for collar tie set-ups, but a snapdown from Barnett got things going on the mat. Gracie was able to maintain half guard even after being passed occasionally, He even secured full guard for a time despite giving up 60 pounds. Barnett was able to pass, however, after faking a knee cut and then changing directions. Gracie attempted a reverse triangle from bottom, but ultimately was submitted by a toehold after Barnett escaped and locked up Gracie's legs.
"We had a game plan, but the biggest thing was we had to figure out who we were dealing with," Barnett stated after the match. "He stayed on the feet with me, which I appreciate.
"Opportunity. Opportunity," Barnett said of his plan heading into the fight. "We have a different way of approaching leg locks," he continued. "Nothing was an easy give."
In the co-main event. UFC and MMA veterans Renato Sobral and Chael Sonnen competed to a draw. Sonnen was able to secure top position, but never passed guard. Sobral worked tirelessly underneath for armbars, kimuras and deep half guard attempts, but never got close to anything.
UFC veteran Joe Lauzon came up short against Marcelo Garcia black belt Dillon Danis on the card. Danis was able to secure the back of Lauzon for a long stretch of the bout despite desperate attempts from Lauzon to get free. Danis eventually tried to transition to an armbar attempt from the back, but failed as Lauzon stood up and escaped. However, in the scramble, Lauzon ended up trapped in a deep d'arce choke Danis secured and twisted into with his hips, which forced the tap.
Keenan Cornelius and Xande Ribeiro battled in a gi with the match ending in a draw. Cornelius worked his patented worm guard for much of the match, securing sweeps and the occasional long-step guard pass, but Ribeiro had his own moments. He used pant grips on Cornelius' pass attempts to reverse position. In fact, he briefly threatened with a cross choke on Cornelius, but was never able to secure anything that truly changed the trajectory of the match.
In perhaps the most competitive bout on the card, black belts Roberto Satoshi and Clark Gracie competed to a draw (also in a gi), but not after an action-packed performance. Gracie routinely used de la Riva guard with opposite sleeve control to attempt and even land the occasional oma plata, but Satoshi has was never deterred. He managed to avoid the worst of the problems, land his own oma plata and threaten with torreando passes over and over. Satoshi even attempted a flying triangle, but was unsuccessful. Neither ever put the other in real danger, but both pushed the dynamism of the action for the full duration of the match.
In the opening main card match, last-minute replacement to Jeff Monson, Evandro Nunes competed to a draw with Road to Metamoris winner Jimmy Friedrich. In the no gi contest, Friedrich worked his patented leg attacks, but never got very close to anything other than sweeps or reversals.
Monson tweeted Saturday night he had to withdraw from the contest after the death of his mother.
In preliminary card action, Michael Liera, Jr. drew with Morgan Neidlinger while Francisco 'Sinistro' Iturralde submitted Greg McIntyre with an armbar.