The Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational II, taking place June 9 live from L.A.’s historic Pauley Pavilion, features six first class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fights.
One fight in particular, the headline fight between world champion Kron Gracie and DREAM lightweight champion, Shinya Aoki, carries the weight of nations and family pride. The match represents 60 years of competition between Brazil’s Gracie family and the modern-day samurai of Japan.
On October 23, 1951, a crowd of more than 40,000 Brazilians packed into Rio De Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium to watch Helio Gracie grapple with Japanese championMasahiko Kimura. The match ended when Kimura, who outweighed his opponent by 71 pounds, trapped Helio in his eponymous shoulder lock and the Gracie corner threw in the towel.
Helio’s son, the legendary and enigmatic Rickson Gracie, wrote the next chapter in this rivalry in an even more dangerous arena when he fought Japanese submission artistYuki Nakai at Vale Tudo Japan 1995. Meeting in the final match in a grueling open-weight tournament, Rickson submitted Nakai in the first round with a rear naked choke. The fight was Nakai’s last pro bout, but the beginning of his pursuit in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Nakai became the first man in Japan to earn a black belt in BJJ, and is the teacher who awarded Aoki his black belt in the “gentle art.”
On June 9th, Rickson’s son Kron will face Aoki in a no gi match that reverberates through history. “It’s not just me and my father, and grandfather, but many other Gracies have fought these opponents. This is what I was born for,” says Kron. “I was born into a family where I have to represent what my family gave me. This is my chance to complete the battle and by fulfilling my dream, I’m keeping my family’s legacy alive.”
The match carries no less significance for Aoki. “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu changed my life,” says Aoki. “I am honored to compete as I am a true admirer of the Gracie family.”
Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational II will be broadcast live via pay-per-view for $19.95 through metamoris.com.
Tickets are available now for purchase through Ticketmaster.
Shinya Aoki vs. Kron Gracie
Braulio Estima vs. Rodolfo Vieira
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu vs. Brendan Schaub
Mackenzie Dern vs. Michelle Nicolini
Andre Galvao vs. Rafael Lovato Jr.
Bill “The Grill” Cooper vs. Ryan Hall
*Fight card subject to change
Doors open at 3 pm PST
Royce Gracie autograph signing from 3-4 pm PST
Broadcast begins at 4 pm PST
For more information go to www.metamoris.com.