So with much joy and happiness I returned to class last night. It was a small class because everyone was downtown watching UFN and TUF which I will address in a bit. I did some light rolling with TJ who is super crazy flexible and fun to roll with, we went slow with half hearted submission attempts and it was a good way for me to get warmed up after being gone for a while. After that we did some basics, Arm Triangle from mount and Americana-Kimura-Armbar combo with a new variation on the armbar that I hadn't seen before. Instead of moving to the straight armbar when your opponent straightens out of the american attempt you scoop the arm up and spin to an armbar. A good refresher after being gone and a new nuance to a familiar technique. After that we got to roll, I took at easy at first because I didn't want to totally gas myself, I didn't try to force anything, just looked for subs where they might appear and spent my time defending. Frist roll was against a larger guy with curly hair whose name I can not remember. I ended up defending a bunch of americana attempts and holding him in my guard, I dropped a couple of triangles on him but he was able to posture up and power out each time. At some point he was able to pass my guard a few times, but nobody got subbed. After that I rolled with a wrestler, same kind of deal he would pass my guard, I would reguard, etc... He tried an armbar and I hitch-hikered out of it and passed to side, but he just shoved me off. Again, no subs. Just some fun. Then I rolled with a tall blond kid who I've rolled with before and whose name I also don't remember because I suck with names. He's got way less experience than I do and his long limbs are easy to trap. He's gotten a lot better though and was able to catch me in a guillotine, but not finish it. Then we rolled again and I threw a flying omoplata on him, which was sweet. After that I took a break for a few minutes and then rolled with the wrestler again. This time I wasn't worried about getting tired since it was the last few minutes of class, so I went more or less full out. After some gripfighting I pulled guard with an overhook and started working my omoplata/triangle combo. As he defended the triangle I pulled my foot over to go for the omo, he centered back up on me so I locked my hands on his head and wedged my shin into his throat for the Gogoplata, he managed to rip his arm free so I threw my leg over his head for the Triangle. After some fighting I got his hand out and had it cinched in, he swept himself trying to escape and I tightened the triangle up some more in mount before rolling back and to the side to finish it.
All in all I felt really good coming back. My time working out with my friends on fridays kept me from getting too rusty, and the fact that one of them is a 220lb wrestling standout has helped my game a lot against the bigger, more explosive wrestlers. I'm looking forward to class today as well.
I've also been reading Mastering the Twister and Mastering the Rubber Guard and watching Eddie Bravo vids. My Rubber Guard is a little stronger now than it was and I get the Omo a little more often, and it combos well with my current Omo/Gogo/Triangle combo that I'm favoring. It's no substitute for the solid basics, but it gives me some fun tricks to try.
Now on to UFN. I got home just in time to watch Bullshido poster boy Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon take on Kenny "I'm a raging Douchebag" Florian. In the early moments of the first round Lauzon ended up in Florian's guard and Florian proceded to spike him repeatedly in the back of the head with his elbow. J-Lau was bleeding profusely from the back of the head and got a minute or two to recover, he didn't seem to use much of his recovery time and jumped right back into the fight. He was actually able to take Florian down repeatedly and made several attempts to finish with heel hooks in the first round, unfortunately Florian, despite his douchebaggery, has mad JiuJitsu skillz and was able to fight him off every time. In the second round Florian finally got a takedown and was able to pass Joe's guard, after a brief struggle he got mount and started working Joe over. Joe gave it a good effort but just couldn't shake Florian off of mount and eventually the ref called it. Joe didn't look hurt and probably could have continued to defend until Florian punched himself into exhaustion, but that might have taken 20 minutes. A Good showing by both guys, it elevates Florian to the status of title contender with maybe one more win between him and a title shot. And the great showing against a BJJ blackbelt actually helped J-Lau's rep a little in my opinion, not as good as a win would have, but not bad either.