Jiu-jitsu legend and former vale tudo fighter Rickson Gracie has created an event that promises to astonish the fans.
‘Mestre do Combate’ debuts on November 22nd in Rio de Janeiro and has a format designed to leave viewers with no doubts about who has won the fights. Among the innovations is a weigh-in rule that has fighters hitting the scales on the day of the show, to eliminate big weight cuts.
In addition, the bell will not sound at the end of the round if it looks like a fighter is nearly about to be knocked out or submitted; the action will be allowed to run its course. Judges have also been eliminated - the winner will have to get the victory by KO/TKO or submission over two rounds, being the first of ten minutes duration and the second of five.
The rule is designed to give preference to martial arts ability rather than athletic ability. If there is no submission or stoppage, three votes will decide the winner - one vote from Rickson, other from the referee and the third of the public.
“We want to create a new paradigm and recover values from the fight that were lost over time. Today, MMA fighting means blood and money. We will honour the warrior spirit and the fighting art,” says Rickson.
Mestre do Combate also offers individual and team competitions. Inside the ring, the fighters go one-on-one but each of them will be part of a team that will represent a Brazilian city. One coach and five athletes (at heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight and lightweight) form the teams.
“Brazil generates wizards as in the ring the same as in soccer, and MMA is today the number two sport on pay-per-view. The proposal of Mestre do Combate is to provide a demand from fans and free TV. Besides that, we offer noble and exclusive events for the fans of all ages in night club for up to four thousand peopole”, says Carlos H. Moreira, president of the company that controls the event.
The winning team will be the one that gets three victories from the five match-ups. The winner will go through to the next event and the bonuses are going to go up as the fighters win their matches. Along the 2012/2013 season, R$ 700 mil (approximately $350,000) will be distributed in purses. The nine-event calendar is already scheduled and Fighters Only will reveal them as soon as the organisation inform the local media.