Won one, lost two.
As usual, I’m pleased with the one I won! He got off to a fast start, getting into side control after my guard pull and taking an early lead. But I stayed calm and managed to regain guard, then pull off a sweep. Quite pleased with my knee slice from there. I’ve been working on keeping my weight over the leg rather than coming too far forward, which worked well. At that point I think he’d just gassed out and I didn’t have too much trouble getting to mount and then staying on top for most of the match. Couldn’t quite get the submission though. I had a cross collar choke which I think was close, but I should have tried to get my grips just a fraction deeper before starting to apply it. Also went for a arm bar, which let him come up on top (Roger clearly has a point about the advantages of the cross choke from mount over the arm bar). But still a comfortable points win in the end.
Second was my third fight against Joel who would be a good candidate for a nemesis if he wasn’t such a nice guy. Went pretty much the same way as our previous encounters. I pull guard, he knee sliced (despite my best efforts to turn in and stop him), then he hunted for a submission. In the end he finished me with an arm bar. The fact of the matter is Joel is technically better than me at the moment. I’m determined to catch him though.
Third, he pulled, so I started on top for a change. But he was good at breaking posture / base and I muddled the guard pass, letting him sweep me. I think I do have an issue around establishing the initial passing position. In competition I often hack this, by starting my guard pass off a sweep. This often means my opponent is already out of position or scrambling, letting me set up the pass more easily. I need to get better at doing this when I start on top. Once he’d swept, he got into mount and we basically stalled out. I couldn’t escape and, although he was going for subs, he (quite rightly given the circs) wasn’t taking many risks.
The blue belt grind continues…. Onwards!