WOW! Now I know what Monte Cox was referring to when he said he wished Adrenaline would eventually become another Strikeforce. Scott Coker, Mike Afromowitz and the boys really have something here. Breaking news I know. Having now attended this event from a media perspective as opposed to just a casual fan, I see what professional means. The manner in which we were treated, from the dinner before (of which I am sure Tracy Lee will have pictures of) to the production value and quality, were second to none. Having trained in the past with the likes of Ralph, Renzo, and Charles Gracie, it has allowed me certain accesses in life and it all came to fruition last night. Now, on to the news and notes from Friday night.
Speaking with Cesar Gracie and Chris Sanford, they reiterated the quality training that Gilbert went through leading up to this fight. His camp felt confident in his abilities and in his work which is required prior to any title fight. Gilbert’s camp felt he was well-prepared to bring home a victory.
An interesting note which comes from Cesar Gracie, Gilbert’s trainer, were his comments regarding the relationship shared by Gilbert and Josh Thomson. As Thomson has stated on numerous occasions, the two have trained together in the past and exchanged techniques and notes. Josh holds his friendship with Melendez in very high regard. Cesar countered all this talk by using the Tito/Chuck analogy. The reference inferred the idea that Gilbert felt they had a cordial and respectful relationship; however it did not extend to the lengths that Thomson repeatedly stated. Gracie reiterated this idea post fight while we talked outside the Melendez locker room. “This is why you do not train with someone you could possibly fight!” Stated a disappointed Cesar. I feel I must concur with Gracie. If definitely appeared that Thomson knew what Gilbert was planning even before the attack came. As such, Thompson was first to the punch for most of the fight.
Darren Uyenoyama, was in attendance along with Kurt Osiander, Luke Stewart and many others from team Ralph Gracie. Darren was in good spirits as I congratulated him on an amazing performance in the past Dream event. (You MUST youtube this fight if you haven’t seen it already). He stated that he is looking to compete again for Dream in September in their next GP tourney. He also felt bad for teammate Luke Stewart, who was left without an opponent when Joe Riggs was denied license from the CSAC and Armando Garcia, for taking his prescribed medicine. Stewart had been playing musical opponents for a few weeks leading up to this fight. Shonie Carter injured himself in training for a match with Luke. As such, Strikeforce looked to get a quality opponent with short notice. It looked like they scored, inking Riggs to fight, but that hope was short lived due to Garcia. Is it not time to impeach this guy already? Before too long, he will suspend someone for sneezing and not covering their mouth! Look for a future PRO MMA exclusive, all access report about the guys and team of Ralph Gracie from their San Francisco academy.
All in all, the event was great with 7,488 paid attendance. San Jose really is a melting pot of culture and it showed at HP. Amidst the sea of affliction shirts, sucked-in guts (mine included), and Tapout material, you could look over your right shoulder and see white collar fans fresh from a conference call. Then over the left shoulder would be the homies who had too much to drink yelling, “Welcome to the terror dome” or “quit humping him fucker!” Good times for all. Check back throughout the day for Tru’s thoughts and pictures from the event as well. Thank you & come again.
Last minute instruction from Jake & Nick
Gilbert reflecting on his hard fought battle
– Fast Eddie attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Ca. He is a BJJ instructor in Campbell, Ca, having trained jiu-jitsu since 1996.
– All photos exclusive to Fast Eddie and PROMMA