Fight Night 137 in Sao Paulo, Brazil was a huge card and also a huge success. The card featured as many as 14 fights, being the second most fight populated card in the history after UFC 2 which had 15 fights.
One of those fights in the under card featured an interesting matchup as veteran Ben ‘Killa B’ Saunders took on welterweight division staple Sergio ‘The Panther’ Moraes. Both being such decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practioners, the fight was expected to hit the mat eventually however the way it ended was a surprise.
Moraes had secured top position over Saunders and slowly locked in an arm triangle choke. Saunders had no option but to tap out and Moraes became the first fighter in the history of the sport to submit Saunders in 14 years of his career. What makes this even more impressive is Saunders is known to have the best guard in MMA and a small mistake could have landed Moraes in Saunders’ guard from where he could have used submissions like armbar.
Everybody including Saunders seemed impressed as after the fight he went backstage to Moraes to learn what technique he used to submit him. (via Instagram):
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As a real martial artist and a student of the game, I respect every opponent before and after the fight no matter the outcome. I had a ton of respect for @serginhoalliance going into this fight and was honored to battle him in his home of Brazil. After the fight we got to talk and exchange some techniques. This is what this sport is all about in my opinion. The best martial artists from around the world testing themselves against eachother. Styles VS Style. It is a beautiful thing. It truly feels like I am living out a script from a movie or a video game. Loving everything about my lifelong journey as a true #Samurai 👊😊 @ufc #UFC #Repost @yyzlasmia ・・・ This is a beautiful example of why I love this sport! This video was shot backstage moments ago immediately following the UFC Sao Paulo fight between Sergio Moraes and Ben Saunders. Jiu Jitsu World Champion Sergio represents my friends at Evolucao Thai who are a family in every sense of the word. Ben represents Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kun Do, Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, and Gracie Jiu Jitsu. I haven’t met Sergio yet but I really like Ben having met him years ago while covering a Bellator MMA fight of his. Despite fighting each other inside the Octagon and in front of the whole world moments ago Sergio and Ben are seen here going over various positions that occurred in their fight with an emphasis on teaching and learning from each other. Before MMA was mainstream I would frequently mention moments like this when explaining to non MMA fans why I love this sport so much and even though it’s a “fight”, I believe it’s the purest form of competition there is. I think of it as human chess. Respect, Discipline and Honor are huge parts of Martial Arts and MMA (mixed martial arts) and that’s exactly what you see here❣️🙌🏼👏🏻Congratulations / Parabens guys @serginhoalliance @bensaundersmma ! Oss!! #respect #oss #mma #ufc #humanchess #honor #gjj #bjj #jeetkundo #brucelee #heliogracie #carlosgracie #ufcsaopaulo #bellatormma #Repost @andredida with @get_repost ・・・ Olha que bacana atitude do oponente Serginho veio perguntar como ele matou o jogo dele 🧠 @serginhoalliance sabe muito!!!
The gesture displayed true spirit of an athlete, let alone a mixed martial artist to learn and rectify mistakes even after 14 years of practicing it. Moraes being a Brazilian, has BJJ in his roots however interestingly, American Saunders is an encyclopedia of BJJ.
Saunders is a black belt in BJJ under cofounder of American Top Team, Ricardo Liborio, who himself is 6th Degree Black Belt. Saunders also learned textbook BJJ from the one and only Gracie Barra training ground. And to take it a step higher, he now trains under highly removed Eddie Bravo at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu which is a a little modified type of Jiu-Jitsu.