In the main event, Sonnen battled Galvao’s guard attacks for more than 10 minutes before the Atos Jiu-Jitsu head was able to take Sonnen’s back in transition from turtle. Once there, it was the beginning of the end. Where Sonnen was frustrating Galvao when in his full guard with chin pressure and good posture, Sonnen had no answers for Galvao’s body triangle and rear naked choke attempts.
The end came when Sonnen and Galvao moved into and off of their hips, which changed the angle of the choke just enough to give Galvao the space he needed after extensive hand fighting to get the submission victory.
"They tested me, they cleared me, they hired me, they fired me, they drug me through the mud, and I’m still the toughest SOB on 2 feet," Sonnen said to Metamoris commentator Kenny Florian after the match.
Sonnen was nearly forced out of the competition just days ago when, on suspension for failed tests related to performance enhancing drug use, the NAC threatened to fine the retired fighter for what they viewed as a breach of the stipulations of his punishment. Sonnen and his lawyers argued the NAC has no jurisdiction over grappling and proceeded with the competition, although it’s unclear what the NAC will do from here.
The unofficial co-main event pitted jiu-jitsu black belt and catch-as-catch-can wrestler Josh Barnett against ADCC absolute and 99kg champion Dean Lister. Barnett, having the clear size and weight advantage, controlled the entire match by placing heavy hips on Lister’s guard. After securing passes, Barnett used long periods of side control to keep Lister flat on his back or threaten with a kimura. It wasn’t until the last 10 seconds of the match where Barnett secured a head and arm scarf hold, which counts as both a crank and choke in the manner Barnett applied it, to force Lister to tap. According to Metamoris, that’s the first time Lister has tapped in competition in 16 years.
The secret match of the night involved grappling and MMA legend Baret Yoshida against Metamoris commentator Jeff Glover. The match involved a series of wild transitions, back takes and reversals with constant leg and ankle attacks, but neither competitor was able to truly threaten the other.
Former UFC light heavyweight Vinny Magalhaes fought to a draw with rising jiu-jitsu star Keenan Cornelius. The Brazilian had his moments early, nearly securing an inverted heel hook, but as the match wore on, Cornelius took over. No longer playing guard, the American instead played a passing game that eventually secured him mount with minutes left in the contest. Cornelius slowly worked to mount and locked up a triangle, but as the match expired, Magalhaes escaped. Cornelius tried to land an armbar in transition, but Magalhaes pulled out of that as well just as the match expired.
Jiu-jitsu legends Saulo Ribeiro and Rodrigo Medeiros also competed to a draw with neither competitor able to get a lot going against the other. Much of the bout was spent grip fighting as both clearly wished to work top control. Ribeiro was able to throw Medeiros with a drop seoi nage. He was also eventually able to find mount, Ribeiro’s patented finishing position, but ‘Comprido’ was not to be out done. He was able to pass or reverse position as well, although neither came close to any real submission attempts.
In the opening match of the contest, Garry Tonon submitted Kit Dale within only a few minutes. Tonon began with his unorthodox transitions from bottom, but kept pursuing different submissions from all angles. From a scramble, Tonon got to his feet where he locked up a high elbow guillotine that forced Dale to roll to his back. Tonon, however, followed him and continued to apply pressure, which forced the tap.