Friday, August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday: Rafa Mendes vs Justin Rader (Pan 2012)


This is a great match that exemplifies Rafa Mendes when he is at his best.  It's not often that you see Justin Rader get dominated but Rafa simply has his number.  Some of the techniques you see on the Mendes Bros. training site are executed in this match.

Commentary:  (Skip to the bottom for the video)
The match starts with both competitors working from their preferred positions.  Rafa pulls open guard and Rader looks to establish his own grips and pass.  Rafa transitions quickly to De La Riva guard, controls the hooked pant sleeve with a solid grip and stands up into a single leg passing immediately a leg drag position, then into side mount.  This worked well for Rafa for a couple reasons:  1. Rader's posture was not favorable & 2. Rader's trapped leg completely extended and disturbed his base.

Rafa wastes little time and appears to work Rader's lapel free from the side mount, feeds it under his head and attempts to set up a baseball bat choke.  Rader does an excellent job of staying mobile underneath and forces Rafa to let go.  

When the action restarts Rafa moves to knee on belly, then switches sides (as seen on his training site).  He controls the far arm with a figure four and as Rader defends awkwardly by standing up. Rafa transitions brilliantly into a back mount dragging Rader to the ground.  Still threatening with the arm control he slides his leg over and attacks the armbar.  In typical fashion Rader manages to defend very well and escape from deep waters like few others can do.

Action restarts in the center at 2:11; Rafa grabs the same side lapel and shoots a well-timed triangle. The timing Rafa uses to lure him in and bump Rader's elbow inward enough to lock in the triangle is worth noting here.  Very smooth technique.  Rader crouches down trying to survive the choke but it's in too deep.  Rafa forces the tap at the 3:00 mark.  It's not often you see Rader get taken apart like this and simply a HL reel match for Mendes.