On Nov. 19 Metamoris released ten names in the running to be the fill-in for an injured Kevin Casey on the Metamoris 5 card on Nov. 22 opposite Vinny Magalhaes.
The ADCC champion Magalhaes needed a replacement for his match and the organizers of Metamoris made an open invitation to not only offer the chance to go against Magalhaes but also $10,000 if the replacement submits him in the submission-only match.
The organization narrowed the contenders down to a final ten with the votes determined by Facebook likes, shares and comments. Even though the final amount of votes went to Jeremy Arel, Matheus Diniz was chosen to be the replacement with James Puopolo also in close running.
Ralek Gracie released this statement as the reason for choosing Matheus over Jeremy:
“This turned out to be a very tough decision and the public participation was crucial in helping us narrow down the top applicants, however, the number of “likes” was never intended to be the only factor in our final decision. There was a lot to consider but the difference for us was Diniz’s level of recent competition activity and being that his instructor is Marcelo Garcia (who he trains with daily) that’s a big endorsement for his ability to perform under pressure against Vinny. If Jeremy had been training with his instructor (Gordo) every day in Brazil for the last 6 months we probably would have chosen him. Vinny tapped Galvao, Buchecha and came very “close” to catching Keenan at M4 with his infamous heelhooks. Diniz has his work cut out for him as the underdog in this match and it’s going to be very exciting to see what happens.”
Matheus is currently a brown belt under Marcelo Garcia in New York City. He won the brown belt no-gi world title and the pan no-gi title twice in the last two years. Definitely an underdog in this match-up, he hopes to both surprise and represent:
“I know the odds are against me because I was a last-minute replacement and wasn’t given as much time to prepare as my opponent but I am always training; this is my lifestyle. So things wouldn’t have changed if I got the opportunity earlier or three months ago. I respect Vinny Magalhaes as he’s been a top black belt since I started training. But that is why I’m more excited to have this chance. I hope to make it a big show and surprise the Jiu-Jitsu community. I also want to show the proof of Marcelo’s mentoring.”
You can watch the live stream at www.metamoris.com and the fights will begin at 2 p.m. PST.