Invited to take part in ADCC 2011 two weeks ago, Kyle Griffin, 25, may be one of the last people to beat Rômulo Barral. At least for some time.
From a wrestling background, Kyle is the brother of MMA fighter Tyson Griffin and has two MMA fights under his belt. A big-time Jiu-Jits fan training with Robert Drysdale, he beat Rômulo by 2 to 0 before succumbing to a triangle by Rafael Lovato in the next match. “He grabbed my wrist and I didn’t worry about it. I messed up, when I realized what was happening it was already in tight,” said the friendly fighter, who breaks down his match with Barral. “He didn’t seem to be fully trained; I knew I was going to face a dangerous guard player but his moves didn’t come with the strength and pressure I’d expected. I’m not sure, maybe he got tired.
Barral, so highly regarded that GRACIEMAG pointed him out as one of the ten winningest competitors in Worlds history, lost by 2 to 0 this Saturday on his very first match in Nottingham. The loss came by way of a takedown, and Rômulo himself understands that something else has faded in him in recent times.
“Truth is, I’ve been competing to see if I get my desire back. But today I woke up wanting to just sit in my sofa at home. I know what I need to do to win in this sport, but ever since the 2010 Worlds I haven’t been able to be that champion who submitted everybody,” said the Brazilian California transplant, who took some advice from his close friends, which he may or may not follow: stop competing for a year.
Maybe Barral will take a break. But if he gets called up for the absolute this Sunday, he’ll have a second chance… for either a melancholic goodbye or an historic farewell.