With Polaris taking place yesterday, and with the slew of Metamoris events that have taken place, it’s obvious that Jiu-Jitsu is beginning to be geared more towards the spectator.
So who puts on the better show? We decided to break it down into a few categories and see where they stand.
At first glance, this might not seem like a big deal, but the camera work can make or break any live sports production. Were it not for the behind the scenes work of directors and camera operators, all live sports would be dull to watch on a screen.
Metamoris: Camera work isn’t too bad. Most cameras are stationed around the bottom of the raised platform. The overhead camera gives us some nice shots as well, making the action easy to see.
My complaint is that we end up getting multiple shots like this one below which make it hard to tell what is going on at any given moment. We may get the gist of what is happening, but we are missing the details.
Polaris: Cameras were shifting constantly during the Polaris fights. This was a good thing. Constant switching of angles actually helps keep audience interest. A camera that stays in one place too long loses the audience. Polaris switched, and switched often.
Even during slower matches (like Kit Dale vs Victor Silverio) I never felt bored because we were treated to close up shots like the one below to let us know exactly what was going on. We got to see the actual grip fighting up close.
I think Polaris did a better job overall of keeping audience interest through camera work than Metamoris has. The close ups of the grip fighting, and never giving us a partial shot of the action, put Polaris ahead.
Who shows up to these? Who competes? Do we know who they are?
Metamoris: They do a fantastic job of bringing in big names in the BJJ competition circles. Not only that, but they bring us old rivalries as well (Bravo vs Gracie, Sakuraba vs Gracie). It’s enough to keep both the old school and the new school practitioners excited to see the event (even if the fights themselves fizzle out).
Polaris: We get the big names in competition; the well-known and respected athletes from all over the world.
WINNER: Metamoris. Really what pulls them ahead is the old, but still exciting rivalries. We all watched the last one to see Renzo and Sakuraba go at it.
Does it entertain? Is it valuable?
Metamoris: This was a major struggle for Metamoris in their first few outings. Ed O’Neill was less than knowledgeable in his commentary, while Rener couldn’t contain his bias.
That said, Kenny Florian and Jeff Glover make a pretty good team of knowledgeable and entertaining commentators. Adding Kit Dale to the mix on the last event made it even better. Some people complained about too much humor, but let’s face it, aside from Tonon’s and Cornelius’s matches, it was the most entertaining thing to happen.
Polaris: Nic Gregoriades, Nick Osipczak, and Josh Palmer made for excellent commentary. They were quiet. Almost too quiet, to the point of sounding like we were watching golf. However, they were very knowledgeable, and offered many great insights into what was going on (based on the great camera work).
I can’t really pick a winner for certain on this. Both have great commentators that offer value to the production.
Both productions offer wonderful matches for the fans. Based solely on what is written above, it seems like either one is a good option. If you asked me which I prefer personally, I’m actually going to lean towards Polaris. I honestly just believe that their camera work is that far above the work of Metamoris. It’s easy to watch, and never feels boring.
That said, the star power of Metamoris will likely keep me coming back for their future events anyways.