You would think that by 2003, there wouldn’t be any lost matches, that is, matches that are not taped, especially matches with big names in known tournaments. With the recent loss by Roger Gracie in Strikeforce and the news that Jon Olav Einemo would be returning to the UFC (on the UFC on FOX 2 undercard) I was reminded of one such match. It was May of 2003, and the ADCC was running the 4th Submission Wrestling World Championships outside of Abu Dhabi for the first time, in Brazil.
This was the first non BJJ appearance on a world level for Roger, who was already being christened the second coming. Einemo had taken out legendary BJJ black belt Rigan Machado in an earlier ADCC, and came very focused to the 2003 tournament.
Let’s just say that managing the logistics of this gigantic event was stressful to the crew! The Brazilian promoter, a guy with a kickboxing background named Paulo Zorello had set up a crew to tape the event for television. Unfortunately the production set up only to tape the center mat, leaving mats one and three with no cameras.
Einemo versus Gracie was not the only match lost, the truth is the 2003 ADCC World Championships videos will be incomplete as several dozen matches were lost. But the Roger Gracie versus Jon Olav Einemo match was certainly one of the most memorable matches for anyone who saw it live.
Einemo was very dominant in this fight, which fell in the semi finals of a 16 man tournament. He took Gracie’s back, and at one point in the match Gracie was standing with Einemo on his back and the legs in a triangle position. From start to finish, Einemo had his way with Gracie, and he easily won the match on points.
In the finals, he would again take the back of a hapless opponent, and he finished that one with a choke to win the 2003 under 99 KG class World Championship.
Einemo is an eclectic individual who has competed little since that tournament. He has under 10 MMA fights, I believe a 6-2 record. A lot of people may ask why he is in UFC with a limited resume. His grappling, when he is on, is certainly among the best in the world. It is a shame that perhaps his best moment in grappling is lost to history.
Hopefully a focused Jon Olav Einemo will come into this upcoming UFC match with his A game!