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Who is Keenan Cornelius?

In this week's edition of Men Who Say Stupid Things, I give you Ralek Gracie, president of Metamoris.

When asked whether the popular PPV grappling tournament was planning on signing more females, he replied with this brilliant gem: "It's absolutely not a joke who ends up on the card. With every match, there has to be a unique story and there has to be an element that will bring out people from all walks of life in a lot of ways. Even though we know the core audience and what they're interested in, we have to constantly be on the boundaries. We have to be constantly pushing the edge of what our viewership is, otherwise we won't survive. All we're doing is reinvesting all of our money into these athletes. We're spinning a wheel. We have to keep the wheel moving. I just don't think there's women who are really going to bring it on that level."

He then went on to state: ""We had that one match (speaking about Mackensie Dern and Michell Nicolini in Metamoris 2) and it was cool, but that was more of, 'That's cool and that was interesting and I want to see that again if the girls are cute.' "

Two of the best female grapplers in the world compete, exhibit superior jiu-jitsu skills, and you would do it again "If the girls are cute"?

I get it. Metamoris is a business. They are about making money. They want fights that people will pay to see. They want big name UFC guys on their card so they can get more MMA fans to watch. Not the MMA fans who know about martial arts, but the ones in the back of the bar talking about their knockout skills and how they would like to "mount" Meisha Tate. They want those guys. So yeah you get Chael Sonnen on your card cause everyone knows his name. And then, since you are fully aware of your actual paying audience, you go ahead and sign up Keenan Cornelius.

Who the hell is Keenan Cornelius?

Go ahead, go to the sports bar down the block on Saturday night, ask around, and then report back to me the number of blank stares you get. UFC fans have no idea who he is, anymore than they know who the Miyao brothers are or who Gabi Garcia is, or how many Gracie brothers it takes to change a lightbulb. Do you know who has heard of Keenan Cornelius? The same people who actually buy Metamoris. Grapplers. 
Who IS this handsome man???
Most of the people who pay to watch your product are the same ones who pay for memberships to BJJ gyms and dojos all across the world. They know all about the silly worm guard, they know what a Berimbolo is, and they may even know where Mr. Cornelius used to train and why he left.  They also know who Michelle Nicolini is and would be just as happy to watch her attempt to choke someone out as some guy. Because good jiu-jitsu is good jiu-jitsu.

Relek Gracie may be trying to gain new fans for his PPV events, but he is also fully aware of who the current ones are. Hence, Keenan Cornelius. So why not have a female black belt match? It certainly won't lose you fans and may even gain you a few more ladies who train.

We are not afterthoughts. We are not cute little dolls who occasionally break a sweat but mostly just look sexy in gi pants and a suggestively open top. We are athletes who put in hours on the mats working our escapes and sweeps and submissions. We tape up our fingers and our toes, we sweat, we bleed, we cry and yes, we even let our hair get all messy and WE DON'T CARE BECAUSE WE ARE GRAPPLERS!

There are little girls out there right now tying on their belts for jiu-jitsu class. They train just like the boys and they deserve some real role models to watch. 

Of course, we can always just spend our money elsewhere. 


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