The battle of the 95kg displayed Meregali’s ridiculous guard and Rocha’s patient pressure. In the end, pressure won out.
The first minute definitely showed the stylistic differences between Meregali and Rocha. Meregali posted against Rocha’s waist to prevent the take down for the first minute, and Rocha persistently chased for a foot sweep. At the one minute mark, Meregali immediately jumped closed guard.
The first round allowed Meregali to display a very active open guard as Rocha worked to maintain control on top, but was unable to pass.
The second round started with Rocha securing a well timed drop seoi nage and the two points. Rocha’s armbar attempt allowed Meregali to come to the top for a moment awarding him two points. The two points really seemed like they were given too soon because Meregali was still caught in a submission attempt, but Rocha turned it back over quickly and regained the two point advantage.
Midway through the second round, Meregali was awarded two additional points for an out of bounds submission escape by Rocha. The rest of the second round saw more guard battles without any real advances.
Rocha displayed great patience, and it payed off in the third round with a two point take down. Once he secured it to half guard, Meregali maintained his composure under the immense physical and mental pressure of Rocha. He regained closed guard and went to work to recoup the points. His weapon of choice was the lasso guard for a majority of the third round, but he was unsuccessful in pulling off a sweep or submission.