When Kevin Casey pulled out of his scheduled Metamoris 5 bout with Vinny Magalhaes just days before the pay-per-view event the organization offered a $10,000 prize to any competitor who could beat the Brazilian. The search for a worthy opponent was on.
Nominations were sent in and eventually votes would be determine who was chosen out of the final 10 via Facebook likes, shares and comments.
Ralek Gracie released this statement as the reason for choosing Matheus over Jeremy:
“This turned out to be a very tough decision and the public participation was crucial in helping us narrow down the top applicants, however, the number of “likes” was never intended to be the only factor in our final decision. There was a lot to consider but the difference for us was Diniz’s level of recent competition activity and being that his instructor is Marcelo Garcia (who he trains with daily) that’s a big endorsement for his ability to perform under pressure against Vinny. If Jeremy had been training with his instructor (Gordo) every day in Brazil for the last 6 months we probably would have chosen him. Vinny tapped Galvao, Buchecha and came very “close” to catching Keenan at M4 with his infamous heelhooks. Diniz has his work cut out for him as the underdog in this match and it’s going to be very exciting to see what happens.”
Matheus is currently a brown belt under Marcelo Garcia in New York City. He won the brown belt no-gi world title and the pan no-gi title twice in the last two years. Definitely an underdog in this match-up, he hopes to both surprise and represent:
“I know the odds are against me because I was a last-minute replacement and wasn’t given as much time to prepare as my opponent but I am always training; this is my lifestyle. So things wouldn’t have changed if I got the opportunity earlier or three months ago. I respect Vinny Magalhaes as he’s been a top black belt since I started training. But that is why I’m more excited to have this chance. I hope to make it a big show and surprise the Jiu-Jitsu community. I also want to show the proof of Marcelo’s mentoring.”
So who is Matheus Diniz?
Widely regarded as a top prospect in the sport of jiu jitsu, Diniz most recently won the gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 2014 International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation No-Gi World Championships.
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