September 23, 2009

ADCC A Look at the Fighters

Kid Peligro over at has broken down each weight category of the upcoming Abu Dhabi Championships. I am not sure how many of my readers check out his posts so I wanted to compile what he has written so far in this post. This year promises to be one of the most competitive tournaments ever!

JABADCC 2009 takes place next weekend in Barcelona, Spain. The event has the top submission fighters in the World competing in 5 weight categories for men with 16 fighters each and 2 women weight categories with 8 fighters each plus absolute.

U77 - U88 Divisions:
Under 77KG Division is perhaps the easiest/harder to handicap, with prohibitive favorite Marcelo Garcia in the division. Having won the last 3 ADCC titles Garcia is a favorite to repeat and would be considered an upset not to, however he has not competed much in the last two years (won the Worlds in '09) so competition rust may give others a chance.

Other contenders are Murilo Santana (winner of Brazil Trials), Pablo Popovich, Kron and Gregor Gracie and darkhorse in my view is Ben Askren. Santana's victory of the Brazil trials automatically puts him as a challenger, experience in ADCC matches is a big deal and he has that. Pablo Popovich always seem to get to the finals and has succumbed to Garcia each time. If he doesn't have anything new to show you'd expect the same but his game is tight and he can surprise a rusty Marcelo. Kron and Gregor Gracie are new blood with little or no ADCC/No Gi experience so it remains to be seen what they do but their BJJ career and last name always carry interest. Ben Askren is a top wrestler that can make life difficult for many, if he understand the rules and plays the game right he will win fights and can be the competition's dark horse

1. Marcelo Garcia. Brazil
2. K-taro Nakamura. Japan
3. Murilo Santana. Brazil
4. Marcelo Azevedo. Italy
5. Toni Linden. Finland
6. Don Ortega. USA
7. Rodney Ellis. Australia
8. Enrico Cocco. USA
9. Pablo Popovich. USA
10. Kron Gracie. Brazil
11. Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Japan
12. Mike Fowler. USA
13. Ben Askren. USA
14. Gregor Gracie. Brazil
15. Milton Viera. Brazil
16. Leo Santos. Brazil

The Under 88KG division is one of the most stacked divisions int he event. Names like Andre Galvao, Braulio Estima, Tarsys Humphries, Rafael Lovato Jr, David Avellan alone are enough to make best of the best. If Gavao shows up with the same intensity, preparation and technique that he did in the Brazil tirals he is a favorite. Braulio has been a top fighter for some time and his 2nd place to Xande in a higher weight division in '07 dictates he is a force to be recogned with. Thees two are my choices to make the finals. Tarsys Humphries had an impressive '07 ADCC campaign and has been on a tear lately. Depending on the bracket (he doesn't match up well against Galvao) he has a great chance to be in the finals. Lovato Jr is one of the top American fighters and should contend, in my view his only fault is that he likes to fight from the bottom and counter and that doesn't play well in ADCC's rules. David Avellan is a tough competitor with ADCC experience, a good stand up game and solid ground, he could upset many and be int he podium

1. André Galvão. Brazil
2. Yuji Arai. Japan
3. Gunnar Nelson. Iceland
4. Tarsis Humphreys. Brazil
5. Trond Saksenvik. Norway
6. Jorge Santiago. Brazil
7. Igor Praporshchikov. Australia
8. Chris Weidman. USA
9. David Avellan. USA
10. Rafael Lovato. USA
11. Braulio Estima. Brazil
12. Daniel Tabera. Spain
13. Kassim Annan. France
14. James Brasco. USA
15. Bruno Bastos. Brazil
16. Tom Lawlor. USA

Under 65kg division:
This week we'll be taking a look at each and handicap possible winners, first the Under 65KG men:

This is an unofficial list of the -65KG:


1. Rani Yahya. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. Kouhei Yasumi. Japan (Asian Trials winner)

3. Rafael Mendes. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

4. Nicolas Renier. France (European Trials winner)

5. Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas. Finland (European Champion)

6. Ryan Hall. USA (North American West coast Trials winner)

7. David Marinakis. Australia (Pacific Trials winner)

8. Jayson Patino. USA (North American East coast Trials winner)

9. Leo Vieira

10. Baret Yoshida

11. Jeff Glover

12. Rubens Charles Maciel

13. Hiroshi Nakamura

14. Justin Rader

15. Jeff Curran

16. Joel Tudor

This is a tough division indeed with former champion Leo Vieira coming back hungry and current champion Rani Yahia returning to defend his title. Other top contenders should be Rubens "Cobrinha", Ryan Hall and Rafael Mendes. Dark horses Joel Tudor and Jeff Curran.


Leo Vieira: Handicapping Leo Vieira is always difficult, talent wise he is one of the best if not the best in the category still but distractions of 2 new kids and the efforts of developing his new team CheckMat may get in the way of his focus and training. If he shows up in top shape he is the favorite in my view

Rani Yahia: Rany has been in the finals the last 2 ADCC events splitting the title with Leo Vieira. Rani is a fierce competitor and a great technician. His setback with the Gi in the American Nationals served to awaken the fire inside of him even more (as if he needed) look for him to be at the finals again

Rubens "Cobrinha" has dominated his division the last few years and should be one of the favorites, the only questions is how well his game adapts to the ADCC rules and how he will fare if he meets with Rafael Mendes along the way. Cobrinha is undoubtedly one of the best in the world and if he performs up to par he can take the title.

Rafael Mendes won the ADCC trials Brazil and that is no small feat. Mendes is a 50/50 guard specialist and more. His game is very tight and difficult to figure out and with ADCC expanded use of knee and foot-locks his guard and grape-vining legs will cause trouble to many

Ryan Hall is a submission specialist. His guard and triangles are lethal and he is definitly a dark horse in my eyes. His only drawback in my eyes is his size as he is small for the division and ADCC demands a lot of power in every division

Jeff Curran is an MMA star returning to his roots, his game is very good and effective to be in the top four. One would have to question is the effects of training and focusing in MMA will have in his timing

Joel Tudor is the dark horse of the field. Having just submitted current champion Rani with a triangle Joel will surprise many with other aspects of his game. A good draw will greatly help his prospects of reaching top four.

More to come.....

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