This weekend (Sept. 24-25, 2011) will be the biennial competition of elite and world class Jiu-Jitsu practitioners hosted by the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC). This year's event will be located in Nottingham, England.
For those unfamiliar with the event, ADCC is a no-gi grappling tournament that is usually recognized as the most prestigious of all no-gi tournaments. This is mostly due to the fact that the competitors are always world class (by invite only) grapplers or participants that worked their way through trials after trials to earn their spot.
The purses for this event reward first place competitors $10,000 with second place receiving $5,000 and third place $3,000. Fourth place also receives $1,000. The first place winner of the absolute division receives $40,000, second place $10,000, third place $5,000 and fourth place $1,000. Awards for the tournaments Best Technician, Best Takedown, Fastest Submission and Best Match are worth $1,400 each.
Grappling legends have seen their careers birthed here, a "who's who" of the Gracie family have often competed here as well as mixed martial arts notables like Diego Sanchez, Jeff Monson, Fabricio Werdum and Tito Ortiz, just to name a few.
Phenoms of the grappling world are also consistently present with the tournament boasting such names as Marcelo Garcia, Braulio Estima, Roger Gracie and the Ribiero brothers. 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu was also born here when Eddie Bravo defeated the legendary Royler Gracie.
In this post, I will share with you the competitors of the under 87.9kg and under 99kg weight classes. Their respective weights in pounds are 193 and 218. There are some very high profile names in these weight classes.
For more, follow me after the jump.
Under 87.9KG division:
Andre Galvao – Brazil
Rousimar Palhares – Brazil
Sergio Morales – Brazil
Romulo Barral – Brazil
Paulo Filho – Brazil
Kyle Griffin – USA
David Avellan – USA
Rafael Lovato – USA
Pablo Popovitch – USA
Marko Helen – Finland
Cameron Rowe- Australia
Jeon Doo Kwang – Korea
Zbigniew Tyszka – Poland
Dan Schon – Mexico
Gunnar Nelson – Iceland
Well maybe we should take a second to absorb the depth of this division. We have a UFC fighter in Palhares, a WEC champ and MMA fighter Paulo Filho, Jiu Jitsu World Champion and MMA fighter Andre Galvao and the newest addition to this weight class former under 76kg champion Popovitch. Not to mention this is the stomping grounds of Braulio Estima.
Estima, 2009 ADCC champion will be in a super fight for this tournament paving way for a new champion. The front runner will be Galvao but not by much as this division is ridiculously stacked. Galvao will be a favorite and a must see grappler as he uses physical dexterity and insane strengthtowards victory. His match in 2009 with Chris Weidman was a showcase of how powerful he was being able to out grapple and defeat the powerful wrestler.
This year however will boast some very big names.
Palhares and Filho will make the jump from MMA to Jiu Jitsu in hopes of finding success in the grappling world. While Palhares is known for his jaw dropping and limb crushing leg locks he is also a very powerful and balanced top grappler. He will look to out muscle opponents the same way Filho will. Filho, while he has shown the glimpse of incredible in MMA, really had his roots started here in Jiu Jitsu. Both of these grapplers may surprise some of the field.
The American Popovitch will move up in weight after winning 2009’s under 76kg division. He wont enjoy the same size advantage as he would there but as one of the most accomplished grapplers in the wrestling department he may be able to throw, trip and takedown the competition.
I am going with a slight upset in this bracket as I will pick Popovitch to become a two-division champion at ADCC. I believe he will be followed by Galvao and the other top named American Rafael Lovato who has shown brilliance in his grappling career. I think of the two MMA fighters Palhares and Filho, that Palhares will make the best splash possibly even placing third or fourth. His size and power will be disruptive.
Under 99kg division:
Xande Ribiero – Brazil
Augusto Ferrari – Brazil
Rodolfo Viera – Brazil
Joao Assis – Brazil
Antonio Peinado – Brazil
Lagarto Rodrigues – Brazil
Joseph Lee Baize – USA
James Poupolo – USA
Dean Lister – USA
James Brasco – USA
Kari Peltola – Finland
Igor Praporshchikov – Australia
Kamil Uminski – Poland
Anaimal Anzai – Japan
This group is probably the least glamorous of the bunch if we are talking about name recognition for fans outside the die hard demographic. But don’t be fooled, there are very dangerous grapplers in the pack. Xande Ribiero returns as the former champion but other then Dean Lister this division has had a complete make over since ADCC’s last outing.
Roger Gracie, Vinny Malgahaes and Robert Drysdale have left this division without a clear notable name to cheer for which means anyone watching will have to pick out a new favorite. Mine is Joao Assis, a Brazilian wrecking machine in Jiu Jitsu. He was the first person in over ten years to submit Jeff Monson and he also beat World Champion Alexandre Ribiero. He is slick with sweeps from half guard and is not afraid to roll into leg locks.
Rodolfo Viera is another guy to watch out for, he is more of a primarily Gi-practitioner but he will be very well versed heading in as one of more technical guys in this weight class. Antonio Peinado is another strong grappler as well coming from the very strong Alliance camp. Many may recognize Dean Lister in the fray of newcomers, one of the more veteran grapplers in all of ADCC, Lister will have his hands full with a handful of young, up and coming lions.
My pick here is Assis, a guy who will win a lesser watched division due to the lack of name recognition. Peinado should also be up there in the finals, tailed by Ribiero who has just as good of chance as any of them to win it all.
With that being said Maniacs, having any underdog picks or favorites to talk about? Tune in for the third installment tomorrow focusing on the over 99kg division as well as the Superfight portion of the tournament.
To preview the ADCC 2011 brackets for under 65kg and 76kg click here.