ADCC 2013 Breakdown – Part 1
With the Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Championships happening this weekend, we thought we would do a quick breakdown of each of the divisions. Despite numerous injuries to top flight competitors, this year’s edition of the ADCC Worlds will definitely be one to remember. The best available grapplers will meet in China and battle it out for amazing cash prizes and bragging rights, as they push to make their mark in grappling history. Today we will preview three of the five men’s divisions, and tomorrow we will take a look at the remaining two, along with the women’s divisions and the two super fights.
Male -65.9 kg
Favourite: Rafael Mendes – the reigning champ is reportedly in peak condition and form, and supposedly has not been submitted throughout the entire Team Atos ADCC training camp.
Right behind him: Agusto Mendes (Tanquinho) – with a victory over Rafa at the Mundials earlier this year, Tanquinho is hoping to have a mental edge over the reigning champ; Rubens Charles (Cobrinha) – the lean and mean Cobrinha is looking to avoid another loss to Rafa in what could be one of his last ADCC runs.
Game changers: Ricardo Viera – the Checkmat co-founder hasn’t competed in over a decade but was an exceptional competitor and is reportedly in top form; Justin Rader – always a threat, the freight train that is ‘Darth Rader’ always pushes the pace and the action; Joao Miyao – although not nearly as experienced as his peers, his combination of patience and flexibility will be interesting to observe in this unique competition.
Young guns on the rise: Marcio Andre – 3 world titles in the past 3 years, this 18 year old received an invite despite only recently being promoted to brown belt after a great showing in the Brazil trials, Darson Hemmings – the ADCC west coast trials winner, Darson is still a relatively unknown player, but his dynamic style will threaten and surely be fun to watch.
Favourite: Kron Gracie – with Marcelo Garcia out of the picture, Ice Cream Kron is the frontrunner to win this division with his explosive, submission oriented style.
Right behind him: Leo Viera (Leozinho) – the living legend is back once again to claim another title; JT Torres (Spiderman) – a dark horse with an exceptional overall game, JT is looking to prove doubters wrong and bring home the title; Lucas Lepri – the Alliance star has an excellent game playing on top or bottom and will be gunning for the top spot.
Game changers: Gary Tonon – incredibly diverse, dynamic and tough to submit, the new black belt has the gas tank and the skills to make some noise; Octavio Souza – the reigning two time Mundial middleweight champ can really mix things up in this division.
Young guns on the rise: AJ Agazarm – the explosive west coast trials winner, AJ recently won both his weight and the absolute division at the nogi American Nationals; DJ Jackson – a work horse if there ever was one, DJ brings constant pressure and aggression, and has won the nogi worlds four years in a row from blue belt through to black.
Male -87.9 kg
Favourite: Pablo Popovitch – with Andre Galvao taking part in his super fight, Popovitch is the favourite, with plenty of previous ADCC glory and a menacing game.
Right behind him: Romulo Barral – the IBJJF hall of famer is looking to erase past disappointments as well as avenge a loss in the finals of the 2012 nogi worlds to Popovitch; Rafael Lovato Jr – the most successful American competitor ever is reportedly firing on all cylinders, and if he can stay away from major injuries in the earlier rounds, will be exceptional this weekend; Lucas Leite – always a threat, the king of the half guard will look to bring ADCC glory to team Checkmat.
Game changers: David Avellan – a bronze medalist in previous ADCC competition, Avellan brings a great blend of wrestling, leg locks, and his patented ‘Kimura Trap’ system to the competition; Claudio Calasans – the Brazilian trials winner, Calasans is moving up a weight class but can really throw off his new division with his excellent judo, wrestling, guillotines and wrist locks.
Young guns on the rise: Keenan Cornelius – the most decorated purple and brown belt of all time, Keenan won the west coast trials and is as flexible, creative, talented and resourceful as they come; Clark Gracie – the ‘most handsome man in jiu jitsu’ is looking to continue carrying the flag for his family, and is hoping to find ADCC success with his excellent guard work after moving up a weight class.
Check back with GrapplersPlanet tomorrow for Part 2 where we look at the remaining divisions in the tournament.
Josh Sequeira is an English major in university, aspiring high school teacher and writer for Grapplers Planet. He is an avid competitor and student of the art of Brazilian jiu jitsu.