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Xande Ribeiro has already beaten two ADCC absolute champions… but at weight. In 2003, he scored 8 to 0 over Dean Lister. Four years later, he overcame Robert Drysdale with a takedown.
In the open weight category, though, he didn’t have the same luck the two times he participated. In 2005 he took fourth after losing to Roger in the semifinal and to Marcelo Garcia in the bronze-medal dispute and, two years later, in the final phase, after losing to a surprising David Avellan.

Xande Ribeiro has already beaten two ADCC absolute champions… but at weight. In 2003, he scored 8 to 0 over Dean Lister. Four years later, he overcame Robert Drysdale with a takedown.

In the open weight category, though, he didn’t have the same luck the two times he participated. In 2005 he took fourth after losing to Roger in the semifinal and to Marcelo Garcia in the bronze-medal dispute and, two years later, in the final phase, after losing to a surprising David Avellan.

Foto: Luca Atalla

Photo: Luca Atalla

Under 99kg champion in 2007, after an electrifying final with Braulio “Carcara” Estima, Xande returns to the stage of the ADCC with two clear objectives: to take his second weight group title and the much-coveted absolute title, the only one missing from the fighter’s CV.

For such lofty achievements, Xande is training hard in San Diego with brother Saulo (who will compete too) and the whole team at University of Jiu-Jitsu. Even after having gone so long without competing in a grappling tournament (the last was the 2008 Worlds), Xande guarantees he is confident and at full steam.

Desbancando Drysdale em 2007. Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Overcoming Drysdale in 2007. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

During a brief pause in training, the two-time absolute champion of Jiu-Jitsu spoke to the GRACIEMAG at ADCC 2009 Blog.

Blog: Tell us a bit about your training for the ADCC.
Alexandre Ribeiro: Truth is that training of the ADCC goes hand in hand with MMA training [Xande had two MMA fights, winning both by TKO], but as I didn’t fight in Japan due to a knee injury, I focused entirely on grappling. I did strength work with Steve Maxwell and later worked on polishing up my game, agility and stretching with Natural Gymnastics teacher Alvaro Romano [GRACIEMAG columnist].

Blog: what has changed in relation to training for a Jiu-Jitsu championship?
Xande: The big difference in relation to Jiu-Jitsu is that the ADCC is a very physical tournament. To dispute it, one needs to train a lot of wrestling. Although the ADCC gives a greater chance of winning to wrestlers and “stallers” who like to run from the action, at the end of the day the ones with sharper Jiu-Jitsu wear themselves out less. Even more so when you think of how the champion has to fight for a minimum of 50 minutes, not including overtimes. That’s why one needs to have a lot of mental fortitude and stamina.

Final eletrizante com Bráulio. Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Riveting final with Braulio. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Are you totally recovered from the injured knee? Could your time in recovery, without being able to train, hamper your stamina in Barcelona?
Xande: I’m recovered from the injury and ready to fight for the title. I’ve got great stamina, if just because when I was injured I kept swimming and doing what I could. I might end up feeling a little lack of rhythm, since I haven’t competed since the 2008 Worlds. As for wind, don’t worry, I’ll be 100%.

Blog: Looking at your adversaries under 99kg, who do you imagine will give you the hardest time in getting your second?
Xande: All the opponents are difficult. I’ve seen few of them fight, but looking at who’s signed up I can point out Pe de Pano and Dean Lister. I saw some of Glover Teixeira’s matches, he crafty. There’s also Gerard Rinardi, who they told me is a really good wrestler and grappler. Vinicius “Pezao” is another force, as is Renato “Babalu”, who has really wicked wrestling. I’ve seen flaws and qualities in each of them and I’m prepared to play well both standing and on the ground.

Foto: Luca Atalla

Photo: Luca Atalla

Blog: The ADCC absolute title is the only one you’re missing. How are you dealing with the anxiousness?
Xande: I’m really anxious, but not in a negative way. The anxiousness makes me even more determined. I can’t think of the absolute, when in my weight division there are so many tough guys. To win the absolute, I have to do well in my category and not wear myself out, which is nearly impossible. I can tell you I’m prepared for 100 minutes of war over the weekend. The weekend will be mine and I’ll reach my objective.

Blog: From your previous performances in the ADCC, which would you consider your greatest moment?
Xande: I can say I really liked most of my performances. I was champion in 2007 and beat the 2003 and 2007 absolute champions.

Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Which was your most painful mistake?
Xande: As incredible as it may seem, the most painful moment was not the submission I suffered to Roger in 2005, but the triangle I let escape. But it’s alright, mistakes are there to make us evolve. I hope not to make the same mistake this year.

Blog: Who is the greatest ADCC athlete to date?
Xande: To me, Saulo [Ribeiro] is at the top. He competed in 6 ADCCs and is signed up for a seventh. Of these, he won two, fought in three different categories and will go into a fourth in 2009. In 1999 he was in a final in the gi that lasted 45 minutes against Jeff Monson, as well as other battles. He fought 30 minutes against David Terrel, 20 with Ronaldo Jacare and so on. But we can also stick Royler Gracie and Marcelo Garcia on the list too. And, of course, the blanket Roger Gracie.

Xande vs Napao – ADCC 2005

What about you, do you feel Xande will win the under 99kg and the absolute in Barcelona? Leave your comment.

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Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz’s story in the ADCC can be divided into trips to heaven and those to hell. Ever since his first time in the event in 2001, the two-time absolute world champion of Jiu-Jitsu (2002, 2003) alternated between good and bad moments.
He was over-99kg champion in 2003, in Brazil, without a single point scored against him (as he promised at the press conference beforehand). He later fought with the cheering section that sided with Fabricio Werdum over a controversial point awarded by the arbiter. “I’m the best in the world and that’s that,” he yelled into the stands.

Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz’s story in the ADCC can be divided into trips to heaven and those to hell. Ever since his first time in the event in 2001, the two-time absolute world champion of Jiu-Jitsu (2002, 2003) alternated between good and bad moments.

He was over-99kg champion in 2003, in Brazil, without a single point scored against him (as he promised at the press conference beforehand). He later fought with the cheering section that sided with Fabricio Werdum over a controversial point awarded by the arbiter. “I’m the best in the world and that’s that,” he yelled into the stands.

Céu: nas costas de Marcelinho em 2003. Foto: Gustavo Aragão

Céu: nas costas de Marcelinho em 2003. Foto: Gustavo Aragão

His statement came back to bite him soon thereafter when, in the absolute semifinal, Pe lost in the final seconds to Dean Lister. After that, he didn’t even make it onto the winners’ stand after losing to the very Werdum.

Two years later, in Abu Dhabi, Pe de Pano started off in style. In the third-place match, he submitted Ricco Rodriguez with a triangle to be remembered.

Besides the slick move, it was in this match that Pe participated in one of the most memorable dialogues in the history of the event. Halfway through the 15-minute extra time in the match, Cruz looked to his corner and asked Renzo Gracie: “If I piddle around here, will I win?” “You’ll win!” replied the other nut.

Inferno: perdendo o bronze para Werdum, em 2003. Foto: Gustavo Aragão

Inferno: perdendo o bronze para Werdum, em 2003. Foto: Gustavo Aragão

In 2005 and 2007, Pe de Pano recognizes he was much to blame. For that very reason his determination to be champion in 2009 is greater than ever. Direct from the United States, where he is ending his preparations, Pe de Pano spoke with the GRACIEMAG at ADCC 2009 Blog.

Blog: The last time you competed in Jiu-Jitsu was in January, at the European Championship, and then had two MMA fights. How are you feeling, going into the ADCC?
Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz: I’m well prepared, have my head in the right place and a lot of desire to be champion. I had my last MMA fight at the end of August and I stayed here in Florida, where I’m finishing up my training with friends.

Blog: In Jiu-Jitsu you are best known for your deadly guard, but in the ADCC pulling guard means dropping points. Will that hinder or change your game in any way?
Pe de Pano: After I started practicing MMA, I noticed you can’t play guard the whole time, so these days I have a more well-rounded game for the ADCC. I take down better, have a tighter game on top, defend takedowns well and still have the old guard.

Blog: Your big moment in the ADCC was in 2003, when you won the over 99kg division and took fourth in the Absolute. Do you miss that year?
Pe de Pano: Truth is, I don’t miss 2003. I think I could have won the absolute and lost on a trifle.

Campeão em 2003. Foto: Lia Caldas

Champion in 2003. Photo: Lia Caldas

Blog: In 2005 and 2007 things didn’t go the way you’d hoped. What happened?
Pe de Pano: Those two years I had problems training, which didn’t happen this time. I’m well trained and really confident.

Blog: Why did you decide to compete at under 99kg? Won’t you have to lose a lot of weight?
Pe de Pano: Truth be told, no. My last MMA fight was under 100kg and now I intend to fight at under 93kg. In the ADCC I think the under 99kg is more competitive. Beyond that, I want to be champion of a different category from the one I won in 2003.

Blog: O Xande Ribeiro é o cara a ser batido no seu peso? Pé de Pano: Quando entro num campeonato, não penso em um nome apenas, mas com certeza ele tem que ser respeitado por ser o atual campeão e por sua história no esporte.

Injury and tears in 2005. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Is Xande Ribeiro the man to beat at that weight?
Pe de Pano: When I go into a championship I don’t just think of one name, but he surely needs to be respected for being the current champion and for his past in the sport.

Blog: What’s a better sensation, to win the absolute in the Jiu-Jitsu world championship or to be champion of the ADCC, which pays thousands of dollars in prize money?
Pe de Pano: The Worlds is harder because it’s an open championship, while the ADCC leaves out a lot of good guys. Beyond that, the absolute at the Worlds has a little something else. It’s surely more pleasurable to win the Worlds.

Foto: Gustavo Aragão

Photo: Gustavo Aragão

Blog: What was your greatest moment in the ADCC? Is there asubmission or move you did that stands out in your mind to this day?
Pe de Pano: There were a lot of moments, but I remember most the third place I took in 2001, in the over 99kg category. In the bronze-medal dispute I sunk a sweet triangle on Ricco Rodriguez (photo above).

Blog: To finish, of the athletes you’ve seen compete, who do you consider the best in ADCC history?
Pe de Pano: Of those I’ve seen, Roger Gracie and Marcelo Garcia.

What about you, do you feel Pe de Pano is one of the favorites to take the under 99kg title? Leave your comment.

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Spot-on chokes, clinical armbars, sure-fire guards, acrobatic takedowns and sharp tongues. Beyond their infallible holds, the monsters of the ADCC filled the seven installments of the event with timeless phrases. Among the most inspired are Renzo Gracie, Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz, Nino Schembri and Saulo Ribeiro.
The seven issues GRACIEMAG dedicated to the ADCC gathered each of these magisterial tirades from the aces of the grappling art. In a variety of different languages, our reporters registered these phrases and the Blog brings back the best of them.

Spot-on chokes, clinical armbars, sure-fire guards, acrobatic takedowns and sharp tongues. Beyond their infallible holds, the monsters of the ADCC filled the seven installments of the event with timeless phrases. Among the most inspired are Renzo Gracie, Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz, Nino Schembri and Saulo Ribeiro.

The seven issues GRACIEMAG dedicated to the ADCC gathered each of these magisterial tirades from the aces of the grappling art. In a variety of different languages, our reporters registered these phrases and the Blog brings back the best of them.

Foto: Luca Atalla

Photo: Luca Atalla

“I gave him a brotherly hug. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time, so I didn’t let go of him. I missed him” Renzo Gracie, explaining the tactic he used to beat cousin Jean-Jacques Machado in the under 77kg final, in 2000.

“Hey, truck my sheakrra!” – Fredson Paixao, in 2001, asking, in “English”, the waitress of the hotel to give him a different coffee cup at breakfast.

“It’s about making the guy pant!” – Jose Mario Sperry, explaining to Ricardo Arona the strategy to beat Mark Kerr in the 2003 supermatch.

“I haven’t put on a gi in a long time. I don’t think there is one that will fit me” – Jeff Monson, two-time ADCC champion, in 2005, giving his version of why he does better in submission grappling.

Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Photo: Guilherme Rafols

“How are you going to go about stopping him? With a gun?” spectator impressed with the performance of Marcelo Garcia in 2007, when he submitted seven of his eight opponents.

Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Photo: Guilherme Rafols

“If I swept a 90kg guy, Marcio [Feitosa] I’ll put on my shoulder and throw” – Saulo Ribeiro, provoking his friend in 2000.

“I left my two matches on a stretcher. That’s alright, the worst part is that they filled me with injections and I scared to death of that!” – Fernando Terere revealing the drama that went on in 2003, when he disputed the 77kg division with a broken rib.

“Besides being strong, he’s so long it’s like he has one leg in the USA and the other in Brazil” – Rickson Gracie in praise of 2005’s under 99kg and absolute champion, Roger Gracie.

Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Photo: Guilherme Rafols

“I don’t like facing them. These skinny guys have legs all over the place” Alexandre Cacareco in 2007, after losing to Marcelo Garcia in the absolute.

“If he’d managed to catch me at that moment, he’d have hurt me” – Leo Vieira explaining how nervous giant Mark Kerr got after their historic match in the 2000 absolute.

Foto: Luca Atalla

Photo: Luca Atalla

“The announcer was saying my adversary was champion in karate from I don’t know where, champion in full contact from I don’t know where, etc. Truth is he didn’t even know how to bridge” – Marcio Feitosa (photo) on the (lack of) skills of his first opponent on his way to 2001’s under 77kg title.

Can you recall any other memorable phrase? Leave your comment.

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Beast from the BTT Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares will not be disputing the under 88kg category at ADCC 2009. Team leader Murilo Bustamante spoke of the decision to the Blog and announced it to the event’s organizers some weeks ago.
Toquinho is recovering from surgery to his tibia, which he fractured in training during the month of May, while the Brazilian prepared to face Alessio Sakara in the UFC.

Beast from the BTT Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares will not be disputing the under 88kg category at ADCC 2009. Team leader Murilo Bustamante spoke of the decision to the Blog and announced it to the event’s organizers some weeks ago.

Toquinho is recovering from surgery to his tibia, which he fractured in training during the month of May, while the Brazilian prepared to face Alessio Sakara in the UFC.

Contusão tira Toquinho do ADCC. Foto: Ivan Trindade

Injury keeps Toquinho out of ADCC. Photo: Ivan Trindade

Toquinho has a fight scheduled at the UFC in December and the doctor following his case has not yet released the Brazilian to train hard yet. “He would show up improperly trained and would further run the risk of injuring himself again. That is why we decided he should not dispute the ADCC,” reported Murilo.

In Toquinho’s place the organization today announced American James Brasco will enter. The category is now complete with 16 participants.

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It is September 12. There are 14 days to go till ADCC 2009. In Rio de Janeiro, Leonardo Vieira is at the Brazilian Team Nationals leading Checkmat, the team he put together two years ago with brother Ricardo, when both left Brasa.
The two-time under 66kg champion spent the last week training in Rio de Janeiro, but returns to Sao Paulo for the final week of training before the trip. In between his students’ disputes, Leo had the following chat with GRACIEMAG.com ADCC 2009 blog.

It is September 12. There are 14 days to go till ADCC 2009. In Rio de Janeiro, Leonardo Vieira is at the Brazilian Team Nationals leading Checkmat, the team he put together two years ago with brother Ricardo, when both left Brasa.

The two-time under 66kg champion spent the last week training in Rio de Janeiro, but returns to Sao Paulo for the final week of training before the trip. In between his students’ disputes, Leo had the following chat with GRACIEMAG.com ADCC 2009 blog.

Blog: How has your preparation for the ADCC 2009 been going?
Leo Vieira: I’m training with my students in Sao Paulo and spent this week in Rio, training with my brother. Today I turn 33, my time is divided between my kids, leading the team and training, but I have a phenomenal team that supports me all the way.

Blog: Your toughest adversaries in the category have been competing all the time while you haven’t competed since 2007. Do you feel that will hinder you?
Leo: I’m an athlete and I manage to compete well even if I’m not coming off a series of competitions. I’ve been through that before.

Leozinho em ação em 2007. Foto: Luca Atalla

Leo in action in 2007. Photo: Luca Atalla

Blog: Still on the topic of your opponents, the under 66kg category unites such names as Rani Yahya, Cobrinha, Rafael Mendes, among others. Have you been practicing specific strategies for each of them?
Leo: My strategy against all adversaries is to feel comfortable in the match. I see each adversary as being 15 opportunities for defeat. I think the category will be just as tough as the other ones.

Blog: In 2007 you lost in the final to Rani Yahya, after having beat him in 2005. Will this year be the tie-breaker?
Leo: My loss to Rani caused me to reassess my reasons for competing. In 2007, I was lagging in the ADCC. I lagged in my first matches, won, but when I made it to the final I couldn’t manage to win. The problem was all about motivation. When I started Jiu-Jitsu, my motivation was to move up in belts to get to black. When I made it there, my motivation was to become world champion, which I managed to do too. When I made it to ADCC 2007 I couldn’t see any motivation for being there. That’s why I ate wrong, trained wrong and fought wrong. The loss made me see how I didn’t have to fight just for me, but for my team, for those who follow me, to leave a legacy.

O duelo com Rani. Foto: Guilherme Rafols

The match with Rani. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Looking back, what was your greatest moment in the ADCC? The one you hold dearest to you?
Leo: A lot of folks only think of wins, but to me my greatest moment was my match with Mark Kerr, in 2000. I like to talk about that match, if just to remind people how it went. A lot of people think it was a supermatch, or the final of the absolute. Truth is, it was the first match of the absolute that year. To me, that match marked the way I fight. I lost, but only by a penalty point, because they said I backed away.

Blog: You’ve been disputing the ADCC since 2000. Who was the athlete to impress you most all these years?
Leo: The one to most impress me was Marcelo Garcia. He left the tryouts he lost in 2003 to submit everyone and maintain the title to this day.

What about you? Do you feel Leo can take a third ADCC title? Leave your comment.

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Andre Galvao has dedicated the last 12 months of his life to MMA. Since August 2008 he’s had four fights, winning three by submission and suffering one split (and controversial) decision loss, at Dream. Now the two-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion (2005, 2008) and runner-up (2006 and 2007) is back in the grappling game.

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His win over Cacareco

The Fernando Terere and Eduardo Telles pupil, who once figured in two-time ADCC champion Leo Vieira’s team, is one of those favored to win the under 88kg category. The category has no owner, as 2007’s champion Demian Maia will not take part.
Direct from Rio de Janeiro, where he trains with beasts of the caliber of Anderson Silva and Rodrigo Minotauro, Galvao spoke with the GRACIEMAG.com at the ADCC Blog, and had the following to say:
Blog: How is your final stage of training for the ADCC going?
Galvao: I’m doing explosiveness training without the gi. I’ve been training without the gi for some time now. I haven’t been putting on the gi every day since I started fighting MMA.
Blog: To you is the ADCC closer to being MMA than Jiu-Jitsu?
Galvao: No, no. It’s certainly closer to Jiu-Jitsu. But even so I feel it’s much different from competing in the gi. Besides that, the opponents are different.
Blog: In 2007 you competed in the under 77kg category, but this year you moved up to 88kg. Who will be your main adversaries? Would you risk pointing out a favorite?
Galvao: I can’t leave out Braulio Estima, Rousimar Touquinho, Rafael Lovato Jr. or Tarsis Humphreys. Those guys are big-time tough with enormous submission grappling experience. As for a favorite, that all depends on what happens that day. There is no favourite.

The Fernando Terere and Eduardo Telles pupil, who once figured in two-time ADCC champion Leo Vieira’s team, is one of those favored to win the under 88kg category. The category has no owner, as 2007’s champion Demian Maia will not take part.

Direct from Rio de Janeiro, where he trains with beasts of the caliber of Anderson Silva and Rodrigo Minotauro, Galvao spoke with the GRACIEMAG.com at the ADCC Blog, and had the following to say:

Blog: How is your final stage of training for the ADCC going?
Galvao: I’m doing explosiveness training without the gi. I’ve been training without the gi for some time now. I haven’t been putting on the gi every day since I started fighting MMA.

Blog: To you is the ADCC closer to being MMA than Jiu-Jitsu?
Galvao: No, no. It’s certainly closer to Jiu-Jitsu. But even so I feel it’s much different from competing in the gi. Besides that, the opponents are different.

Blog: In 2007 you competed in the under 77kg category, but this year you moved up to 88kg. Who will be your main adversaries? Would you risk pointing out a favorite?
Galvao: I can’t leave out Braulio Estima, Rousimar Touquinho, Rafael Lovato Jr. or Tarsis Humphreys. Those guys are big-time tough with enormous submission grappling experience. As for a favorite, that all depends on what happens that day. There is no favourite.

Galvao vs Yoshida, ADCC 2007 absolute

Blog: You didn’t compete at the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship but are returning to the ADCC. Why this preference?
Galvao: I didn’t compete at the Worlds because I was training a lot without the gi for MMA. As for the ADCC, it’s a really good tournament. The recognition you receive is much greater than at the Jiu-Jitsu Worlds, mainly in the realm I am in, which is MMA. And there are also the money prizes, which help a lot. But I love Jiu-Jitsu and am dying to compete at a Worlds.

Blog: Looking back, what would you consider to be your greatest moment in the ADCC?
Galvao: Ah, for sure my matches with Cacareco, in the absolute third-place dispute in 2007, and with Mike Fowler, in the under 77kg third-place dispute. Those were great moments.

Arrochando Fowler

Arrochando Fowler

Blog: Can you recall any mistake you made in 2007 that you hope not to make this year?
Galvao: In the under 77kg semifinal I was ahead on the scorecards against Pablo Popovitch and decided to open up to do something more. There was a minute left in the match and I ended up getting surprised by him.

Blog: To you, who is the best of all in the ADCC?
Galvao: Roger Gracie. I remember in 2005 he finished everybory.

And what about you? Who is favored to win the under 88kg category? Leave your comment.

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The ADCC committee has just announced that Ronaldo Jacare will replace injured Roger Gracie in the superfight of ADCC 2009 against Robert Drysdale.

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Robert Drysdale doesn’t pretend to hide his frustration. The absolute champion of the ADCC 2007 was in his final stages of training for the supermatch in this year’s edition when he was surprised by the news his adversary would be unable to compete.
“At first, I was saddened. After all, I’ve trained for two years to face him. I’m sure Roger is very sad too. I hope he recovers soon and we’ll surely have another opportunity to face each other.”
Part of his disappointment came from his certainty that the supermatch at ADCC 2009 would have a different outcome from the times he’s faced Roger in the gi, when the Gracie came out the victor.
“I always thought I’d do better against him without the gi and I was training really well for that. I always want to face the best,” Robert sums up.

Robert Drysdale makes no secret of his frustration. The absolute champion of the ADCC 2007 was in his final stages of training for the supermatch in this year’s edition when he was surprised by the news his adversary would be unable to compete.

“At first I was saddened. After all, I’ve trained for two years to face him. I’m sure Roger is very sad too. I hope he recovers soon and we’ll surely have another opportunity to face each other.”

ADCC2007NJ0409

Part of his disappointment stems from his certainty that the supermatch at ADCC 2009 would have a different outcome from the times he’s faced Roger in the gi, when the Gracie came out the victor.

“I always thought I’d do better against him without the gi and I was training really well for that. I always want to face the best,” Robert sums up.

ADCC2007NJ0443

Now life goes on. Drysdale carries on training hard and teaching in Las Vegas, where he has just set up his own academy. But does Drysdale have any suggestions for who should replace Roger as his opponent?

“I’ve heard talk Fedor may compete, so I told them Fedor would be interesting. But now I think it’s not going to happen. So now I’m training and I’ll face whoever they put in there,” said Drysdale in finishing.

And if you could choose who will face Drysdale, who would it be? Please comment.

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The under 66kg category of the ADCC was owned by the same guy since 1999. Without false modesty, shortly after taking his third, in 2001, Royler Gracie remarked: “Few have had the pleasure of being Jiu-Jitsu world champion four times in a row, as I have, and now three times in Abu Dhabi. This is unprecedented and unlikely to be matched,” said the Gracie after beating Hawaiian Barret Yoshida for his third.
So, when the ADCC disembarked in the Ibirapuera park, in Sao Paulo, on the 17th and 18th of May, 2003, the general expectation was that the three-time champion would at least make it to the semifinal of the under 66kg. From the way the brackets were set up, there Royler would face the rising star of Leo Vieira, then leader of Master, who would go on to win his first title in the final against Barret Yoshida.

The under 66kg category of the ADCC was owned by the same guy since 1999. Without false modesty, shortly after taking his third, in 2001, Royler Gracie remarked: “Few have had the pleasure of being Jiu-Jitsu world champion four times in a row, as I have, and now three times in Abu Dhabi. This is unprecedented and unlikely to be matched,” said the Gracie after beating Hawaiian Barret Yoshida for his third.

So, when the ADCC disembarked in the Ibirapuera park, in Sao Paulo, on the 17th and 18th of May, 2003, the general expectation was that the three-time champion would at least make it to the semifinal of the under 66kg. From the way the brackets were set up, there Royler would face the rising star of Leo Vieira, then leader of Master, who would go on to win his first title in the final against Barret Yoshida.

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But on the path there was an underdog from California. Who had heard of Eddie Bravo? The American trials winner was losing the match when he managed to replace guard and sink a triangle on the distracted Gracie (photo above): “I don’t know how to explain it. It was really quick, as though I’d disconnected from the match for three seconds. When I came to, I was in a triangle,” Royler tried to explain after having tapped out for the first time in his weight category, with or without the gi. In the follow up, Leo didn’t give Bravo a chance in the semifinal.

Royler still went on to fight again and with an 8 to 0 score over Alexandre “Soca” Carneiro secured third place and his fourth time on the winners’ stand in a row for the Gracie Humaita leader. Eddie Bravo didn’t compete for third, alleging injury, and never again appeared in the ADCC.

The ADCC has seen other underdogs, not quite as unlikely, but underdogs nevertheless.

That very event, in the under 99kg category, Norwegian Jon Olav Einemo is to this day responsible for Roger Gracie’s lone loss in the ADCC (photo below). Then 21 years old, the current two-time absolute world champion was sincere in explaining his defeat: “Truth is, I underestimated the guy. I went in slow, to let him exert force and push the pace, but, when I realized what was going on, he was on my back.

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Going back in time, in 1999, in Abu Dhabi, the underdog had his way in the under 88kg of the second installment of the ADCC. In the division considered the most evenly matched, a pair of Russians managed to made it through to the final in the presence of Renzo Gracie, Ricardo Libório, Fábio Gurgel and Amaury Bitetti. Kareem Barchlov (in the photo below throwing Liborio) and Alexander Savko decided the title, with Kareem, who curiously had Savko in his corner throughout the competition, taking gold.

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In another leap in time, we arrive at 2007, when the ADCC touched down in New Jersey. Last event, it was Saulo Ribeiro who was surprised by an underdog (photo below on the right). Right in his second match in the under 77kg category, the two-time champion (2000 and 2003) was submitted by Mike Fowler, who earlier beat Renzo Gracie (photo below on left), another two-time champion (1998 and 2000). The Lloyd Irvin student, famous for his leopard spotted hair, took fourth after losing to Marcelo Garcia and Andre Galvao, in the third-place decider.

ADCC2007NJ0138 ADCC2007NJ0315

Rounding out the list of underdogs, we return to 2003. In Ibirapuera Park, only the absolute dispute remains. Signed up are Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz, Saulo Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia (who had just run rampant in the under 77kg) and Jeff Monson, just to name the most famous. A little while on, we are at the final and untrue to expectations, the finalists are Alexandre Cacareco and Dean Lister, with the latter a true underdog. Firstly, Lister wasn’t even going to participate and only entered because Jon Olav dropped out. On his way to the final, the American went past Nathan Marquardt and ran into Saulo Ribeiro (photo below). Lister ended up beating the two-time champion with a kneebar in overtime.

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The opponent in the semifinal was over-99kg champion Pe de Pano, a firm favorite. Lister held out against a choke from his back for five minutes to win in overtime. On Pe de Pano’s choke hold, Dean was nonchalant: “I’ve spent over 100 hours in triangles.” In the final, a quick ankle lock on Cacareco guaranteed him first place..

Can you think of any other ADCC underdogs? If so, please comment.

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Meet the stars

With less than two weeks to go till ADCC Barcelona 2009, we took roll to find out who will be sweating up the mats of the Badalona Municipal Sports Pavilion.
Of course there will be last-minute changes and you will be able to keep up with all the flip-flops in names till the first exchange of grips right here. The organization promises 16 athletes for each male category. Now the female division will have eight per category.
Of 2007’s champions, only Demian Maia (under 88kg) and Roger Gracie will be out of this year’s event. Find out who is in as of now, category by category.

With less than two weeks to go till ADCC Barcelona 2009, we took roll to find out who will be sweating up the mats of the Badalona Municipal Sports Pavilion.

Of course there will be last-minute changes and you will be able to keep up with all the flip-flops in names till the first exchange of grips right here. The organization promises 16 athletes for each male category. Now the female division will have eight per category.

Of 2007’s champions, only Demian Maia (under 88kg) and Roger Gracie will be out of this year’s event. Find out who is in as of now, category by category.

Supermatch

ADCC2007NJ2336

Robert Drysdale (absolute champion of  2007) vs Ronaldo Jacaré (2005 absolute runner-up)

Men

Over 99kg

1. Jeff Monson (USA)
2. Tom Erikson (USA)
3. Jon Olav Einemo (Norway)
4. Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu (Brazil)
5. Rogent Lloret (Spain)
6. Saulo Ribeiro (Brazil)

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7. Fabricio Werdum (Brazil) –  ADCC champion
8. Denis Roberts (Australia) – Pacific trials winner
9. Asa Fuller (USA) – North American East Coast trials winner
10. Janne-Pekka Pietiläinen (Finland) – European trials winner
11. Tomasz Janiszewski (Poland) – European trials winner
12. Antoine Jaoude (Brazil) – South American trials winner
13. Kouji Kanechika (Japan) – Asian trials winner
14. Tom De Blass (USA) –North American West Coast trials winner
15. Gabriel Gonzaga (Brazil)
16. Karol Bedorf (Poland)

Under 99kg

1. Renato “Babalu” Sobral (Brazil)
2. Vesa Vuori (Finland)
3. Vinícius “Pezão” Magalhães (Brazil)
4. Dean Lister (USA)

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5. Alexandre Ribeiro (Brazil) – ADCC champion
6. Anthony Perosh (Australia) – Pacific trials winner
7. Rafael Davies (USA) –American East Coast trials winner
8. Andreas Olsen (Norway) – European champion
9. Radek Turek (Poland) – European trials winner
10. Glover Teixeira (Brazil) – South American trials winner
11. Yukiya Naito (Japan) – Asian trials winner
12. Gerard Rinaldi (USA) –North American West Coast trials winner
13. Márcio “Pé de Pano” Cruz (Brazil)

Under 88kg

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1.Tarsis Humphreys (Brazil)
2. Kazuhiro Nakamura (Japan) – Asian trials winner
3. André Galvão (Brazil) – South American trials winner
4. Kassim Annan (France) – European trials winner
5. Trond Saksenvik (Norway) – European champion
6. Jason Selva (USA) – North American East Coast trials winner
7. Igor Praporshchikov (Australia) – Pacific trials winner
8. Chris Weidman (USA) –North American West Coast trials winner
9. Gunnar Nelson (Iceland)
10. Rafael Lovato Jr. (USA)
11. Daniel Tabera (Spain)
12. Bráulio Estima (Brazil)
13. Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares (Brazil)
14. Bruno Bastos (Brazil)
15. Jorge Santiago (Brazil)
16. Tom Lawler (USA)

Under 77kg

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1. Marcelo Garcia (Brazil) –  ADCC champion
2. K-taro Nakamura (Japão) – Asian trials winner
3. Murilo Santana (Brazil) – South American trials winner
4. Marcelo “Uirapuru” Azevedo (Brazil) – European trials winner
5. Toni Linden (Finlândia) – European champion
6. Don Ortega (EUA) – North American East Coast trials winner
7. Rodney Ellis (Austrália) – Pacific trials winner
8. Enrico Cocco (USA) – North American West Coast trials winner
9. Kron Gracie (Brazil)
10. Pablo Popovitch (Brazil)
11. Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida (Japan)
12. Milton Vieira (Brazil)
13.Bill Cooper (USA)
14.Ben Askren (USA)
15. Gregor Gracie (Brazil)
16. Leonardo Santos (Brazil)

Under 66kg

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1. Rani Yahya (Brazil) –  ADCC 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 (EUA) –North American East Coast trials
7. David Marinakis (Austrália) – Oceania trials
8. Jayson Patino (USA) – North American West Coast trials
9. Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles (Brazil)
10. Leo Vieira (Brazil)
11. Baret Yoshida (USA)
12. Jeff Glover (USA)
13.Hiroshi “Iron” Nakamura (Japan)
14.Justin Rader (USA)
15.Jeff Curran (USA)
16.Urijah Faber (USA)

Women

Under 60kg

ADCC2007NJ0547

1. Kyra Gracie (Brazil) –  ADCC champion
2. Sayaka Shioda (Japan) –  ADCC champion
3. Megumi Fujii (Japan) – Asia pacific trials winner
4. Michelle Tavares (Brazil) – South American trials winner
5. Laurence Cousin (France) – European trials winner
6. Ina Steffensen (Denmark) – European champion
7. Hillary Williams (USA) – North American trials winner
8.Luanna Alzuguir (Brazil)

Over 60kg

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1. Hannette Staack (Brazil) –  ADCC champion
2. Penny Thomas (USA) – ADCC champion
3. Hitomi Hiraiwa (Japan– Asian Pacific trials winner)
4. Rosângela Conceição (Brazil) – South American trials winner
5. Ida Hansson (Sweden) – European champion
6. Shanti Abelha (Denmark) – campeã européia
7. Lana Stephanac (USA) – seletiva norte-americana
8. Cris Cyborg (Brazil)

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The ADCC 2009 organization just confirmed another athlete for the under 77kg category. Nova Uniao Jiu-Jitsu black belt Leonardo Santos is the 15th competitor in the division (now just one name is missing to fill out the category).
This will be Leo Santos’ third time participating in the ADCC. In 2001, Santos defeated Leo Vieira to make it to the semifinals. In the semifinal he lost to Matt Serra, who took his back. In the third place dispute he overcame Rodrigo Gracie (photo above).
Four years later, Leo once again made it to the semifinals and had one of his greatest moments in the form of a flying armbar over Georges St. Pierre (photo above). After that, he came up against Marcelo Garcia and dropped out of title contention. In the third place dispute he was finished by a surprising Jake Shields, who choked him from the back.

The ADCC 2009 organization just confirmed another athlete for the under 77kg category. Nova Uniao Jiu-Jitsu black belt Leonardo Santos is the 15th competitor in the division (now just one name is missing to fill out the category).

This will be Leo Santos’ third time participating in the ADCC. In 2001, Santos defeated Leo Vieira to make it to the semifinals. In the semifinal he lost to Matt Serra, who took his back. In the third place dispute he overcame Rodrigo Gracie (photo above).

Four years later, Leo once again made it to the semifinals and had one of his greatest moments in the form of a flying armbar over Georges St. Pierre (photo above). After that, he came up against Marcelo Garcia and dropped out of title contention. In the third place dispute he was finished by a surprising Jake Shields, who choked him from the back.

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WELCOME

Welcome to Barcelona. The stars of ADCC 2009 will only enter the scene in the gymnasium two-and-half weeks from now, on Saturday, September 26. But at GRACIEMAG.com you can already get in the mood of the greatest submission wrestling competition in the world.
We put together this blog especially so web users can find out everything there is to know about ADCC 2009 and the story behind the competition created in 1998 by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of the United Arab Emirates, as well.
In the form of daily bulletins, we will celebrate the great champions of the past, legends like three-time champion Royler Gracie.
We’ll dig up videos of the greatest face-offs from the last seven editions, like the epic battle between Cachorrao and Jacare, in 2003.
We’ll re-read old phrases from clever-tongued aces, like Renzo Gracie, Marcio Pe de Pano and Ricardo Arona.
We’ll recollect major controversies and confusions that competing for thousands and thousands of dollars provokes. Do you remember how an American snowman left the gymnasium naked after suffering a loss? That’s right, we’ll tell it all and then some.
But the past is not all that comprises the ADCC. Thus, the GRACIEMAG.com Blog will hunt down the big names of the present to find out what they expect from the 2009 installment and what they’re doing in their final stages of preparations. You will delight in mini-interviews, training videos and breaking news.
To round things out, we can’t leave out that the ADCC 2009 will be hosted in Barcelona, and the capital of Catalonia is one of the most fascinating cities on the planet. We’ll take the opportunity to give some tips for tourism so you may find your way in the city. Find out what you can’t miss seeing, places to eat, hotels and a bit of the region’s history too.
And on Saturday, September 26, when the show begins, the GRACIEMAG.com show of coverage kicks off too. Web surfers tuned in to the greatest fight portal on the planet will receive up-to-the-minute updates via Twitter, photo galleries, video interviews straight from the competition area and much more.
Welcome to Barcelona and enjoy your stay.
Video of the day
ADCC 2007 highlights

Welcome to Barcelona. The stars of ADCC 2009 will only enter the scene in the gymnasium two-and-half weeks from now, on Saturday, September 26. But at GRACIEMAG.com you can already get in the mood of the greatest submission wrestling competition in the world.

Barcelona Municipal Sports Pavillion

Barcelona Municipal Sports Pavillion

We put together this blog especially so web users can find out everything there is to know about ADCC 2009 and the story behind the competition created in 1998 by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of the United Arab Emirates, as well.

In the form of daily bulletins, we will celebrate the great champions of the past, legends like three-time champion Royler Gracie.

We’ll dig up videos of the greatest face-offs from the last seven editions, like the epic battle between Cachorrao and Jacare, in 2003.

We’ll re-read old phrases from clever-tongued aces, like Renzo Gracie, Marcio Pe de Pano and Ricardo Arona.

We’ll recollect major controversies and confusions that competing for thousands and thousands of dollars provokes. Do you remember how an American snowman left the gymnasium naked after suffering a loss? That’s right, we’ll tell it all and then some.

But the past is not all that comprises the ADCC. Thus, the GRACIEMAG.com Blog will hunt down the big names of the present to find out what they expect from the 2009 installment and what they’re doing in their final stages of preparations. You will delight in mini-interviews, training videos and breaking news.

To round things out, we can’t leave out that the ADCC 2009 will be hosted in Barcelona, and the capital of Catalonia is one of the most fascinating cities on the planet. We’ll take the opportunity to give some tips for tourism so you may find your way in the city. Find out what you can’t miss seeing, places to eat, hotels and a bit of the region’s history too.

And on Saturday, September 26, when the show begins, the GRACIEMAG.com show of coverage kicks off too. Web surfers tuned in to the greatest fight portal on the planet will receive up-to-the-minute updates via Twitter, photo galleries, video interviews straight from the competition area and much more.

Welcome to Barcelona and enjoy your stay.

Video of the day

ADCC 2007 highlights

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