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Posts Tagged ‘Submission grappling’

You’d make no mistake saying Jeff Monson and Dean Lister are the two Americans with the greatest past in the ADCC among those do compete in Barcelona. The “Snowman” shows up in ninth on the GRACIEMAG ranking,

with 56 points coming from two weight group titles and two runner-ups. The giant is still in search of his first absolute title. Thus, he doesn’t deny how anxious he is to enter action this Saturday.
Dean Lister, 19th on the ranking, was the big surprise and could even be called the dark horse of the ADCC 2003. Eliminated at weight, the polyglot (he was interviewed in Portuguese but also speaks Spanish) reappeared in the absolute to beat Marcio “Pe de Pano” and Saulo Ribeiro, as well as Alexandre “Cacareco”, in the final.

After weighing in the two had a chat with this Blog.

Blog: How do you two feel about competing tomorrow? Did training go well?

Jeff Monson: It went great, as I’m here now with no injuries. I’m excited about fighting. It’s great to be a part of the ADCC, to watch new talent coming up in the ranks and the older generation here to put on a show.

Lister: Training went great. My whole body’s sore and that assures me I trained hard. I feel really god about competing at under 99kg. In MMA, I have to drop to 85kg and even though I feel quick, I feel weak.

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Monson is in his seventh ADCC

Blog: Who will be the toughest opponent in your categories?

Monson: My category has Saulo, who is really experienced and tough. I’ve fought him before, but he was lighter. Beyond him there are Werdum and Romulo Barral. About my first opponent, all I know is he’s Polish.

Lister: My category is one of the toughest. There’s Pe de Pano, Xande Ribeiro, as weel as some good European wrestlers we don’t know much about.

Blog: Monson, your category is the only one where Brazilians don’t have total dominion, with several non-Brazilian champions in the past and even finals without the country represented. Why do you feel that is?

Monson: I think it’s because in the over 99kg we have really strong wrestlers who sometimes manage to annul Jiu-Jitsu finishes, even if just with force, which doesn’t happen in the lower weight groups.

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Lister was absolute champion in 2003

Blog: Lister, what do you feel will be the big attraction this ADCC?

Lister: To me, the ADCC’s organizers managed to put together an event that attends to competitors of all styles of grappling arts. If you come from Jiu-Jitsu, you will need to adapt your game to win, if you come from wrestling or judo, the same goes. Anyone can win. That’s why, to me, an ADCC title proves you’re the best grappler there is.

Blog: Will we see you two in the absolute?

Lister, Monson: Yes, for sure!

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Guess who just reappeared in the ADCC under 99kg division at the last minute? Ricco Rodriguez, over 99kg champion in 1998.

- Kyra Gracie is out of the ADCC due to injury. Her absence is likely reason for Bianca Andrade being called up at the last moment.

- Just now the event’s organizers announced three more competitors. To round out the under 99kg category, Sweden’s Ilir Latifi and Japan’s Yoshiyuki Nakahashi were called up. Also invited was Poland’s Tomasz Szczerek, for the under 88kg category.

- Five-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion Bianca Andrade was invited to participate at ADCC 2009. He will enter the under 60kg category. The organization hasn’t announced which athlete she will take the place of.

- Among the men, longboarder Joel Tudor, a Rodrigo Medeiros student, was invited to participate in the under 66kg category. He takes the place of Urijah Faber.

- Just as a reminder, Tudor just won the American Nationals. He beat none other than ADCC under 66kg champion Rani Yahya in the final.

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He was a finalist in the under 77kg category the last two editions. In these two campaigns he beat big names like Renzo Gracie (2005) and Andre Galvao (2007). In the two finals, though, he stopped at the same adversary, Marcelo Garcia. But Popovitch doesn’t give up and will be present in Barcelona.

Not many know, though, that the Brazilian black belt naturalized American’s first appearance in the ADCC was in 2003, in Sao Paulo. There, Pablo also caused some surprise in beating then-under-77kg champion Marcio Feitosa, after which he was eliminated by judges’ decision in a 30-minute battle against Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.

He was a finalist in the under 77kg category the last two editions. In these two campaigns he beat big names like Renzo Gracie (2005) and Andre Galvao (2007). In the two finals, though, he stopped at the same adversary, Marcelo Garcia. But Popovitch doesn’t give up and will be present in Barcelona.
No many know, though, that the Brazilian black belt naturalized American’s first appearance in the ADCC was in 2003, in Sao Paulo. There, Pablo also caused some surprise in beating then-under-77kg champion Marcio Feitosa, after which he was eliminated by judges’ decision in a 30-minute battle against Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.
In 2009, Popovitch will once again go after what he considers to be his greatest career objective, to win the ADCC. To Spain he takes with him his years of training, his No-Gi Worlds title, conquered in 2007 and lots of determination. Only those who don’t know Pablo Popovitch can doubt he is one of those favored to take down boogeyman Marcelo Garcia.
Direct from the school he heads in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Popovitch spoke with the GRACIEMAG.com ADCC 2009 Blog.
Blog: Tell us a bit about your trajectory in the ADCC.
Pablo Popovitch: To win the American trials for ADCC 2003 was my greatest dream fulfilled! In Sao Paulo, I beat then-champion Marcio Feitosa. After that, unfortunately, I lost the judges’ decision to Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. We fought for 30 minutes and the score stayed at 0 to 0.
Blog: What did this first experience in the ADCC mean to you?
Pablo Popovitch: I grew up watching Feitosa and Shaolin dominate the Jiu-Jitsu lightweight division. To beat Feitosa and lose a decision to Shaolin made me very confident in my Jiu-Jitsu. From that moment on I knew I could be one of the best in the world. I just had to train more and believe in my potenti

In 2009, Popovitch will once again go after what he considers to be his greatest career objective, to win the ADCC. To Spain he takes with him his years of training, his No-Gi Worlds title, conquered in 2007 and lots of determination. Only those who don’t know Pablo Popovitch can doubt he is one of those favored to take down boogeyman Marcelo Garcia.

Direct from the school he heads in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Popovitch spoke with the GRACIEMAG.com ADCC 2009 Blog.

Blog: Tell us a bit about your trajectory in the ADCC.
Pablo Popovitch: To win the American trials for ADCC 2003 was my greatest dream fulfilled! In Sao Paulo, I beat then-champion Marcio Feitosa. After that, unfortunately, I lost the judges’ decision to Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. We fought for 30 minutes and the score stayed at 0 to 0.

Blog: What did this first experience in the ADCC mean to you?
Pablo Popovitch: I grew up watching Feitosa and Shaolin dominate the Jiu-Jitsu lightweight division. To beat Feitosa and lose a decision to Shaolin made me very confident in my Jiu-Jitsu. From that moment on I knew I could be one of the best in the world. I just had to train more and believe in my potential.

Popovitch derrota Galvão, em 2007. Foto: Guilherme Rafols

Popovitch defeats Galvão in 2007. Photo: Guilherme Rafols

Blog: Do you have a motto that encourages you come competition time?
Popovitch: I always thing that “There can be only one”. I participate at every championship with that phrase in my head. And the answer is always the same: “Pablo Popovitch”. That’s not disrespect to my opponents, but my great belief in victory. The day I stop believing it is the day I stop competing.

Blog: What’s your main objective at the moment?
Popovitch: To win the ADCC!

O pódio até 77kg de 2007: Marcelinho, Popovitch e Galvão. Foto: Luca Atalla

Under 77kg podium in 2007: Marcelinho, Popovitch and Galvao. Photo: Luca Atalla

Blog: How would you define your game?
Popovitch: My style of Jiu-Jitsu has gone through several stages. When I was a kid I just wanted to play guard, I loved playing on the bottom. When I started practicing wrestling in the States, I was good at it since I’ve always been really quick and explosive. Wrestling was natural to me. From there, I changed my game. I started becoming a guard passer.

Blog: What’s the path to success in a championship?
Popovitch: I always analyze my opponents a lot. I watch how they pass, sweep, take down, etc… I work to capitalize on my opponent’s weaknesses to win the match. I’m very much a strategist in championships. I always play to win! To me, Jiu-Jitsu is like a chess game. The one who makes no mistakes wins.

What about you? Do you think Popovitch will make it to a third final against Marcelo Garcia? And this time win?

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Nine days from the start of the competition in Barcelona, nearly all the categories are filled. At the moment, only the under-99kg division awaits its last three names.
The list of stars to shine in Spain is immense, with beasts like Robert Drysdale and Ronaldo Jacare; Saulo Ribeiro and Jeff Monson; Alexandre Ribeiro and Márcio Pé de Pano; Tarsis Humphreys, André Galvão and Bráulio Estima; Marcelo Garcia and Kron Gracie; Léo Vieira, Cobrinha and Rani Yahya all set for action.

Nine days from the start of the competition in Barcelona, nearly all the categories are filled. At the moment, only the under-99kg division awaits its last three names.

The list of stars to shine in Spain is immense, with beasts like Robert Drysdale and Ronaldo Jacare; Saulo Ribeiro and Jeff Monson; Alexandre Ribeiro and Márcio Pé de Pano; Tarsis Humphreys, André Galvão and Braulio Estima; Marcelo Garcia and Kron Gracie; Leo Vieira, Cobrinha and Rani Yahya all set for action.

Supermatch

Foto: Ivan Trindade

Roger Graciesurely the greatest absence of the event.

Over 99kg

Foto: Ivan Trindade

Gabriel Vella – 2009′s ultraheavweight world champion.

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Antonio Braga Neto – 2008′s super heavyweight world champion
Leonardo Leite – Ultra heavyweight runner up in 2008.

Under 99kg

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Alexandre de Souza – world heavyweight world runner-up in 2009, European absolute champion of Jiu-Jitsu in 2008.
Roberto “Tussa” Alencar – world runner-up in 2007, third place at 2008 Worlds.

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Alexandre Cacareco – heavy presence in last ADCCs, just missed several times, including in absolute.

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Ricardo Arona – another one synonymous with the ADCC was confirmed and then canceled.

Under 88kg

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Romulo Barral – two-time medium heavyweight world champion 2007/2009. World absolute runner-up in 2007/2009.
Demian Maia – champion in 2007, his UFC obligations keep him from Barcelona.

Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares – a fracture kept the BTT star from Barcelona.

Under 77kg

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Sergio Moraes – middleweight world champion in 2008, middleweight world runner-up in 2009.

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Renzo Gracie – ADCC legend who, should he participate in 2009, would be the only athlete in every edition of the event.

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Lucas Leite – 2007′s middleweight world champion, 2009′s Pan-American world champion, third place at middleweight at 2009 Worlds.
Michael Langhi – Lightweight world champion in 2009
Celsinho Venicius – Lightweight world champion in 2008
Lucas Lepri – Lightweight world champion in 2007
Mike Fowler – Big surprise of 2007, beating Renzo and submitting Saulo.

Under 66kg

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Royler Gracie –Three-time ADCC champion who dropped out in 2003, but who is missed to this day. Who could say Royler wouldn’t do well in Barcelona?

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Mario Reis – runner-up in 2007, third in 2008 and 2009 at featherweight.
Bruno Frazatto – third in 2007, runner-up in 2008 and 2009 at featherweight.
Robson Moura – light featherweight world champion in 2007.
Bruno Malfacine – two-time roosterweight champion in 2007 and 2009.

Female

Under 60kg
Juliana Borges – under 60kg and absolute ADCC champion 2005
Leticia Ribeiro – featherweight world champion in 2009, third in 2007 and 2009.
Michelle Nicolini – featherweight world champion in 2007, runner-up in 2009.

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Bianca Barreto – two-time featherweight world champion in 2008, 2009.
Leka Vieira – under 60kg runner-up in 2005.

Over 60kg

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Ana Laura Cordeiro – medium heavyweight world champion in 2008.
Gabrielle Garcia – heavyweight world champion in 2008.

Did we forget anyone? Leave your comment.

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