It’s hard to deny that Brazilians make up the greater part of the history of the ADCC. Brazil has by far the greatest number of titles (41*) and nearly all of the event’s legends are Brazilian.
However, recognition must be paid where recognition is due to the non-Brazilians who have shone in the seven installments of the ADCC. We will rank the first five and remember the achievements of each of them.
1st place – Mark Kerr – Kerr is twice champion of the over 98kg category, in 1999 and 2000. He also won the absolute in 2000. In 2001 he managed to dethrone phenomenon Jose Mario Sperry in the supermatch. Mark bid farewell to the ADCC in 2003, after losing to Ricardo Arona in the supermatch. Beyond his titles, he also played a part in the historic first match of the 2001 absolute category, when he defeated the 40kg-lighter Leo Vieira.
2nd place – Jeff Monson (USA) – In the early days he was known as Jeff Monson. He participated in the ADCC ever since 1999 (with an absence in 2007) and is signed up for this year’s installment, in the over 99kg category in 2005. Beyond that, he was under 99kg runner-up in 2000 and 2001. And, of course, no one can forget how he left the Ibirapuera gymnasium naked, in 2003, when he felt he was shortchanged by the referees after losing to Saulo Ribeiro in the absolute.
3rd place – Dean Lister (USA) – He came out of no where to replace Jon Olav Einemo’s place in the absolute of 2003 and surprised everyone by beating Pe de Pano, Saulo Ribeiro and Alexandre Cacareco to become champion. Two years later, he was in the supermatch against Jean Jacques Machado and drubbed by 8 to 0 the Brazilian, who is to this day considered one of the most technical players to ever set foot on the ADCC mat. The world awaited anxiously to watch Lister face Roger Gracie two years later in the ADCC supermatch, but the American was unable to make it.
4th place – Ricco Rodriguez (USA) – Of the seven installments, he only didn’t participate in 2003 and 2007. he was champion of the over 99kg division in 1998, beating Sean Alvarez in the final. Beyond that, he took third in the absolute in 1999 and was runner-up in the over 99kg in 2000. To close, he took part in the best match of ADCC 2005, against Marcelo Garcia, in the absolute.
5th place – Jon Olav Einemo (Norway), Mark Robinson (South Africa), Sanae Kikuta (Japan), Kareem Barchlov (Russia) – the quartet completes the list of non-Brazilians to have won the main divisions of the ADCC.
Do you agree with our list? Add your comment.
*We count supermatches too