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ADCC Brazil Trials 1 Results, Submissions Galore In Belo Horizonte

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Nicholas Meregali Instructionals

MARCH 3, 2024, BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL. This past weekend we had the pleasure of witnessing the first South American Qualifier for the Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Championship, also known as the First Brazilian ADCC Trials. The event that precedes the final Qualifier, to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil next week.

The event was held in BH, in the heart of the state of Minas Gerais, one of the most important hubs for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and home to, arguably, the strongest Gracie Barra hub in the world. Minas Gerais has also produced many ADCC champions in the past, athletes like Marcelo Garcia, Lucas Lepri, and Matheus Diniz, to name a few, and is known for its passion for the sport, therefore, it was not by chance that the event captivated many top end athletes of the country of Brazil and South America in general. Below is a rundown of the action in each weight class.

66KG: Kennedy Maciel (BRA, Cobrinha/Alliance)
77KG: Luiz Paulo (BRA, Alliance)
88KG: Charles Negromonte (BRA, Roger Gracie)
99KG: Felipe Costa “Laranjinha” (Bra, Six Blades)
+99KG: Inacio Santos (Reaction MMA)
(Although there were female divisions, female athletes can only qualify in the 2nd Trials event, the following week)


It seems as though coach Melqui Galvao releases another bright young prospect at every ADCC Trials tournament in recent times. Back in 2022, we saw breakthrough performances by Kaua Gabriel, this year it was 15-year-old blue belt Kallebe Pereira who shined through with epic performances. This young man had 6 matches, winning 4 of those and beating strong opposition on his way to a #4 place performance, using a very dynamic style with solid wrestling and quick backtakes.

Although all eyes were on young Kallebe, the champion was Kennedy Maciel, an athlete who struggled with injuries in the past but appears to be fully recovered and on his way to one day share the ADCC Hall Of Fame with his dad, Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” given how dominant his performance was at the Trials. Maciel didn’t give one step that was out of place throughout the whole tournament, looking like a possible favorite for the big show.

– Quarter-Finals:
Kennedy Maciel def. Josh Flores via 3×0
Igor Moreira def. Fabian Ramirez via Inside heel hook
Kaua Gabriel def. David Santos via decision
Kallebe Pereira def. Felipe Machado via decision

– Semi-Finals:
Kennedy Maciel def. Igor Moreira via 5×0
Kaua Gabriel def. Kallebe Pereira via Straight ankle lock

– Final:
Kennedy Maciel def. Kaua Gabriel via 3×0

– 3rd Place
Igor Moreira def. Kallebe Pereira via Outside heel hook


Traditionally one of the strongest divisions in the sport, this year had a few well-known North American athletes on the roster as well due to their double nationality, athletes like Magid Hage, Sergio Ardila, and Rene Sousa, to name a few. The fact that none got through to the medal stages is a testament to how tough this weight class was.

Fun and technical exchanges in the 170 lbs weight class and a clear winner in Luiz Paulo Medeiros, a former training partner of Mica Galvao, now training under Alliance. Luiz came out with the qualifying spot, but 35 yo veteran Fabio Caloi probably came out with the most fans after his inspiring performances on the mat. A joy to watch him compete this weekend.

– Quarter-Finals:
Jefferson Pontes def. Ernesto Rivera via decision
Alexandre Jesus def. Sergio Ardila via decision
Luiz Paulo def. Magid Hage via decision
Fabio Caloi def. Rene Sousa via Armbar

– Semi-Finals:
Jefferson Pontes def. Alexandre Jesus via Penalty
Luiz Paulo def. Fabio Caloi via Penalty

Luiz Paulo def. Jefferson Pontes via RNC

(no 3rd place match due to injury by Caloi in the semi-final)


No words to describe how much fun this division was to follow… Or maybe there is one word that can do it: Epic!

The 88-kilogram division (194 lb) had many front runners this weekend and none that held back in any way. Overall we saw a nearly 80% finish rate and some of the best matches of the whole tournament happened here. Silver medal Gabriel Almeida & bronze medalist Andre Porfirio both hit 100% submissions on their runs, but, in the end, glory would shine upon veteran Charles Negromonte who had 6 matches on his way to the golden ticket, beating big names of the sport such as Isaque Bahiense, Rafael Paganini, and Gabriel Almeida, to name a few.

– Quarter-Finals:
Charles Negromonte def. Isaque Bahiense via decision
Gabriel Almeida def. Matheus Lutes via RNC
Rafael Paganini def. JP Rocha via Guillotine
Andre Porfirio def. Erico Said via Botinha

– Semi-Finals:
Gabriel Almeida Andre def. Porfirio via Armbar
Charles Negromonte def. Rafael Paganini via decision

– Final:
Charles Negromonte def. Gabriel Almeida via RNC

3rd Place:
Andre Porfirio def. Rafael Paganini via Outside heel hook


This was a tightly contested weight class with no clear breakthrough outside the obvious champion, Cassio Felipe Costa. An athlete who has been very active in the gi and no-gi rulesets and is now reaping the benefits of his hard labor. A technical and balanced performance, taking points and submissions where they were given.

Two interesting side-notes to watch at the first ADCC Brazil Trials were the inclusion of former 77kg qualifier Servio Tulio and his teammate and former IBJJF World middleweight champion, Gabriel Arges, who competed in two weight classes above their natural weight.

– Quarter-Finals:
Felipe Costa def. Jorge Escudero via Armbar
Helton Jose def. Javier Zaruski via penalty
Elionai Braz def. Rafael Trabuco via 8×0
Luciano Souza def. Gabriel Arges via decision

– Semi-Finals:
Felipe Costa def. Helton Jose via penalty
Elionai Braz def. Luciano Souza via decision

– Final:
Felipe Costa def. Elionai Braz via penalty

(no 3rd place match due to injury)


The heaviest division of the promotion saw lots of stand-up and had former ADCC Trails winner Victor Honorio as its favorite coming into the tournament. Victor looked tremendous in his run but ended up not getting through to the semi-finals after getting two subs in his first 3 matches, possibly not advancing due to injury.

Inacio Santos burst on to the top of the food chain last year with epic performances on the IBJJF circuit and seems set to continue his good form on the ADCC ruleset as well. He had tough battles against some of the division’s favorites Guilherme Lambertucci and Antonio Assef, but advanced without suffering a single point.

– Quarter-Finals:
Inacio Santos def. Guilherme Lambertucci via 2×0
Antonio Assef def. Jeff Messias via 3×0
Victor Honorio def. Jhonatan Lopes via Shoulder pressire
Leandro da Silva def. Felipe Oliveira via 3×0

– Semi-Finals:
Inacio Santos def. Leandro da Silva via decision
Antonio Assef def. Victor Honorio via WO

– Final:
Inacio Santos def. Antonio Assef via 6×0

(no 3rd place match due to injury by Honorio)


Given how the female portion of the tournament does not offer a qualifying spot in the first South American Trials, attendance tends to be smaller. Last weekend’s tournament cemented that thought with none of the 3 divisions on offer going further than 3 matches for a gold medal. As expected, Brenda Larissa of Alliance dominated the 55-kilo division, despite being one of the smallest athletes on the mats. The real breakthrough here was purple belt Ana Queiroz, who dominated the under 65-kilo division flawlessly, beating the very well-respected Jaine Fragoso in the final.


– Quarter-Finals:
Brenda Larissa def. Mariana Andrade via Outside heel hook
Raquel Ferreira def. Ana Oliveira via 3×0

– Semi-Finals:
Brenda Larissa def. Raquel Ferreira via penalty
Gabi Mendes def. Kanandakely Kely via penalty

– Final:
Brenda Larissa def. Gabi Mendes via RNC

– 3rd Place:
Raquel Ferreira def. Kanandakely Kely via submission


– Quarter-Finals:
Ana Queiroz def. Elizabeth Leon via Armbar
Julia Boscher def. Gabi Carvalho via 2×0
Agatha Fernandes def. Evellyn Azevedo via 3×0

– Semi-Finals:
Ana Queiroz def. Agatha Fernandes via Submission
Jaine Fragoso def. Julia Boscher via decision

– Final:
Ana Queiroz def. Jaine Fragoso via 2×0

– 3rd Place:
Agatha Fernandes def. Julia Boscher via decision


– Quarter-Finals:
Maria Ruffatto def. Bruna Braga

– Semi-Final:
Maria Ruffatto def. Mirian Costa
Joana Santana def. Luna Rocha

– Final:
Maria Ruffatto def. Joana Santana

– 3rd Place:
Mirian Costa def. Luna Rocha

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