2015 will hold the 11th edition of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club, also known as the ADCC, a biannual event that is regarded as the most prestigious no gi jiu jisu/submission wrestling tournament on the planet. On this article we will go through the lightest division of the ADCC, the 66 kilogram (145 pound) weight category, the competitors, the champions, the numbers.
List of grapplers due to take part in the 2015 edition of the ADCC, a tournament that will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil on the 29 and 30th of August.
1. Rubens Charles (2013 winner)
A historical figure of the sport, “Cobrinha” was the most dominant featherweight in jiu jitsu throughout the 2000’s decade. 9 years after his first world title at black belt, the 35 year old Rubens Charles still has plenty of wind in his sail, being the current division champion.
2. Augusto Mendes
Rafael Mendes (invited)
After Rafael Mendes’ announced decision to not participate in this year’s ADCC, “Tanquinho” was invited to take his place. Augusto has left jiu jitsu competitions on the side since his win at the 2013 world championships, to focus on a career in mixed martial arts, but has come back to participate once more in the world’s most prestigeous grappling event.
3. Jeff Glover (invited)
One of the most recognizable faces in our sport, the veteran Glover has been a keeping busy running his own grappling event (which he competes in often) and grappling in superfights. Always entertaining, Glover is set to make his innovative and tricky donkey guard one of his biggest assets at the ADCC.
4. Justin Rader (invited)
2013’s ADCC 3rd place Justin Rader is back to the main stream of jiu jitsu, after a period spent focussing on his MMA career. With great wrestling and a fast paced grappling game, Justin is one of the toughest men in the division.
5. Alexandre Vieira
Joao Miyao (invited)
Alexandre is a no gi world champion and black belt under Murilo Bustamante of Brazilian Top Team, who is known for never being in a dull match. He had a terrific run at the ADCC trials in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year but was stopped in the semi finals.
6. Eddie Cummings (North American Trials winner)
Cummings is a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu who specializes in no gi, and is trained by John Danaher of the Renzo Gracie Academy in NYC. Cummings is known for his accuracy with heel hooks and leg locks. Although he has not yet won a title an elite tournament in the sport, the North American Trials winner is seen as a serious prospect.
7. “Geo” Martinez (North American Trials winner)
One of the top black belts of Eddie Bravo‘s 10th Planet System, Martinez has had a strong start at black belt, earning some very noticeable wins over veteran opposition. A tricky grappler with a taste for the calf slicer and the “truck”, Geo’s unconventional style may have what it takes to bring the recognition of the jiu jitsu community to the 10th Planet style of grappling.
8. Renan Sancar (Rio trials winner)
Known as “Canto”, Sancar won his ticket to the ADCC finals during the Rio de Janeiro trials when he was a “just” a brown belt, stunning the Brazilian fans. Renan is a student of Claudio Calasans and has since received his black belt.
9. Gabriel Marangoni (Sao Paulo Trials winner)
A black belt under Rodrigo Cavaca, Gabriel Marangoni has been keeping an eye on the black belt division for the past few years. One of the top light-featherweights in Sao Paulo, Marangoni will have the support of the crowd and is set to make his tricky guard a danger in the division.
10. Tezekbaev Rasul (Asian Trials winner)
Not much is known about the man from Kyrgyzstan. Aside from that he won the Asian trials in impressive fashion.
11. Asadulaev Surkhay (1st European Trials winner)
Asadulaev Surkhay is an exciting grappler to emerge from the Caucasus region. Powerful, with good wrestling, and a strong appetite for the guillotine Asadulaev might be one of the dark horses of the division.
12. Yuto Hirao (2nd Asian Trials winner)
Hirao is a Japanese black belt who competes for the X-Team jiu jitsu Academy. In typical Japanese grappling style, Yutu has in his guard his greatest asset.
13. Mark Ramos
Jeff Curran (invited)
Another late replacement in the ADCC under 66kg division, Ramos is a veteran and a black belt under the well known Edson Carvalho. Although he is not regarded as a major threat to the top spots of the tournament, Ramos is an exciting grappler with tons of experience, and will give anyone on the roster a tough match.
14. Nicolas Renier (2nd European Trials winner)
One of the top no-gi grapplers in Europe, the Frenchman Nicolas Renier comes from a luta livre esportiva background having won the European trials. Nicolas will also be represending the NRFight Club, a team he founded in France.
15. Gianni Grippo (invited)
One of the top grapplers of his generation, Grippo is one of the top black belts produced by Alliance in the last few years.
16. Bruno Frazatto (invited)
Bruno is one of the top featherweights of his generation and a multiple time world jiu jitsu medallist. Although Frazatto focus for the past 2 years has been on MMA, he is still a serious threat to the top spots on the tournament.
We have analyzed the past 17 years of ADCC events, an accumulation of 109 matches, spread over 10 events, in the 66kg division. In these 109 matches, the ADCC featherweights have produced 52 Submissions, which equates to 48%, with 2009 being the most fruitful year (submission wise) with 9 taps.
Although Baret Yoshida never won an ADCC title, the Hawaiian and 2x finalist of the tournament stacked the most submissions in this weight category with 9 finishes (his favorite submission being the RNC which he hit 4 times).
The submission game in the division is well spread out, but playing by the numbers, the all important mata leao also known as rear naked choke, takes the biggest slice of the submissions “pie” with 13 chokes, the second being the guillotine (7) and the armbar third with 6 (tied with the triangle).
The famous Alexandre “Soca” was the only champion to submit all opponents on his way to the under 66kg title (1998), while Checkmat‘s leader Leozinho Vieira gathered the most wins in the division with 13 (and only 2 losses). The legendary Royler Gracie still holds the record for most titles in the division (3), being the only competitor to have never had a point scored on him in this division.
1998 ADCC Champion – Alexandre “Soca”
¼ Final: Trevor Lally (armbar)
Semi Final: Marc (armbar)
Final: Robin Gracie (choke)