This past weekend the ADCC crowned the first run of South American contenders for the promotions World Championship event happening in September 2022. The first run of the ADCC Brazilian Trials took place in the state of Santa Catarina and proved to be an outright success (check the 1st Brazilian Trials Results here). Despite the many great matches that took place on February 5th, expect this weekend’s São Paulo Trials to greatly surpass their predecessor.
Although with plenty of the same athletes from the past Saturday’s lineup, the São Paulo tournament will also feature a few fresh faces. São Paulo is currently (and has been for some time) the Mecca of jiu-jitsu in Brazil and the glamor of competing in the toughest trials in South America appears to have brought forth many of the sport’s biggest stars. To find out who they are, check the list below.
Here you will see some of the main grapplers competing exclusively in the São Paulo, meaning, those who missed the Balneario Camboriu trials and will make their run towards the ADCC World Championships line-up this weekend.
– ROBERTO JIMENEZ (Studio 76) will be competing at 77-kg. A surprising weight cut for an athlete who was originally a heavyweight. Roberto is also one of the most exciting athletes to watch out there and has one of the highest submission ratios in the sport. The Equatorian competed in Brazil two weekends ago in an IBJJF event and submitted everyone, so expect him to be one of the front runners of the division.
– LEONARDO LARA (Almeida JJ) is a superb half-guard player with a very strong top game, who is also a very fun athlete to watch compete. In his extensive list of accolades, you will find a gold medal at the 2021 Brazilian Nationals and a 3rd place at the very tough Big Deal Pro Grand Prix.
– NATAN CHUENG (Cicero Costha) is one of the top lightweights in Brazil with the gi, who will try his luck at the ADCC this weekend. A novel ruleset for the rising star. Possibly not as well known by the American public as he should be, due to competing almost exclusively in his home country, Chueng has been on quite a solid run over the past year, with wins over Lucas Gualberto, Darlan Casaca, Leon Larman to name a few.
– MURILO SANTANA (Unity) the legendary pressure passer has been competing in the ADCC since 2009, with his biggest accomplishment there being a 4th place in the open-weight class in 2011. Although less active now than in his heyday, expect Murilo to be one of the toughest men to beat on the mats this Saturday.
– CHARLES NEGROMONTE (ZR Team). Another powerhouse with wins over André Galvão, Craig Jones, Tommy Langaker to name a few, Negromonte spent the past year in Australia, as far as we know, and it is unclear what type of preparation he had for the big show, nevertheless, with his talent alone, Negromonte is a real challenger to the ADCC spot.
OVER 99-KILO DIVISION
– GUTEMBERG PEREIRA (GF Team) another huge player in the gi is “Berg”, one of the most charismatic and technical super-heavyweights in the world. Now competing as an ulta-heavyweight, Pereira can do it all. He plays well off of his back and from the top, and possesses plenty of flair to go with his skills. For sure one of the athletes, we are most looking forward to seeing.
GABRIELA FECHTER (Checkmat). The female divisions received the biggest talent upgrade by far. Were the Camboriu Trials had only one or two black belts, the São Paulo will feature some of the country’s very top competitors, which include, of course, Fechter.
Gabriela is a seasoned competitor with a wealth of experience in no-gi. Fechter will have steep competition at the tournament with Julia Alves, Jasmine Rocha, Mayssa Bastos, to name a few, but expect Gabriela to be one of the favorites here.
JULIA ALVES (GF Team) is one of the rising stars on the Brazilian gi circuit and has won multiple titles in the IBJJF World, Pan, and Brazilian Nationals in the colored belt divisions. That said, much of Julia’s game is reliant on lapels and sleeves, it will be interesting to see how she will adapt to the no-gi world.
JASMINE ROCHA (Fight Sports) is the daughter of ADCC medalist Vagner Rocha and will be making the most of her double citizenship (Brazilian-American) to compete in São Paulo after her past attempt at an ADCC stop in the Atlantic City (US East Coast) Trials. Rocha placed 4th at the American Trials, losing to the champ – Brianna Ste-Marie – in the semis via points.
MAYSSA BASTOS (Unity) is, very likely, the best female athlete in the sport P4P. That said, being a natural roosterweight she will be one of the smallest athletes in this division, which might prove to be a very steep hill to climb for the berimbolo wizard. Time will tell if she can overcome this obstacle.
FRANCIELE NASCIMENTO (Fight Sports) is a student of Melqui Galvão. That alone should class her as a name to keep in mind. Furthermore, Nascimento conquered the 2019 Brazilian Trials, sadly, she never got to compete in the big show due to (if we remember correctly) an injury. She is now back on track and ready to reclaim her throne.
VITÓRIA VIEIRA (GF Team), another brilliant lightweight climbing the ranks of success is the very talented Vitória Vieira. The fresh new black belt conquered the IBJJF World title last year as a brown belt, and has since been promoted. This will be Vieira’s first major event since earning the rank but is expected to do well this Saturday.
OVER 60-KILO DIVISION
FERNANDA MAZZELLI (Striker) the most accomplished grappler on the roster will be 3x IBJJF black belt world champion, Mazzelli of Guarapari. Although a veteran of the game, (Fernanda’s first BB world title happened 10 years ago,) the accomplished athlete is still fairly active and should be one of the favorites to reach the final.
JULIA BOSCHER (GF Team) should be seen as one of the favorites in the big Saturday showdown. A great no-gi athlete with the perfect style for the ADCC ruleset, Bischer has good takedowns, great scrambles, and a solid passing game. Boscher’s only enigma for the weekend will be her health as she had a serious injury last year and this will be her first big test since the surgery back in October 2021.
INGRIDD ALVES (Guigo) is one of the biggest names on the Brazilian circuit who had a superb debut year as a black belt in 2021, earning titles in the IBJJF South American Championship, the Brazilian Nationals, the AJP AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro, the Continental Pro, and many more. Alves is a great all-around athlete with excellent clock management and a well-rounded skillset. Definitely one of the favorites here.
GRACIELI DE FAVA (Guigo). Competing alongside Alves, Gracieli has been a solid competitor throughout the year of 2021. She is of a good size for the division and comes in with a wealth of experience.
SABATHA LAIS (Ryan Gracie) alongside Fernanda Mazzelli, will be the most experienced athlete on the +60 kilogram bracket, with a long career competing in a wide range of grappling styles. That experience allied with her powerful guard will make Lais a very tough challenge.
Adding to these aforementioned studs there are also the many stars who participated in the event this past weekend. We made a short description of those last week (check article here). Among those challengers are names such as:
– Diego “Pato” Oliveira (Dream Art)
– Fabricio Andrey (Fight Sports)
– Cleber Sousa (Almeida JJ)
– Rodrigo Francioni (Fight Sports)
– JZ Cavalcante (Fight Sports)
– Servio Tulio (Felipe Pena / Gracie Barra)
– Italo Moura (Unity)
– Lucas Protasio (Checkmat)
– Luiz Paulo (Fight Sports)
– Magid Hage (Surfight)
– Fabio Caloi (Alliance)
– Jhonny Loureiro (Alliance)
– Claudio Calasans (Calasans BJJ)
– André Porfirio (Fight Sports)
– Valdir BB Monster (Fight Sports)
– Diego Ramalho (ZR Team)
– Gabriel Brod (Felipe Pena)
– Rafael Paganini (Alliance)
– Luan Carvalho (Nova Uniao)
– Alexandre Jesus (Calasans BJJ)
– Henrique Cardoso (KMKZ Ceconi)
– Pedro Machado (Gordo JJ)
– Thiago Sá (Checkmat)
– Luccas Lira (Fight Sports).
– Pedro Agrizzi (Striker)
– Pedro Alex “Bombom” (GFTeam)
– Antonio Assef (GFTeam)
Cover photo by Mike Anderson. Follow Anderson on IG @mike_anderson_bjj