It’s still a few months away, but with this week being a quiet one on the competition scene, let’s take a quick look at the next big grappling event on the 2013 calendar: the Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship, set to take place in Beijing, China in October.

This year’s edition of the ADCC championship is shaping up to be one of the best installments yet, as old and new names are entering each category. We will see some familiar faces from gi competition—Lucas Lepri, Michael Langhi, Bernardo Faria, Rodolfo Vieira and current absolute World absolute champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida—test themselves on the biggest no-gi stage. All besides Vieira are making their first appearance in the event and are looking to etch their names into the history books as ADCC champion.

Here are a few highlights to look out for at this year’s ADCC:

Marcelo Garcia out of ADCC for first time since 2001

The -70kg (under 154.3-pound) category is going to have a new look to it, and a new champion as well. The 2011 (and four-time overall) champion, Marcelo Garcia, will be absent from the event. Garcia has all but dominated the category since 2003, winning it all in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011. The 2009 competition was the only recent edition that he did not win.

So, without Garcia in the mix, this opens up the opportunity for some newcomers to make their mark and take home a title of their own. Returning from retirement, Leo Vieira decided to make one more go at it, seeing that this could be his best chance to take his third ADCC title. The division will also have ADCC U.S. Trial winners AJ Agazarm and Garry Tonon in the mix, as well as first-time invitee Lucas Lepri, so the division is wide open for the taking.

Rafael Mendes seeks third consecutive title

Coming off a shocking loss to Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes at this year’s Worlds, Rafael Mendes will look to rebound at an event he has dominated in his two showings. In 2009, he was in his finest form as he submitted his way past Justin Rader and Leo Vieira to set up his epic finals victory over Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles. Then, in 2011, Mendes, while not quite as magical, did it again by defeating teammate Bruno Frazatto, Justin Rader, Robson Moura and, once again, Rubens Charles.

However, this year, along with familiar rival Cobrinha, Mendes will have new challenges, such as up-and-comers Joao Miyao, Marcio Andre and Darson Hemmings. Also, “Tanquinho” will be jumping into the mix in an effort to steal two of Mendes’ titles in one year. Can it be done?

Braulio Estima and Andre Galvao square off in superfight

The main superfight of the event will be between 2009 and 2011 ADCC absolute champions Braulio Estima and Andre Galvao. Having faced each other numerous times in both gi and no-gi, the two black belts go into the event knowing each other well. In the last two match-ups, Estima has gotten the win. At ADCC 2009, he submitted Galvao with his infamous inverted triangle. This year at the Worlds, he claimed victory over Galvao again, this time by a 5-2 score. Galvao has submitted Estima before, back in 2008, so can this be the time that he gets even with his friendly rival?

Can we see Rodolfo and Buchecha one more time in 2013?

One of the most intriguing rivalries in the sport today has always gone down with the gi on. However, now the gi comes off. World champions Rodolfo Vieira and Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida are set to compete in ADCC and there is the possibility that they could compete against each other for the first time without the gi.

Buchecha appears to hold a better track record in no-gi, where he has won the no-gi Worlds numerous times. Meanwhile, Vieira hardly ever competes in no-gi events, but with these two, the outcomes are always unpredictable.

So, what are you looking forward to most in this year’s ADCC event, and what competitor will shine the brightest? Comment below! Osss!

Photo: Rafael Mendes (GracieMag)

About The Author

Gianni Grippo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Contributor

Gianni Grippo is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcelo Garcia and trains at the Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City. Besides being a big fan of the sport, Gianni is also an avid competitor and has ranked among the best in the World from blue to brown belt winning 6 IBJJF World titles and 7 Pan Championships. Still at 21, Gianni looks to continue to compete for many years to come as his main goals are to win the World championships at black belt and win the ADCC title.