Table of Contents
The Superbowl of Jiu-Jitsu is getting closer as the year goes on! In this article, we touch base on ADCC (BJJ), what it is, the history of the tournament, and the weight classes hat people compete in!
Understanding ADCC: Combat Club Taking the World by Storm
2024 is gearing up to be a great year for a number of reasons if you are a fan of grappling. Around September or October of 2024, the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) World Championships will be taking place.
Before the big weekend happens there are a number of smaller tournaments that practitioners can get experience in before having to compete in the qualifying rounds! Want to know where you stand with some of the world’s best grapplers? We got you covered! In this article, we break down an overview of what ADCC is, the history of the tournament, and the ADCC weight classes you can find yourself in if you end up competing!
History of the ADCC
The ADCC stands for Abu Dhabi Combat Club, named after the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was founded almost a quarter of a century ago by Tahnoun Al Nahyan, a member of the country’s ruling family.
Tahnoun used to train in BJJ in the US under Nelson Monteiro and had a passion for mixed martial arts. Upon his return to his home country, he wanted to popularize MMA there and establish a standard for grappling competitions all over the world.
He went on to build a gym facility and invited the best mixed martial arts coaches to teach there. It soon became a state-of-the-art facility for ground fighting techniques and a hub of MMA training in MENA. This also helped him turn his dream into reality – the ADCC Championships.
The ADCC Championships have been held since 1998 and have featured 6 categories or weight classes. One of these is the absolute division which has no weight restrictions. There’s also the ADCC Super Fight Championship held since 1999.
It is considered to be the most prestigious title in all of grappling as it features two of the best submission grappling sensations in the world. The matchup is held between the winners of the previous super fight championship and absolute weight division.
As the popularity and prestige of the ADCC grew, it also added women’s competitions in 2005. Currently, there are two categories for women (Under and Above 60 kg) – there used to be more at the start.
Currently, the organization is being run by an ex-ADCC competitor, Mo Jassim, who joined in 2007. 12 years later, he joined forces with Fight 2 Win owner Seth Daniels to take the ADCC submission grappling competitions to a whole new level.
The ADCC competitions used to be broadcasted by grappling giants FloSports. However, in 2023, a breakthrough deal took place between the ADCC and UFC Fight Pass. Hence, the ADCC tournaments are to be streamed on it.
Competitors in the ADCC
Athletes from all grappling martial arts can compete in the ADCC submission tournaments. However, its ruleset favors Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) athletes. As a result, most ADCC champions are BJJ stars (usually from Brazil).
There are two ways to compete in an ADCC submission grappling contest. The first is to be invited to it by the organization. For this, you need to be a prominent name in grappling mixed martial arts, have won a medal at the ADCC, or have good connections.
Otherwise, the ADCC trials are the normie’s way of getting in. These are limited to a total of eight trials (two per region). You just pay the fee, make weight, and win the tournament to become eligible for the world championship.
Notable ADCC Champions
Legends of BJJ who’ve won gold at the ADCC World Championship include Marcelo Garcia, Roger Gracie, Felipe Pena, Saulo Ribeiro, and Gordon Ryan. Several ADCC champions have also achieved success in the big leagues of MMA such as the UFC.
These include Ricco Rodriguez, Mark Kerr, Ronaldo Souza, Demian Maia, and Fabrício Werdum. Female champs who’ve achieved stardom include Kyra Gracie, Gabi Garcia, and UFC strawweight sensation Mackenzie Dern.
In the last few years, stars such as 2022 ADCC world champion Gordon Ryan have gained mainstream attention and popularity. In fact, Ryan recently picked up a multi-fight 7-figure deal with FloSports, becoming one of the highest-paid combat sports athletes.
Why ADCC is the Ultimate test of Athleticism & Combat Skills
All Submission Grappling Formats are Accepted
One of the reasons why the ADCC is considered a prestigious competition is that it isn’t just for BJJ competitors. This is despite the competition’s rules being similar to the ones in a regular BJJ tournament and the success that athletes of the sport have seen in it.
The ADCC is respected by all grappling competitors as it favors other grappling arts to a degree. For example, if you have a strong wrestling base like Nick Rodriguez, you have a pretty good chance of excelling in the contest and even winning it as some have.
Only the Finest Compete in it
Despite the ADCC lacking coverage during its early days, we still saw the very best grapplers compete in it. Eventually, we saw it become the ‘Olympics of Grappling’, a much more prestigious competition. This has attracted even better competitors.
Some of the greatest grapplers have faced off in the ADCC. This includes battles such as Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie, Marcelo Garcia vs Ricco Rodrigues, Jean Jacques Machado vs Ricardo Arona, and more.
There are No Advantages
Unlike the IBJJF which gives competitors points for almost completing a move. This makes it more difficult to win on points in case there’s no submission finish. As a result, the ADCC World Championships are more challenging.
There’s a High Level of Exclusivity
Getting into an ADCC world championship is a tough job in itself. You need to either be invited or win a grueling ADCC tournament in order to even secure a spot in the competition. Since there’s a minute chance of the former, the ADCC trials are the way to go for most.
How ADCC is Revolutionizing the Future of Martial Arts
Popularizing and Improving Grappling
There are many ways in which the ADCC is helping the world of grappling. For example, it is bringing more popularity, and its submission grappling format is bringing about more development to the existing skillsets of grapplers.
Increasing Cross Training
Because the ADCC is bringing together grapplers from all sorts of backgrounds in mixed martial arts, we are seeing the development of new styles – hybrid ones.
Regulation is the key to increasing the profile of every sport. The ADCC is doing this to grapple with its extensive rules and strict code of conduct. Grappling is now also getting more attention thanks to the ADCC-UFC Fight Pass deal.
ADCC Open Tournaments and Schedule
Oct 07– ADCC Bosnia And Herzegovina Open 2023
Aug 18 – ADCC Africa Championship 2023
Aug 12 – ADCC UK National Championships 2023
Aug 06 – ADCC Australian Open 2023
Jul 31 – 2023 ADCC Kazakhstan Open 2023
Jul 29 – 2023 ADCC South European Open 2023
Jul 09 – 2023 ADCC Gold Coast Open 2023
Jun 25 – ADCC Baku Open 2023
Jun 17 – ADCC Bulgaria Open 2023
Jun 17 – ADCC Central European Open 2023
Jun 10 – ADCC Slovak National 2023
Jun 10 – ADCC Portugal Open 2023
Jun 04 – ADCC Melbourne Open 2023
Jun 04 – ADCC Macedonia Open 2023
May 28 – ADCC Perth Open 2023
May 27 – ADCC Southeast Asia 2023
May 27 – ADCC Moldova Open 2023
May 20 – ADCC German Open 2023
May 20 – ADCC Irish Open 2023
May 19 – ADCC Uzbekistan 2023
May 15 – ADCC Swedish Open 2023
May 13 – ADCC Rostov Open Cup 2023
May 06 – ADCC Serbia Open 2023
May 05 – ADCC Kuwait Open 2023
Apr 29 – ADCC Belgian National 2023
Apr 29 – ADCC Romania National 2023
Apr 15 – ADCC Polish Nationals 2023
ADCC Weight Classes
ADCC Submission Championship and Qualifier Matches