The 2017 ADCC World Championships will be held in Finland on September 23rd to 24th. There are only two ways to be a part of this event, win one of the qualifying events for a spot, or receive one of the prestigious invites. Previous champions are automatically qualified to compete.
The ADCC World Championship has an unique ruleset with qualifying rounds being 10 minutes long with a the possibility of two 5 minute overtimes. The finals is 20 minutes long with two possible 10 minute overtimes. In both the qualifying rounds and the finals, the first half of the round is without points, 5 minutes and 10 minutes respectively. Points are recorded at the halfway mark. Points are awarded as follows: Guard Pass – 3; Knee on Belly – 2; Mount – 2; Back Control – 3; Takedown ending in guard or half guard – 2; Clean Takedown ending past guard – 4; Sweeps ending in guard or half guard – 2; Clean Sweep ending past guard – 4. One point is deducted for guard pulls and for stalling. Normal illegal moves such as striking and hair pulling is illegal, with slamming allowed only during submission escapes. Winners are determined by submission, points, or referee decision.
2015 champion: Mackenzie Dern (USA)
Mackenzie Dern is probably the most recognized name on this list. Having recently transitioned to MMA, holding a record of 3-0 in the straw weight division, it has been a somewhat ‘slower’ year for Dern, skipping big events like Pans and Worlds this year. Even without being as active on the tournament scene, Dern still ended the year as the number one ranked female adult blackbelt for IBJJF, won first at Europeans, along with a MMA victory in March and a Fight to Win Pro submission win. Representing Gracie Humaita, Dern has been training jiu jitsu since she was 3, and she is now 24, having had her blackbelt since she was 19. Reigning ADCC champ, it’s hard to say anyone else could be the favorite.
South American Trials Winner: Bianca Basílio (Brazil)
Bianca Basilio was promoted to black belt in December of 2016 after winning Worlds at brown belt in the light weight division. She has had a good start to her black belt career, winning Pan Ams in the feather weight class. Basilio started training jiu jitsu when she was 12, originally having a gymnastics background, and won her first world title at 15. She represents Atos Jiu Jitsu, and although has no nogi world titles, wining the South American trials speaks for itself.
Asia & Oceania Winner: Rikako Yuasa (Japan)
Rikako Yuasa has dominated the rooster and light feather weight division with her impressive lasso guard, having won worlds since 2015 after being promoted to black belt in 2014 from Yukinori Sasa after winning worlds at brown belt. Yuasa started training jiu jitsu at 17 in Japan under Ichiro Kaneko, and now represents Paraestra Shinagawa. Being on the smaller side of this division, and holding no notable nogi wins, it will be interesting to see what Yuasa will bring to the table.
European Trials Winner: Ffion Davies (United Kingdom)
Ffion Davies is currently a brown belt, having been recently promoted in June. She has two IBJJF nogi world titles at purple in 2016 and blue in 2015. She took silver at worlds both in 2016 and 2017. She was recently in Polaris 5, where she beat Elvira Karppinen by an unanimous decision. In addition to her jiu jitsu, Davies has a background in Judo and MMA, with a record of 4-0 in the bantamweight class. Davies was in the recent EBI 12 losing to Talita Alencar. A possible rematch under a different rule set is an exciting reason to watch.
Invited: Michelle Nicolini (Brazil)
Michelle Nicolini is easily one of the more decorated jiujitsu competitors on this list. She is an 8x black belt IBJJF World Champion, a 2x IBJJF nogi World Champion, the previous 2013 ADCC Champion, and is in the IBJJF Hall of Fame with only 6 other women. She received all of her belts including her black belt from Robert Drysdale. Nicolini recently ‘retired’ from jiujitsu competition to focus on a MMA career, where she holds a record of 4-1 in the straw weight division. Her wins are all from submissions, and her one loss was from an unanimous decision. Having been away from the competitor jiujitsu scene, it will be exciting to see Nicolini’s ‘return’.
Invited: Beatriz Mesquita (Brazil)
Beatriz Mesquita, Bia, trains under Leticia Ribeiro (Gracie Humaita), having received her black belt from Ribeiro in 2011. Mesquita has won worlds four times in 2016, 2015, and 2014, weight and open, losing to Luiza Monteiro in the finals this year. She has won Pans 5 times and Nogi Worlds once in 2010 at brown belt, with a silver in open. Mesquita is easily one of the most formidable black belts in the competition scene, and she could easily add an ADCC title to her accolades this year.
Invited: Talita Alencar (Brazil)
Talita Alencar has had an impressive run at black belt so far, having received her black belt in 2016 after winning worlds at brown belt. A new arrival in the black belt competition scene, Alencar has won Pans, Worlds, Nogi Worlds and Abu Dhabi Pro. She currently trains under the Alliance flag, having recently switched from GF Team after moving to California to train under Cobrinha. Alencar was recently in the first female EBI, losing in the semifinals.
Invited: Elvira Karppinen (Finland)
Elvira Karppinen is a 10th Planet brown belt training out of Finland, and is a recent addition to ADCC receiving her invitation on September 13th. She won the Europeans ADCC Trials, is a 2x Nogi Europeans Champion, and is currently listed as the 18th pound for pound 10th planet sub only competitor, which ranks both men and women. She was recently on Polaris with a match against Ffion Davies, losing by unanimous decision. Karppinen has a lot to prove with the upcoming ADCC, and her nogi only background will be a huge asset to her.
Note: North American Trials Winner Elisabeth Clay has pulled out due to a knee injury. Elvira Karppinen has been invited to take her place.
South American Trials Winner: Talita ‘Treta’ Nogueira (Brazil)
Talita “Treta” Nogueira received her black belt from Kyra Gracie in 2011 after winning the brown/black medium heavy division at worlds. She is an IBJJF Pan American, Brazilian, and World Champion. Nogueira is also a professional MMA fighter in the featherweight division with Bellator with a record of 7-0, 1-0 with Bellator. 5 of her wins from submissions, and the others, TKOs. To earn her spot in ADCC, Nogueira won the ADCC South American Trials beating Andresa Correa in the finals.
North American Trials Winner: Tara White (USA)
Tara White is a brown belt training out of Carlson Gracie, and is a multiple time IBJJF Pan American, American Nationals, and World Champion, most recently in 2017 all in the Super Heavy weight class and was the absolute champion at American Nationals this year. White is also a nogi world champion at Heavy Weight at purple belt. She recently had a super fight with Five Grappling with Jessica Flowers losing a close referee decision. A rematch between the two would be exciting to watch.
European Trials Winner: Samantha Cook (United Kingdom)
Samantha Cook is a newly minted black belt under Marco Canha, recieving her black belt in June after a double silver performance at Worlds. She trains out of London under the Checkmat Association having trained since she was 21. She is the 2015 Nogi World and European Champion, both at brown belt. She has also won Europeans four times, twice at brown in 2016 and 2017, and twice at purple in 2015 and 2014. In Polaris 5, she recently beat Vanessa English by unanimous decision. She won the ADCC European Trials with Sophia Nordeno and Venla Luukkonen taking second and third respectively.
Invited: Jessica Flowers (Brazil)
Jessica Flowers was recently promoted to black belt in December of 2016 by Henrique Machado, after winning IBJJF Worlds in 2015 and Nogi Worlds in 2016 at brown belt. She then went on to win Pan Ams at black belt in the medium heavy weight class and silver in the open class. Flowers, who is originally from Manaus, has been training jiu jitsu since 2009, and currently trains under the Gracia Barra Association. She was the 2015 ADCC runner up, beating Gabi Garcia in the semi finals, and is definitely one to watch this weekend.
Invited: Gabi Garcia (Brazil)
Gabi Garcia is arguably one of the favorites this weekend for the +60kg division title. She is the most decorated athlete here. She is the 2011 and 2013 ADCC champion, holds 9 IBJJF World titles, 6 Pan American titles, and is in the IBJJF Hall of Fame. She started training jiu jitsu at the age of 13 in Sao Paulo, and currently trains under the Alliance flag. Garcia is currently focusing more on MMA, and holds a professional record of 4-0-1 in the heavy weight division, with two submissions and two TKOs. Having lost in the 2015 ADCC World Championship in the semi finals, she will be looking to add another ADCC title to her long list of accomplishments.
Invited: Amanda Santana (USA)
Amanda Santana, also known as Amanda “Tubby” Alequin recently won the 2016 IBJJF Nogi Worlds in the middle weight division after receiving her black belt from Marcio Cruz in June of 2016 when she won double gold at IBJJF Worlds. She currently trains out of Florida after growing up in New York. She won the ADCC East Coast Trials in 2015, and lost to Gabi Garcia at the 2015 ADCC World Championship in the semifinals by a very close decision.
Invited: Venla Luukkonen (Finland)
Venla Luukkonen was awarded her black belt in February of 2014 from Pedro Duarte, going on to win the IBJJF Worlds only a couple months later in the super heavy weight class. Luukkonen starting training in 2008 in Finland, and now resides in Sweden training out of Akademi Nord. She recently placed third at ADCC European Trials gaining her entry into ADCC by invite, and earlier this year placed second at worlds.
Invited: Marysia Malyjasia (Poland)
Marysia “Maria” Malyjasiak is a black belt originally from Poland and a 3 time IBJJF World Champion. She currently trains out of Washington DC out of Abmar Barbosa Jiu Jitsu Academy. At the 2017 Worlds she placed silver at brown belt, receiving her black belt a month later. In 2013 she placed second at ADCC World Championship losing to Gabi Garcia.
Note: 2015 ADCC Champion Ana Laura Cordeiro has declined this years ADCC
Live coverage of the 2017 ADCC World Championship will be available on FloGrappling. Let us know who you think is going to win it all.