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ADCC 2015 66kg division preview: Cobrinha and Cummings set to battle for gold

Bloody Elbow's grappling editor, Roy Billington previews the divisions of ADCC 2015. Here, we look at the 66kg division featuring Rubens Cobrinha Charles and Eddie Cummings.

This weekend, the premier grappling event in the world goes down. The Abu Dhabi Combat Club's Submission Wrestling World Championships has been the proving ground for grapplers around the world since its inception in 1998. This year, the tournament takes place in Sao Paulo, Brazil and will be available on pay-per-view at Budo Videos. Over the course of the next few days Bloody Elbow will be previewing each of the competitive divisions. Here, we look at one of the more competitive divisions, the -66KG category.

Historically, the -66KG division has been one of the more competitive and this years seems to be no different. For years this division was synonymous with one man, Royler Gracie, but the last decade has ushered through a new age of submission stylist. Here, we will talk you through who should be considered the favourite to take home gold, as well as who is capable of pulling off the shock.

The Favorites

Rubens Cobrinha Charles

When it comes to submission grappling, Cobrinha has won it all. Cobrinha is the defending champion and is arguably one of the best pound-for-pound grapplers on the planet. What makes Cobrinha especially dangerous is his versatility. While the Brazilian is able to trade submissions with the best of them, it's his ability to play the points game that could see him come out on top once again this year, especially since his long time rival, Rafael Mendes, won't be competing.

Eddie Cummings

Eddie Cummings has it all. If ADCC was completely a submission only tournament I would pick Eddie Cummings in a heartbeat. Cummings, competing out of the Renzo Gracie academy, has revolutionized the use of leg locks in submission grappling. This year he has put together a wealth of impressive wins, most notably the Eddie Bravo Invitational earlier this month where he heel hooked all of his opponents to secure victory. My one reservation with picking Cummings is the fact that Cobrinha is so experienced.

The Underdogs

Geo Martinez

Geo Martinez, like Cummings, is part of the new wave of submission grapplers. Martinez is a two-time EBI champ and has all the tools to win at ADCC. In Martinez's last outing he suffered a shock defeat to UFC fighter Joe Soto at EBI IV in overtime and this will likely have spurred him on even further in his pursuit of ADCC gold. Right now, I feel like Martinez isn't quite ready for ADCC gold, but I do expect him to make the semis. With that being said, Martinez's coach Eddie Bravo pulled off the biggest ADCC upset ever when he defeated Royler in 2003 so maybe I shouldn't rule out the 10th Planet black belt so easily.

Jeff Glover

On his day, Jeff Glover can beat any man alive on the mats. Glover was a bronze medalist at ADCC 2011 and has proven that he has the propensity to pull off an upset. Glover holds wins over Robson Moura and Caio Terra, two of the greatest grapplers alive. If Glover can put it all together in time for ADCC and gets a decent bracket he could well find himself in medal contention when all's said and done.

The full -66KG competitor list is below:

1. Rubens Charles "Cobrinha" - Brazil (ADCC 2013 Winner)
2. Asadulaev Surkhay - Russia (1st European Trials Winner)
3. Nicolas Renier - France (2nd European Trials Winner)
4. Tezekbaev Rasul - Kyrgyzstan (1st Asia & Oceania Trials Winner)
5. Yuto Hirao - Japan (2nd Asia & Oceania Trials Winner)
6. Geovanny Martinez - USA (1st North American Trials Winner)
7. Edward Cummings - USA (2nd North American Trials Winner)
8. Renan Sancar Santos - Brazil (1st South American Trials Winner)
9. Gabriel Marangoni - Brazil (2nd South American Trials Winner)
10. Jeff Glover - USA (Invited)
11. Augusto Mendes - Brazil (Invited)
12. Justin Rader - USA (Invited)
13. Bruno Frazatto - Brazil (Invited)
14. Gianni Grippo - USA (Invited)
15. Mark Ramos - USA (Invited)
16. Alexandre Vieira - Brazil (Invited)