The ADCC World Championships return this fall to the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. COVID pushed the championship back a year, further building the anticipation for the biggest no-gi jiu-jitsu tournament in the world. Although the ADCC Worlds are the main attraction, the trials are often the birth place of new jiu-jitsu stars.
The vast majority of ADCC champions are from Brazil, so the Brazilian trials are some of the most anticipated. In the first of two Brazilian trials events, both newcomers and veterans came together to fight for an ADCC World Championship birth. Among the most anticipated fighters to compete were Micael Galvao, Fabricio Andrey, Diego Oliveira, Magid Hage, Claudio Calasans, Isaque Bahiense, Survio Tulio, and Roosevelt Sousa.
Upcoming ADCC Trials events include the second South American trials, the Asia and Oceania trials, West Coast trials, the second European, Middle East, and Africa trials, and the second Asia and Oceania trials.
Below are the full results for the first South American trials:
66 kg – Diogo Reis
77 kg – Micael Galvao
88 kg – Isaque Bahiense
-99 kg – Joao Costa
+99 kg – Roosevelt Sousa
-60 kg – Daiana Torquato
+60 kg – Rebecca Albuquerque
Mica Galvao and Roosevelt Sousa submit all opponents and secure first ADCC Worlds appearances
Two of the most anticipated athletes to compete at the first South American trials were Micael Galvao and Roosevelt Sousa, both representing team Fight Sports. Mica was promoted to black belt in July 2021 at just 17 years old. Despite not meeting the age requirement and thus not being able to compete in the IBJJF in 2021, Mica found plenty of challenges at his new rank. He won the Abu Dhabi World Pro, the 3rd Coast Grappling Middleweight Grand Prix, and placed 2nd at the WNO Championships. Mica was the favorite coming into the 77 kg division and his performance surpassed all expectations.
In his first match, Mica worked his passing game and got to a leg drag position, using it to roll to a crab ride and take his opponent’s back, ultimately securing a rear naked choke.
In the semi- finals, Mica faced Lucas Protasio of Checkmat. Mica went for an under hook and collar tie from the standing position and used it to hit a perfectly timed foot sweep right into a reverse triangle and kimura position. Mica maintained the position and finished the triangle as Protasio rolled to the top.
Magid Hage of Surfight Jiu-Jitsu also had an impressive run at 77 kg’s. He entered the finals against Mica with five wins and five submissions. The final started with Mica looking to land foot sweeps, timing Magid’s steps in an effort to get him to the mat. About a minute into the match, Magid shot in on a single leg that Mica countered with a guillotine. While controlling the arm in guillotine position, Mica threw his leg over Magid’s shoulder to lock on a triangle. Over the course of the next 30 seconds, Mica adjusted his angle and leg positioning before getting the tap less than two minutes into the match. Mica will now enter a stacked 77 kg division in September that will include JT Torres, Kade Ruotolo, Garry Tonon, Dante Leon, and Lucas Lepri.
Another Fight Sports team member who also had a stellar performance at the South American trials was Roosevelt Sousa, who competed in the +99 kg division. Throughout his matches Roosevelt displayed a very technical guard game. He won via belly down ankle lock in his first match and followed that up with two submissions in under thirty seconds by way of inside heel hook.
In the final, Roosevelt faced Pedro “Bom Bom” Alex. Pedro took him down just over a minute into the match. Rather than choosing to defend, it appeared Roosevelt made a strategic decision to let Pedro take him down so he could get to his ‘A’ game. Once on bottom, he quickly pulled Alex into 50/50 and began attacking a heel hook. Bom Bom turned out of the position but Roosevelt transitioned beautifully into a calf slicer and got the submission at just over two minutes into the match.
Isaque Bahiense wins 88 kg division seven years after first trials appearance
Dream Art team leader Isaque Bahiense has consistently been one of the best gi competitors in the world since being awarded his black belt in late 2016. Isaque’s run at black belt has so far resulted in IBJJF World, Pan, and European titles. The ADCC title has avoided him, however. His first trials appearance came as a purple belt back in 2015 where he placed second, losing in the finals to Felipe Pena. He tried again in 2019 but ultimately lost via heel hook in the quarter finals.
Determined to make his first ADCC Worlds appearance this year, Isaque hit the ground running early, winning his first match by guillotine in just 17 seconds.
He won his second match 3-0 and submitted Leonardo Goncalves of Gracie Barra in the quarter finals by head and arm choke. The semi-final and final matches were much closer. Against Valdir Araujo of American Top Team, Isaque won a ref’s decision in a match contested entirely on the feet. In the final he faced Claudio Calasans, a 2015 ADCC absolute champion. Calasans got a penalty for inactivity early and was unable to recover the negative point, losing the match by that single penalty. Isaque will enter an 88 kg division in September that was last won by Marcelo Garcia black belt Matheus Diniz.
The second ADCC South American trials go down next Saturday, February 12th.