ADCC 2019 Official Primer: Every Major Story You Need To Know

After months and months of anticipation, it's finally time for ADCC 2019. The action starts on Sunday in Anaheim, California.   

Our run-up to the famed tournament has resulted in more content than you can shake a stick at on our main event page — almost too much for the casual fan, so we wanted to give a concise overview of all the biggest stories present at the 2019 ADCC World Championship.

Consider this the "guide to ADCC," something you would send to your significant other, your mom, or friend you've been trying to get to come to the gym. It's got all the necessary bits to give them context without getting bogged down. 

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-60kg: Queen Bia Returns To Defend Title

There's no denying that Mesquita is the favorite entering the tournament this year. She holds wins over many athletes in the division and has been basically untouchable for the better part of the last two years.

  • We are looking forward to a potential rematch between Ffion Davies and Bia Mesquita. The Brazilian holds two wins over Davies, but the European grappling has gone on a tear since then to establish herself as one of the toughest competitors in the women's ranks. 
  • Elvira Karppinen is back — she shocked the world in 2017 when she defeated Mackenzie Dern at ADCC 2017.  
  • Key wild cards include trials Jena Bishop and Livia Giles, both of whom have been preparing relentlessly for ADCC for the past three months. 

Want more? See the full division analysis

ADCC 2019 Women's 60kg Preview

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66kg: Fresh Faces & Old Lions

  • Standouts include the likely no.1 seed Paulo Miyao and teenage phenom (and fan-favorite) Nicky Ryan. 
  • Wild cards to keep an eye on are gi world champions Shane Jamil-Hill Taylor and Matheus Gabriel, who will both be making their ADCC debuts; Gianni Grippo is also back for his second attempt at the ADCC World Championships.  
  • Division also features previous ADCC medalists Tanquinho, Bruno Frazatto, and Pablo Mantovani.
  • Half of the competitors in this division are under 24 years of age.

Question for the division: Will experience prevail against rising talents? 

Want more? See the full division analysis

Who Takes ADCC Gold At 66kg?

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77kg: JT Torres & The Group Of Death

We've coined the 77kg division at this year's event as the "Group of Death" due to the depth and competitiveness of the lineup. American grappling icon JT Torres looks to defend his 2017 title against a hoard of elite grapplers.

  • All medalists from 2017 are returning: champion JT Torres, silver medalist Lucas Lepri, and third-place finisher Vagner Rocha. 
  • ADCC debuts will be coming from invitees Edwin Najmi, Renato Canuto, Dante Leon; Trials winners John Combs, Matheus Gamrot, Ross Nichols, and Jon Satava are also appearing at ADCC for the very first time.
  • ADCC veterans include DJ Jackson, Lachlan Giles, Garry Tonon, Oliver Taza, and Celso Vinicius.
  • JT is the first returning 77kg champ looking to defend his title since Marcelo Garcia in 2011.

Question for the division: Who can stop JT Torres?

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88kg: The Wild West 

Perhaps the only division without a true favorite, the 88kg category will see the crowning of a new champ and has plenty of room for unexpected twists and turns.

  • All returning medalists have either moved up to -99kg or aren't at ADCC this year (first: Gordon Ryan; second: Keenan Cornelius; third: Xande, who is recovering from surgery on his wrist). 
  • Only three athletes from 2017 are back: Craig Jones, Rustam Chsiev, and Murilo Santana.
  • The FloGrappling staff has picked both Josh Hinger and Craig Jones as likely candidates to hit the top of the podium. 
  • With four sets of teammates, that means half of the bracket has to face off in the second round which complicates the bracket. 

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-99kg: The Gordon Ryan Show  

The -99kg division at ADCC contains two of the most pivotal names in jiu-jitsu today: Gordon Ryan and Keenan Cornelius, but there is certainly no shortage of other game challengers on hand that could shake things up. 

  • Key competitors in this division include invitees Lucas "Hulk" Barbosa, Patrick Gaudio, and Trials winners Aaron "Tex" Johnson and Tim Spriggs.  
  • The biggest threat to Gordon could come in the form of Vinny Magalhaes, Patrick Gaudio, or even Keenan Cornelius.
  • This is Gordon's first major competition since knee surgery.

Question of the Division: Can someone take out Gordon? 

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+99kg: Buchecha Set To Go For Third ADCC Title

Buchecha is in prime position to go for his third ADCC title this year, but it certainly won't be easy. Standing in his way are three other past ADCC champions; plus Joao Gabriel and Kaynan Duarte are also on hand to mix things up. 

  • Yuri Simoes looking to win his third ADCC title in a third weight class (the first in history to complete the task should he win). 
  • Four returning ADCC champions are present in this division: Buchecha, Yuri Simoes, Orlando Sanchez, and Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu.
  • The ultimate wild card: Nick Rodriguez, a super-athletic blue belt and the West Coast Trials winner, is also present in this division.


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+60kg: Gabi Garcia Is The Woman To Beat

Gabi Garcia is looking to secure her fourth title, an accomplishment that would see her tie Marcelo Garcia's record. 

  • At first glance, the toughest challenge for Gabi seems to be ADCC newcomer and multiple-time world champ Tayane Porfirio — her former Alliance teammate before Tayane jumped sip to Gracie Barra. 
  • Should Ana Carolina Vieira pull off the upset and take gold, she and her brother would become the first-ever brother-sister to both earn ADCC titles.
  • Nathiely de Jesus could shake things up in this division; she's is a No-Gi World champ who has put the pressure on Gabi Garcia before, recently taking a decision victory (in the gi) at F2W.  

Question of the Division: Will Tayane or Nathiely survive the onslaught that is Gabi Garcia? 

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The Absolute Super Fight: Galvao vs Pena

Andre Galvao is looking to defend his ADCC absolute for a record fourth time against Gracie Barra superstar and 2017 ADCC absolute division winner Felipe Pena. Galvao and Pena have a tumultuous history that has seen them split victories and defeats two and two apiece. 

Now comes the time to finally settle the score once and for all. Who is the best no-gi grappler in the world? 

Felipe Pena: My Journey To ADCC 2019 Super Fight

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Andre Galvao Looks to Make ADCC History Against His Biggest Rival

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