With the defending Champion <b>Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza</b> not competing because of a professional MMA commitment, the under 88KG division for the 2007 ADCC Championships is up for grabs. That is not to say that the division is weak, far from it, but Jacare, with his experience and at his best would be a clear favorite.
More recently Brazil Trials winner <b>Delson ‘Pe de Chumbo’ Heleno</b> also withdrew with an injury, his replacement however is the very exciting and 2007 Pan-Am BJJ Champion <b>Romulo Barral</b>.
Analising this category is very difficult and again the brackets will have major impact on who reaches the finals as styles match ups can eliminate some very good fighters.
The number on pick in my view is 2005 Runner Up <b>Demian Maia</b>. The winner of the 2005 Brazil Trials, Maya has that and the 2005 finals experience on his side (he lost to ‘Jacare’ by the slimmest of margins (-1)). Maia is a good stand up fighter, very good strategist and a monster in submission wrestling. Right behind him is a group of fighters: <b>Rosimar ‘Toquinho’, Romulo Barral, Chris Moriarty and Flavio Almeida</b>.
‘Toquinho’ is a great competitor and a monster on the mats, he and Barral fought in the semis in Brazil trials and bought could not advance as they destroyed each other. Toquinho goes 150% all the time and should be there in the end fighting for one of the top spots, his biggest hurdles at this time are his durability (because of his wreckless style) and the American Consulate in Brazil (as he is still fighting to get a Visa for the US). Barral, who just got invited as a replacement of Heleno, the Brazil trials winner, has a slick guard and a very good game for ADCC, and he too should be contending for the final 4 spots. His preference for fighting from the bottom is a hinderance in ADCC rules but he has enough game to overcome that.
Chirs Moriarty, the USA trials winner, is a complete fighter but is recovering from a serious knee injury. Depending on how strong and how recovered he is from the injury he too should be in the final 4. The final favorite in my short list is Almeida, ALmeida previously competed in ADCC with good results but had been away from the mats for some time as he pursued his College studies. Recently returning from the hiatus, Almeida won the 2007 Pan-Ams No-Gi bringing his go-for-it style with a little maturity. He will be pushing for the title as well.
There are many other top names that, again depending on the bracketing, will contemd: <b>Rafael Lovato Jr, Tarsys Humphreis, Chris Moriarty and BRuno Bastos</b> all have enough game to get the title as well. The fact is that this is a stacked division and don’t be surprised with the quality fo the early matches.
Thes are my picks! What are yours????
Under 88KG Division:
<b>1 RAFAEL LOVATO JR BJJ BLACK USA
2 DAMIEN MAIA BJJ BLACK BRAZIL
3 CHRIS MORIARTY BJJ USA
4 ROSIMAR PALHARES BJJ BLACK BRAZIL
5 FLAVIO ALMEIDA BJJ BLACK BRAZIL
6 BRUNO BASTOS BJJ BLACK BRAZIL
7 HAIM GOZALI MMA ISRAEL
8 ROMULO BARRAL BJJ BLACK BRAZIL
9 TRAVERS GRUBB AUSTRALIA
10 TARSYS HUMPHREIS BJJ BLACK BRAZIL
11 DAVID AVELLAN USA
12 SAULI HEILIMO FINLAND
13 RICK MACAULEY BJJ USA
14 YUSHIN OKAMI Japan
15 MARKO HELEN FINLAND
16 DAVID LEVEY Africa Trials</b>
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