In the ever expanding “quest for the best” ADCC Championships is proud to announce that two of the World’s top fighters have agreed to compete in the 2009 ADCC event. ADCC is proud to announce that Pride and Affliciton Champion Fedor Emelianenko, widely considered the World’s best fighter and 2008 Dream Middleweight Champion Gregard Mousassi are set to compete in ADCC 2009. ADCC Europe President Marko Leistén confirmed the fighter’s presence after a meeting with the two fighters manager Aby Echteld in Holland 8th November.
Fedor Emelianenko, after conquering the World of MMA, wants to show the World he is also the best Submission Grappler in the World. Fedor want to make history and expand on the pioneer spirit of what Mark Kerr did in the late 90’s when he was the Champion of Pride and became the weight and Absolute Champion of ADCC and went on to defend his title in the Superfights for 2 editions.
Mousassi, the winner of the 2008 Dream Middleweight Grand Prix where he defeated former World ABJJ Absolute and ADCC middleweight Champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the final, also wants to test his ground skills against the top names in Submission Grappling. This sets up some humongous possible match-ups such as a re-match with “Jacare” or facing current ADCC Middleweight Champion and rising U.F.C. star Demian Maia.
World lead organizer Guy Neivens was ecstatic with the addition: “At the top of my wish list I was one name: Fedor Emelianenko! And not only we got him but we also added another World star in Gregard Moussassi. It is a testament to the level and prestige of our conversation that the World’s best continue to want to test themselves in our events.” And he continued: “We couldn’t be any happier. Now it is time for the rest of the World’s best fighters to step up to the challenge!”
In 1993 Royce Gracie and the U.F.C. showed the World that in order to succeed in a street fight you need to be proficient in ground fighting, specifically Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. With the U.F.C. exploding in popularity a new form of fighting was created in America called Mixed Martial Arts or MMA as it is more commonly referred to.
The success of the U.F.C. spawned a host of other shows and brought fighters from various other ground fighting systems like Russian Sambo, Japanese Judo and American Freestyle Wrestling to the MMA arena to prove that their style was equally effective or better than Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ). The success of Royce Gracie defeating his opponents without delivering so much as one strike led a revolution and what followed was that Martial artists flocked to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academies to learn the “new” and efficient form of fighting. One such person was Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of then U.A.E. leader Sheik Zayed. Sheik Tahnoon at the time was attending college in the US and soon after U.F.C.I began training and learning Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
While Sheik Tahnoon loved his new found knowledge, he saw flaws in the then philosophy of GJJ, the fact that at the time, the majority of practitioners ignored lower body submissions such as knee and foot locks. Sheik Tahnoon however was a man who followed his own ideas and soon he embarked in a course that would create a whole new sport that has taken over the World.
Tahnoon proceed to learn Russian Sambo and his thirst of knowledge led him to other fighting styles like wrestling and Judo. While learning all these styles Tahnoon often came across the same questions or the same statements by instructors of different styles: “My art is better than all others. If you know you can beat any other fighting style!” the problem at the time was that since every fighting style had their own set of rules, once again it was impossible to establish which one was the most effective.
Upon his return to his home Country Sheik Tahnoon set out to create a competition and a set of “neutral” rules that would allow practitioners of various martial arts to compete against each other and without the brutality of strikes, prove to themselves and others that their style was the most effective “grappling” style available, thus in 1998 the first Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) World Submission Wrestling Championships was created. The rules of ADCC rewarded points that allowed all the grappling styles equal chance additionally, ADCC allowed most submission attacks (except for spinal attacks) thus unshackling the restrictions of each martial art style and creating a neutral ground where GJJ, Sambo, Judo, Wrestling and any other fighting style could compete against each other. ADCC had 16 fighters in each of 5 weight divisions and the Absolute competing for the title. Additionally ADCC Tournament had a great benefit that was not found in any other grappling competition at the time, a large monetary prize for the winners of each weight division. For the first time ever fighters could compete and receive monetary prizes without having to submit to the dangers of strikes thus creating a great venue for up and coming fighters to expose their skills and develop their game prior to competing in MMA.
The first edition of ADCC took place on March 20, 21 & 22, 1998 in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Despite its novelty and lack of publicity (because of lack specialized media at the time), the first ADCC tournament still attracted some of the best “grapplers” in the World a the time, while others, afraid of perhaps bias in the rules of worried about exposing themselves in a different format remained home and awaited the end of the event to make their judgment and passed on the chance to compete in March 1998
After the completion of the first event, with competitors returning home raving about the quality of the event and the equality of the rules, what followed was an explosion of interest for the next years. With each edition, more and more top fighters from the four corners of the World actively began training and preparing for ADCC. With the increased interest a problem started to occur there were too many entrants for the available 16 spots, thus forcing ADCC to create regional qualifying trials. Soon Submission Grappling spread throughout the four corners of the World and a new and exciting sport was created.
ADCC Champions and top competitors became highly sought commodities for MMA Events and soon became stars in shows like U.F.C. in America and Pride and K1 in Japan. Names like Royler Gracie, Mark Kerr, Matt Hughes, Ricardo Arona, Tito Ortiz, Rodrigo "Minotauro", Dean Lister, Ricco Rodrigues, Ricardo Arona, Matt Lindland, Tom Erickson, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza & Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro just to name a few, had or currently have successful careers in MMA.
The ever expansion of Submission Wrestling led by the huge success of ADCC spawned amateur leagues around the World, and with each year, the number of competitors in these and other like events grew tremendously, and ADCC Championships is and has been always considered the pinnacle of the modality. The creation of one visionary, ADCC, now in its 9th edition to be held in 2009 has become the beacon of a new generation and a new sport.