The road of Tom Maenurm of Team Scardovelli in Italy to ADCC competition may be somewhat different than the one taken by most grapplers.
Originally from Estonia and without any background in combat sports, he began fighting in local MMA events in Italy, where he now lives, works, and goes to university.
“I really did not start with grappling. I started with MMA,” he said in an interview. “And with MMA, of course, I had to do some ground work and jiu-jitsu, and I started to like it very much.”
Then his grappling skills began to be evident in these MMA fights.
“At one point I saw that all the matches I was doing in MMA, I always would bring the guys on the ground. I liked to fight on the ground,”he said. And that meant it was time for a change.
“So, I stopped doing MMA and I started dedicating more time to jiu-jitsu.”
And, not surprisingly, that led him to compete in ADCC events in Italy.
“One of the biggest competitions there were in Italy were ADCC ones, so I started competing at ADCC,”he said.
“ADCC is one of the biggest competitions in all of the world,” he added. “They had nice competitions, well-organized, a lot of good athletes against I could compete, so I liked it a lot.”
The emphasis in ADCC rules of going for submissions also was to his liking.
“I like a lot to go for the submission, not only hold the guy down and try to stall and win by points,” he said. “So I like to go for the submissions.” And he added this is so even though “sometimes it costs me the match.”
Now having grappled for almost four years, he is setting his sites on getting tougher competition. He did go watch the 2017 ADCC Worlds in Finland, and was impressed, although he realizes that he is a long way from competing on that level.
“It was amazing to watch,”he said.
After winning in several ADCC events from 2015 to 2018 at the beginner’s and intermediate level, he is trying to move up to professional level. A planned match at that level, however, recently had to be scrapped because an opponent could not be found for him at that level and in his -77kg weight class. But he does hope to compete in the ADCC Italy championships later this year.
One event that may end up on his calendar is the ADCC European Championship 2018. That takes place October 6, 2018, in Bucharest, Romania. The professional men’s winners will get a ticket to compete at the ADCC World Championship 2019.
He has yet to decide if he will try to compete at this event. Even if he does, he is realistic and said, “I don’t expect to win.”
But that reality may not stop him from entering the ADCC European Championship 2018.
For Tom Maenurm, he said he has the “mindset to test myself and see where I stand in the competition level.” And we all know that is key to becoming a champion.