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How to Get an ADCC Invite

How to Get an ADCC Invite

The Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) or the “Olympics of Grappling”is a highly-anticipated championship held every two years, it is the most awaited championship. Fighters struggle to get enough attention to earn an invitation to compete, which is not an easy task. This article describes ways grapplers can qualify for an ADCC invite.

1. ADCC World Championship

The ADCC is a prestigious No-Gi submission tournament and it is one of the most anticipated grappling competitions of the year. After two years, a group of hand-picked, qualified, and eligible fighters will receive an ADCC invite. The championship leads to the decision of the champion. This is an exclusive invitational tournament that only allows fighters who were invited to the ADCC to compete.

1.1. ADCC Invite

An ADCC invite is awarded to the winners of each weight class during the ADCC Trials. However, there is a distinction between ADCC invites for men and women. ADCC invites for men's weight classes are classified as the first edition of each trial, while ADCC invites for women's weight classes are available only in the second edition. This makes the chances of competing in ADCC very low.

Only 16 grapplers are invited to compete in each ADCC men’s weight division and only eight grapplers in each ADCC women’s weight division. There are five weight classes for men and only two weight classes for women. In total, only 96 grapplers are invited to the ADCC World Championship. There is a possibility that even decorated fighters may never earn the invite to compete at ADCC World Championship but it only makes the fighters more competitive and enthusiastic. It allows grapplers to give their best in order to become the best of the best.

2. How to Qualify for the ADCC?

Listed below are parameters practitioners must meet to get the attention of the ADCC.

2.1. ADCC Trials

The ADCC Trials are the most common opportunity for fighters to show off their skills and get an ADCC invite for the biggest fight of their career. These trials are conducted in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. It is important to win these trials. ADCC trials are considered extremely tough because practitioners put their everything at stake just to get an invite for the biggest world championship. It doesn’t matter if you are considered an underdog in the ADCC, because once you get the invitation you get every chance to prove your worth.

ADCC Trials Number of Trials
ADCC North American Trials 2
ADCC South American Trials 2
ADCC Oceania and Asian Trials 2
ADCC European, Middle Eastern, and African Trials 2

In 2023, ADCC announced three more Mexico Open Trials after the success of the first ADCC Mexico Open Trial. The schedule for the three additional ADCC Mexico Open Trials is listed below:

ADCC Mexico Trials Date
ADCC Tijuca/Rosarito Open July 1st, 2023
ADCC Mexico City Open September 16th, 2023
ADCC Monterrey Open December 2nd, 2023

There were previously only eight ADCC trials but with the addition of the Mexico Open, now there are three more. Though the chances of getting an ADCC invite is better for the winners of each weight class, it doesn’t mean only ADCC trial winners get invites. Fighters who put on an amazing display who got second or third place could also be eligible for an ADCC invite.

2.2. Former ADCC World Champion

Former ADCC world champions are automatically placed high on the list of possible competitors in the next championship. However, it is necessary that the former ADCC Champion must be the winner of the previous ADCC Championship. A former winner is directly qualified for the world championship.

3. The Role of Personal Selection

The other way to get an ADCC invite is by being personally selected by the organizers. The majority of fighters get an invite with this method. If any fighter withdraws from the competition with very short notice, the organizers are the ones that get to decide who to invite as a replacement.

4. Competitors from Other Tournaments

It is not necessary that athletes from ADCC trials or ADCC trials winners will get the invite. A fighter who displayed incredible skill at other tournaments, such as the IBJJF or UAEJJF, may be eligible to receive an ADCC invite. You don’t need to be a champion but if you showcased excellent skills at the tournament you will automatically get noticed by ADCC.

5. Famous Grapplers Who Got an ADCC Invite

Listed below is a list of the fighters that got an ADCC invite in 2022 because of their excellent performance:

Men (-66 kg)
Ashley Williams Garry Tonon
Gabriel Sousa Diego Pato
Geo Martinez AJ Agazarm
Cole Abate Keith Krikorian
Men (-77 kg)
JT Torres Lachlan Giles
Tommy Langaker Davi Ramos
Kade Ruotolo Nicky Ryan
Mica Galvao Dante Leon
Men (-88 kg)
Matheus Diniz Josh Hinger
Giancarlo Bodoni Tye Ruotolo
Mason Fowler Vagner Rocha
Xande Ribeiro Lucas Barbosa
Men (-99 kg)
Rafael Lovato Jr. Nicholas Meregali
Kaynan Duarte Carig Jones
Yuri Simoes Denhonte Johnson
Patrick Gaudio Kyle Boehm
Men (+99 kg)
Roosevelt Sousa Victor Hugo
Gordon Ryan Orlando Sanchez
Nick Rodriguez Vinny Magalhaes
Felipe Pena Roberto Cyborg Abreu
Women (-60 kg)
Beatriz Mesquita Ffion Davies
Elvira Karppinen Bianca Basilio
Women (+60 kg)
Rafaela Guedes Elisabeth Clay
Kendall Reusing Gabi Garcia

6. Former Champions at the 2022 ADCC World Championship

6.1. Jonathan Torres

Jonathan Torres

Photo Credits: @The Summit Martial Arts

Jonathan Torres is a 3rd-degree BJJ black belt under Lloyd Irvin. A famous IBJJF and ADCC World Championship competitor, he is a two-time ADCC World Champion.

Main Achievements:

Year Event Position
2010 IBJJF Pans Championship No-Gi 1st
2010 IBJJF New York Open 1st
2010 IBJJF Miami Open 1st
2013 IBJJF World Championship No-Gi 1st
2015 IBJJF Pans Championship 1st
2015 IBJJF European Open 1st
2017 ADCC World Championship 1st
2018 IBJJF Pans Championship 1st
2019 ADCC World Championship 1st

6.2. Matheus Diniz

Matheus Diniz

Photo Credits: @matheusdinizjj

Matheus Diniz is a BJJ black belt under Marcelo Garcia. He won the 2019 ADCC World Championship so he got the chance of competing in the Men's 88 Kg weight division in the following year’s ADCC championship, in 2022.

Main Achievements:

Year Event Position
2015 IBJJF Pan Championship No-Gi 1st
2015 IBJJF New York Summer Open Championship 1st
2015 IBJJF New York No-Gi Summer Open Championship 1st
2018 Kasai Pro 185 lbs Grand Prix 1st
2019 ADCC World Championship 1st
2022 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st

6.3. Kaynan Duarte

Kaynan Duarte

Photo Credits: @BJJ Heroes

Kaynan Duarte is a BJJ black belt under Andre Galvao. He is a two-time ADCC World Champion. He has been the leading fighter in the IBJJF. Duarte has fought in multiple competitions at different belt ranks and grown famous in the IBJJF.

Main Achievements:

Year Event Position
2019 ADCC World Championship 1st
2019 IBJJF Pans Championship 1st
2019 UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro 1st
2019 Kasai Pro 5 Grand Prix 1st
2019 Spyder Invitational Grand Prix 1st
2020 IBJJF Pans Championship No-Gi 1st
2021 Third Coast Grappling 6 Grand Prix 1st
2022 ADCC World Championship 1st
2022 IBJJF European Open 1st

6.4. Gordon Ryan

Gordon Ryan

Photo Credits: @Sherdog

Gordon Ryan is a 1st-degree BJJ black belt under Garry Tonon and John Danaher. He is called the “King of Grappling” because of his high win rate. Ryan has defeated many world champions, including Andre Galvao, Felipe Pena, Vagner Rocha and Romulo Barral. Ryan has been participating in the ADCC since 2017. In the 2022 ADCC World Championship, Ryan defeated Galvao in the Superfight and won the title of ADCC Open Weight Superfight World Champion.

Main Achievements:

Year Event Position
2016 EBI 6 1st
2016 EBI 8 1st
2017 ADCC World Championship 2nd
2017 ADCC World Tournament 1st
2017 EBI 11 1st
2017 EBI 14 1st
2018 IBJJF World Championship No-Gi 1st
2018 IBJJF Pans Championship No-Gi 1st
2018 Quintet 3 1st
2019 ADCC World Tournament 1st
2022 ADCC World Tournament 1st
2022 ADCC Open Weight Superfight World Champion 1st
2022 WNO Heavyweight Champion 1st

6.5. Bianca Basilio

Bianca Basilio

Bianca Basilio is a BJJ black belt under Caio Almeida. She is famous for her single leg and slide knee pass attacks. Basilio is a representative of Almeida Jiu-Jitsu at the national level and Atos Jiu-Jitsu at the international level.

Main Achievements:

Year Event Position
2017 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st
2017 ADCC World Championship 2nd
2018 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st
2018 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 1st
2019 ADCC World Championship 1st
2019 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st
2019 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 1st
2021 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 1st
2022 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2022 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 1st
2023 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2023 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 1st

6.6. Gabi Garcia

Gabi Garcia

Photo Credits: @Tapology

Gabi Garcia is a 3rd-degree BJJ black belt under Fabio Gurgel. She is a four-time ADCC World Champion, 11-time IBJJF Pan Champion and nine-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion.

Main Achievements:

Year Event Position
2010 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2010 IBJJF Pans Championship 1st
2010 UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Championship 1st
2011 ADCC World Championship 1st
2011 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2011 IBJJF Pans Championship 1st
2011 UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Championship 1st
2012 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2013 ADCC World Championship 1st
2017 ADCC World Championship 1st
2019 ADCC World Championship 1st
2019 IBJJF Pans Championship 1st

7. FAQs

7.1. Can Only Black Belts Compete at the ADCC World Championship?

No, there are no restrictions regarding the belt level of practitioners. For example, Nick Rodriguez, who was a blue belt in 2018, got an ADCC invite to compete against black belts like Mahamed Aly, Roberto Abreu, and Orlando Sanchez.

7.2. What is ADCC’s Contract with UFC Fight Pass?

Previously, ADCC had a streaming contract with FloSports. In January 2023, ADCC announced a streaming deal with UFC Fight Pass. However, in April 2023, ADCC announced they might end its deal with UFC Fight Pass and return to FloSports.

8. Conclusion

The ADCC is the biggest grappling tournament held every two years to gather the best fighters in the world. Only 96 lucky practitioners receive an ADCC invite. An impressive record and exceptional fighting skills are the key to getting an invite. Personal selection by the organization also can play a major role in case any practitioner withdraws from the bout on a short notice. JT Torres, Gabi Garcia, and Gordon Ryan are on the 2022 ADCC World Champions list. Their skills at the championship were unparalleled and unmatched. The invite is not restricted to black belts; only practitioners who show potential can also qualify for an ADCC invite.

Photo Credits: @adcombat

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