Vesa Vuori

adcc sm 2008 043Home: Turku – Finland
Style: BJJ/Submission Fighting
Team: FFG / Hilti
Division: Under 98.9 Kg

The Nordic invasion is coming, there are fighters from the northern European countries in all ADCC weight divisions, they are not famous at the world Bjj and Submission Fighting scenario but they are known as tough athletes, extreamly strong and with very good stamina. Vesa was second place at European Trials in Stockholm.

To know the potencial for the Finish athletes the video below shows Sauli Heilimo  from FFG/Hilti, the same academy as Vesa, at ADCC 2007 when he almost won the top fighter Flavio Almeida at the quarter final round.

Jeff Curran

curranNickname: The Big Frog-Jeff-Curran2
Born in 1977
Home: USA
Style: Boxing/Bjj
Team: Team Curran
Division: under 65.9 Kg

Jeff Curran is an American mixed martial arts fighter. He currently fights as a bantamweight in the World Extreme Cagefighting organization. Curran has also fought for several other notable fighting organizations including: Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), PRIDE Fighting Championship, International Fight League (IFL), and King of the Cage (KOTC).

About competing at ADCC Barcelona 2009 the second degree Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Pedro Sauer said “I am really excited to train hard like i do for MMA for ADCC. Its all about stepping up for me and challenging myself,” said Curran.


Jeff Monson

monson-frontNickname: The SnowmanJeff monson 2
Born in 1971
Home: USA
Style: Wrestling/Bjj
Team: ATT
Division: over 99 Kg

Submission Fighting Jeff monson stand offrecord:

ADCC World Submission Fighting Championships:

ADCC 2005 99+kg: 1st Place

ADCC 2003 99+kg: Quarter Finals

ADCC 2001 99+kg: 2nd place

ADCC 2000 88-98 kg: Quarter Finals, 2nd place Openweight
ADCC 1999 88-99 Kg 1st place

No-Gi Championships:

2007 CBJJ Black Belt SuperSuperHeavy: 2nd Place

2007 CBJJ Black Belt Open Weight: 1st Place

2007 Budweiser World Jiu-Jitsu Championships – Pro no-gi 1st place.

2006 Budweiser World Jiu-Jitsu Championships – Pro no-gi 1st place.

2004 Budweiser World Jiu-Jitsu Championships – Pro no-gi 1st place.

Jeff Monson is one of the most successful Submission fighters in the world with 2 golds and 2 second places at ADCC world finals, he also have an impressive MMA card with 31 wins (20 by submission)  in 39 fights.

His first important achievement in international grounds was the impressive victory at ADCC 1999 in Abu Dhabi, when he won over names such as Fabiano Capoane, Roberto Traven, Rigan Machado and Saulo Ribeiro, at this very same tournament the Brazilians, impressed with this giant bald very withe man, gave Monson his famous nickname, at the weight-in they were referring to him in Portuguese as the “Boneco de Neve” and then after he won his weight division the international media translated his nickname and he is now known as  “The snowman”.

Bill Cooper


Nickname: The Grill
Home: California – USA
Style: BJJ/Submission Fighting
Team: Paragon
Division: under 76.9 Kg

We have seen some North-Americans competing at top level Bjj and Submission Fighting for the last years, people like Bj Penn, Rafael Lovato, Baret Yoshida, Dean Lister and some others did a great job because of their incredible talent, but we can’t forget that most of them have been many times to Brazil, staying their to train and compete, and some times for a long period.

Now you don’t need to go to Brazil anymore if you want to train with the best and compete against the best, most of the best Bjj fighters live now in USA and the most important tournament is there to, and the result for that is the new American generation that is coming with an amazing grappling game, they are not yet at their full potential but many of them like Ryan Hall, Jeff Glover, Justin Rader or Bill Cooper are very young, and when you see a fighters around 20 years doing what they are doing now and you think they are going to be at their best in four or five years you wonder what is going to be the future of Bjj and Submission Fighting.

Justin Rader

justin raderHome: Oklahoma City – USA
Style: Wrestling/BJJ
Team: Gracie Humaitá
Division: under 65.9 Kg

BJJ/Submission Fighting Record:

2008 – Grappler’s Quest All-Star Pro Challenge Lightweight Runner-Up

2008 – World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships Brown Belt Featherweight Bronze Medalist

2008 – Pan-American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships 2nd Place Brown Belt Featherweight

2008 – Winter Wars Brown Belt Lightweight & Absolute Champion

2007 – Budweiser Cup Professional No-Gi Lightweight Champion

2007 – Battle of H-Town Professional No-Gi Lightweight Champion

2007 – NJGC Professional No-Gi Lightweight Runner-Up

2007 – Grappler’s Quest West Advanced No-Gi Champion, Featherweight Brown Belt Champion

2007 – World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships Purple Belt Featherweight Champion

2007 – Elite Grappler’s Championship, Purple Belt Featherweight Champion

2007 – US No-Gi Challenge, Advanced Lightweight Champion

2007 – Pan-American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships Purple Belt Featherweight Champion

2006 – Ground Control Championships Purple Belt Lightweight Champion, Advanced No-Gi Champion (shared 1st with teammate)

2006 – Elite Submission Championships Purple Belt Featherweight Champion, Purple Belt Absolute Champion, Advance No-Gi Featherweight Champion, Advanced No-Gi Absolute Champion

2006 – American National Championships Purple Belt Featherweight Champion

Justin Rader, or Rader as he is most commonly referred to, is one of the top lightweight BJJ & Submission Wrestling competitors in the country.

Rader has dedicated his life to the Martial Arts, wrestling since the age of 4 and training at Lovato’s since the age of 12. Rader has built a reputation as a fierce competitor, as well as being an excellent coach for the Lovato Team.

As a purple belt, Rader was a Pan-American & World Champion in 2007. Recently, as a Gracie Humaitá brown belt, Rader placed 2nd at the Pan-Ams & 3rd at the World Championships. Without the gi, Rader has had many great performances in professional tournaments, winning the Budweiser Cup Lightweight Pro Division and placing 2nd at the Grappler’s Quest All-Star Pro Challenge. Rader is also a Grappler’s Quest West Advanced No-Gi Champion and Brown Belt Champion. All this at only 21 years old, watch for Rader to develop into one of the world’s best.

Justin Rader competed in both ADCC USA trials coming in 2nd both times (-65.9KG) , however his performance caught the eyes of the committee and he receives an invitation to the big show.

Tarsis Humphreys

Tarsis-Humphreys-AllianceBorn in 1983
Home: São Paulo – Brazil
Style: BJJ
Team: Alliance
Division: under 87.9 Kg

One more BJJ rising star is joining ADCC Barcelona 2009: The champion of the first WORLD PROFESSIONAL JIU-JITSU CUP in Abu Dhabi, at his weight and at the open division. Also medalist at the last three CBJJ World Championships.

Tarsis is a veteran at ADCC. In 2007 he was third place losing at the semi-final in a very tight fight against the UFC and ADCC star Demian Maia (who after that became champion overcoming Flavio “Cachorrao” Almeida). Tarsis  is at the best moment of his career and is training hard to put his name in the select group of ADCC world champions.


Ben Askren

AskrenBNickname: Funky
Born in 1984
Home: USA
Style: Werstling/Submission Figthing
Team: ATT
Division: under 76.9 Kg

Werstling record:

HS Achievements
2x State champion career record of 153-7
Runner-up NHSCA senior nationals
Junior national FS champion 2002, 4th place 2001
Cadet greco-roman 5th place 2000
Wisconsin state record most takedowns in a season
2x 371(1999-2000) 401(2000-2001)askren

College Achievements
2x National Champion
4x National Finalist
3x Big XII champion
4th most pins in NCAA Div 1 history (91)
2x Dan Hodge Award Winneraskren_195
2x Wade Schalles Award Winner
2006-2007 Big 12 Athlete of the year

Post Collegiate Career
2008 US Nationals Champion
2008 Olympian

Askren is the most decorated wrestler to ever come from the University of Missouri. He was a four-time NCAA finalist, winning the 174-pound crown for the Tigers in 2006 and 2007. Those same years he also won the Hodge Trophy as most dominating college wrestler. While at the Columbia, Missouri school, he scored at record-setting 153 wins, 87 coming consecutively during the course of his junior and senior seasons, 91 career falls and 29 single-season pins. He was also a three-time Big 12 champ.

Askren has taken this season off from wrestling and has focused on mixed martial arts. He’s won his first two fights and has another fight coming up later this month.  He also plans to compete in a big grappling event that is coming up in Europe.   source:

“I got big news this mornign that I got invited to the Abu Dhabi Combat Championships, which is the biggest grappling tourney in the world. I am pumped, but I gotta get real good real fast or I wll get my ankle torn off. It will be in Barcelona on Spet 26.”

Marcio Cruz

pedepanoMarcio-CruzNickname: Pé de Pano
Born in 1978
Home: Brasil
Style: BJJ/Submission Figthing
Team: Gracie Fusion
Division: under 98.9 Kg

ADCC Record:
2001 – Runner up
2003 – 1st place at over 99 kg division and 4th place at Absolute
2005 – Runner up
2007 3rd place at over 99 kg division

MMA Record: 6 – 2 – 0Susumu Nagao's Photograph

Márcio “Pé de Pano” Cruz (born April 24, 1978 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a Third Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Carlos Gracie Jr.. He is also a professional mixed martial arts fighter and a world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor. His nickname “Pé de Pano” was given to him by his friends at the Gracie Barra academy in Rio. The name “Pé de Pano” is the Portuguese version of the name of the Woody Woodpecker’s horse, Sugarfoot. As a MMA professional fighter, Marcio has fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, defeating former champion Frank Mir by TKO at UFC 57. He also holds a win over Keigo Kunihara at UFC 55. He lost a split decision to Jeff Monson at UFC 59, even tough he has defeated Monson 2 times before at grappling tournaments, one time at ADCC in 2003 and at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic in Columbus, Ohio in 2005. Marcio second MMA loss was to Andrei Arlovski at UFC 66, in December 2006, by first round knockout. On June 2007 at IFL he defeated Rafael Feijao when Feijao used an illegal kick 18 seconds before the end of the 3rd and final round; Many spectators say that Marcio was winning all 3 rounds by unanimous decision. In June 2008 Marcio defeated Mu Bae Choi at Sengoku Third Battle via Submission (Triangle Armbar). In April 2009 He defeated UFC veteran Dan Christison by unanimous decision. Marcio says that his MMA career has just started, and now he is looking to go to the light heavy weight division and fight against the best 205lbs MMA fighters. Marcio’s accomplishments as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor are amazing. He is a 6 times Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, 5 times Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu National Champion, 8 times Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American Champion and the 2003 ADCC World Champion. He has also defeated many top athletes in grappling competitions, some of them being Ricco Rodriguez, Mike Van Arsdale, Roger Gracie, Gabriel Gonzaga, Paulo Filho, Fabricio Werdum, Xande Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia, Saulo Ribeiro, Fernando “Terere” Augusto, Fernado “Margarida” Pontes and many others. Since Marcio started his Mixed Martial Arts career, he has been training MMA with Roberto “Gordo” Correa and he fights under Gracie Fusion team. Marcio last fight was in August 22, 2009 when he beat Tom Sauer via TKO in the second round. With this victory he won the World Fighting Organization heavyweight belt, being now the current WFO heavyweight champion.

Tom Erikson

tom eriksonNickname: The Big Cat
Born in 1964
Home: Illinois – USA
Style: Wrestling
Team: freelance
Division: over 99 Kg

Wrestling record:

- 1997 USA Senior Freestyle Champion

- 2 times NJCAA Collegiate Champion

- 1997 FILA World Championship Freestyle – 4th place

MMA record: 9 – 4 – 1

Tom Erikson chokes Tim Catalfo
Tom Erikson chokes Tim Catalfo

Tom “The Big Cat” Erikson is a veteran fighter with a wonderful record in freestyle wrestling in USA. He started competing for Triton College in River Grove, Illinois. Later, Erikson competed for Oklahoma State University, famous for its rich athletic heritage. In 1996 he started in MMA, when the rules were still not well defined. The Big Cat debuted in PRIDE in 1999 winning Gary Goodridge, but his most famous achievement was his victory over Kevin Randleman, The Monster. Erikson has also fought in K-1 and now he’s been invited to fight in ADCC in recognition for his career.

Leo Vieira

Leo Vieira x Rani Yahia 2005
Leo Vieira x Rani Yahia 2005

Nickname: Leozinho
Complete name: Leonardo Vieira
Home: Rio de Janeiro – Brasil
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Vieira Bros. Team

Division: under 65.9 Kg

ADCC achievements:
- ADCC 2007 2nd Place
- ADCC 2005 Champion
- ADCC 2003 Champion
- Ranked 3rd in BJJ “Greatest Of All Times” by GracieMag

Leo is a veteran champion. Having started jiu-jitsu under Romero “Jacaré” ­Cavalcanti, Vieira has seen unprecedented success both in gi, no-gi and submission fighting tournaments. He’s known for his good humour and creative style. Back in 2000 Leo showed his potencial to the world while fighting with Mark Kerr in the ADCC. Now he is a multiple BJJ and ADCC champion known for his slick skills. Vieira’s fights shows such a level of dynamic jiu-jitsu that they become something really exciting to watch, even for laymen.

Leo Vieira (white) x Rani Yahya 2007
Leo Vieira (white) x Rani Yahya 2007

He is 1 – 1 against Rani Yahya. He won in 2005 and lost in 2007. We hope they meet again this year and check who’s the best fighter below 66 Kg in the world.

Leo and his brother run their own academy in California. He’s a perfectionist instructor, having formed many black-belts and instructing black-belts from other places. Vieira is also recognized as an excellent coach for competitions because of his deep knowledge of strategy.

“The no-gi mundial is exactly the same as the gi mundial except for the uniform. Usually a worldwide competition (i.e. world cup soccer) is an amazing competition, but the Jiu-Jitsu Mundials are not. I don’t understand the point of having a world champion at the different coloured belts. I think the ADCC is better in that regard of no skill limits.”

Vinicius Magalhães

Vinicius_Magalhaes0001_lrgNicknames: Pezão and Vinny
Born in 1984
Home: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu / 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Xtreme Couture
Division: under 98.9 Kg

Accomplishments in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:

* 1st degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Royler Gracie
* 3x Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gold Medalist (International BJJ Federation)
* 2007 No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion (IBJJF) -Wins over Cristiano “Titi” Lazzarini by points and Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu by kneebar
* Panamerican BJJ Champion (IBJJF)
* 2x American National Champion (United States JJ Federation)
* US Open Champion (USJJF)
* Brazilian National Champion (CBJJ)
* 6x Rio de Janeiro State Champion
* 3x Grapplers Quest Pro Division Winner; (with wins Over Xande Ribeiro by armbar and Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu by heel hook
* L.A. Sub-X (2006) Winner (Victory over Robert Drysdale, current Abu Dhabi Absolute Champion, by points

Accomplishments in MMA

* 2 x UFC Veteran
* UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter – Nogueira vs. Mir – Season 8 – Light Heavy Weight Finalist
* 5 – 4 – 1 pro record (All wins by submission)
* Trained with fighter such as: Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, David Terrel, Nick Diaz and Nathan Diaz (Cesar Gracie’s gym), Dan Henderson, Thierry Sokoudjou, Pawel Nastula, Frank Shamrock, Cyrille Diabate, Matt Lindland, Brian Stann, Jesse Taylor and Mo Lawal (Team Quest). Forrest Griffin, Tyson Griffin, Randy Couture, Stephan Bonnar, Mike Whitehead, Wanderlei Silva, Jay Hieron, Martin Kampmann, Junie Browning, Amir Sadollah and others (Xtreme Couture), Demian Maia, Frank Mir (Striking Unlimited).

Dean Lister

Dean ListerNickname: The Boogeyman
Born in 1976
Home: California – USA
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Sambo
Team: Fabio Santos
Division: under 98.9 Kg

ADCC 2005 Superfight champion (defeated Jean Jacques Machado)
ADCC 2003 under 98.9 Kg: quarter-finalist
ADCC 2003 Absolute Champion
ADCC 2002 North American Trials Champion

BJJ/Sambo record:
Two time USA sambo champion
Four time Machado USA BJJ champion
USA Gracie BJJ champion

MMA record: 11 – 6 – 0 (82% of victories by submission)

Dean Lister grew up in a military family and lived in such places as Venezuela and Panamá, as well as several areas in the United States before his family settled in San Diego for Dean’s high school years. The Boogeyman was a high school division wrestling champion and shortly after high school, he became interested in brazilian jiu-jitsu. Lister was already U.S. National Sambo Champion at this time. He took an introductory class with some wrestling team mates at Fabio Santos Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in San Diego. Dean was already familiar with the concept of groundwork but he found a new challenge in Jiu Jitsu, a unique sport that includes self-defense moves and strikes.
It is the depth of this sport that keeps Dean’s dedication and commitment to his training at an optimum level. He believes that practicing this sport reveals the true character of each participant by showing courage, patience, honesty, discipline, innovation, and integrity. Lister also loves the challenge involved in practicing a sport that is constantly evolving. He is known for unstoppable foot-locks and is always working to modify and refine existing moves and create new moves that will benefit him in competition and that will enhance the effectiveness of brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Dean Lister has competed in brazilian jiu-jitsu since 1996, starting just six months after he began training. He quickly made a name for himself in the sport and since them has earned a respectable reputation as a fierce competitor.
In the mixed martial arts event King of the Cage, The Boogeyman was ranked as the number one middleweight and defended his Middleweight World Champion title several times. This year he can be seen coaching in this season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.
Just like now, Dean was an Abu Dhabi invitee in 2000. A huge honor considering that the host of this contest, the prince of Abu Dhabi, selects only the top 16 fighters of each weight class from Olympic wrestlers, world-level sambo fighters, and world-level brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters to compete. Lister returned to the Abu-Dhabi tournament in 2003 where he defeated four of the best grappler’s in the world consecutively (3 by submission) to set a tournament record and become the Absolute Champion. Two years later, The Bogeyman became the 2005 Abu Dhabi Superfight Champion. He was quoted as saying that Fedor Emelianenko would be a great challenge and that he would jump at the opportunity to face him.

Dean Lister plans on being involved in brazilian jiu-jitsu as long as possible, as both a competitor and as an instructor. He hopes that this involvement will oblige him to travel the world.

Milton Vieira

miltonvieira3Nickname:  Miltinho
Born in 1978
Home: Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
Style: luta-livre/BJJ/submission fighting
Team: Brazilian Top Team
Division: under 76.9 Kg

MMA Record: 9  – 6 – 1 (67% of victories by submission)

Milton Vieira has been invited to ADCC Barcelona 2009 because of his submission fighting agressive style. At ADCC Brazilian trials he was always fighting foward and taking risks. This luta-livre and BJJ black belt is famous for his arm-triangle and his anaconda-choke, the very same submission used at ADCC Absolute final in 2007 by Drysdale.

Susumu Nagao's PhotographSusumu Nagao's Photograph

Hiroshi Nakamura

hiroshinakamuraNickname:  Iron
Born in 1981
Home: Tokyo – Japan
Style: Judo
Team: Tokyo Yellow Mans
Division: under 65.9 Kg

MMA Record: 7 – 3 – 4

Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu

Cyborg_2Nickname: Cyborg
Born in 1980
Home: South Beach/Miami Beach-FL, USA
Style: BJJ & submission fighting
Team: New Generation
Division: under 98.9 Kg


BJJ/ Submission Fighting record:
-South American BJJ Champion 2004/2006
-South American BJJ Champion 2004/2006  Open Class
-Pan American BJJ Champion 2001/2002/2008
-European BJJ Champion 2005
-11 times BJJ World Medalist.
-2 times Brazilian Wrestling Champion

Cyborg is a complete BJJ and Submission Fighting athlete. He is extremely good on throws, good passing and doing gaurd (specially half-gard). Good in submissions, physically very strong and with good stamina. This combination gave Roberto a possibility to win fights over names such as Demian Maia, Braulio Estima, Bill Cooper and Mike Fowler.
Abreu has an aggressive BJJ style and is used to compete in submission fighting tournaments. This year in Barcelona he is going to give his best to put his name at the  very selective group of ADCC world champions.

Nate Marquadt/OUT

Nate MarquardtNickname: The Great
Born in 1979
Home: Colorado – USA
Style: Submission Fighting
Team: Jackson’s Submission Fighting
Division: under 87.9 Kg

MMA record: 28 – 8 – 2 (54% of victories by submission)

Other accomplishments:
* 2nd Degree Black Belt in Pancrase Mixed Martial Arts/Jiu-Jitsu
* Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Murgel
* 2002 Pancrase Spirit Tour Champion
* 2000 Ring of Fire Middleweight Champion
* 1999 World Vale-Tudo Federation Champion
* 1999 IMA Rumble In The Rockies Champion
* 1999 Bas Rutten Invitational 4 Lightweight Champion

Marquardt x Leites

Marquardt x Leites

Bio: Marquardt began his training in the martial arts as a teenager, studying the disciplines of brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing and kempo under instructor Alistair McNiven. Additionally, he took lessons in wrestling and eventually began training under brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor Ricardo Murgel at age 18. Active in sports throughout high school, he contends that he did not become involved in the martial arts until he saw footage of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Although he is perhaps best known for his association with Greg Jackson’s Gaidojutsu mixed matial arts team, Marquardt has also trained with Sanae Kikuta and the Grabaka Dojo in Japan as well as american kickboxer and mixed martial artist Duane “Bang” Ludwig in Colorado. Marquardt runs an academy, High Altitude Martial Arts, located in Aurora, Colorado.
“I’m very blessed in my training. I have had all my team training with me for this fight. Keith Jardine. Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, Joey Villaseñor, Elliott Marshall, Duane Ludwig, DeAndrey Abrahm, Vemo Phillips, Manny Perez and the UNC Wrestling Team have all helped me train for fighting. Everyday is different with MMA, grappling, wrestling, boxing, kickboxing and strengh/conditioning. They all teach me and oversee my training to make sure I am doing everything right.”
His trainers are Trevor Wittman, Greg Jackson, Mike VanArsdale, John Chaimberg and Ricardo Murgel among others. His favourite technique is the Marquardt Choke.