Joel Tudor

joel-tudorBorn in 1976
Home: California, USA
Style: brazilian jiu-jitsu
Team: Revolution
Division: under 65.9 Kg

joel-tudor-jiu-jitsuJoel Tudor is also a brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under former world champion Rodrigo Medeiros. He has won numerous brazilian jiu-jitsu titles such as the Pan Ams and US Nationals. Due to his skill on both longboards and shortboards, on big waves and small, Tudor is widely considered to be one of the best surfers alive, and is also known for being unusually open-minded with regard to the diverse equipment that can be used for wave riding. For the past six years Joel switched his focus in surfing and has been training BJJ at Rodrigo Medeiro’s studio in Pacific Beach. Tudor regularly spars with members of Medeiros’ BJJ Revolution Team and has won numerous tournaments on his way to earning a black belt in a freakishly short period of time.

“I basically won at every level of a belt. I won almost every time I competed.”

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.


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.

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.”

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

Jeff Glover

Jeff GloverNickname: Jeffrey
Born in 1983
Home: California – USA
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Paragon Jiu-Jitsu
Division: under 65.9 Kg

This 145 pound black belt is a product of Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller. Now a days Jeff Glover is a teacher in a huge gym called Paragon Jiu-Jitsu, with four training centers in California. He was recently quoted in Gracie Mag to have “the most respected guard in the United States”. In 2007 Glover won gold in the no-gi World Championship.

BJJ/ADCC Record:

7 times Grapplers Quest Champion
2 times IGJJF Champion

Jeff Glover

Jeff Glover

“I like to think of myself as a generous and kind person. My life is jiu-jitsu, and jiu-jitsu is my life. I’ve been involved in jiu-jitsu for over ten years now, and my love for the art continues to be the driving force in my life. I work at Paragon BJJ and teach seminars to pay the bills. Other than that I love my dog and rock, my friends and family (you know who you are) and of course my video-games. I love competing and have quite a few titles under my belt. If you want to find out more, hit me up. Peace.”

Check his beautiful flying triangle:

Baret Yoshida

baret yoshidaNickname: The Finisher
Born in 1975
Home: San Diego CA – USA
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Fighting
Team: Undisputed
Division: under 65,9Kg

Baret has 13 years Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training and Coaching. A Black Belt under the world famous BJJ competitor and MMA fighter Egan Inoue from Grappling Unlimited, he also received his Purple Belt before that from Relson Gracie. He has competed and won in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since the mid-nineties. In 1996 he was crowned champion of the Uemura Cup. Baret is the 6 time Hawaii state BJJ Champion. This 3 time Grappling Unlimited Champion has also competed in the prestigious ADCC several times. He is the 2001 and 2003 ADCC Vice Champion.yoshida

Rubens Charles Maciel

cobrinha-rubens-charlesNick name: Cobrinha
Born in 1979
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Alliance
Division: under 65.9 Kg

BJJ/ADCC record:
* 2nd place World Professional Jiu Jitsu Cup under 65kg  Abu Dhabi, UAE 2009
* 4 times CBJJ Featherweight World Champion
* 3 times CBJJ Pan American Champion – Gold in feather-weight and bronze in absolute 2009
* Capital Challenge International Featherweight Champion – Amman, Jordan 2008
* CBJJ Pan Jiu-jitsu No-gi Lightweight Champion – New York 2008
* 2 times CBJJ No Gi World Champion (Lightweight) – Los Angeles 2008
* Abu Dhabi 2007 Absolute Alternate Champion – Trenton 2007
* 2 times CBJJO World Cup Tournament Champion – Rio de Janeiro 2006
* CBJJO American Golden Cup Champion – Rio de Janeiro 2005
Rubens Charles
Rubens Charles is the biggest name at the BJJ feather-weight division nowadays. His achievements are only comparable to the legend Royler Gracie. They are both four times BJJ world champion in the same division, and now Cobrinha will start his path to try to be as successful in submission fighting as he is in BJJ, and maybe one day be a 3 times ADCC world champion like Royler.

Check his official site here.

Jayson Patino

jayson patinoHome: Orlando – USA
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: American Top Team Orlando
Division: under 65.9 Kg

• 3 first place finishes – NAGA Expert/Advanced No-Gi (160lbs)
• 1 second and 1 third place finish– NAGA and Copa America Absolute No-Gi
• Overall BJJ/Submission Grappling Record: 22-4
• NCWA All-American, Wrestling, Univ. of Cent. Fla. – 2005
• NCWA All-American, Wrestling, Univ. of Cent. Fla. – 2004

Bio: Ryan Hall is East Coast’s while Jayson Patino is West Coast American Trials champion. Would they meet on the brackets? In just about an hour of straight grappling for the ADCC Trials, Jayson only gave up 2 points when he went for a guillotine and the opponent managed to pull his head out and got awarded 2 points for the take down.
“My goal, like any other competitive fighter, is to be a World Champion.  Whether that goal comes from the Mundials, ADCC, or in the Cage, this years ADCC Trials are my first step toward reaching one of my goals.”

David Marinakis

david marinakisHome: Australia
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Dominance
Division: under 65.9 Kg

BJJ/ADCC record:
-ADCC Pacific Trials Winner
-3rd place in World Jiu-Jitsu Championship Trials Australasia

Bio: Marinakis is an expert in both gi and no-gi fighting. He’s the pacific champion of the Trials to ADCC Submission Fighting 2009 and got a bronze medal on the Australasia Trials to the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship 2009.

Ryan Hall

ryan hall

Home: USA
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Division: under 65.9 Kg

Bio:  The first of two North American qualifiers for the 2009 ADCC World Championship was held at the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus in Carson, CA. The brackets were filled with accomplished black belts hoping to earn their spot in the world’s most prestigious no-gi tournament, the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championship.
In the under 66 kg Professional division, Ryan put on the most dominant performance of the tournament, submitting all of his opponents in rapid fashion without surrendering an offensive point.
In June 22 of 2009, in U.S. Grappling’s Diamond State Games, Ryan Hall won both of his matches in the Advanced 150-170 lbs division by submission after racking up double-digit point leads on his opponents.

Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas

timoHome: Finland
Style: Shooto

Team:Finnfighters Gym
Division: under 65.9 Kg
MMA record: 1 – 0 – 0
Bio: Hirvikangas is a skilled fighter with a dangerous kimura lock. He used it against Antti Yli-Kaitala in Shooto Finland 2006.

Nicolas Renier

nicolas renierBorn in: 1985
Home: France
Style: Luta Livre
Team: FS Team France
Division: under 65.9 Kg
BJJ/ADCC record:
-Winner of the ADCC European Trials by 7 – 0 in the final
-Gold Medal in Grappling Coupe de France 2008

Bio: With a beautiful victory against Teemu Launis in the finals, Nicolas Renier broke the hegemony of Finland in lightweight male division. He learned luta livre with Flavio “Peroba” Santiago.

“Je pense que mes plus “grands” fans sont mes partenaires d’entrainements que je remercie tout le temps à la fin de l’entrainement pour les difficultés qu’ils me posent car c’est grace à eux que je progresse.Ma famille doit aussi être “fan” et je la remercie pour toute l’aide qu’elle m’apporte.”

Rafael Mendes

Rafael MendesBorn in 1989
Home: Brasil
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Atos (Ramon Lemos)
Division: under 65.9 Kg

Bio: One of the best Jiu-Jitsu fighters in Brasil of the new generation, Rafael Mendes has gotten the black belt just a year ago, and won almost all tournaments he disputed. After the second place in 2007, Mendes won the Brazilian selective for the 2009 ADCC, and will fight at the 66kg division in the best submission tournament in the world.

“You learn more from defeat than from victory, because wins makes you celebrate and think the mistakes you made were not enough to harm you. Now in defeat you analyze every second and it makes you reflect more”

Kohei Yasumi

kohei yasumiBorn in 1978
Home: Tokyo – Japan
Style: Shooto/Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Paraestra Tokyo
Division: under 65.9 Kg
MMA record: 6 -7 – 2
Bio: The 2009 ADCC Japan Trial was held at Chuo-ku Sogo Sports Center. Under 66 kg, the division with the most number of entries, Kouhei Yasumi surprised everyone. He defeated a fourth place finisher of the 2007 ADCC at this weight class, Testu Hada-iro. It’s been nine years since Yasumi last competed in the World Championship.

“I don’t want to experience the same thing again. (He lost in the first round in 2000 World Championships)”

We’ve written about him before, here.

Rani Yahya

RANY_YAHYABorn in 1984

Home: Brasília – Brasil

Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Team: Rickson Gracie

Division: under 65.9 Kg

ADCC/BJJ record:

- ADCC 2007 Champion under 65.9 Kg

- ADCC 2005 second place (lost to Leo Vieira)

- ADCC 2003 quarter-finalist

- World Jiu-Jitsu Champion in brown belt lightweight (2003)

- World Jiu-Jitsu Champion in purple belt lightweight (2002)

MMA record: 14 – 4 – 0 (93% by submission)

Bio: Rani Yahya is ADCC 2007 World Champion! This mixed martial artist have a beautiful history in ADCC. In the previous edition Rani was 2nd place, and in 2003 he was one of the four finalists. He currently fights in both the featherweight and bantamweight divisions of the American-based MMA organization World Extreme Cagefighting. Yahya finishes almost all of his MMA fights with a submission, normally a perfect choke.

I fight in any type of rules. I’ll fight any weight class”