ADCC 2015: Underdog Yuri Simoes Beats Romulo Barral, Keenan Cornelius En Route to Title

By Marcelo Alonso Aug 31, 2015
SAO PAULO -- Few observers thought Yuri Simoes would have what it takes to become the ADCC champion in the talent-crowded 194-pound division, but Simoes believed in himself all along.

Despite being considered the underdog, Simoes managed to get past decorated jiu-jitsu specialists Romulo Barral and Keenan Cornelius to end up as the division’s new champion.

“Everyone considered guys like Romulo and Keenan the favorites, or other guys who had already competed in ADCC, but for me and for those who know me, I was never the underdog,” Simoes told “I wouldn’t let anybody take what I deserve away from me.”

Simoes’ road to the championship was not an easy one. After nearly missing weight, Simoes was almost submitted in his first fight of the tournament. Luckily for him, things changed as day two of competition began.

“I have no words to express how I’m feeling,” said Simoes. “I knew I deserved it more than anyone else. I knew how much I had prepared myself for this. I lost over 25 pounds to compete, which was a war, and I have never trained so much in my life. I almost got caught in my first fight, but I was always trying to show how much I wanted it.”

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