Lister, Gracies and Garcia Shine in 2005 ADCC

May 31, 2005
LONG BEACH, Calif., May 29 — Grappling master Dean Lister returned to ADCC as the reigning absolute division champion. Due to last year’s amazing feat, Lister was given the opportunity to participate in this year’s super-fight against the very experienced submission wizard, Jean Jacques Machado.

The match was surprisingly methodical, considering how both of these grapplers are known for going for submissions at every opportunity. Most of the bout had Lister inside Machado’s guard attempting various passing maneuvers. Towards the end of the match, Lister began to out-position his opponent, even taking Machado’s back.

At one point Lister appeared to be close to a rear-choke, but Machado defended well. Lister ended up shutting out Machado 8-0.

Whoever said that the Gracies were dead was severely misinformed. Two of the famous family’s young prodigies captured three titles.

The mild mannered Roger Gracie employed solid jiu-jitsu fundamentals in dominating the 98-kilo division. However, taking one title was not enough for Roger, who also steam rolled his way through the men’s absolute division, submitting every opponent that got in his way including the men’s 87-kilo champion, Renaldo Jacare.

With a surprise showing, the young Kyra Gracie made an amazing debut, winning the women’s under 60-kilo division beating the favorite, Leka Vieira on the way. Kyra showed the skill and patience of a veteran. And because she is still a teenager she will be winning championships for years to come.

Every grappler that competed in the event was world class. However, there was one competitor who was just on another level in terms of pure skill. Marcelo Garcia may be the best pound-for-pound submission grappler on the planet.

Amazingly he was also the smallest male competitor at the event. Garcia skated through the men’s under-76-kilo division, submitting Pablo Popovich in the final by wristlock of all things. Then Garcia entered the men’s absolute division.

Garcia’s first absolute match was one for the history books as he gave up over 100 pounds to former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriquez. Believe or not Garcia had to chase down Rodriguez for much of the match. Garcia was simply amazing, going for takedowns and even sweeping Rodriguez from his guard.

At one point in the match Rodriguez was standing with an intense Garcia on his back. In a move that angered most of the crowd, Rodriguez threw himself backwards, crushing the much smaller Garcia. This move should have severely injured Garcia, but after a moments respite given by the officials, Garcia immediately attacked the legs of his opponent securing a heel hook.

Rodriguez leg was nearly as thick as the entire torso of Garcia, but despite the size difference Rodriguez was forced to tap, giving Garcia the win. Garcia went on to armbar Diego Sanchez before being submitted himself by the highly skilled Renaldo Jacare. After the event Garcia was still smiling and joking around with fans. He is truly an amazing champion.

The Snowman, Jeff Monson, won the men’s over 99-kilo division by using a very mechanical style of grappling. Some have criticized Monson for not being as aggressive as some of the other competitors. Regardless, Monson seems to keep winning, and he probably would have been more active if someone had actually threatened him.

The ADCC championships will now be held every two years instead one. Hopefully this will give some younger competitors time to hone their skills so that next championship will have even more grappling superstars.
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