A look at the under 66 Kg division

ADCC 2009 BarcelonaADCC 2009 takes place next weekend in Barcelona, Spain. The event has the top submission fighters in the world competing in 5 weight categories  for men with 16 fighters each, and 2 women weight categories with 8 fighters each, plus absolute and superfight.

This week we’ll be taking a look at each and handicap possible winners, first the under 66 Kg men:

This is an unnoficial list of the -66 Kg:

1. Rani Yahya. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. Kouhei Yasumi. Japan (Asian Trials winner)

3. Rafael Mendes. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

4. Nicolas Renier. France (European Trials winner)

5. Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas. Finland (European Champion)

6. Ryan Hall. USA (North American West coast Trials winner)

7. David Marinakis. Australia (Pacific Trials winner)

8. Jayson Patino. USA (North American East coast Trials winner)

9. Leo Vieira

10. Baret Yoshida

11. Jeff Glover

12. Rubens Charles Maciel

13. Hiroshi Nakamura

14. Justin Rader

15. Jeff Curran

16. Joel Tudor

This is a tough division indeed. With former champion Leo Vieira coming back hungry and current champion Rani Yahia returning to defend his title. Other top contenders should be Rubens “Cobrinha”, Ryan Hall and Rafael Mendes. Dark horses Joel Tudor and Jeff Curran.

Personal analysis:

Leo Vieira: Handicapping Leo Vieira is always difficult. Talent-wise he is one of the best, if not the best, in the category. But distractions of two new kids and the efforts of developing his new team CheckMat may get in the way of his focus and training. If he shows up in top shape he is the favorite in my view.

Rani Yahia: Rany has been in the finals the last two ADCC events splitting the title with Leo Vieira. Rani is a fierce competitor and a great technician. His setback with the gi in the American Nationals served to awaken the fire inside of him even more (as if he needed). Look for him to be at the finals again.

Rubens “Cobrinha” has dominated his division the last few years and should be one of the favorites, the only questions is how well his game adapts to the ADCC rules and how he will fare if he meets with Rafael Mendes along the way. Cobrinha is undoubtedly one of the best in the world and if he performs up to par he can take the title.

Rafael Mendes won the ADCC trials Brazil and that is no small feat. Mendes is a 50/50 guard specialist and more. His game is very tight and difficult to figure out and with ADCC expanded use of knee and foot-locks his guard and grape-vining legs will cause trouble to many

Ryan Hall is a submission specialist. His guard and triangles are lethal and he is definetly a dark horse in my eyes. His only drawback in my eyes is his size as he is small for the division and ADCC demands a lot of power in every division

Jeff Curran is an MMA star returning to his roots, his game is very good and effective to be in the top four. One would have to question is the effects of training and focusing in MMA will have in his timing.

Joel Tudor is the dark horse of the field. Having just submitted current champion Rani with a triangle Joel will surprise many with other aspects of his game. A good draw will greatly help his prospects of reaching top four.

source: Kid Peligro – ADCC NEWS


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