(Credit: Hywel Teague FloGrappling)

Like most Grappling tournaments, the further up the weight classes you go, the thinner the talent pool becomes and whilst this has been the case in previous years for ADCC, this year there is more talent than ever in the higher weight classes and -99kgs division will be hotly contested as a result. 

Winner; Yuri Simoes has moved up from the -88kgs division which he conquered in 2015 and will be the eager to become one of a select few who have won ADCC titles at two weights. Simoes has a decent stand up game which will play in to the ADCC rule set and is very tough to submit and without Rodolfo Viera in the weight class this time around, Simoes is the obvious choice.

Contenders; Luiz Panza has been keeping himself busy on the pro-grappling circuit the last couple of years and is a fierce competitor. Known for a savage footlock, Panza will be a dangerous opponent for anyone at the tournament. Rafael Lovato Jr will be keen to add an ADCC title to an already stacked resume which features a World Championship title, however his time recently has been spent focusing on MMA and not grappling, which could be his downfall. Jake Shields has moved to train with the DDS in recent months in a bid to further improve his already stellar grappling and with a dominant top game and now the added threat of leg locks, he is going to be a threat to the title. Joao Assis will return to ADCC after missing out at the 2015 championship and having previously won this division back in 2013, he’s going to be in contention for the top spot.

One to watch; Mahammad Aly is a Lloyd Irvin competitor who has shown in recent years he is capable of causing an upset so don’t be surprised if one of the big names drop a loss at his hands.