(Credit: Andre Galvao, ATOS)
As well as the traditional divisions that are contested throughout the ADCC tournament, the organisers have arranged for several superfights to take place over the course of the weekend with plenty of familiar names involved.
First up is ADCC legend André Galvao who will face former ADCC champion, Claudio Calasans. In a battle of the Atos team mates, it will be interesting to see how this match plays out. Calasans is entering this match in a poor run of form, having lost a number of matches in recent months which does not bode well for him, especially with Galvao coming in on the back of another World Championship victory. All signs point to Galvao getting the win over his teammate, and there will be no disagreement here.
Chael Sonnen versus Leo Vieira is a match up between one of the most brash MMA fighters to ever step foot in a cage and one of the best grapplers to ever step foot on a mat. In recent years Sonnen has dipped his toe in to grappling matches, facing André Galvao, Renato Sobral and Michael Bisping in match ups with varying degrees of success. Vieira is stepping in to replace Frank Mir and is arguably a tougher opponent for Sonnen than the former UFC Heavyweight Champion. Vieira is a former ADCC champion and has a devastating butterfly guard and is renowned for his back takes. Sonnen will have his work cut out for him if he is to find any joy against Vieira, so do not be surprised if Vieira wins via submission within the time limit.
An ADCC legend will face one of his former foes when Renzo Gracie takes on Sanae Kikuta in a the final superfight of the tournament. Gracie was scheduled to face old nemesis Matt Hughes but due to a car accident, Hughes could no longer compete and the organisers drafted in his former MMA conquest as a replacement. Gracie’s last outing was against Kazushi Sakuraba at Metamoris 5 in a lacklustre match back in 2014 and with a three-year competitive lay off, it is difficult to predict what sort of condition Gracie will turn up in. Kikuta has had an even longer lay off than Gracie with his last grappling match coming in 2001 and whilst he holds wins over Saulo Ribeiro and Egan Inoue, time will have taken its toll on the 44-fight veteran and this match will possibly be decided on which competitor has the best conditioning rather than the most skilful.