(Hey, if he can do it to Captain Planet…)
Huge news for followers of competitive grappling — the Abu Dhabi Combat Club has announced that Fedor Emelianenko and DREAM middleweight champ Gegard Mousasi have been confirmed as participants for the 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship:
Fedor Emelianenko, after conquering the World of MMA, wants to show the World he is also the best Submission Grappler in the World. Fedor want to make history and expand on the pioneer spirit of what Mark Kerr did in the late 90′s when he was the Champion of Pride and became the weight and Absolute Champion of ADCC and went on to defend his title in the Superfights for 2 editions.
Mousassi, the winner of the 2008 Dream Middleweight Grand Prix where he defeated former World ABJJ Absolute and ADCC middleweight Champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the final, also wants to test his ground skills against the top names in Submission Grappling. This sets up some humongous possible match-ups such as a re-match with “Jacare” or facing current ADCC Middleweight Champion and rising U.F.C. star Demian Maia.
In case you’re unfamiliar, the ultra-prestigious ADCC grappling tournament takes place every other year, and has attracted a wide range of MMA and jiu-jitsu legends. Its open-weight Absolute Division title has been won by Ricco Rodriguez, Roberto Traven, Mark Kerr, Ricardo Arona, Dean Lister, Roger Gracie, and Robert Drysdale (in 2007). Last year’s competition also featured Fabricio Werdum taking first place in the over-99KG division and the aforementioned Demian Maia grabbing gold in the under-88KG class.
Fedor’s involvement could attract even more big-name participants to the next ADCC championships, who want to see just how good Emelianenko really is on the ground when he’s not allowed to punch you in the head. The inclusion of Mousasi, on the other hand, is fairly odd since he’s known primarily as a striker and previously said that winning the DREAM middleweight GP was a stepping stone to achieving his “real desire…to also become the world champion in boxing.” But hey, we respect the kid’s ambition, even if he’s setting himself up to get worked by Jacare or Maia.
Date and location for the 2009 tournament are still TBA at this point.
Slightly related: This highlight video for Ronaldo Souza, which includes some of his sickest grappling tournament highlights.