A Tanquinho versus Rafael Mendes rematch in sight?

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Tanquinho became the world featherweight champion in 2013 versus Rafa Mendes. They might clash in different outfits now. Photo: Ivan Trindade

After a World Championship filled with the usual high dose of exciting moments, the attention of many black belt stars (and many fans) now turns to another charming competition, the ADCC.

Held for the first time in Beijing, the no-gi affair is set to take place at the end of October, and the lineup is getting more and more crammed with your favorite athletes.

Soon after the Mundials, some gold medalists had the pleasure of being invited to take part in the tournament created by sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan back in 1998. Augusto Tanquinho and Michelle Nicolini were among them. Nicolini, who lost the Brazilian qualifier to Michelle Tavares, was asked to fight in the under-60kg category. World medium heavyweight champion after having subbed all of her three matches, Nicolini will be returning to her original weight class in Beijing. She is a current ADCC runner-up, having lost the final to Kyra Gracie in 2011.

Tanquinho, who won the featherweight division of this year’s World Championships, spoke to GRACIEMAG about his invitation. He will be competing in the under-66kg division and knows that people will be expecting to see a rematch against Rafael Mendes, the current king of the division, as well as a possible fight with current runner-up Rubens Cobrinha. It bears pointing
out that these three have eight world black belt titles among them, so obviously none can be ruled out.

“My plan for now is to continue my MMA preparation, but, since I have no upcoming engagements, my immediate goal is to become ADCC champion this year in China. I’m happy I got invited. I’m fighting in the under-66kg division and hope to shuffle things up all over again!” said Tanquinho.

There’s great expectation surrounding the October event. Besides Tanquinho, Rafa and Cobrinha, another competitor sure to be in the lightest male ADCC division is brown belt João Miyao, who won the Brazilian qualifier held in Rio. He’ll probably be joined by brown belt Marcio André, who got a gold medal in the Walter Pyramid and finished second at the qualifier with a point-free final versus João Miyao.

Who do you think is going to win the under-66kg division of the ADCC? Share your thoughts with us below.


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