ADCC changes rules, Garcia approves, Popovitch doesn’t

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Marcelo after beating Kron Gracie at ADCC 2009. Photo: Ivan Trindade

There’s news out of the traditional submission grappling tournament the ADCC, which is about to kick off the tryouts stage for the 2011 event. Changes have been made to the competition rules.

Traditionally, weigh-ins would be held the day before competing. As the finals are on the second day of competition, some of the competitors would make it to the final well over the weight limit.

Now weigh-ins are to take place shortly before the athletes take to the mats for their first bout. But, even after the first match, the athletes will not be able to stray from their diets. The referees shall have the authority to request a second weight in at any time. In this case, the fighter has wiggle room of 2 kg (4.4 lbs). Should the athlete be heavier than that, they will be disqualified.

“I think it’s great,” said three-time champion of the tournament Marcelo Garcia over Twitter.

Popovitch's celebration in 2009

The 170lb division champion, otherwise, did not like the change. Pablo Popovitch, who defeated Garcia in Barcelona, last September, commented the new rule also on Twitter: “With this change, the 170lb division is over for me. It is impossible for me t compete right after making the weight. Next year, I will compete at the category above. I’d really liked to have a forth final in a row against Garcia to make history.”

About the rivalry with Garcia, Popovitch has a suggestion for the ADCC: “They could put Marcelo and myself in a superfight. We sure deserve it as we closed out the last three 170lb division finals.”

Another reason for the change is to preserve the athletes’ physical integrity, by avoiding extreme and dangerous weight cuts.

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