After finally recovered from spinal disc herniation and shoulder problems I focused on bringing on the best of me for three series of qualification rounds for the so called ADCC German Championships held in 23.07.2016. I'll go through my experience in each round separately:

Round 1

The first ADCC in Germany since 2010 kicked off with only 100 participants mostly in the professional division, which considering the ADCC label pretty much surprised me. Anyway I fought there in 76 kg division against Benedikt Schotthöfer and managed to pull off a disappointing performance by losing by takedown. Bennie had a great gameplan to shrug me off during the three minute no points time and then to take me down during the three minute time. So the time passed with pretty much nothing happening and I lost with that point. Then I went for the absolute division, where I fought an youngster named Tupac and after dozens of submission attempts by my side he apparently swept me during my guillotine attempt during the points time and I lost there too by that point. So overall it was very disappointing performance and I was ought to make changes for the upcoming two qualifiers.

Round 2

For the second round I tried to concentrate more on stand up game and realistic competition sparring. That is always as the sparring partner to start on feet and if he wants his stupid knee start then let it go and start from guard. Second change, was the intention not to give easy sweeps despite possible submission afterwards on my side. With that in mind I went off to give me best once more.

In the first round in my 76 kg division I stood against Mert Özyildirim, who as far as I knew started an MMA career. I was sure that because of his MMA focus and despite him winning there by submission, his grappling preparation couldn't match that of mine, so I went confident on the mat. I pulled off various takedowns and submission attempts to end him with heel hook.

My next encounter was Mourad Benabdallah, whom I saw in the previous round to be great wrestler. So in the beginning I immediately noticed that he is only tasting me during the three minute non point time, just to take me down in the next three minutes and win by that solely. With that in my mind I decided to pull him somehow in my guard and managed to lock him in my half guard after few attempts. Being there he maybe wanted to pass, but couldn't do so being swarmed by my submission attempts, which were finalized again with heel hook catching him surprised after switching the half guard to the other side.

In my third and final fight I stood against Amin Aichele of whom I saw to have decent leg lock game. So once again I was confident, that my leg lock game was a level better and won by toe hold submission.

Overall, I am happy with my performance and the adjustments I made during my fights. You can see the mentioned submissions in the first part of the Matrix BJJ video in youtube:

Btw, I fought again in the absolute too. My first match there was against a very strong Pole, which tired me a lot, but managed to win via heel hook somewhere near the end. Then in my second one I faced Poland's ADCC 100 kg winner Marian "Santos" Klosowski without any break between fights at all. So totally pumped I just went to give my best, but was practically crushed physically. Afterwards Marian was kind to show us two of his main heel hook setups, which were insane. I immediately understood those and integrated them into my game.

With the big boys Meraz and Marian

Round 3

After being already qualified for the German Championships I decided to enroll in the third qualifier too, just because I like the rules and I want to fight. So what was mean to be experience gaining fun tournament turned into a serious challenge once I saw the brackets and the name "Nogueira". I took me a time even to realize that this "Nogueira" was most likely 2nd Dan Luta Livre living legend Leozada (see link). I immediately got psyched of the possibility to face him in the semi-finals. I was always wondering what will be like to face the top opposition in submission wrestling and now that I got the opportunity I just couldn't wait that moment. I just prayed I won't do any shit in my first matches and really reach my potential match-up.

So the time came, I went once again to Mainz with my fellow warrior Alexander Neufang, who had a super match against Daniel Brauchle, which he eventually won by some submission. Back to the point, one of my opponents from the brackets didn't showed up and I should have won only against grappler named Menendez to meet Leozada. Luckily I got the heel hook against Menendez and watched meanwhile Leozada taking out his two opponents by submission like playing with kids.

It was time. We both shook hands and immediately engaged into a grip fight. Then both tested our necks and found each one to be stiff enough to try any jumping guillotine whatsoever. Then Leozada first changed tactics and I felt he tried to setup some judo-like foot-based take-down technique because he took a little bit of side position. I immediately jumped for a scissor-leg takedown got the foot for the hook with wrapped legs, while Leozada screamed from some pain. Ref got the fight stopped and my hand got raised. I don't know exactly what happened, even after watching the video multiple times, so I'll leave it as it is without any further speculations. Bottom-line is that I won my biggest fight and even managed to do so within 30 seconds from the beginning by technical knockout!

Despite the feeling of fulfillment of my grappling dreams after the semis I stil had to fight in the finals, where I was about to face Sascha Sharma, who is an young and trending MMA fighter in Germany and against whom I lost couple of times by a takedown point. So the fight started and as I expected Sharma went to defend the first minutes of no points time, thinking of taking me down in the second part. So as an aggressor I took the action initiative and even got somehow front headlock. This is one of my strongest positions so I immediately thought "gotcha". But while celebrating my position Sharma, for my total surprise, somehow sneaked out. I end up chasing his foot, which he saved too and we ended up in my half-guard. Pretty long time passed by and the points were already on, when I switched to butterfly guard and elevated Sharma for a foot grab, while he was defending a sweep. So I grabbed that foot and I knew I would finish him, since I isolated his leg perfectly and only a perfectly drilled escape and strong legs could have saved him. Despite having the second quality, he lacked the first one and I finally got him with a kneebar revenge.

My third experience in Road to ADCC :)

So below the final line of this memoir, I want to thank anyone of my new Matrix BJJ team in Kaiserslautern, who besides smashing my ass of during hard sparring sessions, showed up in all of my three fights to support me! If you are somewhere near Kaiserslautern, consider visiting

with Rene and Andy

Also obliged to mention the great travel athmosphere with the other two lone warrior near me Alex and Tomek :)

with Tomek and Alex