Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship are putting on their first event, ADXC 1, on October 20th, 2023 and we’ve put together a full preview of each match at the event. The promotion has brought together some of the best grapplers on the planet to compete under a unique ruleset, where they will compete over 3 or 5 rounds of 3 minutes in a cage. A submission will obviously end the match but if it reaches the end of the time-limit then the promotion is using a 10 point must system to determine a winner. The card itself is set up in an unusual way as well, as the promotion has arranged for both a gi and no gi main event at the end of the night.
ADXC 1 Full Preview
Neiman Gracie v Ben Henderson – No Gi
Since this match was first announced, it was clear that it was going to produce plenty of action. Both men are MMA veterans who are known for using their fantastic grappling skill in the cage so they should be well-suited to this ruleset. Neiman Gracie might be the better all-round grappler, Benson Henderson is a fantastic wrestler and is very tough to submit even by the best around. The length of the rounds will also suit Henderson’s style as he will likely be able to score takedowns without being in too much danger of the submission by the time they hit the ground. The most likely outcome here is that Henderson wins a decision, but he’ll have to constantly watch out for Gracie’s submission threat along the way.
Isaque Bahiense v Gustavo Batista – Gi
The gi main event is a superb rematch between two top competitors, and each of their previous matches have been relatively close. Although there has never been much to separate Isaque Bahiense and Gustavo Batista, Bahiense has managed to win four out of five of their matches. It’s definitely going to be a close match and there will be plenty of action throughout, but it’s unlikely either man is able to find the finish here. The decision could go either way, but Bahiense is probably the slight favorite on paper.
Marvin Vettori v Tarek Suleiman – No Gi
Tarek Suleiman was originally scheduled to compete against Belal Muhammad but he had a replacement jump in on short notice. The promotion did a great job of finding a replacement though, and they ended up booking another UFC veteran with great grappling. Marvin Vettori stepped up and although Suleiman is a solid all-round grappler, he should be able to win this match either by decision or submission if he gets the chance.
Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu v Anton Minenko – No Gi
The no gi co-main event is an interesting matchup between veteran grappler Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu and top Australian competitor Anton Minenko. Although Cyborg has significantly more experience at the highest level of professional grappling, it’s also worth noting that he’s 42 years old. Cyborg has been able to keep up with top grapplers for what feels like forever now and there will undoubtedly be a time that he can no longer do so, but it doesn’t look like that’ll be now. The most likely outcome here is that Cyborg is able to win a pretty competitive decision by the end of the match.
Tayane Porfirio v Giovanna Jara – Gi
Tayane Porfirio was one of the top female grapplers on the planet for a short while, but then she had to serve a four-year suspension from IBJJF competition and has only just returned earlier this year. She’s matched up against Giovanna Jara, one of the top prospects to emerge in recent years who was promoted to black belt just a few months ago. It’s a tough test for Jara and Porfirio probably is the slight favorite in this preview of ADXC 1, but it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Jara come away with the win.
Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady v Islam Nader Reda – No Gi
Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady recently earned a UFC contract with a big win on Dana White’s Contender Series, although he only has two submission wins on his record. Islam Nader Reda on the other hand has a 10-1 professional record on the regional MMA circuit and has managed to submit 8 of his opponents. Al-Selwady seems to have solid positional grappling and given the structure of these matches, he should be able to win the decision if he’s able to avoid being submitted.
Fabricio Andrey v Marcio Andre – Gi
Marcio Andre managed to beat Fabricio Andrey earlier this year, so Andrey will undoubtedly be eager to get some revenge. Andre actually beat him by advantages in the final of the lightweight division of the IBJJF Pan Championship 2023, so this is a great chance for redemption. Andrey has been in great form since then as well, whereas Andre hasn’t actually competed at all. Andrey should be able to get one back against Andre, although it’ll definitely be a close match regardless.
Zayed Alkatheeri v Thalison Soares – Gi
Zayed Alkatheeri is a superb grappler and he became the first athlete from the UAE to win an IBJJF major earlier this year. He hasn’t lost a single match by submission since being promoted to black belt and has already beaten some fantastic competitors. Thalison Soares has been one of the top competitors in his weight class for a few years now though and he stands out as the favorite to win this match.
Marcin Held v Guram Kutateladze – No Gi
Marcin Held has a huge amount of MMA experience and has fought for almost ever major MMA promotion on the planet over the last few years. Guram Kutateladze has significantly less MMA experience and was promoted to black belt earlier this year, although he is still a solid grappler. Held is known for his slick leglock game and high finishing-rate though, so the safest bet for this preview is that he comes away with the submission win at ADXC 1.
Fellipe Andrew v Uanderson Ferreira – Gi
This is another rematch as Fellipe Andrew and Uanderson Ferreira have met before back in 2022, where Andrew won 2-0 on points. Although it wasn’t a particularly convincing win, Andrew is an incredibly prolific competitor and has been beating the best in the sport for years now. He’s also the reigning IBJJF heavyweight World Champion and although Ferreira is an exciting new talent at the highest level, Andrew should be able to win here.
Jonnatas Gracie v Natan Chueng – No Gi
Jonnatas Gracie and Natan Chueng are both exciting competitors and they are both still pretty early on in their respective careers. Gracie is a little younger and has managed to reach a much higher level of success in no gi competition, so he does have the edge coming into this match. If this was in the gi then Chueng would probably have a better chance of winning, but Gracie is the rightful favorite thanks to this being a no gi match.
Nathalie Ribeiro v Luiza Monteiro – Gi
These two women are both fantastic competitors, although they normally inhabit different divisions when they hit the mats. Nathalie Ribeiro is a former IBJJF no gi world championship winner and has competed against practically all of the top female competitors of her generation. Although she’s always tough to beat, Luiza Monteiro has won multiple world championships both in and out of the gi along with well over a dozen other major IBJJF events. It wouldn’t be surprising to see either woman win this match, but we’re picking Monteiro in this preview of ADXC 1.
Dan Manasoui v Antonio Assef – No Gi
Dan Manasoiu has been on absolute fire lately and he seems to have turned the corner in his career, where he’s now able to turn his immense physicality into a huge advantage. Antonio Assef isn’t exactly a small competitor either of course, but it’s become very difficult for even the biggest grapplers to deal with Manasoiu in the last few months. Manasoiu might not be able to get his patented smother tap against Assef, but he should be able to win this match regardless.
Sarah Galvao v Vitoria Gabriella – Gi
This is the only match in this preview of ADXC 1 that doesn’t feature elite competitors or veteran MMA fighters, as it’s actually being contested between two interesting prospects. Sarah Galvao is the daughter of the legendary ATOS founder Andre Galvao, and naturally there’s a lot of attention on her as she progresses through the colored belt ranks. She’s up against Vitoria Gabriella just a few months after being promoted to purple belt and although matches between teenagers are already wildly unpredictable, Galvao is still the favorite here.
Tickets to watch ADXC 1 live, including every match in the above preview, can be found here.