The inaugural class of the ADCC Hall of Fame has grown to nine now with the inclusion of the legendary Mario Sperry. Sperry was the original superstar of the ADCC world championships, as he became the first double champion in the promotion’s history when he won both his weightclass and the absolute division at the very first event in 1998. He returned then in 1999 to compete in the first fight for the superfight championship and managed to defeat American MMA legend and BJJ black belt Enson Inoue on points to become the very first superfight champion and triple crown winner in ADCC history as well.
Sperry really did set the standard for excellence in the promotion and he was more than happy to attempt to further his legacy in 2000. He came back to the ADCC world championships to defend his superfight championship against Roberto Traven that year and was able to retain his title against the previous year’s absolute division winner. This actually makes Sperry one of only two competitors to ever manage to successfully defend the superfight championship, alongside fellow ADCC Hall of Famer and reigning champion Andre Galvao.
Marry Sperry did attempt to increase his number of title defenses in 2001 but was unable to stop Mark Kerr from becoming the second triple crown champion in ADCC history. He made an attempt in 2003 to compete in the under 99kg weightclass again, but was stopped in the very first round by another Hall of Fame inductee in the legendary Roger Gracie. The ADCC Hall of Fame has been growing over the past few weeks and it certainly tends to tip towards the heavier weightclasses with other inductees like the American leglock expert Dean Lister, and the Brazilian powerhouse Ricardo Arona.
That being said, the other weightclasses do have at least one representative included. In the 88kg division the lightest double champion in the promotion’s history Braulio Estima has earned inclusion, and the giant-killer Marcelo Garcia is the only member of the 77kg weightclass inducted. The 66kg division actually has two competitors in the ADCC Hall of Fame with the first three-time weightclass champion Royler Gracie being inducted, alongside one of the most exciting athletes to ever set foot on the ADCC mats, Rafael Mendes.
To date, there remains only one woman inducted into the ADCC Hall of Fame, as Kyra Gracie was included for her remarkable achievements in the under 60kg division. Every inductee for the ADCC Hall of Fame, including Mario Sperry, was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account. Sperry’s inclusion really should come as no surprise seeing as he is the original double champion and triple crown winner that all champions have been measured against since: