The ADCC Hall of Fame now sits at an impressive ten inductees after the announcement that Rubens ‘Cobrinha’ Charles is joining the inaugural class. He joins the only two other men in the history of the ADCC world championships to win their weightclass three years in a row, the first one to do so being the legendary Royler Gracie. Shortly after he won his third title, the giant-killer Marcelo Garcia became the second person to achieve this impressive feat and after him it took an entire decade before Cobrinha came along to join that elite group.
Rubens ‘Cobrinha’ Charles made his first trip to ADCC in 2009 where he submitted his first three opponents in a row to book his place in the final opposite fellow Hall of Fame member Rafael Mendes, although he ended up losing on points and taking home a silver medal. He came back in 2011 and the exact same thing happened again, Cobrinha managed to outwork his first three opponents before losing a close match to Mendes by a penalty point.
In 2013 he finally got his revenge when he met Mendes in the final for the third time and managed win a referee decision, stopping Mendes from winning their weightclass for the third year in a row. The next edition in 2015 saw Cobrinha have his toughest run yet as he had to overcome Gianni Grippo and Bruno Frazatto, but with Mendes having retired from the sport nobody was able to stop Cobrinha from taking home gold once again. He came back one last time in 2017 and managed to beat elite grapplers like Paulo Miyao and AJ Agazarm to secure his place in the history books by winning a third consecutive world title.
Although Cobrinha was not particularly old and likely could have returned once more in 2019, he chose to pass the mantle on to his son Kennedy Maciel instead. The pair would have been entered in the same weightclass and he did not want to compete against his son, so he chose to retire from the sport altogether and now Kennedy will be hungry to emulate his father and find a place in the ADCC Hall of Fame alongside him. Every inductee for the ADCC Hall of Fame, including Rubens ‘Cobrinha’ Charles, was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: