Saulo Ribeiro has just been announced as the eleventh person to be inducted into the ADCC Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class. As a seven-time ADCC world championship veteran, Ribeiro has seen everything that the world’s most prestigious grappling tournament has to offer. His first attempt at glory came all the way back in 1999 when he competed in the 99kg division and managed to leave with a silver medal after losing to Jeff Monson by a matter of inches in the final.
Ribeiro returned the following year and managed to improve on his last performance by winning his first ADCC world championship in the 88kg division in 2000. In 2001, he returned to compete in the same division and lost in the final to Sanae Kikuta by another tiny margin to earn his second silver medal. This was also the first year that Ribeiro entered the absolute division and although he went out in the quarter-finals, he did so against another ADCC Hall of Famer, the legendary Ricardo Arona.
2003 was another big year for Ribeiro as he managed to win gold in the 88kg division again, and the highlight of his run was an epic final match with Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza that remains one of the most exciting matches in ADCC history to this day. In the absolute division he managed to get revenge against Jeff Monson but faced another Hall of Famer in the quarter-finals again, losing by kneebar to Dean Lister. 2005 saw him earn a bronze medal in the 88kg division after getting knocked out in the semifinals by Demian Maia and 2007 was when he decided to drop a weightclass to 77kg, although he went out in the quarterfinals this time around.
Saulo Ribeiro made one final attempt at glory in 2009 but this time he moved all the way up to the over 99kg division to compete in the fourth out of five of the ADCC weightclasses. He was undeterred by the drastic change in weight and ended up making it to the semifinals before losing on points to future UFC Heavyweight world champion Fabricio Werdum. The bronze medal match then saw him come up against his old foe, Jeff Monson, losing their trilogy match and narrowly missing out on one more place on the podium prior to his retirement.
It’s this long and storied career and impressive haul of medals that secured Saulo Ribeiro his place as part of the inaugural class of the ADCC Hall of Fame, and the news was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: