Tommy Langaker (Blue Gi) is a rising star in the sport. Hailing from Norway, Tommy made a huge impression at this years world championships by accumulating 3 submissions in 5 of his matches at middleweight. He would have had a 4th submission had his opponent not been disqualified from – you guessed it – fleeing from a submission. Tommy would end up losing the final to Isaque Bahiense in a tight match by points. His resume is littered with submission victories and he will one day be atop some major podiums. Take my advice- when he is on the mat don’t pay attention to anything else and watch.
Renato Canuto is another up and comer in the sport. The young Brazilian has done his best work in No Gi (World No Gi champion in 2017, 2 x Kasai Pro Champion), but eventually will break through in the Gi. His style is best described as ‘kinetic” full of energy, acrobatics, and plain old spazzy-ness.
Between 1998 and 2001, we were treated every year to the ADCC championships (in 2003 they went to the every other year format). Since this was pre-internet, we would all wait for results to be published in magazines or have to buy (or more often bootleg) VHS/DVD’s of the event. The story for the 1999 event was Jean Jacques Machado.
Jean Jacques Machado is one of the five Machado brothers, all black belts, and cousins to the Gracies. What sets Jean Jacques apart is that he was born without fully developed fingers on one of his hands. Jean Jacques is also well known for promoting Eddie Bravo and Joe Rogan to their black belts. More importantly, he appeared numerous times on the best show on TV ever – Walker Texas Ranger.
Caol Uno is best known for his Shooto and MMA careers. He was a part of the early UFC lightweight division and had some notable fights against Jens Pulver and BJ Penn. Unfortunately for him, he was never on Walker Texas Ranger.
The 1999 -77 kg class was all Jean Jacques. He spent a cumulative time of 14 minutes and 38 seconds in his 4 matches submitting every opponent by the same technique: Rear Naked Choke. Pretty damn efficient.