Cara de Sapato relying on his UFC rhythm to win at ADCC 2019

Cara de Sapato squeezes the rear naked choke on Spicely. Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

An IBJJF Pan champion and UFC middleweight, Antônio Carlos Jr. has another mission scheduled for this year. On top of his May 18 fight with Ian Heinisch at UFC Rochester, “Cara de Sapato” has now received the much-craved invite to ADCC 2019, which will take place in September in California.

Although his focus is directed at mixed martial, arts Cara de Sapato told his friend Marcus Buchecha, a training partner from his Checkmat days, that he would like to fight at the ADCC, and Buchecha talked to his contacts to put him there — despite the fact that this could end up costing Buchecha the title.

“I was talking about championships with Buchecha and he talked about the ADCC,” said Cara de Sapato. “Since it’s a tournament I’ve never fought in, I thought it was cool. Then Buchecha talked to [organizer] Mo Jassim, and days later Peter Baltaliyski sent me an email with the invite.

“I’m working hard in this ‘no-gi world’ because of MMA, and I have the goal to, perhaps, do another fight in the UFC before September to arrive at the ADCC-focused camp at full steam. The plan is to spend some time with Buchecha, who is a heavyweight and will also be fighting in the over-99kg division, to hone my grappling-specific technique. I’m happy to be able to have this experience and I hope to do well to put this new title in my career.”

As well as Cara de Sapato and Buchecha, the ADCC Worlds’ over-99kg division has names like Yuri Simões, João Gabriel Rocha, Roberto Cyborg, Antonio Braga Neto and Kaynan Duarte confirmed.

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