Athletes Experience Financial And Personal Distress After ADCC Cancels Asia & Oceania Trials

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Image Source: Kitt Canaria for Jiu-Jitsu Times; ADCC

The ADCC Asia & Oceania Trials were scheduled to be held next week on December 9 in Kazakhstan, but on Sunday, December 2, the organization canceled the event due to a lack of competitors.

A statement on the ADCC website explained:

“Today ADCC Committee has announced that the 1st ADCC Asia & Oceania Trial 2018 has been CANCELLED due to lack of competitors.

ADCC Trials are qualifiers to the big ADCC Worlds event that is hosted each 2 years. ADCC Trials format must have a minimum of at least 16 fighters per bracket in order the Qualifier to go as planned.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused to all involved in this event, but rules are rules in ADCC and cannot be broken.

ADCC Committee will decide where and when the ADCC Asia & Oceania will be.”

Australia’s Lachlan Giles, who has won the Asia & Oceania qualifier twice and coached Craig Jones to his breakout performance at the ADCC Championship last year, lamented the organization’s decision in a Facebook post:

Tomorrow myself and 5 other teammates are supposed to leave Australia to Kazakhstan to compete at the ADCC trials. To me…

Posted by Lachlan Giles on Sunday, December 2, 2018

“Tomorrow myself and 5 other teammates are supposed to leave Australia to Kazakhstan to compete at the ADCC trials. To me ADCC is the best tournament in jiu jitsu. We have year round dedicated training specifically for this event. I turned down an opportunity to fight for the Polaris Championship belt as the dates clashed with the ADCC trials.

It’s expensive to get anywhere from Australia and we have all taken time off work, and agreed to sit on a plane for over 24 hours to have a chance to compete in this event. I ask of the organisers to please not punish those of us who were willing to make that sacrifice.

Many of us also have flights leaving Kazakhstan to go to Los Angeles for No Gi worlds. For us it’s not as simple as just cancelling a trip.

ADCC if you read this please reconsider!”

Giles’ teammate and four-time ADCC Trials competitor Mikael Yahaya told the Jiu-Jitsu Times that he and his teammates found out that the Trials were canceled not by email, but via Facebook.

“This entire year I’ve trained and aimed to compete at my chance to make it to the ADCC Worlds,” he said. “I’ve been trying the entire year to make it to 66kgs (as I’m always under that weight). I’m pretty gutted that this tournament as been cancelled as many of us booked flights from Kazakhstan to LA to compete at the IBJJF Nogi Worlds.”

Jeremy Skinner, another Absolute MMA grappler who had signed up for the 66kg division, also said that the athletes weren’t personally contacted about the cancellation. “At this stage I’m just incredibly frustrated and trying to determine what my options are so that the all money (from flights, accommodation, time off work, etc) put toward this event don’t go to waste,” he said. “Since this has just come completely out of the blue, I’m still unsure how to proceed.”

James Walters, who would also be a first-time competitor at the Trials, echoed his teammates’ dismay about the training time and travel expenses he’d sacrificed for the now-canceled event. “It’s pretty disappointing that they cancelled it 6 days out,” he says. “Especially from a prestigious organisation which competitions are held in such high regard. If they reschedule the event it just means that the competitors who supported this event will have to fork out more money again for the next event, and all the other add ons too. I just hope they change their minds.”

At the time of this article’s publication, the ADCC had not revealed if it would offer any compensation for the funds that competitors had spent on travel-related expenses. The Jiu-Jitsu Times has reached out to the ADCC for comment and will update this story if we receive a response.

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