2013 ADCC champion and Gracie Barra Northridge owner Romulo Barral is reportedly out of ADCC this year.
Barral was invited to the prestigious competition this year and has been slated to compete in the 99kg division. His category is considered one of, if not the most competitive division of the event this year, with athletes like Gordon Ryan, Keenan Cornelius, Lucas Barbosa, and Vinny Magalhaes all competing for gold. Widely considered one of the top BJJ athletes of all time, Barral was a favorite to take home the win in 2019.
Now, however, Barral has revealed on Instagram that will be removing himself from the competition voluntarily, not due to injury, but instead to focus on coaching the rest of his team.
“Guys, I decided not to fight ADCC, my focus is no longer about me, I will have 5 students fighting and they will be my focus, I’ve done what had to be done in competitions, my purpose is now much bigger, there are still some super fights I would like to do and hope it can happen as soon as possible, I keep training hard because I like to be always ready feeling good, here some videos trying some leglocks which is not my forte but we are always ready to evolve. I can guarantee that the boys @felipepenabjj @edwinnajmi @gabrielarges @serviotuliost @ orlandogb72 will be ready to perform.”
With representation that includes Felipe Pena, Edwin Najmi, Gabriel Arges, Servio Tulio, and Orlando Sanchez, Gracie Barra will be having a strong showing at this year’s event, and with Barral fully embracing his role as an instructor, he’s sure to have his hands full during the competition.
Barral is the latest competitor (or former competitor) to cause a shakeup in this year’s ADCC brackets. Multiple withdrawals and weight class moves have kept fans and event organizers on their toes. There’s no word yet on who will replace him.