Benoit Saint-Denis (ADXC Press Office)

ADXC Attempting to be the UFC of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Grappling

A new player appears to be attempting to be the UFC of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling. This seems to be the purpose of ADXC, the Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship, a United Arab Emirates promotion that held its first European event in Paris, ADXC 4, which was the fourth event in its seven-month history.

Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, president of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, called it “an event that aims to consolidate Abu Dhabi’s leading position in combat sports.” At his side were tatami legends such as Leo Vieira, Braulio Estima, Mackenzie Dern, Andre Galvao, Julio Cesar and Angelica Galvao. And, supporting the project are the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. This allows ADXC to have financial resources and to sign both BJJ and MMA stars.

In Paris, the main event was between two UFC fighters – the French “God of War” Benoit Saint Denis and Britain’s Marc “Bonecrusher” Diakiese. It was seen at ADXC 1 in Oct. 2023 that the organization was getting serious.


The ADXC 1 main event was between former UFC champion and Bellator contender Benson Henderson and Bellator veteran Neiman Gracie, Gracie holds the second most submission wins in Bellator MMA history, and, as a black belt, he was a bronze medalist at the 2013 IBJJF No-Gi World Championship. Other famous MMA Fighters who have fought in ADXC include former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, submission ace Chase Hooper, three-time Bellator welterweight champ Douglas Lima, former UFC flyweight title challenger Jennifer Maia and former UFC middleweight contender Marvin Vettori. Other BJJ athletes competing in ADXC have included Isaque Bahiense, Gustavo Batista, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, Tayane Porfírio, Beatriz Mesquita, Bruno Lima, Ffion Davies, Jansen Gomes and Rayron Gracie.

ADXC wants to become leader in the world of BJJ and submission grappling, and it also aims to make these sports popular among the mainstream audience. To do so, they’ve adopted new rules to make the fights as spectacular as possible. There will be no tournaments, but only individual professional matches. The bouts are in an MMA cage instead of the tatami mats. The matches consist of three three-minute rounds, and there is no call for points, but the judges award the victory with the 10-point must system, as in other combat sports. Athletes are immediately recalled if they stop the action. In addition, there is a great attention to the scenography of the location and the walk out of the fighters with mega screens, music and light games. They are doing their best to have very good matchmaking as well. The bouts try to pit fighters against each other who may already have a feud or who are matched well with technique.

All of the athletes at ADXC 4 were hosted for a week in Paris with a series of promotional events, similar to the model of the UFC fight week, and teams at the end of the event said they were impressed by the quality of the organization. Along with the enthusiasm that the audience has felt throughout the evenings, this seems to confirm that this is the right way to make submission grappling and BJJ more popular among the mainstream audience.