The lineups for Team UK & Ireland and Team USA are starting to fill out as the first competitors to join the respective team captains can now be revealed.
Working under Darragh O’Connaill to represent Team UK & Ireland is a Polaris fan-favorite and runner-up in last year’s UK grand prix, Ross Nicholls. He’s already beaten several elite grapplers like Gianni Grippo, Nathan Orchard, and his own captain O’Connail during his impressive career at the top of the European grappling circuit. Nicholls fought tooth and nail at the ADCC European trials to earn his ticket to the World championships in 2019, only to fall short in the opening round against the eventual winner, JT Torres. With Torres leading the charge for Team USA, Nicholls has the chance to earn redemption against him at the event.
The second competitor joining the event is none other than fellow ADCC 2019 veteran Edwin Najmi. The Romulo Barral black belt will be representing Team USA as an -75kg competitor under Torres’ guidance and will no doubt fit right in with his relentless pace. Najmi enjoyed great success on his journey through the belt ranks, winning the IBJJF World championships at both purple and brown belt in consecutive years, but his biggest achievement came in 2016 when he took home gold in the IBJJF Pan-ams. Since then, Najmi has been hard at work on the professional grappling circuit and has become the Polaris Welterweight champion, so he will be looking to bring that experience to the table on July 17th.