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A legend returns this Friday as Xande Ribeiro — one of jiu-jitsu’s most decorated fighters ever — steps back into competition for the first time in two years in a match against Gabriel Almeida.
The highly-anticipated comeback of Xande will be supported by the fire co-main event featuring Garry Tonon and Osvaldo "Queixinho" Moizinho in a no-gi title fight.
Main-Event: Xande Ribeiro vs Gabriel Almeida
The staying power of Xande Ribeiro is truly remarkable.
He won his first World title in 2004 and last captured the gold in 2015 — and that's just in the gi. He's a multiple-time ADCC champion, and most recently appeared at the famed tournament in 2017 when he took Gordon Ryan to decision at ADCC 2017 and had an absolute war with Buchecha in the absolute.
His game is the pinnacle of clean technique – and he's been looked to as a source of inspiration by generations of competitors.
Standing across from Xande Ribeiro will be Checkmate representative Gabriel Almeida, one of the fastest rising black belts under Leo and Riccardo Vieira. He's picked up a silver medal at The European Championships after besting Hulk in the semi-finals and also took home top honors the 2019 ADCC Brazilian Trials. He has a well-rounded game and an extremely crafty guard; his modern tools will be an interesting test for Xande's old-school approach.
And while it remains true that Xande has been out of competition for two years, we know he’s been ramping up his training by temporarily relocating his camp to Oklahoma for the past month where he has been training relentlessly with Rafael Lovato Jr. and Victor Hugo.
WATCH: Xande Ribeiro is Fired Up To Compete At Fight To Win
Co-Main: Garry Tonon vs Osvaldo 'Queixinho' Moizinho
This is the kind of stylistic matchup we could only find at Fight To Win.
Though Garry Tonon may have the stronger branding power coming into this match, it should be noted that Queixinho is a four-time IBJJF no-gi world champion and one of the greatest technical innovators of his generation.
We know Tonon is there to push the action and put on a show and that both athletes are familiar with the Fight To Win format, so the real question here is will Queixinho be able to adjust his game to account for reaping, heel hooks, and other entanglements not available in the IBJJF format.