Not in the case of Chris Weidman at ADCC 2009.
Weidman, a 25-year-old understudy of Matt Serra and Ray Longo, won the ADCC East Coast Trials to earn his berth to Barcelona. In the deep and talented 88-kilogram division, a dominant first-round points victory over Spaniard Daniel Tabera on Saturday assured the native New Yorker nothing but crowd hostility, and a quarter-final match-up against one of the best pound-for-pound grapplers in the world, Andre Galvao. Yet, in spite of the gulf in submission experience, the BJJ purple belt was sensational against one of the world's best black belts.
Just seconds into the bout, Galvao locked up a deep omoplata on Weidman, which he used to roll backwards, take Weidman's back, and nearly armbar him. From there, the four-time All-American at Nassau Community College and Hofstra attacked Galvao with brilliant throws from the clinch before the points period, which against nearly any other grappler in the world, would have landed him in dominant position.
Weidman's potent base allowed him to shut down Galvao's deep half guard game, as well as allowing him to attack with submissions of his own. Rather than play the passive points game that many wrestling converts do at ADCC, Weidman trapped Galvao with both a brabo choke and a Peruvian necktie, forcing the multiple-time BJJ world champion to work far harder than was anticipated. Galvao eventually used his savvy to score during the points period, passing guard and earning a 4-0 points victory.
However, the crucial thing to consider is that Weidman's primary focus is MMA -- a venue he's already looked stellar in through his first two fights. For such a novice fighter to be so aggressive and technical in a pure grappling competition against one of the world's best speaks volumes to what a great MMA middleweight Chris Weidman may become.