Andy Varela vs. Jozef Chen set to headline Main Character Jiu-Jitsu 4

Top no-gi competitors Andy Varela and Jozef Chen will clash in a 170-pound title match at Main Character Jiu-Jitsu 4.

An intriguing matchup between two of the world’s top 170-pound no-gi competitors is slated for the main event of Main Character Jiu-Jitsu 4.

On Sunday, June 23, in Austin, Texas, ADCC veteran Andy Varela will take on ADCC Trials winner Jozef Chen for the MCJJ 170-pound title. The promotion announced the match on Instagram.

Renowned for his explosive takedowns, lightning-fast back-takes, and dangerous front headlock game, 10th Planet’s Varela has established himself as one of the sport’s most entertaining athletes.

After making a name for himself at the now-defunct Submission Underground, Varela gained notoriety in 2022 with a second-place showing at the ADCC West Coast Trials. In that run, he took out top names such as Magid Hage, EBI champion Alan Sanchez, and fellow 10th Planet standout PJ Barch before falling to William Tackett in the final.

That effort would earn him an invite to the 2022 ADCC World Championships where he lost to Roberto Jimenez in the 77kg division and Nick Rodriguez in the absolute.

Since then, he has continued to be a mainstay on the elite no-gi scene, picking up notable victories over Jay Rodriguez, Oliver Taza, and Kyle Chambers.

Varela will come into this contest following a third-place finish at the 2024 ADCC West Coast Trials.

For his part, Chen is widely regarded as one of the most promising young talents in all of jiu-jitsu. 

The 19-year-old earned bronze at the 2022 ADCC Asia and Oceania Trials, but truly made a name for himself at the 2023 ADCC Asia and Oceania Trials where he won gold in one of the most impressive tournament runs in recent memory. Chen took out Mateusz Szczecinski, current IBJJF no-gi world champion Tommy Langaker, and Oliver Taza – all three ADCC veterans – to earn his spot at the ADCC World Championships.

He most recently competed at Polaris 27, going 1-1 in the 77kg grand prix.

While Varela is known for his high-flying attacks and incredible scrambling ability, Chen is a master technician. He is an elite leg-locker, but if his ADCC Trials performance is any indication, he is an equally talented guard passer. That skill set should make for an interesting clash with Varela.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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