Age – 28
Height – 5′ 10″
Weight – 200lbs
Record – 51-16 (Grappling) and
2-1 (Pro MMA)
Big Wins – Rener Gracie, Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro, Tarsis Humphries, Rafael Lovato Jr., Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu

David Avellan began his martial arts training at the age of 15 when he joined the Killian High wrestling team. His coach, Tirso Valls, turned him from a lazy, overweight kid into a motivated athlete. David was one of the contenders for the state title in his senior year. He graduated from Killian in 1999 without the gold, hungry to fight and prove himself.

In the spring of 1999, David followed his brother into the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). He began his training with Randy Ibarra. Randy holds multiple black belts in different martial arts – he was cross training before most people knew of the concept. David quickly progressed in his training and was deemed ready to fight after only one month of training. He fought a total of eight shootfights before it was banned in Florida in 2000.

Early in 2001, Randy Ibarra moved. David then joined with his brother to form “Avellan Grappling” out of Lee’s Tae Kwon Do. Efrain Ruiz would train together with the Avellan brothers, helping each other improve their games.  Efrain definitely helped out the Avellans with their jiu-jitsu technique – bringing Marcos and David to another level. After a year, the brothers began the formation of a new academy in Florida – the Freestyle Fighting Academy (FFA). Efrain Ruiz then joined FFA to form the best fight team in Florida.

During the year 2002, David began grappling in NAGA (North American Grappling Association) tournaments across the country. He made a name for himself in NAGA and started to catch people’s attention in 2003. In 2003, David fought in 13 events or 23 matches in a period of 36 weeks. In that time period, he defeated many of the country’s best black belts – the highlight being his victory over Rener Gracie in a no-time limit match!  David’s successes earned him a reputation around the world as one of America’s best.

In 2004, David fought in the Grapplers Quest West V Superfight division, defeating his first two opponents by submission and winning the finals. Following that, David participated in an Oxydol Superfight Challenge, where he submitted his opponent, grappling superstar Mike Fowler, by guillotine in an amazing 29 seconds!  In 2004, David also began training kickboxing with Eric “El Tigre” Castaños (3 time world champion kickboxer and coach for boxing middleweight champion Jermain Taylor) – who would make a huge difference in David’s striking.

David kicked off 2005 by placing second in the GQ West VII Sixteen-Man Absolute Pro Tournament.  On May 2005, David competed in the most prestigious grappling event in the world, the ADCC Submission World Championships. There he defeated his first opponent Hidemi Mihara by a score of 8-2. In his second match, he faced Demian Maia, a BJJ black belt and Brazilian champion. David lost a close match by points. Maia went on to place 2nd. David then entered the Absolute division and faced the champion of his weight class, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. In an exciting match-up filled with submission attempts, David lost a close match by points that many considered one of the most exciting matches of the championships.

David closed off 2005 with perhaps the most impressive display of heart in a grappling tournament. In the GQ North American 16-man Absolute division, he faced BJJ black belt Rafael Lovato Jr. in the first round. David had won the regulation period but due to a controversial scoring error and a few controversial calls, the match was thrown into overtime sudden death. These two warriors battled for over 59 minutes – matches are supposed to be only 8 minutes! It was then that David bested Lovato with his guard passing. David had won the longest match in Grappler’s Quest history! David continued with only a 15 minute break to defeat another BJJ black belt, Beto Arruda. Finally, David faced BJJ legend and two-time ADCC Champion Saulo Ribeirio. In a great match that went back and forth, Saulo ultimately won on points. However, David scored the biggest throw of the match taking Saulo straight to side control that had the crowd in awe. After the match, Saulo told David, “You are a Warrior,” and gave him his rashguard to honor him.

On October 2006, David made his professional MMA debut versus Andre Duarte at the Absolute Fighting Championships (AFC) 19.  David won his debut in the first round by rear-naked choke.  Then in February 2007, David fought on BodogFight versus Anthony Rea and won by TKO in an exciting and bloody fight!  The fight was featured worldwide on TV and was voted the best fight of the night!

On May 2007, David competed for his second time in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships – an honor very few in the world have had. In the 88kg division, David defeated Michal Martela 6-0 in dominant fashion. David then faced off with BJJ black belt Tarsis Humphries in a long war, extending into two overtimes. David dominanted the early rounds but was defeated in the second overtime. David then entered the absolute division and in the first round was matched up with jiu-jitsu legend Xande Ribeirio – who had won the ADCC 99kg World Title the day before (the weight class above David).  David went to war with the current Mundial and ADCC World Champion – the match was the longest of the tournament, going 25 minutes into three overtimes!  After the overtimes, David came out victorious!  This was a tremendous victory! He then faced BJJ black belt Robert Drysdale. David had another great match that spilled into overtime where he lost by takedown. Robert Drysdale went on to submit all of his opponents to win the absolute, including Marcelo Garcia.

David’s best accomplishment in the sport of Submission Wrestling came on September 28th, in the ADCC 2009 Submission Wrestling World Championships. This was David’s third invitation to the event and he wanted to prove to the world he belong on the top. In his first match, he faced Trond Saksenvik, the European ADCC Champion. After 4 minutes, David submitted Trond with a heel hook. In his next match, David got his rematch with Tarsis Humphries, who defeated him last ADCC. This time however, David made quick work of Tarsis, dispatching him with a one arm choke in 3 minutes. The following day, he faced Andre Galvao, multiple time BJJ champion and medalist in ADCC. After an action packed match, David lost by a margin of 2 points. In the Consolation Finals, David submitted Rafael Lovato Jr. with an achilles lock in one minute. This earned him the bronze medal in the 87.9kg division – scoring 3 submissions of his 4 matches.

Not yet satisfied, he entered again into the Absolute division. For his first match he drew Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, who placed 2nd in the Heavyweight Division. David and Cyborg had a war which extended into overtime. At the end, the judges awarded David the well earned decision.

Having amassed victories over the best grapplers in the country such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts Xande Ribeirio, Todd Margolis, Jamie Cruz, Jorge Pereira, Moacir “Boca” Oliveira, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, Joe D’Arce, Rafael Lovato Jr., Beto Arruda, Tarsis Humphries, Amaury Bitteti and Rener Gracie, he has proven that he is one of the top grapplers in the world.


2000 KWA Sport Combat III Heavyweight Champion
2000 FFC Heavyweight Champion
2001 Rival Classic Heavyweight Champion
2001 Rival Classic II Heavyweight Champion
2002 FGA Submission Grappling Open II Heavyweight Champion
2002 Planet Submission 16-man Absolute Champion
2002 NAGA New England 10-man Superfight Champion
2003 NAGA World Light-Heavyweight Champion
2003 GQ Team USA Member – Cruiserweight
2003 NAGA All-American Superfight Champion
2003 NAGA Pro-Am Superfight Champion
2003 Finisher Cup Superfight Champion
2003 Grapplemania 4-man Superfight Champion
2003 GQ Pro Division World Champion
2003 Ultimate Submission Showdown – Silver Medalist
2004 Submission Wrestling Open ADCC Superfight Winner
2004 Grappler’s Quest West V Pro Middleweight Champion
2004 Grappler’s Quest Oxydol Challenge – Champion
2005 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship Competitor
2006 AFC VIII MMA Bout – Winner
2007 BodogFight Season 4 MMA Bout – Winner
2007 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship Competitor
2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship Bronze Medalist


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