Grapplefest 11 is coming around at the end of February and the full lineup has now been announced for when the Pedigo Submission Fighting team take on the best that Europe has to offer. The main event sees one of the most recent additions to the Daisy Fresh team, Canadian phenom Dante Leon, taking on the Polish leglock expert Mateusz Szczecinski for the promotion’s under 80kg title.
Another belt is on the line in the co-main event as Ffion Davies and Kendall Reusing fight for the women’s openweight title, and ADCC East Coast trials winner John Hansen will be taking on Jamie Hughes for the men’s openweight title too. In between those two openweight fights, five-time IBJJF world champion Mikey Musumeci will also be making an appearance as he takes on Kev Corkhill in an under 60kg non-title match.
Rafael Mendes added to ADCC Hall of Fame
The ADCC Hall of Fame opened almost two months ago with Roger Gracie and the inaugural class has just kept growing and growing since then. The latest inductee to join the likes of Marcelo Garcia and Andre Galvao is the youngest man to ever win gold at an ADCC world championship, Rafael Mendes. He won gold in the 66kg division for the first time back in 2009 before returning in 2011 to repeat the performance.
Although he defeated Rubens ‘Cobrinha’ Charles in the final in 2011, he wasn’t able to do the same in 2013 and had to settle for a silver medal in his final ADCC run. Although he was still very early in the prime of his athletic career at the time, Mendes and his brother Guilherme both famously retired from competitive Jiu-Jitsu incredibly early and Rafael has not been seen competing since 2016, when he was still in his mid-20s.
Mackenzie Dern booked against Tecia Torres at UFC 273
Mackenzie Dern is one of the most impressive BJJ competitors in the history of the female divisions and she’s had mixed results since making the transition to MMA. She won her first seven fights in a row before stumbling against Amanda Ribas and although she righted the ship quickly and rattled off another four wins, she’s now coming off a unanimous decision loss against Marina Rodriguez.
At UFC 273, Dern has been given a tough fight but huge opportunity in Tecia Torres. She is probably the biggest name that Dern has fought to date and although she’s built up a three-fight win-streak, she has looked beatable in the past. With both women on the edge of the Strawweight top five, whoever wins here will put themselves at most just a fight away from a title shot in the division.
Three more invites handed out for ADCC 2022
ADCC 2022 is bucking the trend of previous editions by announcing the competitors who have received invites to the world championships while the trials events are still ongoing. As such, some of the divisions are actually starting to fill up already like the 88kg division that already has elite grapplers like Craig Jones and Xande Ribeiro, and now includes the 2019 bronze medalist Josh Hinger as well.
Kennedy Maciel has also been announced for the 66kg division, where he joins trials winners Ashley Williams and Cole Abate. The final invitee recently was Beatriz Mesquita, the 2017 champion of the 60kg weightclass who will be returning to that division alongside Bianca Basilio, the 2019 champion. As the female divisions only contain 8 competitors, the 60kg weightclass is now already a quarter-full.
- Reigning IBJJF gi and no gi world champion Diego ‘Pato’ Oliveira has left his team, Cicero Costha, in order to join Dream Art instead.
- The murder trial involving Olympic medalist and Indian wrestling icon Sushil Kumar is continuing to unfold as witnesses help make the case against him.
- Gordon Ryan gave the shocking revelation this week that his absence from competition in 2021 cost him at least $180,000 by the end of the year.
- Craig Jones has been working on his wrestling in recent years, so much so that he’s now confident in vowing to never pull guard again.