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Grappling Report: Danaher pupils stand out at second ADCC European trials

A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.

bloody elbow grappling report

The divisions for the 2022 ADCC world championships are quickly filling up and there is only one more trials event left after this past weekend’s action in Poland. The European, Middle-Eastern, and African trials have seen another seven grapplers book their place at this year’s grand finale. John Danaher’s New Wave Jiu-Jitsu were out in force as Luke Griffifth and Daniel Manasoiu won the under and over 99kg divisions respectively.

One of the most surprising winners came in the 77kg division where gi expert Tommy Langaker stormed to victory, while Ireland’s Sam McNally won at 66kg and Santeri Lilius showed up in fine form to win at 88kg. Julie Maele won the women’s under 60kg division by defeating the last trials winner Peyton Letcher in the final, while Cyprus’ top competitor Eleftheria Christodolou emerged victorious in the over 60kg division.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro Tour Grand Slam crowns season champions

One of the most exciting regular gi events of the competition calendar concluded this past weekend as the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour reached it’s final destination. The competition tours the world all year long before finally landing in Abu Dhabi for the grand finale and several elite grapplers managed to win out against tough opposition. Most notable in the men’s divisions was the young Gabriel Costa defeating veteran opponents at 88kg.

Meanwhile in the women’s divisions, Yara Soares dominated each of her matches to win the over 95kg division in convincing fashion. The event also featured the eleventh edition of the ‘King of the Mats’ which was won by the relatively young Meyran Alves, while the fourth edition of the ‘Queen of the Mats’ tournament saw Yara Nascimento continue her stellar run by winning the title.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Three-time NCAA champion Bo Nickal set for MMA debut

Bo Nickal is one of the most popular and successful wrestlers in recent US history with three NCAA Division I titles and a Hodge Trophy to his name. He also won a Freestyle wrestling world championship in 2019 and almost qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, only deciding to transition to MMA after he was unsuccessful. From there, Nickal had two amateur MMA fights in 2021 and finished both in the very first round.

Now Nickal has decided to make the jump to professional competition and he will fight at the third edition of Jorge Masvidal’s promotion, iKon FC. The event takes place in Virginia on Friday, June 3rd and will be streamed live on UFC FightPass, with Nickal coming up against a fellow debutant. Nickal enters the fight as a heavy favourite and it will be very interesting to see how his career develops over the next few years.

Leo Vieira hired as ONE Championship Vice President of Grappling

ONE Championship has been making huge inroads in to the submission grappling world lately, signing several of the best grapplers on the planet like Gordon Ryan, Andre Galvao, and Mikey Musumeci. They’ve been open in the past about their intention to create full divisions of competitors along with title-belts just like they currently do for MMA, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai.

Now they’ve taken a step towards that vision by hiring one of a legend of the sport, IBJJF and ADCC world champion Leo Vieira, as their Vice President of Grappling. This not only shows that they’re willing to invest into the sport, but also that they’re using resources well. Vieira is one of several former top competitors with connections all around the world, who is able to find high-level talent that might otherwise fly under the radar.

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