The 2022 ADCC has commenced with all the typical fanfare to be expected. Samurai light shows and pyrotechnics heralded the entry of the event’s international roster of grapplers. With five male divisions and two women’s divisions, the first day of the two-day tournament will whittle the divisions into quarter-final then semi-final brackets to be completed the next day.
Day one proved to be ruled by the discounted underdogs of the tournament, with established champions and high-seeded fighters being eliminated by shocking opponents.
The 99+kg division kicked off the show, with Gordon Ryan squaring up against Heikki Jussila for the first match. A quick showcase, Ryan quickly took the back of Jussila and locked in an RNC within the first minutes of regulation.
Despite Ryan’s position in the tournament, the star of the bracket in round one was one Haisam Rida of Assembly Jiu Jitsu. Facing Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu in his first match, Rida pulled off a massive upset on the former ADCC champ with an armbar finish in just a single, blistering minute of action.
Bouncing back from his loss to Ryan a month earlier, Felipe Pena outscored opponent Joao Gabriel Rocha with a combination of his trademark back takes and sweeps. Opponent Josh Saunders was able to land an early Uchi Mata, but was unable to capitalize before Pena recovered.
Two matches stood out for slight controversy. Max Gimenis took home a win over former ADCC champ Orlando Sanchez after dominating with position points for regulation, but a seeming chet injury forced the “Cuban Tree Stump” to submit to top pressure after Gimenis took mount. Fellow former ADCC champ and UFC vet Vinny Magalhaes found himself similarly sidelined, after injuring his foot during a guard pass from opponent Josh Hansen.
Leg attacks finally appeared in the event courtesy of Fight Sports black belt Roosevelt Sousa. Taking on an IBJJF staple in Joao Gabriel Rocha, Sousa capitalized on a body lock takedown attempt from his opponent to counter, establish leg control and nab a late heel hook submission.
Several other high-stakes point matches littered the round. B-Team competitor and “Black Belt Slayer” Nick Rodriguez wrestled his way to a point victory over Damon Ramos, nearly sending Ramos into the scoreboard with a takedown before the 4-minute mark. Brazilian star Victor Hugo took home a similar win against New Wave Jiu-Jitsu’s Dan Manasoiu, evading attacks from the bottom while maintaining top control on the larger grappler.
Round two saw the underdog streak end for Rida. Matched with Sousa, the Giraffe was unable to match his round one upset as he found himself taken down and held to zero points before the buzzer. Similarly muted, Ryan had to settle for a points victory against Victor hugo, as the Brazilian weathered Ryan’s onslaught of back attacks and mounted head and arm choke attempts.
Mirror images on the other side of the bracket, Pena and Rodriguez landed dual rear naked chokes on Gimenis and Hansen respectively. Pena spent more of his match working from bottom, threatening leg attacks and eventually getting the reversal and back take. Rodriguez, ever the wrestler, found frustration in Hansen’s guard before Hansen mistakenly gave up his back.
Never to be outdone in the fast finish department, Craig Jones lit the 99kg bracket on fire with a sub-minute shoulder lock win against Joao Costa. Starting from a guard pull, the Australian immediately bit down on Costa’s right arm from an open half guard. As Jones raised his right leg over Costa’s shoulder, the Brazilian quickly tapped with just 18-seconds on the clock.
American Elder Cruz forced the first decision finish of the evening against GF Team’s Patrick Gaudio after a tough back and forth. Cruz emerged the victor thanks to his passing efforts and top control.
A late replacement to this year’s tournament, The UK’s Owen Lvessey looked to make an impression against longtime competitor and former 99+ kg champion Kaynan Duarte. Originally a pro judoka, Livessey was unfortunately unable to utilize his takedown game as Duarte pulled guard and looked for sweeps. Racking up five points in short order, Duarte scored additional three after passing to mount off of a sweep. Securing the lead, Duarte advanced to the quarter finals.
Vinicius “Trator” Ferreira showcased his heavy game against Paul Ardila-Ibarra, threatening his underhooks early and shutting down attacks. Taking things into over time, Ferreira earned the win by outlasting Ibarra and capitalizing off of two penalties received during regulation.
Kyle Boehm took on Jersey native Devohnte Johnson in a dual ADCC debut. Sitting to guard, Boehm worked his 10th Planet game by stifling Johnson from bottom, forcing him to engage on his terms. Nearly getting a leg secured before regulation ended, Boehm opted to fight on the feet for the start of overtime. Neither man making much progress in OT, Boehm was awarded the decision.
Yuri Simoes and Luke Griffith went toe-to-to for a distance finish next. Showcasing immense strength, Simoes helt on to a rear body lock as Griffith struggled to kick free. The New Wave freshman returned with several near back takes to threaten the older competitor. But Simoe’s passing and aggression ultimately awarded him a win from the judges, as neither athlete was able to score points.
Gi phenom Nicholas Meregali took on Henrique Ceconi to secure the bracket’s second submission. A South African Trials winner, Ceconi exploded with an arm drag to body lock slam on Meregali. As he scrambled to defend the back take, Meregali nearly spun out of bounds as he slipped free. One of the most dynamic matches of the bracket, both men freely initiated leg entanglements and shot in for takedowns off of hand fighting. Multiple resets were required as both men struggled to contain the action to the mat. Ceconi tried to counter a rush from Meregali with a duck under to back take, but Meregali turned to catch Ceconi and isolate his right arm. Meregali quickly established a Kimura lock, and the tap shortly followed.
Jones exited round two and subsequently day one with a 100% submission rate, silencing Boehm with a guillotine. In six-minutes. Departing from his usual strategy, Jones utilized passing and top pressure against the 10th Planet leg locker. This forced Boehm to the feet, where Jones controlled the center and forced Boehm to shoot a double. Prepared, Jones quickly locked in the guillotine as they both fell and the tap followed shortly.
Duarte landed his second victory by ousting Elder Cruz via points. Cruz came out aggressive with snap downs followed by leg attacks, forcing Duarte to defend from bottom half guard. But a scramble later in the match gave Duarte the opening to take the back with a body triangle, netting him three points and an additional two after passing to mount. While Cruz landed two of his own off of a sweep, Duarte’s lead earned him the victory at the bell.
Simoes took Meregali to OT in one of the more subdued matches of the night. Heavy collar ties and hand fighting kept both men on the feet for long periods, nearly leading to dual stalling penalties. Both men sat to guard after five minutes, but neither scored points before over time.Despite some late near takedowns from Simoes, Meregali was awarded the decision.
If this is really Rafael Lovato Jr.’s ADCC swan song, he’s looking for nothing less than the gold. After dominating a very game Perttu Tepponen with points and a late RNC finish in round one, the former Bellator champion took an early two-point lead on Ferreira in the second round and held him to nil.
We see the match times begin to extend heading into the 88kg division, with all but one match ending via submission. Submission Underground superstar Mason Fowler fought Alexandre De Jesus Robinho heavily on the feet, only opting to jump guard to attack the leg. Offering a touching tribute to recently deceased BJJ legend Leandro Lo at the start, Jesus resisted collar ties and retained top control off of Fowler’s leg attacks. But it was a single leg attempt from Jesus late in the match that gave Fowler an opening for a successful guillotine finish.
Xandre Ribero saw his final ADCC end in a disappointing first round loss to Eoghan O’Flanagan, with the UK black belt scoring a crucial late back take on the Six Blades coach. Vagner Rocha fought “Who’s Next?” winner Izaak Michelle to a near stalemate judge’s decision to the slight annoyance of the crowd.
B-Team prodigy and ADCC Trials Winner Jay Rodriguez was upset by Gracie Barra black belt Pedro Marinho, finding his early explosiveness outdone by Marhino’s late match pass to side control for three points.
Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa and Giancarlo Bodoni found dominant point victories against Santeri Ilius and Isaque Bahiense respectively. Hulk’s pass to the back failed to nab him a submission, but he held Spain’s Ilius to no points for the remaining three minutes. Bodoni capitalized on a late back take of his own, but briefly resetting his hooks net him an additional three points for a total of six.
Roberto Dib Frias of Australia came up short against returning ADCC champion Mattheus Diniz. An Atos staple, Diniz displayed a methodical calm as he worked top position and secured the win with a late body triangle.
The biggest upset to some, ADCC alumni Josh Hinger out scored fellow Atos star Tye Ruotolo in a highly contested showcase. Despite getting on the board early, Ruotolo was unable to recover after an amazing late back take from his older teammate.
Hinger’s upset would break against Hulk in round two, with back control and two takedowns being enough to end the positive momentum.
Repeating his war of attrition, Rocha took Marinho to another deadlocked judges decision. For 15-minutes, the men stood looking for foot sweeps and dominant grip control. Rocha nearly speared Marinho through a FloGrapplong light box as they went off the mat. Through aggressive tactics, center mat control and evasiveness, Rocha won his second decision.
Fowler proved to be the second upset of the bracket, the Caio Terra student being eliminated by O’Flanagan via heel hook. Fowler earned a penalty for lightly kicking O’Flanagan’s legs while he was standing, but O’Flanagan rendered the point moot with a slick 50/50 entry and immediate bite on the outside heel.
Confusion during Diniz vs Bodoni caused Dini to miss out on a crucial back attack. Jumping to a back take near the edge, Diniz appeared to loosen his grip and allowed Bodoni to escape. Reset to the center, Diniz was immediately taken down and Bodoni moved to an armbar. Transferring to a Triangle as Diniz began moving, the New Wave staple received a quick tap and a ticket to the semi-finals.
One of the kings at 77 kg, JT Toress faced Japan’s Kenta Iwamoto for a 15-minute decision showdown. Pressured with an early single leg, Torres played a controlled bottom game with omoplata attempts and reversals back to the feet. His superior gas tank and late showing secured him the win.
The second Ruotolo brother of the night, Kade Ruotolo faced deadly Australian leg locker Lachlan “Giantslayer” Giles. Nearly put out with a locked heel hook, Ruotolo managed to roll out and pass as Lachlan held his left arm up. Grabbing it as he passed, Ruotolo fell right into an arm bar and got the tap.
Polish grappler Mateusz Szczecinski fought rising star William Tackett later in the brackett, taking the Checkmat athlete into deep water for a short submission win. Operating from the bottom, Szczecinski threaded into 50/50 and turned belly down for a straight ankle lock.
10th Planet’s PJ Barch fought Norway’s Tommy Langaker for a 10-minute exchange. Dominating from the top for most of the match, Barch landed a late back take and nearly took Langaker out with an RNC before the bell rang.
Danaher export turned B-Team member Nicky Ryan took on Renato Canuto next, providing him with one of the biggest challenges of his career thus far. Both landed heavy collar ties and shoves on the feet, Ryan looking to showcase his improved standup game. But a late takedown into a back take from Canuto extinguished Ryan’s explosive journey.
Canada met Brazil as Oliver Taza took on Mica Galvao. Despite each man’s deadly submission game, Galvao’s defense and a combination of another late takedown and back control won him the day.
Roberto Jimenez advanced past stiff competition from Andy Valera. The prodigy was taken down past the mat space early, but rallied for and arm drag takedown in response. Working to the back, Jimenez locked in and RNC and that was that.
Dante Leon fought Magid Hage on the button of the brackett. Making for a unique submission finish, Leon made his way to the back, Leon transitioned to an armbar position as Hage defended. Isolating the arm, Leon opted to go for the wrist lock instead of hyperextending the full arm. Hage tapped, allowing Leon to advance.
Joining his fellow unseated champions, Torres was outscored in a miraculous performance by Barch. The 10th Planet star weathered early pressure and takedowns from Torres to fire a critical double leg once points were allowed. Failing to recover, one of the most beloved starts of the event had met his impassable wall.
Galvao took home his first submission win of the event against a hopeful Canuto. Capitalizing on slight arm control, Galvao made a figure four with his legs as Canuto moved to pass to attempt an armbar. Turning into the pressure, Canuto was forced to tap just after the eight-minute mark.
The fastest submission of the round, Ruotolo advanced past Jimenez with a nasty foot lock inside two minutes. Taken down early by Jimenez, Ruotolo reversed and stood looking for a leg entanglement. Grabbing the right foot, Ruotolo fell back to get the devastatingly simple straight ankle finish.
Leon brought up the last decision of the bracket, outpacing Szczecinski on the ground and the feet to punch his day two ticket.
Another legend was eliminated in number one seed 66kg competitor Garry Tonon to Irish competitor Shane McNally. To some the most shocking upset of the day, McNally scored a back take and nearly finished the ONE FC star before regulation ended. His future opponent Josh Cicneros landed a late submission on B-Team’s Ethan Crelinsten, locking in a triangle arm bar after securing a superfluous four points, Cicneros exited the match with under two minutes to spare.
Fabricio Andrey and Jeremy Skinner took the round’s two decision finishes, defeating Americans Cole Abate and AJ Agazarm. Andrey took Abate out of bounds numerous times, and showcased excellent positional awareness for his 15-minutes. Skinner and Agazarm dueled leg locks for the majority of regulation, but a late triangle attempt from Skinner likely swayed the judges. Naturally, a disappointed Agazarm complained to the refs and proceeded to give the middle finger to the booing crowd.
Gabriel Sousa took five points in his win over Ruan Alvarenga, landing a big takedown to pass while shutting down the offense. American favorite and ADCC Trials winner Kieth Kirkorian fell in his match against Diego Pato Olivera, who locked in a tight heel hook just three minutes into the competition.
Despite his infamous resiliency, Geo Martinez got caught in a late RNC by fellow American Kennedy Marcial. Showcasing excellent flexibility and standing, The 10th Planet staple was unable to escape after exerting himself over the match.
Welsh grappler Ashley Williams took on Diogo Reis last on the card, the match fairly even until just after points were allowed. Tripoding up with a body lock grip, Reis walked his way through Williams’ guard and secured the points he needed to advance.
Round two saw Mcnally go the distance with Cicneros. The Irishman was put under constant pressure from the top, Cicneros threatening numerous guard passes and submissions to earn the decision and end the Cinderella run. The second decision went to Diogo Reis over Fabricio Andre. Another even matchup, Reis’ late body lock to threaten a takedown sealed the deal in the minds of the judges.
Olivera Took home his second win via submission against Marciel. Finding themselves in 50/50 late in the match, Olivera transferred focus from attacking the bottom leg to the top leg. Applying a twisting pressure, Marciel’s knee gave under the force and he quickly tapped to the Brazilian.
Skinner found similar misfortune in his match against Sousa, the later catching him in a well timed triangle to end his run.
ADCC regular and former champion Gabi Garcia once again proved her reputation accurate. Facing Nikki Lloyd-Griffiths in round one, the dominant Garcia controlled the smaller grappler for all of regulation, picking up six points for back control. Seeing an opening, Garcia transferred to an armbar for a quick tap.
Zenith BJJ’s Amy Campos had a bit more trouble with Ares athlete Elizabeth Clay. Nearly locking in a D’arce choke in the opening minutes, Campo was unable to finish as Clay transitioned to a knee bar attempt. Clay repositioned as Campo escaped, staying on bottom and looked to isolate Campo’s left arm. A stalemate for the opening, the arrival of points gave Campo’s pass to mount a critical three points. Clay was unable to recover, and Campo advanced.
Rafaela Guedes followed suit with a three-point win over Cyprus’ Elvira Karppinen. Working from top, Guedes used pressure to keep Karppinen from sweeping her while she worked offense. Following several submission attempts, Guedes managed to pass guard in the second half to pick up her points and advance to the semi-finals.
Kendall Reusing dominated her first match against Brazilian Giovana Jara, following her early positional work with a takedown and a pass to net five points. Looking for a finish regardless, a buzzer-bearing tap to a guillotine sealed her win and her place on day two.
Returning champion Bianca Basilio ran out of the gate with a submission over Norwegian grappler Julia Maele. Early controversy arose when Basilio poked Maele in the eye in the opening seconds, causing a brief time out for doctors to clear her. Both women went out of bounds numerous times, focused on dominating control of the head and neck. Basilio shot for a body lock trip, sending both women down with Basilio on top. As Maele went for an armbar from bottom, Basilio turned to escape and was able to take the back as Maele turtle up. Turning her belly up and sinking her hooks in, Basilio went for a gable-grip RNC. The tap was quick, sending the champ to day two.
WNO champion Bianna Ste-Marie took on a very game Elvira Krappien before moving to round two. Showing incredible heart, Krappien withstood a brutal armbar attempt followed by a deep triangle before escaping, and going for a heel hook without missing a beat. Unfortunately Ste-Marie would escape, and pass for a three-point lead to take the win.
Welsh superstar and ADCC vet Ffion Davies dominated Australia’s Adele Fornarino with a massive point lead followed by a slick submission. Though stalled by Fornarino’s impressive guard game, Davies was able to pass and advance to the back for 10 points. Once the hooks were in, Davies put in the RNC and it was a wrap.
Finally, a dynamic throwdown between Beatriz Mesquita and Mayssa Bastos rounded out the bracket. A skilled guard player, Bastos nevertheless struggled against Beatriz’s pace and intensity. Dying down after the first half, dual penalties would send the competitors back to passing attempts and bottom attacks. A late back take that nearly sent the athletes out of bounds would complete Beatriz’s mission on day one, sending Bastos home and advancing to day two.
Full results can be found here.