A David and Goliath Performance for Lachlan Giles at ADCC
With ADCC 2019 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to sit back and reflect on this year’s highlights, upsets, and standout performances. This years ADCC may have been the most eventful ever. The names, the action, the venue. They really outdid themselves. We were treated to one of the most exciting grappling events in history.
One of the great stories of the weekend is Lachlan Giles. Giles punched his ticket to ADCC by wining the Asia-Oceana trials, and traveled from Australia to compete in the biggest grappling event int eh sport. Giles is revered for his incredibly technical and well-rounded instruction. He’s a phenomenal teacher and an incredibly skilled grappler.
On Saturday, Giles lost in the first round of the competition, pulling Lucas Lepri as his first-round matchup. Giles was incredibly game and excited about the matchup but was not able to best Lepri and lost the contest 3-0. It was tough to see Giles lose and not get the chance to move on, but that’s the way it goes at the highest levels. I thought maybe we’d seen the last of Giles, until…
After the completion of the final matches for the divisions, the bracket building for the absolute began. The entire room was filled with anticipation and excitement to see who was entering and what the match ups would look like. When the brackets were released, I was very happy to see that Giles had decided to test his skills once again int eh absolute. Being on the smaller end of the weight classes, Giles would certainly have his work cut out for him, as a great deal of the competitors in the absolute were monsters, and very hungry.
When we finally got a look at the bracket, I saw that Giles had pulled Kaynan Duarte first. Duarte was on fire, winning his division and stopping Nicky Rodriguez to earn ADCC gold in the +99kg. This wasn’t going to be an easy task for Giles, but like any competitor at this level he was obviously up for the challenge. Giles immediately sat and began trying to get underneath Duarte. He was doing a great job of entangling the legs. It almost seemed too good to be true. After some back and forth, Giles was able to enter the legs successfully, securing an inside heel hook and finishing Duarte! The convention center erupted as Giles rose to his feet and raised his hands! What an accomplishment.
After a brief break, Giles would then face Patrick Gaudio, another larger competitor from the -99kg division. Playing the same game, Giles immediately sat down and again began working to get underneath, which he was successful with. After a little bit of illusiveness on the part of Gaudio, and repeated attempts from Giles to invert and get under Gaudio Giles was able to transition to the 50/50 and secure yet another vicious inside heel hook submission! The crowd roared again and you could feel the energy of the room. What an incredibly proud moment for Giles.
Giles would then cross paths with the king, Gordon Ryan. Both of these gentlemen were on fire and performing at the top of their game, but ultimately Ryan was able to secure a win over Giles with his signature back take, resulting in a rear naked choke. But this wasn’t the end for Giles. He had earned the right to fight for a bronze medal, but to claim it, he’d have to get through Mahamed Aly.
Aly was a towering prescience this weekend at the competition. He was one of the biggest competitors on the mat and appeared to be in absolutely incredibly shape. This would no doubt be a very tough test for Giles. Like all the other matches before this one, Giles chose to sit, fist bumping Aly on his way to the mat, and immediately began looking to get underneath. Working with a De La Riva variation, Giles began to entangle Aly’s right leg. As Giles transitioned to the backside and worked to achieve a 50/50 configuration, he was able to pull in Aly’s knee line and secure yet another inside heel hook submission in just over a minute in to the bout. That was it, he’d done it. Lachlan Giles slayed three giants to earn himself a bronze medal in the most prestigious grappling contest on the planet.
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This was undoubtedly one of my favorite moments of the tournament this weekend. After a rough start, Giles was able to regroup and return to the absolute to put on an incredibly impressive performance against three of the largest competitors in the tournament.
Mahamed Aly made an Instagram post after the competition, prompting both Duarte and Gaudio and writing, “We need his DVD asap” referring to Giles. This was great show of sportsmanship. It also leaves me wondering. What if these gentlemen did become leg lock experts? This is a frightening prospect.
Giles once again displayed the effectiveness and applicability of the leg lock at the highest levels of competition, proving once again that the leg lock is a great equalizer. I feel that lower body attacks have been treated a little unfairly, like a fad that went away. The truth is, the leg lock is a great way to win, especially in Giles’ case. He knew that wrestling or getting in to upper body battles with these men was out of the question and planned accordingly.
Giles has yet to release a leg lock only instructional, which begs the question, when? After this weekend’s performance, Giles will certainly be getting some requests to reveal his leg game to the masses. Will he deliver? Time will tell! Congratulations Lachlan Giles on a phenomenal performance at ADCC 2019!
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