The Greatest ADCC in History
After a historic weekend, ADCC 2019 comes to a close. I have personally never attended a BJJ event of this magnitude and it certainly did not disappoint. The upsets, the grudges, the crowning achievements of so many BJJ careers unfolded right before our eyes this weekend and having a front row seat to the action was an incredible honor.
There were too many memorable moments to list. Ill try my best to recap as many of them as possible! Leaving my seat to do anything yesterday prompted a deep fear of what I might miss, if I was gone for too long. The action just simply never ceased.
The Divisions -
The day began with the semifinals and built from there. In the 66kg division we were treated to a great match between a young Tye Ruotolo and Paulo Miyao. During the match Ruotolo managed to secure a knee bar that of course Miyao did not tap to, but if you’ve seen the photo, the submission clearly did some damage. Miyao continued to fight for another 5 minutes after this occurred and still managed to secure the victory via points.
The sequence of events in the 66kg all culminated with a matchup between Kennedy Maciel and Augusto Mendes. Much of the match was spent in exchanges on the feet, but with a charge late in the contest, Mendes was ultimately able to best the young Maciel 3-0, and claim his first ADCC gold. The utmost respect for Maciel, and his incredible performance this weekend. Taquino now adds ADCC gold to his list of achievements, rounding out an incredible career.
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In the -77kg the stage was set for a semifinal rematch between Garry Tonon and JT Torres. Tonon’s performance on the first day was simply jaw dropping and he was hoping to bring that momentum in tot eh semis to try and avenge a previous ADCC loss to Torres. Torres was also razor sharp and though Tonon made a valiant effort at the very end of the fight to turn the tables, it was Torres that came away with the “W”. This set up a match between, Tonon and Dante Leon for Bronze where Tonon was able to submit Leon with a vicious heel hook.
Torres faced an always game Vagner Rocha int eh 77kg final. The two traded exchanges from the feet for much of the match, but it was a back take late in the round that earned Torres the victory and cemented his place as the champ of the division. This is Torres’ second ADCC gold medal and he shows no signs of slowing down.
In the -88kg it was Craig Jones and Matheus Diniz in the final, who battled endlessly back and forth, and it was anyone’s game until late in the match when Diniz countered a takedown attempt from Jones that earned him two points. Jones put forth a great effort but simply ran out of time trying to answer and Diniz took the win, claiming the gold in the 88kg.
Josh Hinger had a notable performance in the -88kg as well. After phenomenal first day, securing two submission wins, he found himself in a bronze match with an impressive Jon Blank. After a lengthy stint in the mount and dominating the entire match, Hinger had done plenty to take home the medal. Hinger has recently put together a string of impressive performances and this is another great achievement to add to his roster.
The -99kg got very interesting yesterday, opening with a semifinal bout between Gordon Ryan and Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa. Hulk did his best to try and stop the king but Ryan was able to best Barbosa with an incredibly slick back take sequence that earned him what he needed late in the round to come away with the victory.
On the opposite side of the bracket, Vinicius Gazola Franca engaged in a back and forth with Vinny Magalhaes that ended in a bit of a bizarre fashion, but did propel Franca to final with Ryan. Ryan employed one of his signature back take sequences and followed it up with an RNC to defeat Franca and once again take the gold in his division.
In the +99kg the man of the hour had been Nicky Rodriguez and his momentum coming in to the second day was enormous but he’d have to take out “Cyborg” to reach the final. In a stunning performance, He did just that. This is one that we’ll be talking about for a while and it appears there’s controversy surrounding the decision, but Nicky played his aggressive game and pushed the pace the entire match, earning a hard fought “W” over the legend.
This propelled Rodriguez in to the final where he’d clash with Kaynan Duarte, who was also having an incredible weekend and had just claimed victory over Marcus Almeida to earn his spot in the finals. It would ultimately be Duarte that would stop Rodriguez. He played a great game against Rodriguez, securing the back late in the match, and though Rodriguez fought tirelessly to release himself, he just couldn’t shake Duarte.
Women’s Divisions -
In the -60kg division Ffion Davies bested an incredible opponent in Beatriz Mesquita with a vicious arm bar, that appeared to break the elbow of Mesquita. This was huge accomplishment for Davies and it placed her in the final match against Bianca Basilio who was able to defeat Elvira Karpinnen Tampere from Finland to earn a shot at Davies in the final match.
The final was eventful and exciting but ended abruptly when Basilio secured a toehold on Davies that ultimately caused an injury and the tap, to solidify the top spot on the podium for Basilio.
In the +60kg it was all Gabi Garcia, as she earned the 4th ADCC gold medal of her career, and enormous and rare accomplishment. Gabi employed her signature pas and smash style to frustrate and defeat all of her opponents. Defeating Carina Santi Osasco in the final match with a nasty kimura, Garcia once again claimed her place at the top of the podium, and continues to cement her legacy as the best female competitor of all time.
The Absolute –
The absolute began in a flurry. There was so much action happening simultaneously, it was incredibly tough to follow live. Choosing which mat to watch was almost an impossible task. The shocking moments were many, including a lighting fast heel hook finish from Garry Tonon against Edwin Najmi that landed Tonon in a match with his teammate Gordon Ryan. Buchecha and Ryan were both on a collision course in the absolute and ended up in the final together.
The big story of the absolute though, has to be Lachlan Giles. After a tough break on the first day of the competition, Giles entered the absolute and took out Patrick Gaudio, Kaynan Duarte, and Muhamad Aly, all with ferocious heel hook attacks, to earn himself a bronze medal. It was truly a great moment in the competition.
The absolute culminated in a highly anticipated match featuring Gordon Ryan and “Buchecha”. The match was back and forth for the duration. Ryan executed a very nice sweep early, but it was before points so it didn’t lend itself to the victory. It was ultimately Ryan that would come away with the victory due to a negative against Buchecha. Seeing these two go to battle was an incredible experience. This secured double gold for Ryan and yet again elevated his status as the best no gi grappler in the world.
The Super Fight –
This was something to behold. Andre Galvao vs. Felipe Pena for the ADCC super fight title. The energy in the room was incredibly thick as both of these competitors made their way on to the competition floor. The action picked up right away as the two heated competitors engaged in some pretty aggressive tie ups. The better part of the match was spent with Pena playing guard and Galvao relentlessly attacking and attempting to pass. Galvao’s assault never let up and eventually he was able to score two points, that went unanswered by Pena and won Galvao the match. The celebration was huge in Galvao’s honor and we also received some very interesting news. It seems in 2021 we will get to see Gordon Ryan challenge Galvao for the super fight title. The prospect of this match is very exciting as it’s something the grappling world will be dying to see.
Was this the greatest ADCC ever?
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