The ADCC, the world’s number one submission grappling association released the draws for the 2022 World Championships on Friday evening ahead of this weekend’s tournaments at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
One of the most prestigious grappling events of the year, ADCC 2022 will feature five male divisions, two female divisions, and a super fight. An “absolute” division will be established in the middle of the tournament in which the absolute champion will become the next super-fight challenger. This weekend’s super fight will be contested between Andre Galvao and defending champion Gordon Ryan.
ADCC 2022 Brackets Revealed
The full list of draws can be found here.
Garry Tonon headlines a talent-rich 66kg division. The five-time Eddie Bravo Invitational champion has made noise at the ADCC in the past but will be looking to improve upon his bronze medal result at the 2019 tournament. He matches up against Ireland’s Sam McNally in the first round. 17-year-old Cole Abate figures to be among Tonon’s top challengers for the crown. Abate won the 2021 North American trials at the age of 16 and has already proven himself as a finisher in the weight class. He is set for a meeting with Brazil’s Fabricio Andrey in a hotly anticipated first-round clash.
Another fighter who could be in search of some highlight-reel finishes this weekend is Brazilian Kennedy Maciel. The son of two-time ADCC champion Rubens ‘Cobrinha’ Charles will have the opportunity to improve on his silver medal showing back in 2019. Meanwhile, 2017 silver medalist AJ Agazarm will also be a name to watch, as he will face off with Australia’s Jeremy Skinner in Maciel’s half of the draw. Other first-round pairings include Josh Cisneros taking on Canada’s Ethan Crelinsten, Diogo Reis matching up with Ashley Williams of Wales, Keith Krikorian versus Diego Oliveira and Gabriel Sousa versus Ruan Alvarenga.
The story at 77kg revolves around two-time ADCC champion JT Torres, who will have an opportunity to make history at this year’s tournament. If he can win his third gold medal, Torres will become the first American in history to earn three ADCC golds in a singular division. To do it, the ever-calculated grappler will first have to get through Japan’s Kenta Iwamoto, his first round opponent, then navigate his way through one of the most experienced divisions at this year’s championships.
ADCC South American Trials winner Mica Galvao could represent the biggest roadblock on Torres’ path to the history books. The Brazilian notched five submissions in just 10 minutes of mat time to earn his spot in this year’s field and will look to earn another against European Trials winner Oliver Taza in the opening round. Kade Ruotolo and Nicky Ryan, brother of Gordon, might also be able to contend for this year’s crown. They are first set to match up against Lachlan Giles and Renato Canuto respectively in a pair of matches that are sure to produce fireworks. Other first-round matches to monitor are Norway’s Tommy Langaker versus 10th Planet product PJ Barch, Roberto Jimenez versus Andy Varela, Canadian Dante Leone versus Brazil’s Magid Hage, and Poland’s Mateusz Szczecinski versus William Tackett.
The 88kg field will blend a healthy mix of youth and experience and feature another former champion Matheus Diniz looking to defend his crown from 2019. Diniz has had a quiet 2022 but could make plenty of noise if he can successfully defend his title. Diniz drew the first-round tilt with Roberto Dib Frias, the Asian Trials winner. Brazilian Lucas Barboza could challenge Diniz, as could 2019 fourth-place recipient Tye Ruotolo, whose flashy high risk-high reward style could pay dividends given the complexion of this year’s field. They are set to take on Santeri Ilius and Josh Hinger in the first round respectively. The Ruotolo-Hinger booking will see teammates collide in a matchup that will be sure to draw eyeballs.
Trials winners Jay Rodriguez, Giancarlo Bodoni and Izaak Michell will be other names to watch. Rodriguez is set to meet Pedro Marinho in the first round, while Bodoni will square off with Isaque Bahiense, and Michell will face Vagner Rocha. Elsewhere, Eoghan O’Flanagan will look to spoil things for veteran Xande Ribeiro and proven American Mason Fowler will look to begin his trudge to the top of the mountain against Alexandre De Jesus.
With defending champion Ryan moving up to try his luck at a +99kg title, the defending +99kg champion Kaynan Duarte will be making the cut down in an attempt to add to his growing legacy in the sport. He will, however, have a diverse challenger pool to contend with, including Owen Livesey in the first round. Yuri Simoes and Craig Jones are both name grapplers with the talent and experience to notch a deep run in this year’s tournament and will match up against Luke Griffith and Joao Costa in the opening round. Vinicius Ferreira will also be a name to monitor. He will grapple Paul Ardila-Ibarra in the opening round.
One name to keep an eye on this year is Nicholas Meregali. The multi-time gi world champion Meregali only recently began to dip his toe in no-gi competitions but has been training with Danaher Death Squad in preparation for this year’s ADCC’s. If the 28-year-old Mario Reis pupil can find a level of comfort, he could certainly contend at 99kg. He will take on Henrique Ceconi in the first round. Elsewhere in the draw, Patrick Gaudio will meet Elder Cruz, former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. will test himself with European Trials winner Perttu Tepponen and Kyle Boehm will come down from the +99kg division to square off with Devhonte Johnson.
Ryan, who won the -99kg gold medal at the 2019 world championships, will make history this year regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s matches. He is set to become the first man to make up one half of the super fight and compete in a division at an ADCC World Championship event. He could also be the first grappler to win in three weight categories and can make it five gold medals if he conquers +99kg and wins Sunday’s super fight. He will meet European Trials winner Heikki Jussila in the first round.
The +99kg division may be absent its champion, but will still pose a challenge to Ryan on his quest for history. He’ll be joined in the bracket by former ADCC champions Vinny Magalhaes and Orlando Sanchez, who will face John Hansen and Max Gimenis in the opening round. Nick Rodriguez, a former silver medalist, could also pose a threat to Ryan’s ADCC dominance. He certainly has the potential to match up with Ryan in the finals, and he will first grapple Damon Ramos on the opposite side of the bracket. Cyborg Abreu, one of the two former absolute champions in this bracket will meet Haisam Rida. The other, Felipe Pena, will collide with Josh Saunders. Giants will collide when recent UFC Fight Pass Invitational standout Dan Manasoiu meets Victor Hugo, and Joao Rocha will take on Roosevelt Sousa to round out +99kg.
Reigning ADCC champion Bianca Basilio headlines the list of contenders for this year’s women’s -60kg crown. Basilio won in 2019 with an ankle lock and will have a chance to make lightning strike twice amid this year’s eight-woman field. She is scheduled to match up with Julia Maele from Norway, in the first round.
Basilio’s top competition could be Beatriz Mesquita, the 2017 champion who is positioned on the opposite side of the draw. Her journey to a repeat met an unfortunate end in 2019 when she had her arm snapped in the semifinals. Still, her experience could serve her well in this year’s field and will face countrywoman Mayssa Bastos in the opening round. Other opening round matchups include two Canada vs. Finland matchups with Briana St-Marie taking on Elvira Karppinen and Adele Fornarino taking on Ffion Davies.
Gabi Garcia will be the woman to beat in this year’s +60kg field, and American Kendall Reusing will front a host of challengers looking to knock off the Brazilian phenom. Garcia, however, has plenty of talent and experience to support another title win. She is the only competitor in this year’s eight-woman field to have competed at a previous ADCC. She will look to extend her standing ADCC title record to five, and will begin her march back to the top against Nikki Lloyd-Griffiths.
Reusing, along with Rafaela Guedes lead the list of grapplers who could give the 36-year-old fits. Reusing, who takes on Brazilian Giovanna Jarain in the first round, could have the opportunity to utilize her wrestling and leg lock attacks en route to the potential matchup with Garcia in the finals. From there, it will be up to the Gracie Barra product to match physicality with Garcia, the most imposing physical force in the field. As for Guedes, the reigning Tezos WNO champion and IBJJF No-Gi Worlds double gold champion will grapple Eleftheria Christodolou of Cyprus in the opening round. The remaining first-round matchup will see American Trials winner Amy Campo take on invitee Elisabeth Clay.