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ADCC Day 1 Recap: Nicky Rod, Blank, Leon And A Near Shock At +99KG

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John Danaher Instructionals

29 SEPTEMBER, 2019 ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, USA set the backdrop for the best ADCC production in the history of the event, something the public had been demanding of the tournament for quite some time. Finally, we have a set up that can match the scale of significance this tournament has in the grappling world. Production aside, the gold medal challengers are also to praise here, as the matches, for the most part, were well battled and a pleasure to watch. Below we bring you our assessment of the action, to check each individual match record, click on the grapplers names.

Date: 28-29 September
Location: Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California
Live Stream: FloGrappling


One of the most stacked divisions on the event, and also one of the youngest, with the average age being around 25. There was plenty of debate about how well the teenager Tye Ruotolo would fair in an event of this grandeur and any questions regarding his legitimacy in the ADCC were completely obliterated by the young phenom who beat two seasoned veterans (Pablo Mantovani and Bruno Frazatto) on his way to today’s semi-final.

BJJ Heroes’ 66 KG picks are still in the race, but they will meet before the final, namely Paulo Miyao vs Augusto Mendes. Tanquinho is a terrible style match-up for Miyao under the ADCC ruleset, though Paulo looked phenomenal on the mats yesterday with a flawless display of grappling against the highly-rated Nicky Ryan. Paulo completely disrespected the ruleset, pulling guard against the young DDS athlete in the “points-half” of the round, knowing he would receive a penalty for the guard pull but believing would make up for the penalty once on the ground. Indeed he did, solid performance and a 2×0 win.

Another athlete we had our eyes on was Richard Alarcon, who was making his ADCC debut. Alarcon has a great style for this ruleset, and he proved it by winning over one of the weight class’ favorites, Gianni Grippo on the first round, losing to the spectacular Kennedy Maciel on points in the 1/4 finals.


Paulo Miyao x Augusto Mendes
– Tye Ruotolo x Kennedy Maciel


There were no easy matches here, but there were tons of fun ones. Special mention to the war between Garry Tonon and Renato Canuto, a decision win for the Danaher student who truly pressed on the gas in this match. Always on the offense, Tonon did not allow much room for Canuto to activate his flair and movement in, arguably, the best match of the day.

On the other side of the brackets, Dante Leon shocked the world by beating the legendary Lucas Lepri. Dante was our “Dark Horse’s” pick for the division (click here to see DH), and proved why by putting on a grappling clinic in his two matches. One of the best back takers in the world today


JT Torres x Garry Tonon
Dante Leon x Vagner Rocha


There were three favorites to reach the semis, and they are all there. One athlete, however, is breaking through as the biggest surprise of the tournament, that is 10th Planet’s Jon Blank who submitted the “tough as nails” Easter European contender Rustam Chsiev and the veteran Murilo Santana on his way to the semi-final, where he will meet the #1 seed of the 88 kilogram division, Mr. Craig Jones.

The other side of the brackets saw Josh Hinger dominate his two matches, both submission wins, and Matheus Diniz have a hard-fought battle with Gabriel Arges. Two very eye-catching performances for the Atos and Alliance team representatives.


Craig Jones x Jon Blank
Josh Hinger x Matheus Diniz


The division everyone wanted to see did provide plenty of entertainment value. The favorite Gordon Ryan proved why he was the favorite coming in, winning both his matches with class and poise, having, so far, improved on his 2017 performance with two quick submission wins. Lucas Barbosa, on the other hand, had a war with Patrick Gaudio in the 1/4 finals, which went to a referee decision. Also a great fun match.

Vinny Magalhães looked dominant in his performances yesterday, calculated and composed, looking very much on point for a possible re-match with Ryan in the final.


Gordon Ryan x Lucas Barbosa
Vinny Magalhães x Vinicius Ferreira


Crazy to say this, but we could most definitely have a blue belt at the finals today, a very special kind of blue belt, Mr. Nicky Rod. Rodriguez had his toughest match against Mahamed Aly, a wrestling war that went to the judges’ decision. Against the veteran Orlando Sanchez (who outweighed Rodriguez by probably around 60 pounds), Nick put on a very high pace, slowly chopping down on Sanchez’s gas-tank resources, a perfect strategy that got “Rod” the win. After seeing his performance yesterday, we see him as the favorite against the veteran Roberto Abreu, who might struggle with the pace this young man can put on a match.

On the other side of the brackets, we almost saw the world fall down, after a sloppy/slippery throw-by attempt from Marcus Almeida saw him on the wrong end of a takedown in the very first round of the tournament against the veteran Antonio Braga Neto. The judges did not see this as a takedown from Neto, so no points were given, though with less than 30 seconds to go, Antonio mounted on “Buchecha”, the crowd roared, but Marcus dug deep – in true Buchecha fashion – and reversed the mount, getting two points from the exchange (as per ADCC rules). A nail-biting win by 2×0 from our sports most decorated athlete.

Buchecha will have his hands full against Kaynan Duarte, one of the most complete grapplers on the roster. Kaynan looked incredible on Day 1, with one submission and a strong performance over Yuri Simões. In a hypothetical style clash in the final, we see Duarte as a tougher match-up for Rodriguez, though Buchecha’s power both mental and physical are not to be underestimated.


– Nick Rodriguez x Roberto Cyborg
Marcus Almeida x Kaynan Duarte


All dominant performances by the semi-finalists, with Elvira having the toughest draw against Catherine Perret (2×0). Beatriz Mesquita looked particularly scary in her quick submission over the highly-rated Jena Bishop. Very impressive.


– Elvira Karpinnen x Bianca Basilio
– Ffion Davies x Bia Mesquita


Traditionally this is not one of the most exciting divisions to watch, though Ana Carolina and Carina Santi tried their hardest to push this old dogma aside with exciting performances. Gabi and Tayale, the favorites of the division, however, proved right by this tradition with slow-paced action throughout.


– Gabrielle Garcia x Ana Carolina Vieira
– Tayane Porfirio x Carina Santi

Roberto Jimenez BJJ Attacking The Back

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