NOVEMBER 07, 2021, ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY. It is set, the North American East Coast ADCC Qualifiers have been defined. Although many expected a few of the sport’s top teens would cause an impression at the ADCC East Coast Trials, few would have guessed this new generation would dominate the tournament.
The perfect performances of the sport’s new blood were not the only story of the event. In an array of exciting matches for all tastes, the event also showcased (once again) that it presents one of the best rulesets for grappling entertainment, a perfect symbiosis of wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Follow the action of each division by reading our tournament report below.
MALE 66 KILOS
Not often do we have a 16-year-old teenager make it in the biggest trials tournament of the sport, not by a long shot. That is an experience exclusive to a very special few and Cole Abate is now a part of that elite. A student of the Mendes Brothers at the Art Of Jiu-Jitsu gym in Costa Mesa, California, Abate was seen primarily as a gi player who competed in the IBJJF juvenile divisions up until last year, that did not phase this phenomenal talent at the ADCC Trials this weekend. 7 matches and 7 outstanding performances by the precocious athlete who did not suffer one single point throughout the tournament.
Equally impressive was ADCC Trials veteran Keith Krikorian. The 10th Planet black belt submitted 5 of his 7 matches, which included an RNC victory over #1 seeded athlete, Gianni Grippo in the semi-finals.
The final saw Cole once again demonstrate his dominance. Patient during the first half of the match when points were not scored, Abate opened up once the points clocked in, sweeping, passing, and taking the back of Krikorian during regulation time. Flawless.
– Cole Abate def. Keith Kirkorian via 10×0
MALE 77 KILOS
Arguably the most talent stacked division of the tournament, the 77-kilogram division (170 lb) had the added stress factor of 8 matches to win the qualifiers. Those were 8 matches against some of the top competitors in the grappling world.
Both Tackett and Ruotolo had to go through an array of top tier athletes, particularly after the 3rd round of the championship, which, for Ruotolo included comfortable wins over Kieran Kichuk, Magid Hage, and PJ Barch while Tackett went through JZ Cavalcante, Pierre Leclerc, and teammate Kody Steele. To check Ruotolo and Tackett’s full tournament results, click on their names and browse through their grappling records.
Famous for their non-stop “controlled-chaos” grappling styles, many expected this one to be a fiery final, and luckily for us, the fans, the predictions weren’t wrong. A very entertaining bout between the two young phenoms saw Tackett conquer a few solid positions on Ruotolo early on, and establish an advantageous top position. That upper hand started dwindling as time went by and William’s fatigue settled in. Not one to throw the towel, Tackett continued pushing forward, a push always met with similar force from the opposite side. In the end, a tough choice was to be made, either athlete could have taken the victory but the judges opted for Kade Ruotolo.
A word of praise also for Kody Steele. The Brazilian Fight Factory athlete had one of the best performances of his career and was, undoubtedly, one of the most fun grapplers to watch out there. Athletic, aggressive, and with an endless gas tank, this was on all accounts, a fantastic performance.
– Kody Steele def. PJ Barch via decision (0x0)
MALE 88 KILOS
Did we already say new blood was at the forefront of the ADCC Trials this year? Without trying to sound like a broken record, once again a deep division and once again one dominated by the new generation of jiu-jitsu with two brown belts and one fresh black belt on the podium steps of this weight class.
The division was heavily dominated by wrestling exchanges, nevertheless, in the final clash between Checkmat’s Elder “El Monstro” Cruz and the Alliance / New Wave athlete Giancarlo Bodoni, jiu-jitsu was the defining factor, with Bodoni’s beautiful half-guard sweep to the back settling the dispute between the two grappling wizards.
– Elder Cruz def. John Salter via decision (0x0)
– Giancarlo Bodoni def. Jacob Couch via RNC
– Giancarlo Bodoni def. Elder Cruz via 3×0
– Jacob Couch def. John Salter via penalties (0x0)
MALE 99 KILOS
Not a lot of surprises at 99 kilos as the two front runners made it to the final and did so impressively. Many were expecting this clash between Mason Fowler and Devhonte Johnson to be a calculated affair, and indeed it was as the ADCC rulesets dictate that all guard-pulls are to be “graced” with a penalty point for the guard puller.
The ruleset forced Mason – who played a very varied game on his run to the last match – to play a wrestling war against Unity’s Devhonte, who worked mainly from a takedown-to-pass strategy throughout the tournament. Although somewhat uneventful, the scarce engagements that took place leaned towards Fowler who took the judge’s decision and earned another spot at the ADCC World Championships finals.
– Devhonte Johnson def. Paul Ardila via decision (0x0)
– Mason Fowler def. Mario Gonzalez via 2×0
– Mason Fowler def. Devhonte Johnson
3rd Place was awarded to Mario Gonzalez the injured Paul Ardila could not compete.
MALE OVER 99 KILOS
A very dominant performance throughout the tournament by John Hansen. The powerful ultra-heavyweight from Axios made it look easy throughout the tournament as no one got close to beating him.
– Alex Grandy def. J. More via 3×0
– Damon Ramos def. Pat Downey via Outside heel hook
– D. Chaid def. L. Albrecht via 3×0
– John Hansen def. K. Satterfield via 32×0
– John Hansen def. Danny Chaid via RNC
– Damon Ramos def. Alex Grandy via 6×0
– John Hansen def. Damon Ramos via Armbar
– Alex Grandy def. Danny Chaid via 3×0
FEMALE 60 KILOS
A superb performance by Canada’s Brianna Saint-Marie this weekend proved the hype was very real. The brown belt has been on a tear over the past 6 months, having earned an IBJJF World No-Gi Championships gold medal and now the ADCC trials in impressive fashion.
Two submissions and dominant wins over two of the sport’s rising prospects (Jasmine Rocha and Alex Enriquez), have certainly put her on the map as a serious contender to the ADCC World Championship podium next year.
– Jasmine Rocha def. Nicole Mathew via Armlock
– Alex Enriquez def. Heather Raftery via 3×0
– Brianna Ste-Marie def. Kathryn Egan via Kimura
– Fatima Kline def. Trinity Pun via Darce choke
– Alex Enriquez def. Fatima Kline via 4×2
– Brianna Ste-Marie def. Jasmine Rocha via 3×0
– Brianna Ste-Marie def. Alex Enriquez via points
– Fatima Kline def. Jasmine Rocha via 3×0
FEMALE OVER 60 KILOS
A flawless performance by the Gracie Barra standout, Kendall Reusing, who showed her hybrid grappling style of high-class wrestling and jiu-jitsu put her at the forefront of this division. Equally impressive was Amy Campo. We know Amy mostly as a gi competitor, but she impressed us this weekend with her aggressive no-gi game. Amy took out one of the tournament’s front-runners, Paige Ivette (Legion), and submitted her way through to the final before being stopped by Reusing.
– Kendall Reusing def. Nicole Johnson via Katagatame
– Lauren Jones def. Jordan Novak via 6×0
– Khadijah Peek def. Erin Quillen via penalty (0x0)
– Amy Campo def. Hannah Harjo via Violin armlock
– Amy Campo def. Khadijah Peek via Armbar
– Kendall Reusing def.Lauren Jones via Armbar
– Kendall Reusing def. Amy Campo via 6×0
No third-place match. At the time we published this report, no explanation had been given as to why this had happened.