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ADCC East Coast Trials Results, Epic Performances By Tackett Brothers, Corbe, And Rocha

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APRIL 1, 2024, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA, housed what is largely regarded as the most important of the ADCC Qualifier rounds that take place around the world across two years, ahead of the ADCC World Championships later this year. The tournament gathered some of the best grapplers in North America in what was the second and final installment of the qualifiers in this continent, with the first taking place on America’s East Coast in October last year. Below are the athletes who qualified and our report on the action that took place at the tournament.

ADCC WEST COAST QUALIFIED ATHLETES
66KG – Deandre Corbe (Standard JJ)
77KG – Andrew Tackett (BFF-Checkmat)
88KG – William Tackett (BFF-Checkmat)
99KG – Michael Pixley (Pedigo SF)
+99KG – Michael Perez (Atos)
55KG – Jasmine Rocha (VRMA)
65KG – Helena Crevar (New Wave)
+65KG – Lyzz Mitrovic (Precision JJ)

MALE, 66-KILOS

On his way to the final, Keith Krikorian appeared to be in a Nirvana-like state, the best version of himself, a Neo (Matrix reference) in the 66-kilogram division, submitting everyone with ease, including solid names of this sport like Richard Alarcon and Jordan Holy. On the other side, however, Deandre Corbe was on a run of his own, facing the hardest bracket in the tournament.

One by one, Deandre took out the “Big Dogs”, namely Frank Cespedes (3×0), AJ Agazarm (armlock), Gianni Grippo (penalty), and brother Gavin Corbe (armbar). A slightly less ostentatious performance than that of Krikorian, but a necessary one considering the level of opposition he had in front of him. For the final, Corbe was able to dominate Keith and steal the Golden Ticket to the ADCC finals, later this year, after 7 matches.

SEMI-FINALS:
Keith Krikorian def. Jordan Holy via darce choke
– Deandre Corbe def. Gavin Corbe via armbar

FINAL:
Deandre Corbe def. Keith Krikorian via 6×0

3RD PLACE:
– Gavin Corbe def. Jordan Holy via 2×0

MALE, 77-KILOS

The most fun division in the sport did not disappoint at the East Coast Trials. All the semi-finalists put on tremendous matches against the creme of the crop of American grappling, each taking 7 bouts before the end of the Trials. A real marathon of grappling.

The runner-up this year was veteran Oliver Taza, who had another heartbreaking performance. Canada’s Taza challenged for 4 ADCC Trials this season (2023-2024) thanks to his double citizenship (North American & Middle-Eastern), medaling in every single one of those qualifiers with 2 second places and 2 third places. Taza had a solid performance again where he used great wrestling, passing, guard playing, and submissions throughout the event, losing in the final through a back-take from a scramble he initiated via a single-leg takedown against Andrew Tackett.

The winner here was Andrew Tackett of Brazilian Fight Factory in Texas. Tackett is never in a boring match and will be an excellent addition to this year’s ADCC World Championships when it comes to showmanship and gamesmanship. Tackett submitted 4 of his 7 opponents and put on a great performance against Andy Varela in the semi-finals, taking the tough veteran down twice, passing his guard, and despite the unwillingness of the referees to concede his hard-earned points, ended up winning. Tackett looked like a world-class competitor and will be a real challenger later this year.

One of the most bizarre moments of the ADCC West Coast Trials happened to John Combs in the quarter-finals against Andy Varela, as he ended up being disqualified for puking midway through his match. A tough moment for the veteran grappler who had looked great up until this point.

SEMI-FINALS:
– Oliver Taza def. Max Hanson via decision
– Andrew Tackett def. Andy Varela via 2×0

FINAL:
Andrew Tackett def. Oliver Taza via 3×0

3RD PLACE:
Andy Varela def. Max Hanson via RNC

MALE, 88-KILOS

Another fun division to follow with every major US player at this weight class coming in to compete and once again a real marathon of grappling for the semi-finalists who had to endure 7 rounds to make the podium.

The two very worthy finalists, William Tackett (Brazilian Fight Factory) and Jay Rod (B-Team) had an outstanding clash for the qualifier with excellent scrambles, non-stop action, and a few clever technical variations from Tackett who used an interesting novel grip to finish his belly-down toe hold. A maneuver and match worth revisiting in the FloGrappling archive later on. William Tacket scored 5 submissions in his 7 matches, with two RNCs and 3 lower-limb submissions.

SEMI-FINALS:
– William Tackett def. Elder Cruz via 3×0
– Jacob Rodriguez def. Chris Wojcik via decision

FINAL:
William Tackett def. Jacob Rodriguez via toe hold

3RD PLACE:
Elder Cruz def. Chris Wojcik via 5×0

MALE, 99-KILOS

In a division with very few “names” on the roster, many believed Devhonte Johnson would be a safe bet to take on the qualifier spot. That proved to be an unsafe choice after all, as Alpha Male’s grappling coach (and 3-time All-American) Cody Linton ended up taking the Unity team favorite out of the tournament in the first round.

The absence of Johnson left the road wide open and many stepped up to take it. Formerly with Atos and currently training at B-Team, Adam Bradley went on a collision course with NCAA D2 standout and Pedigo SF representative Michael Pixley. Both had excellent performances on their way to the final, Pixley with the unorthodox chokes from front-headlock control and Bradley with his traditionally scrappy style of no-gi.

SEMI-FINALS:
– Adam Bradley def. Kyle Boehm via 2×0
– Michael Pixley def. Daishi Goto via penalty

FINAL:
– Michael Pixley def. Adam Bradley via decision

3RD PLACE:
Kyle Boehm def. Daishi Goto via RNC

MALE, +99-KILOS

A vast division with lots of matches, but, much like the under-99kg category, not a lot of faces ranked in the sport’s professional circuit.

The man of the hour in the ultra-heavyweight category was Atos’ Mike Perez, an athlete who traditionally competes in the 88-kilogram division. Perez did not appear to be anywhere near the +99 kilogram (218 lb) mark and therefore, likely, competed here for other reasons. Nevertheless, Perez used his technical advantage, experience, speed, and well-roundedness to get the job done.

SEMI-FINALS:
– Michael Perez def. Brandon Reed via straight ankle lock
– Michael Pezzuto def. Nick Pica via decision

FINAL:
Michael Perez def. Michael Pezzuto via decision

3RD PLACE:
– Brandon Reed def. Nick Pica via forefeit

FEMALE, 55-KILOS

Fans enjoyed a treat here with this division. The skillset was through the roof at 55 with athletes like Alexandria Enriquez, Nikki Sullivan, Jessica Crane, Faye Cherrier, Tammi Musumeci, Jasmine Rocha, Alex Nguyen, Trinity Pun, and more. Exciting athletes make exciting matches and this weight class truly delivered. With takedowns, a whole lot of backtakes, and sweeps, this division was among the most entertaining of the tournament and worth revisiting by grappling fans. We will have to dig deeper into the data, but at first glance, this division provided the only heel hook in the whole tournament’s female division.

Jasmine Rocha made her first attempt at the ADCC Trials in Brazil last month, making the most of her double citizenship, where she placed 3rd. This was her last chance at qualifying and she took it with style. 5 matches, 4 submissions, and an absolute master-class of forward-moving jiu-jitsu. A great addition to the ADCC World Championships roster.

SEMI-FINALS:
Alex Enriquez def. Amanda Bruse via RNC
– Jasmine Rocha def. Tammi Musumeci via 2×0

FINAL:
Jasmine Rocha def. Alex Enriquez via RNC

3RD PLACE:
Tammi Musumeci def. Amanda Bruse via 7×2

FEMALE, 65-KILOS

This division did not have the level of talent observed in the under 55’s but, nevertheless, a weight class with plenty of challengers.

Teenage sensation, Helena Crevar, kept a relentless pace on her opponents throughout the tournament, submitting 4 out of her 5 opponents and avenging her loss to Mo Black at the East Coast Trials to take the qualifier.

SEMI-FINALS:
Morgan Black def. Leilani Bernales via 2×0
– Helena Crevar def. Nicole Mathew via straight ankle lock

FINAL:
– Helena Crevar def. Morgan Black via 2×0

3RD PLACE:
– Leilani Bernales def. Nicole Mathew via points

FEMALE, +65-KILOS

One of the most balanced divisions in the tournament, the over 65’ers had Elizabeth Mitrovic and Amanda Leve as the toughest challengers, but these two were far from the only big names on the roster.

Bridget McEliece, Erin Harpe, Jennifer Case, Brittney Elkin, and more were part of a division where wrestling played a big part in the outcome of its matches, including, inadvertently, the final won by Elizabeth Mitrovic after Amanda Leve injured her knee attempting a single-leg takedown.

SEMI-FINALS:
Amanda Leve def. Jennifer Case via RNC
– Elizabeth Mitrovic def. Bridget McEliece via 2×0

FINAL:
– Elizabeth Mitrovic def. Amanda Leve via injury

3RD PLACE:
– Jennifer Case def. Bridget McEliece via RNC

5050 Guard Instructional by Lachlan Giles

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