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ADCC European Trials, New Blood Steals The Show As Chen And Jones Take Out The Big Dogs

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Gordon Ryan Guard Passing Instructional

SEPTEMBER 17, 2023, WARSAW, POLAND, was the location of the ADCC Europe, Middle East, & Africa Trials, one of the most important no-gi jiu-jitsu events in the submission grappling circuit. The event had tens of incredible matches for the fans and felt like a step up from previous editions of these qualifiers in terms of technical display and overall production, showing that the level of submission wrestling is only evolving in this portion of the world.

Scandinavia has been one of the European hotbeds for no-gi jiu-jitsu with a long tradition of ADCC qualifier winners that was further solidified this year. 5 of the 8 spots available went to the Vikings. Also interesting is the inclusion of two purple belts in this year’s trial winners, namely Sani Brannfors & Owen Jones, as well as 3 brown belts (Chen, Griffith, and Modig).

Below is a short rundown of the action that took place today, in each individual weight class.

2023 ADCC 1ST EUROPEAN TRIALS WINNERS
66KG – Owen Jones (Apex, ENG)
77KG – Jozef Chen (B-Team, GER)
88KG – Santeri Lilius (Lilius Barnatt MA, FIN)
99KG – Luke Griffith (New Wave, ZAF)
+99KG – Heikki Jussila (Helsingin Paini-Miehet, FIN)
55KG – Josefine Modig (Wulfing Academy, NOR)
65KG – Sani Brannfors (Oulun kamppailuklubi, FIN)
+65KG – Ane Svendsen (GF Team, NOR)

66 KILOGRAM DIVISION / MALE

Arguably the biggest surprise of the tournament was 19-year-old British purple belt, Owen Jones of Apex Jiu-Jitsu (ZR Team affiliate). Although an IBJJF blue belt world champion in 2022, with the Gi, the young talent proved he is more than capable of going toe to toe with the best no-gi players in the business.

Jones took out Jeremy Janny in the first round via submission, going on to beat B-Team’s Robert Diggle via 5×0, as well as black belt Richard Bukovcsan, and Polaris multiple belt holder Ashley Williams in the semi-finals. In the finals, Owen met another B-Team athlete, Cammy Donnelly (who looked very impressive on his run to the final), taking him out via points. An incredible performance.

Quarter-Finals:
Ashley Williams def. M. Altantugs via 2×0
– Owen Jones def. R. Bukovcsan via 7×0
– Cammy Donnelly def. Martin Rapčan via heel hook
– Yigit Hanay def. Bart Dubbeldam via 4×0

Semi-Finals:
– Cammy Donnelly def. Yigit Hanay def. def.
– Owen Jones def. Ashley Williams via decision

3rd Place:
– Yigit Hanay conquered 3rd place via WO

Final:
– Owen Jones def. Cammy Donnelly via 3×0

77 KILOGRAM DIVISION / MALE

While we are on the subject of impressive teenagers, Jozef Chen was seen as one of the favorites of the division, but some believed the young man could fall to the vastly more experienced Oliver Taza, Mateusz Szczecinski, or Tommy Langaker. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. The B-Team athlete looked outstanding on his way through to the final, meeting (and beating) every big name in the division.

The final winning exchange against Oliver Taza in the final was something to be remembered and rewatched as Chen turned a back attack from the New Wave veteran into his own attack to score the match winning points. A beautiful maneuver that showed resilience, skill, and flexibility.

Quarter-Finals:
– Jozef Chen def. Mateusz Szczecinski via decision
Tommy Langaker def. Jake Dygas via RNC
– Thomas Barry def. Tomas Smirnovas via 5×2
Oliver Taza def. Marcus Phelan via inside heel hook

Semi-Finals:
Oliver Taza def. Thomas Barry via decision
– Jozef Chen def. Tommy Langaker via 9×0

3rd Place:
– Tommy Langaker def. Thomas Barry via 2×0

Final:
– Jozef Chen def. Oliver Taza via 3×0

88 KILOGRAM DIVISION / MALE

Great matches on display here and another ADCC European Trials win for Finland’s Santeri Lilius who looked calm and collected in his composed tear down of the 88 kilogram division.

Quarter-Finals:
– Tuomas Simola def. Omer Emanoely via decision
– Taylor Pearman def. Piotr Frechowicz via 2×0
– Christopher Wojcik def. Otto Kuikka via heel hook
Santeri Lilius def. Roger Lopez via 2×0

Semi-Finals:
– Tuomas Simola def. Piotr Frechowicz via decision
Santeri Lilius def. Christopher Wojcik via 3×0

3rd Place:
– Christopher Wojcik def. Piotr Frechowicz via decision

Final:
Santeri Lilius def. Tuomas Simola via armbar

99 KILOGRAM DIVISION / MALE

ADCC Qualifier runs don’t get much more dominant than this. South African choking machine Luke Griffith submitted every single match with relative ease in a division that had a few solid names.

Quarter-Finals:
– Luke Griffith def. Declan Moody via RNC
– Thomas Bracher def. Mattias Kasurinen via RNC
– Mraz Avdoyan def. Daniel Ladero via decision
– Samuel Karas def. Freddy Vosgroene via

Semi-Finals:
– Luke Griffith def. Thomas Bracher via RNC
– Mraz Avdoyan def. Samuel Karas via RNC

3rd Place:
– Thomas Bracher def. Samuel Karas via Guillotine

Final:
– Luke Griffith def. Mraz Avdoyan via Smother

+99 KILOGRAM DIVISION / MALE

Along with Owen Jones, Heikki Jussila might have been the biggest upset of the tournament. Now, this might seem an exaggeration as Jussila is a former trials winner and an ADCC veteran, nevertheless, his win over Daniel Manasoiu caught many grappling enthusiasts off-guard given how dominant Manasoiu has been in North America’s ADCC circuit where he had amassed a 38-match winning streak, 35 of which by submission.

A Master of Science and part-time grappler, Heikki Jussila went through his opponents with stoic performances, winning via points in every single match. Against Manasoiu he played the perfect strategy against the bigger man, being active on the feet (Daniel’s biggest technical weakness) and forcing the Romanian-American to pull guard where he would receive negative points. On the ground, Heikki played defense well, working on the borderline of stalling, and got the job done. 2x ADCC Trials winner.

Quarter-Finals:
– William Fleury def. Francis Pana via 2×0
– Daniel Manasoiu def. Aidan Woodley via inside heel hook
– Oskar Svels def. Mark Macqueen via heel hook
– Heikki Jussila def. Kasparas Strazdas via 2×0

Semi-Finals:
– Heikki Jussila def. Oskar Svels via decision
– William Fleury def. William Fleury via 3×0

3rd Place:
– William Fleury def. Oskar Svels via RNC def.

Final:
– Heikki Jussila def. Daniel Manasoiu via penalties (1×2)

55 KILOGRAM DIVISION / FEMALE

A very solid performance by Norway’s Josefine Modig in a fun division to follow.

Quarter-Finals:
– Anna Berg def. Anna Stolarek via kimura
– Ashley Bendle def. Astrid Vikgren via decision
– Magdalena Czaban def. Antonia Markou via 2×0
– Josefine Modig def. Cara Du-Plessis via decision

Semi-Finals:
– Josefine Modig def. Magdalena Czaban via armbar
– Anna Berg def. Ashley Bendle via guillotine

3rd Place:
– Ashley Bendle def. Magdalena Czaban via 3×2

Final:
– Josefine Modig def. Anna Berg via RNC

65 KILOGRAM DIVISION / FEMALE

Another purple belt taking the qualifiers, this time it was Sani Brannfors, an athlete who dedicates much of her time to MMA as well.

Quarter-Finals:
– Injana Goodman def. Leah Grovell via 2×0
– Sandra Triebel def. Lucy Stubbs via 3×0
– Sani Brannfors def. Zara Di-Tofano via decision
– Julia Mikołajczak def. Irina Pauchun via heel hook def.

Semi-Finals:
– Injana Goodman def. Sandra Triebel via decision
– Sani Brannfors def. Julia Mikołajczak via 3×0

3rd Place:
– Sandra Triebel def. Julia Mikołajczak via 7×0

Final:
– Sani Brannfors def. Injana Goodman via 3×0

+65 KILOGRAM DIVISION / FEMALE

We had referenced how Ane Svendsen would be the front-runner in the division and no surprises here. Svendsen showed why she is at the top of the food chain in this weight class under the ADCC ruleset.

Quarter-Finals:
– Salla Simola def. M. Kapuscinska via 6×0
– Ane Svendsen def. Laura Sieradzan via 3×0
– Jessika Torttila def. Emily Guenzler via 6×0
– Lucie Pudilova def. H. Griffith via decision

Semi-Final:
– Ane Svendsen def. Salla Simola via 3×0
– Jessika Torttila def. Lucie Pudilova via decision

3rd Place:
– Salla Simola def. Lucie Pudilova via 2×0

Final:
– Ane Svendsen def. Jessika Torttila via 5×2

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