AUGUST 08, 2019, as we approach the biggest nogi tournament of the year, the inevitable last-minute changes will keep taking place. Regularly these changes come from training injuries, but in the case of the last two replacements, this wasn’t the case.
Late last week AJ Agazarm announced he will not be able to participate due to a conflicting schedule. Currently working hard on his MMA career, the Bellator prizefighter could not refuse an offer to compete at the promotion’s 228 edition, a card that will set off in Inglewood, CA on September 28 – the day of the ADCC. Another athlete that announced he will not be able to participate in the world’s top grappling event was the current IBJJF roosterweight world champion Mikey Musumeci, although in Musumeci’s case the reason’s for dropping out have not been made so clear.
To replace two high caliber grapplers such as AJ and Mikey, the promotion sought out two athletes with equal praise in the community, finding in Richard Alarcon and Tye Ruotolo the names they were looking for.
Richard recently conquered the Kasai Pro tournament, placed 3rd at the ADCC WC trials and is a Combat EBI champion. Well versed in submission-only, but also with plenty of experience with the gi and in the IBJJF circuit, Alarcon earned his black belt from Giva Santana, but also trains regularly with the 10th Planet affiliates.
16-year-old phenom Tye Ruotolo will be the second replacement for the ADCC tournament. Although extremely young, Tye has tested himself against adults on a few occasions, one of those being the trials earlier this year, and proved to everyone he could hang with high-level opposition. In his division, Tye and his twin brother (Kade) have done it all. The Atos representatives have conquered the IBJJF circuit on repeat for the past few years in the juvenile divisions and are seen as the future of the sport by most followers of the sport. This will be a tough test for Tye, who will be coming in with no particular pressure, but may surprise many come September 28.