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Biggest Female No-Gi Event Of All Time? Check Who-is-Who At The ADCC Trials

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Ruotolo Brothers Leg Pins and Darce Attacks

Another historic moment for the ADCC, one of the top grappling organizations in the world. As explained in our recent piece “The 2022 ADCC Takeover” – where we went over the exciting plans laid out by the company’s promoter, Mr. Mo Jassim – there is a lot going for the brand right now, and all of it is incredibly positive.

Continuing this path of success, the ADCC set for its final North American Trials tournament for April 2nd (before the World Championship in September) and is closing out with a bang. The event has taken place on America’s West Coast for a few years and always with great success, gathering a healthy and steady growth in numbers of competitors.

Despite the very positive expansion felt with every passing year, few expected the standard of the event to go as high as it has in 2022. The growth has been well beyond exponential. Over 1000 athletes have signed up to compete, a number that more than doubles the biggest ever previous ADCC Trials event (in Brazil).

One of the aspects where the ADCC has blown past its main rivals in the tournament scene is in the female division. Despite running only two weight classes for women (-60 kilos [-132.2 lb] and +60 kilos), the brand has been very effective at captivating athletes’ desire to participate in the big show. This much is shown by the 137 female competitors who signed up for this West Coast event, making this one of the biggest no-gi expert-level female tournaments ever seen in this sport.

With representation across nearly every important team, the ADCC West Coast Trials will feature members of Atos, Checkmat, Alliance, 10th Planet, Gracie Barra, Ares, Renzo Gracie, and many more, while featuring ADCC veterans, IBJJF World Champions, former UFC fighters, and many more. Below is a shortlist of a few of the top grapplers who will be challenging for the vacant spots of the ADCC World Championships.

- 60-KILOGRAM WEIGHT CLASS (82 ATHLETES)

ALEX ENRIQUEZ (Atos Atlanta)

The Bruno Frazatto black belt is one of the division’s front runners. Despite being on the smaller side for this weight class, Enriquez placed 2nd at the East Coast Trials last year, with that loss in the tournament’s final being the only blemish in her, otherwise, spotless black belt record.

Alex has a great style for the ADCC ruleset, with excellent takedown skills – both offensively and defensively – and an outstanding competitor IQ. If you have not seen this young lady compete yet, definitely check her on the mats next weekend.

NATHALIE RIBEIRO (Checkmat)

Arguably the #1 challenger to the top spot considering what she has done in the sport, Ribeiro has one of the toughest guards to crack in the entire sport, having added an excellent pressure passing game to her arsenal.

Some of you may be intrigued about Nathalie’s inclusion in a North American trials tournament due to her Brazilian nationality, but Ribeiro has become a US citizen more recently and will attempt to represent her adopted country at the big show.

RAQUEL CANUTO (Checkmat)

A huge player here. Canuto is a multiple-time IBJJF World No-Gi Champion whose style is perfect for the ADCC setting. Solid takedown skills, great passing, very physical, and a natural middleweight, we see Canuto at the very top of the contenders’ list.

TAMMI MUSUMECI (Pedigo SF)

Despite not being a full-time athlete, as some of the other top-contenders, what Musumeci lacks in weekly mat time and rest, she makes up for in talent and experience. Tammi is one of the veterans of the division, with a wealth of knowledge at the highest level of the sport as well as one of the craftiest guards in the business. The ADCC is (traditionally) not very kind to the guard playing style, but if anyone can pull it off, that person will be Musumeci.

FATIMA KLINE (Blackhole)

A ferocious competitor, Fatima is the only colored belt on our Top Picks list at under 60KG, but for good reason. Kline had a brilliant showing at the past East Coast Trials, having since amassed several positive results in the submission-only circuit.

Despite being a common face on the SO tournament circuit, Kline shows a very solid positional game and good takedowns to come with it. That said, make no mistake, she is a submission hunter at heart. Without a doubt, a fun grappler to follow.

HEATHER RAFTERY (Atos San Diego)

Another very fun athlete to watch compete, Raftery is one of the veterans at the ADCC Trials next weekend and will be making her second attempt at the ADCC World Championships, after a failed attempt at the EC event.

With many important accolades to her credit, Heather has medalled at the IBJJF World Championships and Masters World Championships and is well-known for her tenacious grappling style.

Other well-known players:

– Jasmine Rocha
– Nikki Sullivan
– Kristin Mikkelson
– Alex Nguyen

+ 60-KILOGRAM WEIGHT CLASS (55 ATHLETES)

AMY CAMPO (Zenith)

We are very excited to see the black belt debut of Amy Campo next weekend, one of the most talented new black belts in the game. Despite being one of the least experienced competitors on our Top Picks, Campo is an incredible raw talent and should not be taken lightly, particularly considering she placed 2nd at the last ADCC US Trials. An aggressive classical guard player with a strong pressure passing game is what you should expect to see from Amy.

ELISABETH CLAY (Ares)

If you follow women’s jiu-jitsu, you will very likely have heard of Elisabeth Clay by now. A submission hunter and a leg-locker, Clay is no stranger to the ADCC ruleset, having been a consistent part of the event ever since she won the trials back in 2017 as a 16YO. Clay has come a long way since her first (victorious) appearance at the trials, having made her mark in the sport while currently holding both the World and Pan No-Gi titles with the IBJJF.

ERIN QUILLEN (Checkmat)

The current purple belt world no-gi champion will be a handful to a lot of women next weekend. The BJJ Heroes Breakthrough Athlete of 2020 will be one of the largest athletes on the bracket but make no mistake, Erin moves very well and is a “gamer” with an aggressive bottom half-guard game and a terrifying passing stance.

ERIN HARPE (Gracie Apolo Beach)

A very well-respected talent, Harpe’s only flaw may be her lack of competitive exposure. Not one to compete a s often as some of the other athletes on the card, Erin is yet to make an appearance in 2022, and only competed for 3 times last year. A very timid output for an athlete with such tremendous potential. Time will tell if the long absence has taken its toll on Erin.

Other well-known players:

– Maggie Grindatti
– Cat Zingano
– Paige Ivette
– Tara White

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