As we have mentioned in a previous segment regarding the female division of this weekend’s tournament (see here), the ADCC USA West Coast Trials will be one of the most important landmarks in the event’s history. A turning moment, if you may, for the promotion as it doubled its previous record of trials attendees with 1050 athletes while drawing some of the finest grapplers on the planet to this qualifier tournament.
The number of athletes in this tournament is a landmark in itself, but it is the brand’s allure and ability to draw jiu-jitsu’s finest to a trials event that is, arguably, the biggest turning point for the ADCC. Obviously, we have seen plenty of talent on previous qualifiers but never at this scale. Each and every single weight class is worthy of a professional Grand Prix tournament without fail, a number of top-shelf talent envisioned by the event’s promoter, Mo Jasim, at the start of his long-term plan for the brand back in 2017.
Below are a few of the stars who will be on display this weekend, across two days of action (Saturday & Sunday) in the male divisions. If you desire to confirm the female weight classes, check the previous article.
Will Andrew Tackett be the second 66-kilo teenager to fly the American flag at the ADCC World Championship alongside Cole Abate? Hard to tell in such a stacked division. Undoubtedly, Andrew will not be the favorite here with veterans Adam Benayoun, Gianni Grippo, and Deandre Corbe leading this very fun division, but Tackett is certainly one of the hardest athletes to beat in the lightest weight class.
ESTEVAN MARTINEZ (ZR Team)
EMILIO HERNANDEZ (Zenith)
JUNNY OCASIO (Unity)
DEANDRE CORBE (Standard JJ)
JON CALESTINE (Renzo Gracie Academy)
MARCUS BEDDOR (M-Theory)
PEDRO SERRANO (Gracie barra)
ADAM BENAYOUN (Fifty/50 Martial Arts)
FRANK ROSENTHAL (Fifty/50 Martial Arts)
DAMIEN ANDERSON (B-team)
ELIJAH TAGALOG (Carlsbad Jiu Jitsu)
ANDREW TACKETT (Brazilian Fight Factory)
ROBERT DIGGLE (B-team)
DAMION ORANDAY (Alliance)
FRANK CESPEDES Alliance
GIANNI GRIPPO Alliance
Very likely the fans’ favorite weight class given the names on the card, the 77-kilogram division will have none other than the dynamic PJ Barch, John Combs, and Kody Steele, submission machines like Kieran Kichuk, Pierre-Olivier Leclerc, Magid Hage, and William Tackett, and the incredibly versatile Andy Varela. No easy sides of the bracket here, and technique alone will not guarantee the ADCC spot. There are 250 competitors in the division, this will be a marathon as much as a battle of technique.
AJ AGAZARM (Gracie barra)
ALAN SANCHEZ (10th Planet San Mateo)
ANDY VARELA (10th Planet Las Vegas)
AUSTIN ORANDAY (Alliance)
GESIAS CAVALCANTE (Fight Sports)
JOHN COMBS (Roots Jiu Jitsu)
JONATHAN SATAVA (Alliance)
KIERAN KICHUK (Team Lloyd Irvin)
KODY STEELE (Brazilian fight factory)
MICHAEL LIERA (Logos)
MAGID HAGE (Surfight)
PIERRE-OLIVIER LECLERC (Tristar Gym)
PJ BARCH (10th Planet)
WILLIAM TACKETT (Brazilian fight factory)
The most stacked divisions are undoubtedly the 66 and 77 weight classes, but luckily there is plenty of talent to spare in the other 3 weight classes. At 88 it is all about the new generation of brown belts, namely Jacob Couch and Calon Sabino. Couch is a household name by now, but keep your eyes on Sabino as he was one of the most impressive athletes at the Brazilian Trials (Calon is a citizen of both countries). Equally dangerous are veterans Dominique Bell and Jason Rau.
DOM BELL (Atos)
JACOB COUCH (Pedigo SF)
JASON RAU (Serra BJJ)
CALON SABINO (Atos)
It is all about the wrestling in the 99-kilogram weight class as all 4 front-runners are heavy top players with strong wresting backgrounds.
DEVHONTE JOHNSON (Bones BJJ)
ELDER CRUZ (Checkmat)
PAUL ARDILA (ATT)
JARED DOPP (Alliance)
This is one of the most fun divisions on the show. In the past, this ultra-heavyweight class was known for a lack of athleticism and skill, but that was the past and this is now. Today we have in Dierkhising, Boehm, Childrey, and Baker, some of the most skilled competitors in the sport, all of which combine great athleticism and technique to their powerful physiques.
AUSTIN BAKER (unaffiliated)
JESSERAY CHILDREY (Nice Guy Submission Fighting)
JOE DIERKHISING (BJJ Revolution Team)
KYLE BOEHM (10th Planet)