Grappling News: 2022 is the Year of ADCC

ADCC match
Photo Courtesy of ADCC
On April 9, 2005, the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Finale, an event that changed the MMA landscape forever. Finalists Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar battled it out in a bloody war that UFC President Dana White often cites as the “most important fight in UFC history.”

More history will be made in the iconic arena in September when it plays host to the 2022 Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Championships, an occasion that is shaping up to be the biggest grappling event of all time.

ADCC head organizer Mo Jassim has promised the best ADCC production yet, and if 2019 was any indication, there is no reason to doubt him. Below are three reasons to get excited about this year’s event.

ADCC Trials Events Deliver Tons of Action-Packed Matches

Although the ADCC World Championships are without question the main focus, the trials are also some of the most exciting and most anticipated grappling events of the year. Athletes such as Kade Ruotolo, Oliver Taza, Cole Abate and Kendall Reusing have already participated in and won a trials event, delivering some of their most exciting matches to date.

With very few invites being given out, the trials have become a necessity for any aspiring ADCC Worlds competitor. Athletes already confirmed for the Brazilian trials include Fabricio Andrey and Mica Galvao, two of the brightest young stars in the sport. Additional 2022 ADCC trials events will be held in Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Las Vegas, Australia, Moldova and Singapore, with the Brazilian event coming up first in early February.

New Generation Grapplers Look to Establish Their Names

Every edition of ADCC competition sees breakout stars emerge who were relatively unknown beforehand. In 2017, Craig Jones defeated Leandro Lo by rear-naked choke and Murilo Santana by flying triangle in back-to-back matches. In 2019, Lachlan Giles entered the open-class division as a 77-kilogram grappler. Despite massive size differences between him and his opponents, Lachlan secured inside heel hooks against Kaynan Duarte, Patrick Gaudio and Mahamed Aly to earn a third-place finish.

In 2022, you can expect to see more breakout performances. Cole Abate, 16, won the East Coast trials and will look to become the youngest ADCC champion in history in the 66-kilogram division.

Mica Galvao had stellar no-gi performances in 2021, winning the IBJJF No-Gi Pans and superfights under the Who’s #1 and Third Coast Grappling banners.

Fabricio Andrey is another athlete who is expected to have a breakout performance. He won the 2021 IBJJF Worlds in the gi using a combination of technique and athleticism that is bound to translate to the no-gi arena.

Other athletes to watch include Roosevelt Sousa, Pedro Machado and Julia Alves.

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