The ADCC Championship is just around the corner, and it will be the biggest grappling event in history. This event sold out in record time, with 13,000 spectators buying tickets to see the world’s best grapplers.
There are so many stories leading up to the event and numerous potential matchups to excite fans. Here is our preview of the 2022 ADCC Championship, covering the brackets and highlighting some of the matches we’re most looking forward to seeing!
André Galvão vs. Gordon Ryan
We can’t start our preview without covering the most anticipated match in the history of Jiu Jitsu. The legend and reigning ADCC superfight champion versus arguably the greatest grappler in the sport.
For over six years, Gordon Ryan has been calling for a match against André Galvão. A lot of trash talk has gone on from both sides leading up to this match.
The drama reached its peak at a WNO event, where Ryan slapped Galvão (twice). Over the years both competitors have come in and out of retirement, making it unclear whether or not the match would even happen.
But after Galvão came out of retirement, Ryan quickly un-retired from Jiu Jitsu – not wanting to miss his chance to get the match he’s been calling for.
Now at this year’s ADCC Championship, the match we’ve all wanted to see is finally happening.
The Thomas and Mack Center will be electric when the main event between these two goes down.
Coming off of his win over Felipe Pena, Gordon has momentum on his side, but Galvão fans (and Ryan’s haters) are surely looking for an upset.
Men’s 99 Kg+ Division
The heavyweight division is always one of the most watched brackets at ADCC. This year brings us the most heavily (apologies for the pun) stacked heavyweight division in the event’s history.
Former Champions Galore!
This year’s heavyweight division features five former ADCC champions, including the reigning champion, Gordon Ryan. On top of the former ADCC champions, there are IBJJF No-Gi champs and some of the pro circuits’ top competitors.
The potential matchups have grappling fans excited to see the big boys throwdown.
Potential Gordon Ryan vs. Nick Rodriguez Matchup
Another storyline from the heavyweight division is the potential matchup of two former Danaher Death Squad teammates: Gordon Ryan and Nick Rodriguez.
Nicky Rod blasted onto the Jiu Jitsu scene in his phenomenal ADCC debut. Coming in as an unknown, he took out not one but two former ADCC champions.
Ryan and Rodriguez became teammates after the event and trained together frequently. The Jiu Jitsu world was shocked when the DDS split, and the two went into separate camps.
We could potentially see a matchup between these two teammates in the later rounds of the tourney. If they meet each other in the tournament, all eyes will be on this match.
-99 Kg Men’s Division
Not to be outdone, the -99 Kg men’s division also has some big names. Returning heavyweight champ Kaynan Duarte has moved down to try to earn his 2nd ADCC title in a new division.
Duarte will have his work cut out for him because there are no easy outs in this bracket. The bracket is loaded with heavy hitters like former champion Yuri Simoes and fan favorites like Craig Jones, Rafael Lovato Jr, and Pedro Marinho.
We will also see the debut of reigning IBJJF champ Nicholas Meregali who just transitioned to no-gi this year. He has been training with Gordon Ryan leading up to the event, so he will be more than ready to compete with the best.
-88 Kg Men’s Division
The -88 kg bracket has a wide array of young guns and hardened veterans. Returning champ Matheus Diniz will try to once again emerge as the division champ in an even tougher bracket than before.
Some of the ADCC vets competing include former champ Xande Ribeiro, Josh Hinger, Hulk Barbosa, Vagner Rocha, and Jon Blank.
These vets will have to deal with some incredibly talented young athletes like Tye Ruotolo and Jacob Rodriguez (Nicky Rods’ younger brother).
-77 Kg Men’s Division
JT Torres will try to repeat as the division’s champion when he faces some of the youngest stars in grappling. Torres’ division includes the phenoms Mica Galvão, Nicky Ryan, William Tackett, Kade Ruotolo, and Roberto Jimenez.
We’ll also see fan-favorite Lachlan Giles try to win gold again in his third attempt. Giles had one of the best performances of the previous event in the absolute division, besting larger opponents with beautiful heel hooks.
-66 Kg Men’s Division
The men’s lightweight division is filled with young talent who are on a mission to make their name in the sport. Everyone from Fight Sports teammates Diego Reis, Fabricio Andrey, and Art of Jiu Jitsu prodigy Cole Abate.
We also have the son of former champion Cobrinha, Kennedy Maciel, and fan favorite Garry Tonon. This may be the year that Garry finally breaks through and wins his first ADCC gold medal.
It’ll be interesting to see if he can pull it off in a division filled with young talent.
-60 Kg Women’s Division
This ADCC event will be a breakout year for the female grapplers of the event.
Returning champion Bianca Basilio will have the hardest matches of her career in her attempt to reclaim gold. Her opponents include one of the greatest female grapplers in history, Bia Mesquita, along with Mayssa Bastos and Ffion Davies.
Bastos looks to be the division favorite, as she has not lost a match in almost two years.
+60 Kg Women’s Division
Not to be outdone, the +60 kg women’s division is also filled with talented grapplers. Starting with Gabi Garcia, who is the returning champion and greatest female competitor in ADCC history.
Trying to dethrone Garcia are Atos’ top female competitor Rafaela Guedes and Gracie Barra standout Kendall Reusing. We’ll find out if Garcia will add to her legacy or see a new female star emerge.
Go Watch ADCC 2022!!!
ADCC 2022 will undoubtedly be the biggest grappling event in the sport’s history. It is an evolutionary period for Jiu Jitsu to become an even bigger sport.
You must watch this year’s ADCC Championship if you’re a grappling fan. Not only to see potentially the best grappling event ever but also to help grow the sport of Jiu Jitsu.
The event is scheduled for September 17th and 18th and will be available to stream on FloGrappling (not an affiliate).
The champions from this year’s ADCC will likely go on to help define how the sport grows over the next year as people look to copy their successes and avoid their opponent’s blunders.