Day 1 of the 2019 ADCC Championships was an eventful one, and day 2 looks to be spectacular. Here is a look into the match-ups in each division.
Men -66 kg
Paulo Miyao vs Augusto Mendes
Miyao knows how to use the rules for his guard game, and to great effect. His guard is seemingly impenetrable. Mendes is perhaps the best opponent to solve this puzzle, with his pressure style. This is a great matchup and I still give the edge to Miyao.
Kennedy Maciel vs Tye Ruotolo
Very interesting matchup here – Maciel has a very bottom heavy game and the 16-year-old phenom Ruotolo seems to match up well. (Nod to Alex Lindsay in warning us about Ruotolo). On day one, Ruotolo played a very fast-paced passing style and used his cardio to tire out older opponents. I’m going to favor Ruotolo to do the same in day two.
Men -77 kg
JT Torres vs Garry Tonon
Tonon was a fan favorite in day one, with his relentless style recognized by the crowd. Tonon-Canuto was one for the ages. Torres for his part narrowly defeated Ross Nicholls but had an easier time with Jackson. Both are outstanding grapplers but I’d expect Tonon to edge out Torres.
Vagner Rocha vs Dante Leon
This division is just stacked. Rocha’s “push the limits” combat style opened up a few cuts on day one. Opponents must be ready for his style and not let it get to their head. Leon is well-known but I would classify his second round win over Lucas Lepri as an upset. It’s really hard to pick between these two and it should be close, but my gut says Leon has a few more tricks up his sleeve.
Men -88 kg
Craig Jones vs Jon Blank
One surprise from day one was Jon “Thor” Blank (who we interviewed here) making the semi finals. Thor scored a heel hook victory in the first round, and his blitzkrieg style of leg attacks led to a decision win over Murilo Santana in the second.
Craig Jones looked very impressive himself, getting two submission wins – one via guillotine and the other via heel hook. This looks to be a fantastic match-up – will Craig go with a leg lock battle, or try to play top as he did in the second round with Ben Dyson? My head says Jones wins again – he’s improved so much since already winning the title in 2017.
Matheus Diniz vs Josh Hinger
No huge surprise here as Diniz and Hinger square off in the semis. Diniz worked more traditionally, going for takedowns and top position in day one. Hinger was one of the few who had two finishes – a rear naked choke and guillotine. I like Hinger here – his game is just so well rounded and aggressive.
Men -99 kg
Gordon Ryan vs Lucas Barbosa
Gordon Ryan has been cutting through this division, winning in under two minutes in his first match and finishing both opponents with a rear naked choke. Can he keep this up today? The biggest question could be his knee status as Ryan has sat down to guard in both matches. Barbosa has worked for top in his two wins so this could be interesting,
Vinicius “Trator” Ferreira Gazola vs Vinny Magalhaes
Gazola had a few nice wins in day one and Magalhaes showed again why he’s immune to leg locks. Gazola hasn’t relied a lot on leg locks, favoring a more traditional and well-balanced game. Fellow writer Alex Lindsay told us to watch out for the “Tractor” in his “Dark Horses” preview, and I’m one to agree.
Men +99 kg
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida vs Kaynan Duarte
Buchecha is the reigning champ and looked good on day one, dominating his opponents in position. Duarte was able to secure back mount against both of his opponents in the first day (though one was very controversial against Yuri Simoes.) It’s hard to go against Buchecha here.
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu vs Nick Rodriguez
Cyborg looks like he’s ready for the final, staying in control for most of his matches day one. Nicky Rod continues to amaze us with his physical gifts. He won his first match via decision and second match via negative, with his heavy wrestling style. I’m not sure Nicky can compete with Cyborg’s experience, and that leads me to favor Abreu in this match-up.
Womens’ -60 kg
Bia Mesquita vs Ffion Davies // Bianca Vasillio vs Elvira Karppinen
Ffion Davies was completely dominant in her match, but Mesquita is a whole new level of challenge for her. The 2017 ADCC title was Mesquita vs Vasillio and we believe there is a good chance it happens again. That said, we will be very interested to see if Ffion can pull off the upset.
Womens +60 kg
Gabi Garcia vs Ana Carolina Viera // Tayane Porfirio vs Carina Santi
Gabi Garcia looked too strong again in day one. Poririo won a disappointing match, while Santi was impressive with her display of technique. This division still remains Gabi’s to lose, but perhaps Santi can give her a challenge.
Go back to review what happened in our play-by-play post.
For the Absolute Division brackets, go here.