4 ADCC veterans set to compete in 70kg tournament at Grapplefest 15

The 70kg tournament at Grapplefest 15 on Saturday, April 1 will feature four recent ADCC veterans.

On Saturday, April 1, one of the UK’s top grappling promotions will return to Liverpool, England. That night, four elite no-gi competitors will compete in a one-night tournament to crown a 70kg champion at Grapplefest 15. 

The current tournament line-up includes recent ADCC veterans Sam McNally, Jeremy Skinner, Gabriel Sousa, and Keith Krikorian.

Outside of the tournament, the card also features a 100kg title match between New Wave’s Luke Griffith and Roger Gracie black belt Santeri Lilius, as well as a 70kg title match that pits Rosa Walsh against ADCC Trials winner Magdalena Loska.

Check out the full event line-up below.

The 70kg tournament at Grapplefest 15

Although there is no clear-cut favorite among the four tournament competitors, 2022 ADCC silver medalist Gabriel Sousa might be the early pick. The ZR Team representative is known for his relentless pacing and outside guard passing – skills he heavily leaned on through his silver medal run at the ADCC World Championships. He will come into this event following a hard-earned victory over Gianni Grippo at Toro Cup.

Notably, though, Keith Krikorian holds a recent victory over Sousa under a submission-only ruleset similar to that used at Grapplefest. The 10th Planet black belt and two-time ADCC veteran possesses a well-rounded game but tends to do his best work when he’s either hunting the back or attacking the legs. In his most recent Grapplefest appearance, Krikorian suffered a close decision loss to Ash Williams in one of the best matches the promotion has seen in recent years.

Ireland’s Sam McNally aims to build off the momentum earned from his upset victory over Garry Tonon in the first round of the ADCC World Championships. A black belt under Darragh O’Connaill, McNally is a true submission hunter with a game that’s well suited to the Grapplefest ruleset.

Finally, Australian standout Jeremy Skinner will look to use his top-end leg locks to take out the bracket’s more established competitors. Skinner blew through the ADCC Asian and Oceanic Trials last year with a 100 percent finishing rate and defeated former ADCC silver medalist AJ Agazarm in the opening round of the ADCC World Championships. In the second round, though, he lost by submission to Sousa and will no doubt try to avenge that loss if given the opportunity.

How to watch: Grapplefest 15 takes place on Saturday, April 1, and will air live on Fite TV pay-per-view.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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