5 big takeaways from the ADCC West Coast Trials

The ADCC West Coast Trials took place over the weekend, and eight more athletes punched their tickets to the 2024 ADCC World Championships.

With nearly 1,000 total competitors, the ADCC West Coast Trials went on March 30-31 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and delivered no shortage of action and world-class grappling.

#1 The Tackett brothers shine

Checkmat products William Tackett and his younger brother Andrew battled their way to the top of the podium at -88kg and -77kg respectively. Both had to run the gauntlet to do so as their brackets were extremely deep.

William, who punched his ticket to the ADCC World Championships for the second time, submitted returning West Coast Trials Champion Jay Rodriguez in the finals with an unconventional foot lock. Prior to meeting Rodriguez in the finals, Tackett had 4 submission wins before defeating Elder Cruz in the semifinals. William was surgical with his technique all weekend long.

Andrew Tackett is an absolute madman. He pushed a relentless pace throughout the tournament. In the finals, he outpointed ADCC Trials legend Oliver Taza. Prior to defeating Taza, Tackett had 4 submission victories and a thrilling semifinal win over Andy Varela in one of the most anticipated matches of the weekend.
The Tackett brothers excel in the ADCC ruleset due to their ability to wrestle and out-strategize opponents. These brothers look ready to take ADCC by storm in August.

#2 The addition of women’s -55kg

One of the highlights of the weekend was the addition of the women’s -55kg division. Adding another division to the mix created deeper divisions and gave many of the ladies a better opportunity to compete at more natural weight classes.

The winner of the new -55kg weight class, Jasmine Rocha, had one of the most impressive performances of the weekend. Rocha faced ADCC East Coast Trials champion Alex Enriquez in the finals. She found her way to the back and capped off her tournament with a rear-naked choke, punching her ticket to the big dance. On her way to the finals, she had three submission victories before defeating IBJJF no-gi world champion Tammi Musumeci in the semifinals.

Another standout from the women’s side of the weekend was young New Wave phenom Helena Crevar. Crevar won the -65kg weight class with four submission victories on her way to avenging a previous defeat to Mo Black in the finals by decision. Crevar was flawless all weekend.

#3 Standard Jiu-Jitsu on the rise

If you haven’t been paying attention to Standard Jiu-Jitsu, it’s time to start. Coach Greg Souders is building a juggernaut out in Rockville Maryland. Through their meticulous training methods, Standard is starting to produce results on the biggest stages in professional grappling.

-66kg was arguably the deepest bracket and the podium saw two Standard Jiu-Jitsu athletes atop it. Deandre Corbe ran the gauntlet this weekend taking out AJ Agazarm and Gianni Grippo before meeting his brother, Gavin in the semifinals. He would win by submission, his third of the tournament, in under a minute. In the finals, Deandre dominated returning West Coast Trials champion Keith Krikorian to punch this ticket to Vegas.

The aforementioned Gavin had a stellar day himself taking out Reese LaFever, Dominic Mejia, and Jordan Holy to take third place.

#4 Much improved wrestling

The ADCC ruleset has really elevated the level of wrestling in Jiu-Jitsu. You are starting to see less and less of the traditional guard player and far more of a hybrid style. Athletes are putting much more time and effort into truly sharpening their wrestling skills.

The Tackett brothers used a wrestle-heavy game all weekend long and they were able to score takedowns when needed to win matches and advance to dominant positions. Under 99kg champion Michael Pixley used his superior wrestling throughout the tournament and found himself atop the podium and on his way to Vegas. At +99kg, accomplished collegiate wrestler Brandon Reed shined in this tournament placing third again primarily through implementing a wrestle-heavy strategy.

#5 The ADCC ruleset produces the most action

There is no perfect ruleset in professional grappling and the ADCC ruleset certainly has its flaws. However, it’s hard to argue that this ruleset doesn’t produce some of the best action in the sport. Whether it be the Trials or the ADCC World Championships you can guarantee it will be a weekend filled with thrilling grappling theatre.

The ruleset demands so much strategic thinking of these athletes. They have to navigate both a sub-only format, followed by a point-based format. As mentioned above, the ruleset demands a certain knowledge of wrestling to succeed.

Making it through a Trials tournament or the ADCC World Championship is a war of attrition. The crowds at these tournaments are electric as they can appreciate every athlete going out there and leaving it all on the mat in search of achieving their dream.