ADCC West Coast Trials highlights: J-Rod wins 88 kg with buggy choke in the final

The ADCC West Coast Trial was one of the biggest and best tournaments in grappling history. Because there was just too much action to cover at once, we’ll be spreading out our coverage of the event in several posts. Be sure to check back for results and recaps from every division at the ADCC West Coast Trials. View the recap of the 66 kg division here and the 77 kg division here.

Following eerily close to the footsteps of his older brother Nick Rodriguez, Jacob Rodriguez (“J. Rod”), won the ADCC West Coast Trials on the strength of his wrestling, back-takes, and preternatural ability for submission grappling. Also like his brother, he did it all as a blue belt.

Still relatively unknown on the elite competition scene, Rodriguez came into the tournament as the number-13 seed in the 88 kg division. A training partner alongside his brother and Craig Jones at The B-Team, Rodriguez has only been training in submission grappling for about two years. After the tournament, Jones awarded Rodriguez his purple belt.

In the quarterfinals, Rodriguez met his first seeded opponent, the 12-seeded Atos black belt Adam Bradley. In trademark Rodriguez brothers fashion, J. Rod was able to take Bradley’s back and secure the near-naked choke finish for what would be his fifth of seven overall submission wins on the weekend.

Just before Rodriguez’s win over Bradley, top-seeded Jacob Couch was upset by Harrison Woods in the round of 16. Couch’s unexpected early exit from the tournament was perhaps the biggest upset of the event.

With Couch out, Rodriguez squared off with the unseeded Mike Crisp in the semifinals. Rodriguez needed less than a minute to take Crisp’s back and sink in a choke, securing his spot in the final opposite undefeated MMA fighter and BJJ black belt Hunter Colvin.

In one of the most shocking finishes in recent memory, secured a buggy choke finish with just over one minute remaining in regulation.

Colvin impressed throughout the weekend in his own right, as he was able to secure five wins by submission, defeating the likes of Ryan Aitken and David Garmo on his way to the finals.

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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