ADCC West Coast Trials: Names to watch in every men’s division

View a division-by-division preview of the 2024 ADCC West Coast Trials, set for March 30-31 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The ADCC West Coast Trials is going down this weekend in Las Vegas, NV. Over 1,000 athletes will look to battle their way to the top of the podium and punch their ticket to the prestigious ADCC World Championships. This is one of the toughest tournaments in the world as each bracket is littered with elite talent. 

Gold-medal winners from each division – five men and three women – will earn their spot at ADCC 2024.

Below we take a closer look at names to watch in each men’s division.

Men’s -66kg

Men’s -66kg is one of the deepest, most exciting weight classes of the weekend. It is littered with talent from the top of the bracket to the bottom. Returning West Coast Trials champion and ADCC World Championship veteran Keith Krikorian returns looking to add another trials title to his resume following impressive title wins (one of which came against a fellow -66kg competitor) at both Grapplefest and Polaris earlier this month.

Other top contenders include Deandre Corbe, IBJJF no-gi world champion Gianni Grippo, Damien Anderson, and 2023 East Coast trials silver medalist Dominic Mejia.

Every Trials there seems to be a new breakout star on the scene. Dark horse contenders include Fabian Ramirez, Richard Alarcon, Emilio Hernandez, and veteran Baret Yoshida, among others.

Men’s -77kg

Men’s -77kg has the potential for blockbuster matches throughout the weekend as multiple top competitors enter the bracket looking for their first elusive Trials gold. Oliver Taza, as well as all-action competitors Andrew Tackett and Andy Varela, seem to be the clear favorites in the bracket. All have made deep runs and hit the podium of USA trials. Taza is a former European Trials winner.

Other top contenders include former Trials winner John Combs, Rene Sousa, and rising star Max Hanson.

Dark horse contenders to keep an eye on include Pierre-Olivier Leclerc, 10th Planet leg lock specialist Kyle Chambers, veteran black belt Michael Liera, Harrison Woods, and Nick Mataya.

Men’s -88kg

A few of the top competitors shifting weight classes has left us with a weight boasting two prior trials champions along with two previous finalists. 

Bursting onto the scene with one of the most impressive runs to a title in recent memory, Jay Rodriguez won the 2022 West Coast Trials at -88kg, defeating Hunter Colvin, who is another favorite to make a deep run in this bracket.  

The 2022 -77kg champion William Tackett is up at -88kg this weekend and looking to add another Trials title to his resume. Also, Checkmat standout Elder Cruz is a multiple-time trials finalist and ADCC veteran looking to finally break through and win his first Trials title.

Other top contenders include CJJ world champion Ryan Aitken, David Garmo and Chris Wojcik.

Dark horse contenders to keep an eye on include young prodigy Achilles Rocha, former Trials champion Jason Rau, Stephen Martinez, Sean Yadimarco, and Stanley Rosa.

Men’s -99kg

Men’s -99kg may not have the star power at the top of the division like some of the other weight classes but it is just as deep. Devhonte Johnson, 3rd place finisher at the 2023 West Coast Trials, is one of the favorites in the division along with young phenom Steffen Banta, Adam Bradley, Pedigo Submission Fighting’s Michael Pixley, and Alex Grandy.

There are no returning champions or previous finalists in this bracket so the dark horse contenders here may not be as far of a stretch to win as some of the other brackets. They include Daishi Goto, Eliot Kelly, Richie Martinez, and Adrian Nez.

Men’s +99kg

Like the -99kg bracket, +99kg is another bracket that is wide open with no returning champions or finalists. The top contenders in this weight class include Legion AJJ’s Breylor Grout, ADCC veteran John Hansen, and 10th Planet standout Amir Allam.

Dark horse contenders for this bracket include Cody Gamble, Michael Pezzuto, and Brandon Reed.

Check back at GrapplingInsider for a preview of the women’s divisions at the ADCC West Coast Trials.

How to watch: The ADCC West Coast Trials will air live on FloGrappling (subscription required) on March 30-31.