The ADCC season is in full swing, as the ADCC East Coast Trials are scheduled for November 6-7. According to trials organizer Tom Deblass, the East Coast Trials have approximately 800 registered competitors, making it nearly twice as large as the previous biggest ADCC Trials event. Of those 800, approximately 150 will compete in the 66kg division.
On Monday, FloGrappling announced the names of four elite competitors set to compete in the ADCC East Coast Trials. Those names include Cole Abate, Gianni Grippo, Junny Ocasio, and Damien Anderson.
Cole Abate: Still just 15-years old and a blue belt, the Art of Jiu-Jitsu product silenced any doubts that he could compete at an elite level with an impressive performance at the Who’s Number One Championships. In the first round, Abate defeated longtime black belt Geo Martinez in a dominant display of dangerous leg locks and positional dominance. Abate would lose his next two matches, both by close decision, to Gabriel Sousa and Diego “Pato” Oliveira, but the win over Martinez effectively announced Abate’s arrival on the elite competition scene.
Gianni Grippo: A veteran black belt under Marcelo Garcia, Grippo is having one of his best years ever in no-gi competition. He is the 2021 no-gi Pans and World champion, the lightweight Emerald City Invitational tournament winner, and is fresh off a second-place showing at the EUG 3 no-gi grand prix. Grippo is a two-time ADCC veteran, so he is well-acquainted with the ruleset and currently appears to be in his best-ever form.
Junny Ocasio: A top representative of Unity Jiu-Jitsu, Ocasio is a technician with a specialty in leg locks, and has experience competing in a wide variety of rulesets. A Fight To Win champion, Ocasio’s game should work well under the ADCC rules, as he is comfortable attacking leg locks from his back, or using those attacks to sweep to top position, where he has underrated guard passing.
Damien Anderson: Still a fresh face on the elite competition scene, Anderson will be representing the B-Team. Anderson was introduced to a wider audience earlier this year with his beautiful submission finish over Luis Quinones at Who’s Number One. He followed that up with a strong showing at the Emerald City Invitational where he submitted Gabriel Sousa. Anderson recently returned to Who’s Number One, picking up a decision win over roosterweight world champion Estevan Martinez.