Some huge news coming out of the US, with the announcement that Nicky Ryan is dropping back down to 66 KG in place of the winner of the North American trials, Ethan Crelinsten.
And taking Ryan’s spot in the 77 KG division is none other than the Lion Killer himself, Garry Tonon.
Just when you thought that division couldn’t get any more stacked…
Tonon had originally decided not to compete at this year’s ADCC tournament, focusing instead on his MMA career with the One Championship. His unexpected re-entry is sure to delight grappling fans around the world.
The promoters of One apparently have been unable to secure an opponent for Tonon for their upcoming shows.
The decorated BJJ practitioner is on a serious win streak for them right now, going 5-0 since his debut in March last year. His last fight, in May against Yoshiki Nakahara, was a quick one. The heel hook finish came after just 55 seconds.
With the competition due to start in just 4 weeks, the news certainly adds huge excitement to what is already the most eagerly anticipated grappling event of the year. Having been prepared to compete around the time of ADCC anyway, fitness won’t be a concern for Tonon.
For the competitors at 66KG, however, this development might just be cause for concern, considering that Nicky Ryan is easily one of the most talented guys on the scene right now. He ran through his opponents at the 2nd North American trials earlier this year and will no doubt feel at home in his more familiar weight class.
You can’t help but feel sorry for Crelinsten, who had posted on his Instagram account earlier today that he was pulling out due to injury. It’s a devastating blow to the young grappler, who one or two commentators had picked as a dark horse to go deep into the brackets.