We’ve waited years for ADCC 2022 and just like that, it’s almost halfway finished. The world’s most prestigious grappling event came to Las Vegas with a bang on Saturday 17th September, delivering a total of 68 action-packed matches between a select group of the best grapplers on the planet. While the majority of the 96 athletes competing at ADCC 2022 went home on day 1, each of them gave a great account of themselves and here we’ll recap some of the main storylines that emerged from each division. For those of you who want a more in-depth recap of day 1 of ADCC 2022, take a look at our at live play-by-play of every single match that took place.
ADCC 2022 Day 1 Recap
The Irish are coming
Sam McNally wasn’t given much of a chance in his opening round match against Garry Tonon, who was one of the top seeds in the 66kg division. Once the action started, it became immediately obvious that someone wasn’t watching the Irishman. There was relentless action from both sides and as always with Tonon matches, it was one of the most exciting of the day. Tonon’s patented scramble-focused Jiu-jitsu worked against him in the end though as it allowed McNally to secure back control and score the only points of the match, winning 3-0 and knocking out one of the favourites. McNally came up against Josh Cisneros in the second round and although he lost a judge’s decision, it was an incredibly close match that really could have gone either way.
The unstoppable force meets an immovable object
This has to be one of the biggest talking points to come out of Day 1 of ADCC 2022, but JT Torres was finally dethroned in the 77kg division by PJ Barch. Torres has been incredible under ADCC rules and has won gold in the 77kg division in both 2019 and 2017, having not even conceded a point under this ruleset since 2011. Torres is an absolute master of the ADCC ruleset and his top-tier wrestling has enabled him to stay a step ahead of the competition for quite some time. He had a tough opening round match against Kenta Iwamoto but he won the judge’s decision in the end and booked his place in the quarter-finals against PJ Barch, who had defeated Tommy Langaker on points. Barch is a great wrestler in his own right and he outworked Torres brilliantly to win on points. Barch was able to beat Torres at his own game and defend every single takedown attempt from him, before scoring a quick double-leg with perfect timing shortly before the end of the match.
Trials winners excel at 88kg
This division was full of surprises as East Coast trials winner Giancarlo Bodoni and the first European trials winner Eoghan O’Flanagan have both made it to the semi-finals. Bodoni put on a great show against Isaque Bahiense in the opening round to win on points before having an incredibly tough match with the returning champion Matheus Diniz. Although it was even to start, Bodoni ran away with it towards the end and managed to submit Diniz with a triangle choke. Meanwhile, O’Flanagan was busy attempting several submissions on ADCC legend Xande Ribeiro before eventually winning on points. He faced Mason Fowler in the second round and made short work of another top-seeded athlete, submitting him with a heelhook. Bodoni and O’Flanagan will now face off in the first semi-final of the 88kg division on day 2.
Craig Jones doesn’t want another silver medal
There were a lot of questions surrounding Craig Jones during the build-up to ADCC, primarily because he was moving up in weight to the 99kg division. Jones answered some of those questions within just twenty seconds of the opening round when he sat to guard and immediately locked up a tight armbar to submit Joao Costa. He came up against Kyle Boehm in the second round and although the pair had an extended wrestling battle, as soon Boehm got in on a shot Jones managed to snatch a guillotine and submit him too. He was on fire during day 1 of ADCC 2022 but this recap doesn’t tell the full tale, as he has his toughest match yet against Nicholas Meregali on day 2.
Gordon Ryan does Gordon Ryan things
All the focus is on Gordon Ryan in the over 99kg division and he put on two classic displays on day 1. He submitted Heikki Jussila with a rear-naked choke in the first match of the day before dominating Victor Hugo from start to finish. Roosevelt Sousa submitted Joao Rocha with a heelhook and won a points victory over Haisam Rida to stand opposite Ryan in the semi-finals, but the other side of the bracket went exactly as expected. Both Nicky Rodriguez and Felipe Pena made their way to the semi-final, experiencing similar results as they racked up 8-0 points victories in the opening round and submitted their second opponents with rear-naked chokes to book one of the most hotly-anticipated semi-final matches of ADCC 2022.
American trials winners look like real threats in the women’s divisions
Most of the under and over 60kg women’s divisions matches experienced no real surprises but Brianna Ste-Marie did cause a minor upset. She won a tight points victory over returning bronze medallist Elvira Karppinen and looked fantastic in doing so, but she has a much higher mountain to climb in the semi-final as she faces Bianca Basilio. Ffion Davies and Bia Mesquita set up a rematch of the 2019 semi-final on the other side of the under 60kg bracket, while Gabi Garcia did exactly what she was supposed to do when she armbarred Nikki Lloyd-Griffiths in the over 60kg division. She will face off with Amy Campo in the semi-final, after she won an incredibly exciting match with Elisabeth Clay on points. Elsewhere in the over 60kg division both Kendall Reusing and Rafaela Guedes weathered early storms from Giovanna Jara and Eleftheria respectively, with both women going on to win on points in the end.
ADCC 2022 Day 2 Preview
With just four athletes left in every weightclass, the medallists are becoming clearer than ever. Only one person left in each division will go home without any silverware for their performances at ADCC 2022, but each and every one of them has done incredible things. There are a number of matches to look forward to on day 2, like an epic battle between Craig Jones and Nicholas Meregali at 99kg, a rematch for the ages between PJ Barch and Kade Ruotolo at 77kg, and a battle between two of the biggest hitters in the tournament as Nicky Rodriguez takes on Felipe Pena at over 99kg.
Below are all of the semi-final matches that will take place on day 2 of ADCC 2022, prior to the Hall of Fame ceremony and of course, the absolute division and superfight. We’ll be on hand to provide live updates and a play-by-play of each of the matches on the second day. In the meantime, check out our coverage of ADCC 2022 during the build-up to this historic event that includes breaking news and our picks for the favourites to win each division, the picks for the dark horses that are most likely to reach the podium, and the top matches that we’re hoping to see at the event.
Men’s Under 66kg
Josh Cisneros v Diogo Reis
Deigo Oliveira v Gabriel Sousa
Men’s Under 77kg
PJ Barch v Kade Ruotolo
Dante Leon v Mica Galvao
Men’s Under 88kg
Giancarlo Bodoni v Eoghan O’Flanagan
Lucas ‘Hulk’ Barbosa v Vagner Rocha
Men’s Under 99kg
Kaynan Duarte v Rafael Lovato Jr
Craig Jones v Nicholas Meregali
Men’s Over 99kg
Gordon Ryan v Roosevelt Sousa
Felipe Pena v Nicky Rodriguez
Women’s Under 60kg
Bianca Basilio v Brianna Ste-Marie
Ffion Davies v Bia Mesquita
Women’s Over 60kg
Gabi Garcia v Amy Campo
Rafaela Guedes v Kendall Reusing
The full ADCC 2022 event, including the recap of all matches from day 1 and the upcoming second day, will be available to watch on FloGrappling, click here to subscribe and watch.