*Editor’s Note* – The original article stated that AJ Agazarm was also an injury replacement, however we have since received confirmation that Agazarm was always intended to compete at the event and Josh Cisneros is the only injury replacement announced as yet, with one more to come.
Two men have stepped in to the 66kg division of the 2022 ADCC World Championships, AJ Agazarm and Josh Cisneros. Their announcement comes at a time when two of the biggest names competing in the division, Mikey Musumeci and Ryan Hall, have been forced to withdraw from the event due to injury. Cisneros has now been given an invite to ADCC 2022 as a result of two spaces opening up in the 66kg division.
In Musumeci’s case, he was also one of the favourites to bring home the gold medal from the division as one of the most successful lighter BJJ athletes in recent memory who has been steadily transitioning to include a wider variety of leglocks into his game due to the recent IBJJF no gi rule change. With Musumeci developing a bigger skillset, he was presenting himself as one of the toughest challengers at 66kg but unfortunately was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training.
The news devastated fans, particularly because it came only a matter of days after UFC and ADCC veteran Ryan Hall also withdrew from the event after suffering a complete tear to his ACL that required surgery to repair. These types of last-minute changes to the lineup are not entirely unexpected when dealing with almost a hundred different elite competitors who will be training hard for the tournament while also competing elsewhere during the build-up for it.
The brains behind ADCC have acted fast though, securing a dark horse to reach the podium in Josh Cisneros for the 2022 World Championships. Cisneros has had some fantastic recently and only narrowly missed out on winning an invite at the North American West Coast trials, where he lost in the final to Keith Krikorian. As well as him, AJ Agazarm will also be competing in the same division. Agazarm has already won a silver medal back at ADCC 2017 and also competed at this year’s West Coast trials where he finished in the top four. This will mark his fourth appearance at the event, and the possibility of a rematch with B-Team’s Ethan Crelinsten represents an interesting storyline during the build-up for ADCC 2022.
The news of both AJ Agazarm and Josh Cisneros joining the 66kg division of the 2022 ADCC World Championships was announced in separate posts to the organization’s official Instagram account: