Ashley Williams made the long journey to face Jeremy Skinner in the main event of Subversion: Equinox on March 18th, 2023 and the Welshman put in a fantastic performance. Both men made their debut in the 66kg division at ADCC 2022 and although neither one managed to reach the podium, they both established that they definitely belong with the best grapplers on the planet. Williams won his place by emerging victorious in the first edition of the European, Middle-Eastern, and African trials while Skinner won the only edition of the Asia and Oceania trials for ADCC 2022. This match was set to be a fantastic insight into what might have happened if the brackets had turned out differently back then.
When they stepped on to the mats, both men were happy to stay standing and wrestle for a dominant position at first. They spent a while handfighting and working in the clinch, until Williams managed to hit his trademark arm-drag. Skinner stumbled and Williams quickly turned into the leg, picking up the ankle and finishing the takedown authoritatively. Williams started to pass but Skinner wrestled back up to his feet, only for Williams to hit another takedown from the over-under clinch. Skinner recovered and locked up Z-guard, but his opponent was employing a heavy passing game to drastically limit his options.
Skinner eventually worked his way to half-butterfly and elevated his opponent, getting a nice entry to single-leg X. Ashley Williams defended comfortably though and Jeremy Skinner had to transition to 50/50. Williams tried to come up on top but was sat back down by Skinner just as the pair were reset into the centre. When Williams came up on top for the second time he was able to get chest-to-chest and solidify the position this time. Skinner worked to butterfly guard and used it to wrestle back up to standing, where both men started to handfight again.
Williams shot in for a takedown and used his opponent’s defensive reaction to switch to the back clinch beautifully. Skinner tried to roll through without success and the space allowed Williams to slide one hook in, prompting him to stand to try and shake him off. Williams stayed tight initially and Skinner had to sit back down to try and turn into him, escaping a triangle choke attempt as he disengaged. Williams stood up and Skinner shot in for a single-leg, continually driving and trapping the leg to try and finish it.
Williams was using the kimura-grip to counter the attempt and used a defensive reaction to transition to a triangle choke that was much tighter than his first attempt. Skinner did everything he could to escape, changing the angle and even sitting back to reduce the pressure. Williams managed to underhook the arm though and he drove his opponent over into mount, where Skinner tapped to the choke shortly after. It was a great match from start to finish and Williams was awarded ‘Submission of the Night’ for the finish.
The full Subversion: Equinox event replay, including the fantastic match between Ashley Williams and Jeremy Skinner, is available to watch on FloGrappling.