The invite system for the ADCC world championships has always allowed for some surprising news and this time around, an invite for the 2022 edition has been given to Nicholas Meregali. It’s something we’ve grown quite accustomed to at ADCC over the years, but there’s often invites given out to athletes who we would not have expected to see competing in submission grappling at the time. Usually these are high level MMA competitors like Ben Askren or Georges St-Pierre, but this time around it’s one of the greatest gi competitors on the planet instead.
Meregali has been an elite black belt for several years now and has submitted some of the best grapplers around like Mahamed Aly, Lucas Leite, Kaynan Duarte, and Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu despite still being in his 20s. He’s proven himself time and time again as a phenomenal grappler and has two IBJJF world championships to his name, although it might have been as much as four had he not been disqualified from the 2021 edition amid controversy. He specializes in finding inventive ways to take the back and boasts an impressive finishing rate once he manages to get there, both of which should see him to at least some success at ADCC 2022.
The only difficulty is that to date, Meregali has not competed at a high level in no gi competition and hasn’t competed under a ruleset that allows heelhooks and reaping the knee. He’s still an incredible grappler regardless and should be able to put on a great show at ADCC 2022, but there’s a possibility that the more inclusive ruleset may prove to be Meregali’s undoing.
The news of Nicholas Meregali being given a surprise invite to the 99kg division of the 2022 ADCC World Championships was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: