Men's -66kg ADCC preview

This is the final division and it might end up being the most exciting. The smaller fighters usually have cardio for days and that means lots of action. On top of that this division is fairly young with only 2-3 people in their 30s. There are a lot of new faces and I since Tanquino is gone there will definitely be a new champion this year. Who it will be is unknown and one of the interesting things about this division is that it will be hard to pick the number one seed. There are a lot of new names, so check out the competitor breakdown below.

Divisional breakdowns

If you haven't read them already, check out the breakdowns for the other divisions below. Just click on the links below for each division.


Now let's take a look at who is in this division. Keep in mind things might change before the tournament.

Ashley Williams

Ash Williams is a Welsh black belt who has recently won the European ADCC trials. He has been making a name for himself for a while and this is his first time coming to ADCC. He is fairly young, but he does have a fair amount of experience against big names, which will be useful for him in this tournament. This will be the biggest test of his career, but he's been working his way up steadily and he can confidently say he is on the level with the best in the world.

Ash is very versatile and can play from top or bottom, but I feel he is better from top position. He has very precise, but aggressive passing. He also has a fairly decent wrestling game which is rare coming from the European competitors in this weight class. He has also shown consistently good leg lock defense, so I don't think he will be derailed in that area. In general his defense is very good and it will be difficult for anyone in this division to submit him.

One problem he might have is his inability to submit others. He has a 40% submission rate, which isn't bad, but against people of this caliber he will most likely have a hard time finding the finish. Another problem he sometimes has is an inability to get his offense going, which could hurt him against some of the more explosive competitors. He will need to either stay very active or have a good strategy to combat this.

Ash could definitely take this division, but this will be the first time he's faced this many high level people in 1 tournament before. This will be a real test of his skills. Recently he has looked very good, but you never know what till happen at ADCC. I'm sure he's training hard and will put on a great show at ADCC win or lose.


Sam McNally

Sam recently won the European ADCC trials and is now looking to continue his success at ADCC. He might be the least well known person in this division, but he is looking to change that. He trains out of Ireland at East Coast Jiu-Jitsu Academy under Darragh O’Conaill. With a good team and coach he's hoping he can go far and in a few months from now the name Sam McNally will be known throughout the world of grappling.

Sam doesn't have much footage out there, but from what I've seen he is fairly well rounded. He is also aggressive and likes to hunt the back. Besides the RNC, he seems to have a good choi bar, triangle and leg lock game. Most if not all his wins at trials came by sub. He has a 60% submission rate and isn't afraid to take a risk to get the win.

Sam has a 15-11 record at black belt, so he isn't the most consistent person in this division. He hasn't faced people on the level of these competitors before and there is no telling how he will adapt. If he can rise to the challenge he will be fine, but there is a chance some competitor in this tournament will just over power him. Something else that might be a weakness is his wrestling. A lack of experience and weak standup can lead to a quick loss against fighters at this level.

This is Sam's first ADCC and hopefully he has been training hard. He isn't a favorite, but there have been a number of underdogs who have come out of nowhere to become household names from an ADCC run. He will need focus, strategy and skill, but if he plays things right he could become the Irish Craig Jones.

Cole Abate 

Cole Abate is the new young prodigy on the scene. He won the North American trials fairly easily and is looking to continue his success at ADCC. If he wins he will break his teacher's, Raphael Mendes, record and become the youngest ADCC champion ever. He recently won purple belt worlds and now he is looking to extend his success at ADCC. 

Cole can play equally well from top and bottom. He seems to know a wide variety of submissions and seems comfortable in various positions. He seems to have a good knowledge of leg locks and seems large for this weight class. He has very good positional skills as well and this will help him in a competition like ADCC. Most importantly he has a team around him that can help him win at this level. His game is somewhat unknown and he's so young he can change his style up fairly easily.

Cole doesn't have much experience at this level and has only faced a few ADCC level grapplers. He's had a taste of this level before, but he hasn't proven he should be here yet. One possible weakness is his wrestling. He is good from top and bottom, but he seems to be able to control the pace more from top. Unfortunately he might not be able to force his opponents down into that position. Cole has a relaxed easy going style, but I'm interested to see how well it works against some of the more aggressive people in this division. 

Cole has a chance to make history, but I it doesn't seem like many others in this division want to allow it. Cole doesn't have much ADCC experience, but neither do many of the others here. With the proper preparation and strategy he has just as much of a chance as anyone else. His secret weapon his is ability to change before ADCC. Who knows what his skills will look like in September and considering how scary he looks now I'm very interested in seeing what improvements he makes. 

Keith Krikorian 

Keith is finally making his way to ADCC. He has previously come in 2nd multiple times at trials, but, earlier this year won the West Coast North American trials. He was an alternate before and competed in ADCC, but this was his first trials win. Keith has been grinding for years trying to improve his game and now he is ready to test himself at the next level in ADCC.

Previously Keith was primarily a guard player, but recently he has been working more from the top. His positional play has improved in the last or two and he can't be easily out pointed like he once was. When combined with his amazing sub defense this makes him quite the puzzle. On top of this he has very dangerous submissions and as of late his leg attacks have looked very sharp. His greatest attribute might be his heart. He never gives up and is dangerous until the buzz sounds.

Keith has a few weaknesses however and these could cost him. His wrestling isn't terrible, but it may not be enough to get him a win in this division. His biggest weakness might be is inability to impose his game on others. Many times he let's people take the lead on him and just defends and escapes. While this is impressive defensively, it won't win him matches.

Keith has shown he can improve and if he can overcome his weaknesses he will win. His recent performances have shown he is at this level and can beat anyone, but he will need more than heart. With game planning, strategy and focus he can reach the gold this year.

Diogo Reis 

Diogo is another  fighter that trains with Mica Galvao and Fabricio Andre. He has been training as a child and is highly skilled in all areas of grappling. He won the South American trials and is now looking to increase his name recognition by winning ADCC 2022. Diogo, also known as "Baby Shark" has been becoming more and more popular over the last year and this tournament could be his breakout performance. 

Diogo can play top or bottom equally well and he is very skilled from every position. Diogo has won using a variety of submissions and its hard to throw him off his game. He is very fast and moves well, but he isn't reckless. He can stick to a game plan and has a high fight IQ which lets him adapt as the fight goes on. His wrestling also seems to be quite developed despite the short time he's been learning. He should be able to hang in the standup department and could use that to win in close matches. 

Diogo doesn't seem to pressure his opponents much and instead goes with the flow. This could cost him against some of the people in this division who push the match into their preferred area. Diogo has a 33% submission rate, so that means he will most likely have to go the full time in his matches. This could exhaust him and wear him down over time. Lastly he is mostly untested at this level and it isn't clear if he can hang with grapplers at this level for multiple matches.

Diogo has been doing well for himself and his hoping to keep his momentum through ADCC. If he can win this will raise his stock quite a bit. However he will have some tough competition to go against that are larger and more experienced than he is. He will need to balance winning and making things exciting, but if he can do that he has the chance to make a splash at ADCC 2022.

Fabricio Andrey 

Fabricio won the ADCC South American trials and is now ready to put on a show on the big stage. Fabricio is young, but he is already a gi world champion. He trains with Diogo Reis and Mica Galvao and is being coached by Mica's father who might be one of the best coaches in the world right now. Fabricio isn't the most experienced no gi competitor here, but he has been working hard over the past year to prepare himself ADCC. 

Fabricio is very fast and agile. He can go from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye. Don't think that he lacks technique though. He is extremely technical and knows a wide variety of submissions. He has a 55% submission rate and his submissions can come from anywhere. Recently he has been working on his wrestling and has become very dangerous in that area too. I wouldn't be surprised if he out wrestles most of his opponents. Even if he can't he is equally dangerous on bottom or top position.

Fabricio is one of the least experienced people in this division when it comes to no gi. Despite all his talent, sometimes that matters. As good as he is he certainly isn't invincible. He loves to get in there and scramble around with people and most of the time this works. However there are a few people in this division that might be faster than him or better in scrambles and this could be his undoing. On top of all that his leg lock defense has looked a bit suspect, so he will need to watch out for that.

Fabricio has a good chance of winning this tournament. All the tools are there and he has a great team around him. Will this be enough though. It is extremely rare to win ADCC on your first attempt and many people end up with the short end of the stick because of some obscure rule. I wouldn't be surprised if this happens to Fabricio. If he can stay focused and listen to his coaches he has a good chance at snatching that gold. 

Jeremy Skinner

Jeremy is an Australian who just won the Asian trials and is headed for ADCC. He recently got his black belt from Lachlan Giles and is now looking to establish his name internationally. Jeremy has been competing around Australia for a while and occasionally fights internationally in events such as Polaris. This will be his biggest test and with some wins here, he can launch his career into the stratosphere just as his mentor Lachlan Giles did a few years ago.

Jeremy is a leg lock specialist. He is very good at heel hooks, but he is also skilled at Aoki locks, kneebars, etc. His technique is very sharp and he knows his way around a double guard pull. His other submissions has looked sharp as well. He is primarily a bottom player and he has a flexible and strong guard. He should be able to weather the storm against some of the aggressive passers in this division at least for a while. Every second they wait is just more time Jeremy has to zero in on their legs. On top of all this Jeremy is very patient and seems to have a high fight IQ, that will help him when the going gets tough.

Jeremy isn't as well rounded as many of the other competitors here. From the top he might struggle to pass his opponent's guard and he isn't a particularly good wrestler. He also isn't the most athletic person in this division, so he will need to worry that his opponents don't just bully him to the win. He will also need to come up with a strategy for those in this division who are as good or better than him when it comes to leg locks. 

This will be Jeremy's first big test. He wants to prove that he can hang with the big boys on the international scene and this is his chance. He has been on a roll and obviously knows how to sub people. He his style can be crowd pleasing as well, so he has the pieces of the puzzle necessary to breakout, but it is up to him to put it all together at ADCC. 

Kennedy Maciel 

Kennedy is coming back to ADCC and is the former silver medalist. Since then he has gotten much more experience and with the former gold medalist out of the picture, he can claim the gold for himself. He is also a No gi world champion and is looking to add an ADCC gold to his resume. Kennedy couldn't ask for a better coach as his father is legendary ADCC gold medalist Cobrinha, who is preparing him for this tournament.

Kennedy plays equally well from top and bottom and will fight from anywhere. He has a good amount of athleticism and should be somewhat large for this division. Despite his youth he does have a good amount of experience as well as the coaching of his father. Kennedy is well rounded and doesn't really have many weak points. He can pass, sweep, submit, etc. and game plans well. This gives him a tactical advantage because he can play against his opponent's weaknesses.

Kennedy has a lot of things going for him however recently he hasn't been too consistent. He has lost some matches and hasn't been doing much no gi. He won't be able to win if he isn't at 100%. Another problem he might have is his wrestling. He does have some wrestling skill, but it isn't at the level of many of the other competitors here. This could hurt him because he doesn't have a "super move" that he can submit anyone with. If he gets out wrestled there is a good chance he will lose.

With proper prep Kennedy can win this division and some people have him as the favorite. However because of his recent performances, some people don't think he will be able to reach that number 1 spot. The competition is very different from last time and if he isn't fully ready he could find himself no even on the podium. His father is going to do everything in his power to make sure that doesn't happen however and with all the tools at his disposal Kennedy should be someone to lookout for come September.


Gabriel Sousa 

Gabriel has been putting in a lot of work over the last few years and got an invite to ADCC. He's looking to show he belongs and show the world his grappling skills. One of the reasons he was chosen was his crowd pleasing style. He keeps a high work rate and will most likely have some great matches. This will be his biggest test to date, but he seems prepared and ready to step up to the plate.

Gabriel is a very physical competitor. He doesn't mind pushing, shoving or clubbing his opponents and actually operates better in those types of matches. He fairly fast and strong, but of course he has great technique too. He can play top and bottom position, but seems to prefer the top. He has relentless guard passing and anyone that can pass Mikey Muscumeci's guard has some serious technique. His wrestling has improved over the years and has been looking better and better every outing. He also seems to have a very good gas tank and can push the pace of people until he melts them. His style should be great for ADCC and might be hard for others to deal with.

Unfortunately Gabriel only has a 30% submission rate, which means he will most likely only be able to win by points of decision. On top of that he has been submitted in 35% of his losses. He will need to be careful in this division because many people here are submission hunters who will jump onto anything. ADCC will be his biggest test and he hasn't always done well against top level competition.

Gabriel will need to pull out all the stops for these matches and use some strategy. I think he will be able to wear out some people in this division and perhaps even finish them. However he will need to make sure he doesn't get finished first. His matches should be very entertaining and hopefully he will get to have a high energy match with someone else in this division. Nobody thought he could beat Mikey Musumeci, but Gabriel is looking to shock the world again and step onto that ADCC podium.

Ethan Crelinsten 

Ethan should be an ADCC veteran at this point, but this is only his 2nd appearance. He won the trials in 2017 and 2018, but wasn't able to participate in ADCC 2019. Now he seems healthy and ready to make a run at ADCC. He has been doing tons of super fights since then and refined his game preparing for this moment.

Ethan is a master of heel hooks as you'd expect from a former DDS member, but he also has one of the best back attacks in the world. He won a EBI OT only tournament, so you know he has great back attacks and defense. He has 62% percentage rate with most wins coming from RNC. He is primarily a guard player, but he can play top as well. He also has very good submission defense, so his opponents are going to have a hard time catching him in something.

Ethan isn't a great wrestler and that could be he downfall at ADCC. He seems to be trying to improve this, but he isn't at the level that most others in this division are at. He will have a hard time during OT if he can't pull guard. He will need some tactics to over come this disadvantage. Also he seems to lack the ability to pressure his opponents, so he often needs to play is opponent's game. Against many of the people in this division, if he starts out on the back foot he will never be able to turn things back around.

Ethan has the skills to win and he has very good submission skills. He is with a new team now and has been preparing for ADCC for months now. He could have some new tricks to surprise others and he looks to be much bigger than before. If he can push the pace and improve his wrestling a bit he could walk home with the gold come September.

Geo Martinez 

Geo is going to ADCC for the 4th time and is looking for the medal that has so far eluded him. He has tons of experience in this ruleset and will be using that to his advantage. This is the first time Geo will have a team of other ADCC competitors with him helping him train. With this training combined with his experience he will be very dangerous.

Geo is primarily a guard player and he has a very tricky flexible guard. He has a number of tricky submissions as well and can hit them from a number of places. He has a 66% submission rate and is hard to submit himself. He isn't afraid to get into a shootout with people and will go sub for sub with them and often comes out on top. His most common submission is actually the calf slicer, which is a somewhat rare submission, but it could surprise some of the other competitors.

Geo's top game is a bit lacking and if he has to play from there he might not be able to get the win. On top of that his wrestling isn't very developed, so there is a good chance he gets out pointed. Geo's style of very open, but at ADCC this could backfire and cause you to lose on points if you scramble into a bad position. Another thing to note is that Geo has been very inconsistent since the last ADCC. He is 2-3 since his last appearance.

Geo has the tools to win, but will he be able to put it all together. His toughness and skill can take him a long way in this tournament if he plays his cards right. Geo has the mindset needed to get to the top, but he will need to improve some things if he wants to get there. He is always dangerous and his style should provide some interesting matches if nothing else.


Diego "Pato" Oliveira 

Pato has gone from a young up and comer to an established veteran on the no gi scene. His impressive performances over the last 2 years have earned him an invite into ADCC. In that same time he also managed to win a gi world championship. He was previously training out of Unity in New York, but has recently moved to Dream Art in Brazil. He has been working hard these last few years and is now aiming to reach the pinnacle of the no gi world and win the 2022 ADCC championship. 

Pato is someone who can play top and bottom. He does both well and is dangerous everywhere. He is one of the first people to show the power of the "false reap" and I'm sure he will be showing more tricks at ADCC. He isn't afraid to attack from anywhere and can go from passing to submission quickly. He has good killer instinct as well as technique. His wrestling has gotten much better as well and he might be able to surprise many others in this division with his wrestling. 

Pato has a tendency to play to his opponent's level. If his opponent comes at him aggressively, he will respond in kind. However when his opponents try to approach things more strategically he will slow the game down, often to his detriment. This cost him at the South American trials where he ended up losing in the finals when he opponent beat him using strategy. 

Pato has all the tools to win, but he will need to have the right mindset. He will need a good team around him and the correct strategy to get things done, but if he can do that he has a good chance to win. Pato has been doing well recently, but he will need to step it up a notch here and it will be interesting to see if the move to Dream Arts helps him or hurts him. 

Ruan Alvarenga 

Ruan is a name that I doubt many people are familiar with. He mainly fights in brazil and does mostly no gi from that I can gather. He recently received his black belt, but this is his second time at ADCC. Due to only recently receiving his black belt he only has 4 recorded matches, besides his match vs Kennedy at the last ADCC. Ruan doesn't have any big accomplishments yet, but he's hoping this ADCC will put his name on the map. 

Ruan is fairly young, but unlike many other Brazilian fighters he is experienced in the no gi realm. Ruan is very very fast and explosive, and can catch people in a variety of positions. He has very good takedowns and along with his speed and physicality, he should be able to challenge or beat anyone in this division on the feet. He seems to have a good knowledge of leg locks as well. So far it seems like he only has 4 matches at black belt, but he has a 100% submission rate, one of which is against a gi world champion in this division. 

Ruan is very talented, but also reckless. In his last ADCC appearance he was winning against the eventual silver medalist, but ended up getting triangled during a transition. He will need to calm himself and take a more strategic approach if he wants to win it all. He will need to stay focused the whole time and not get swept up in the excitement of the match. Another problematic area might be his lack of experience. He doesn't seem to compete often and this could cost time. There are some veterans in this division who could use some tricks or use some smart strategy to beat him.

Ruan isn't the favorite to win this division, but his skills are as good or better than anyone else here. He has a lot of question marks around him, so its hard to say how he will do. From what I've seen he might be the most talented person in this division, but talent alone doesn't win championships. If Ruan can pair his talent with an intelligent strategy he should be the next -66kg champion.

AJ Agazarm

AJ is making his return to ADCC after his absence from 2019. He is a former ADCC silver medalist and now he is looking to go for the gold. AJ is a very experienced ADCC competitor and this will be his 4th appearance in the tournament. He seems to have taken a hiatus from MMA and is refocused on grappling. He was a late invite, but due to his previous silver medal and familiarity with ADCC rules he was added to shake up the division.

AJ is primarily a top player. He is a former wrestler and he brings that mentality to his grappling. He is relentless and never gives up. He can put a pace of people that that many can't keep up with. He can put pressure on people from top and he is very good at not letting people get their games going. He is also almost impossible to submit. We have seen him eat heel hooks and kimuras like they're nothing and continue. This can be demoralizing to his opponents and will help them break people mentally.

AJ only has a 31% submission rate, so he will need to grind out every single one of these wins. He might have a problem if he has to fight from bottom as well. He doesn't have much offense from there and usually has to scramble out. This wouldn't be so much of a problem except for the fact that his wrestling isn't always effective. Despite his wrestling background, he has been out wrestled several times and if he can't get top position he will most likely lose. AJ has shown amazing sub defense in the past, but recently he has been submitted twice, so perhaps something has changed.

AJ should have an experience advantage over almost everyone in this division. He is a wily veteran and knows how to play the rules and win. Some people might dismiss him because of his antics, but if his opponents underestimate him they will lose. If nothing else AJ knows how to win and if he is taken lightly by his opponents he will be taking home another ADCC medal this year.

Joshua Cisneros 

Josh made it to the finals of the North American trials, but couldn't quite get the win. However due to his amazing performances he was invited to participate. Josh is a newer black belt and is trying to make a splash on the pro scene. This will be his biggest test to date and I'm sure he's eager to show the world what he can do. He has been training since he was a child in BJJ and wrestling and now he has the chance to show his game at the highest level. 

Josh has a very exciting style that is extremely submission focused. He has a 55% submission rate and his most common submission is the triangle. He has a wrestling background, but he actually seems to split his time equally between top and bottom positions. In fact one of the things that makes him so dangerous is the fact that he isn't afraid to jump on a submission and risk going to the bottom. He might also have some of the best wrestling in this division. 

Josh's killer instinct can also hurt him at times. He goes very hard at his opponents however he is sometimes reckless. This could cost him either a points loss or he might even get caught in a submission. One area of his defense that doesn't seem particularly developed is his leg lock defense. He lost the North American trials finals by heel hook and there are several people in this division that specialize in the submission. He will need to put some extra time into his leg defense if he wants to win this division. 

Josh has the perfect style to win ADCC, but there are question marks. Josh is young and I think he has all the tools to win, but does he have enough experience? If his team comes up with a good game plan and he sticks to it he could win it all. However I'm not sure if he can do that. With more experience I think he will one day win ADCC, but this might not be his time. Who knows though? He is a great darkhorse pick for this division. 

Garry Tonon 

Gary is moving from the -77kg division down to -66kg. He has a former bronze medalist at ADCC and this time he's going for gold. Over the last few years he has been more focused on his MMA career, but he has still been able to keep his grappling sharp. He's hoping this move down will give him increased strength and of course there is no JT Torres here to get in his way.

Gary is a scrambler and an escape artist. He is very tricky and can turn positions around on you if you aren't careful. On top of that he has great killer instinct. He is known for his RNC and heel hooks, but he has been able to finish people with a variety of different submissions. He has a 69% submission rate and is always looking for the kill. He also has very good wrestling skills and should be able to out wrestle anyone else in this division.

Gary's unpredictable style comes at a cost. He sometimes loses because he over extends himself and gets himself into bad positions. Most of the time he can get out of them, but if they cost him points he could be eliminated. This is seems to limit him a bit because he doesn't seem particularly good at any other strategy, so against someone who he could beat easily by just wrestling and grinding them out he could lose. Another question mark is Gary's strength conditioning and speed at this lower weight class. All of those things looked good at -77kg, but against these smaller competitors he might be at a disadvantage if the weight cut depletes him.

Gary has to be one of the favorites, but at the same time there are a lot of unknowns around him. We will see how his game interacts with some of the other athletes in this division. With his wrestling and submissions he might be one of the most exciting people in this whole tournament, so make time to watch his matches. On top of that there is a good chance that he will be able to achieve his dream on ADCC gold this year.



This division has had a 54.6% finish rate. That's pretty good and I think this division will have a good number of finishes. Traditionally this weight class has been full of guard play and not much wrestling, but I think things might change this time around. More and more people in this division are wrestling, so we might see quite a few standup battles. 

Most of these competitors like to scramble and I'm wondering is any of them will change their styles to try to win strategically or if they will just let loose. A number of people in this division jump on submission and generally just go wild. From a fan's perspective that's great, but it could cost them. However if they pull it off they'll have a nice highlight reel. With so many young competitors I think fight IQ might be one of the biggest factors in this division. 

I wonder how leg locks will factor in as well. During the trials there were quite a few leg locks, but will that continue at ADCC. There are a few people who have somewhat questionable leg lock defense, but there are a lot of people here who have solid leg lock skills. If they can't leg lock their opponents will the be able to win? 


I'm really looking forward to this division and I think you should be as well. Don't sleep on the smaller competitors. Everyone here is exciting and I think we will get some good back and forth matches. There isn't a clear favorite, so this should be an enjoyable division to watch. I was disappointed Ryan Hall and Mikey Musumeci had to pull out, but I'm happy with the lineup here. No matter what happens we are going to crown a new champ and hopefully see some interesting technical displays.