ADCC Competitors At No-Gi Pans: The Good And Bad

Seven athletes competing at the 2019 ADCC World Championships competed on Saturday at the IBJJF Pan No-Gi, five in the black belt division and two at brown belt. None of the seven ADCC athletes ended up fighting each other and they ended up with three gold medals, two silver and two bronze. 

Some of them can feel good about their game and head into ADCC with momentum in a couple weeks, while it might be back to the drawing board for others after their No-Gi Pans performances. It is worth noting that Tex Johnson and Keenan are registered for the open class coming up later today and. Here is a look at the good and the bad for ADCC 2019 competitors this morning at No-Gi Pans.

The Good

Paulo Miyao

Paulo only had one match today after having a first round bye and closing out the semifinal with Unity teammate Thiago Abud. It was expected that Paulo would meet up in the final with his rival Gianni Grippo, however Grippo was eilminated by Emilio Hernandez-Rodrigues in his semifinal. Paulo controlled the fight from start to finish, winning 2-0 but with five advantages and some serious submission threats against his opponent. After a submission win at GrappleFest 6 and gold at No-Gi Pans, Paulo Miyao definitely rides some momentum into ADCC.

Watch: Paulo Miyao vs Emilio Hernadez-Rodriguez


Murilo Santana

Murilo had two fights today and finished with gold in the heavyweight division. After a close advantage win over Ashur Darmo in the semifinal, Murilo locked on a triangle from the closed guard against Todd Mueckenheim to win his division by submission. The 88kg division is wide open this year at ADCC and Murilo already has wins in his career over most of the favorites to take home gold in Anaheim.

Watch: Murilo Santana vs Todd Mueckenheim


Ruan Alvarenga

There might need to be an asterisk next to this good performance, as Ruan was fighting brown belts today and his competition at ADCC in two weeks will certainly be much tougher. Even though it was in the brown belt division, Ruan looked as flawless as he possibly could today. He outscored his opponents 32-0 and got the submission in all three fights. Ruan is a wildcard entering ADCC after winning the South American Trials at 66kg.

Watch: Ruan Alvarenga vs Damion Oranday


The Bad

Gianni Grippo

Looking at the brackets it seemed certain that Gianni would have a No-Gi rubber match with Paulo Miyao in the final, the pair are currently 1-1 against each other and hold the top two spots in the FloGrappling rankings at 66kg. Gianni came out strong in his first match against Richard Alvarez, going up 12-0 before getting the finish with an arm triangle. 

Emilio Hernadez-Rodriguez scored an early two points off an ankle pick in the semi-final and Gianni was not able to get the points back. While Gianni controlled most of the action after getting taken down and racked up four advantages he ended up losing 2-0. With the emphasis on wrestling at ADCC a loss by takedown at No-Gi Pans heading into ADCC is troubling.


Keenan Cornelius

Keenan was everybody's pick to get double gold entering this tournament but had a tough road through super-heavyweight with Devhonte Johnson in the semifinals and Vinicius Trator in the final. After a hard fought 4-2 victory over Devhonte, up next was Trator, who recently defeated Luiz Panza at the IBJJF Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Keenan has a hard time moving the stocky Trator on the feet and eventually gave up a sweep to go down 2-0. Trator is always a tactical and conservative fighter and hard to score on while passing and Keenan was unable to get the points back. Keenan is signed up for the open class and may still leave New York as a No-Gi Pan champion heading into ADCC.

Watch: Keenan Cornelius vs Vinicius Trator


Keith Krikorian

Krikorian was a second ADCC 66kg competitor signed up at brown belt for No-Gi Pans, he however did not fair as well as Alvarenga. After opening the tournament with two submission wins by darce choke, Krikorian ran into a buzzsaw in Daniel Maira from Alliance Marcelo Garcia. Maira outscored Krikorian 15-0, a big concern to lose that big at brown belt when you’re possible fighting names like Paulo Miyao, Gianni Grippo and Tanquinho in two weeks at ADCC.


Tex Johnson

Tex was trying to win his fourth straight No-Gi Pans title this year after tapping Jackson Sousa in the final a year ago. He needed to avenge a previous loss in the final to the massive Max Gimenis from GF Team. Max ended up winning by even more this time around with a final score of 11-0. On the bright side, Tex recently changed weights to drop down to 99kg so won’t be fighting guys the size of Max at ADCC. Tex is another athlete that could redeem himself in the open class, and still might win a fourth straight No-Gi Pans title.

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