2022 ADCC World Championships

The Women's -60 kg Division At ADCC 2022 Will Hinge On No.4 Seed

The Women's -60 kg Division At ADCC 2022 Will Hinge On No.4 Seed

The top three seeds for the -60kg division at ADCC are obvious, but how the bracket looks ultimately comes down to the no.4 seed; and that's anyone's guess.

Aug 13, 2022 by Corey Stockton
The Women's -60 kg Division At ADCC 2022 Will Hinge On No.4 Seed

The ADCC 2022 World Championships are, to our rampant excitement, just one month away. All 97 athletes have been named to the six divisions and the singular historic superfight. But the brackets have not yet been revealed.

Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll be analyzing the roster of each division to try to make sense of some likely seeding permutations, and to make our best guess how each of these hypothetical brackets will play out.

NOTE: the brackets below are pure speculation of the FloGrappling staff, and have not been corroborated by ADCC officials.

We’ll start with the Women’s -60 kg division, which is set to feature four returning ADCC veterans, and several dangerous trials winners. That leaves many of the top seeds obvious in this division of eight.

Bianca Basilio will almost certainly be the no.1 seed here, after submitting Ffion Davies in the final in 2019 to earn her first ADCC gold. She’ll be the woman to beat in this division, and should find the best possible matchup in round one.

But Basilio is not the only returning gold medalist. Beatriz Mesquita, who took the gold in 2017 and placed fourth in 2019, will be back to try to rebound at the most famous tournament in no-gi grappling.

Ffion Davies is an obvious no.3, as she took silver in 2019, submitting Mesquita with an armbar in the semifinal before falling to Basilio in the final.

Although technically the three-seed, Davies may take the position of the no.4 seed, as she and Basilio may represent the same team (Atos), and ADCC regulations require that team mates fight no later than the second round of competition.

But who is the fourth athlete on the seeding chart?

Some would argue that it should be Elvira Karppinen, the two-time ADCC veteran who won bronze in 2019. She’s the fourth of four returning veterans, the fourth of four returning medalists, and one of the four athletes who did not have to win trials to earn her place in the division.

Karppinen has defeated two notable opponents in her ADCC career. As the hometown hero in Espoo, Finland, Karppinen outscored ADCC champ Mackenzie Dern before losing in the semis. In 2019, she defeated no-gi world champ Catherine Peret on the scoreboard.

If Karppinen is placed at no.4, it will be easy to fill in the bracket.

No.5 should be Brianna Ste-Marie, the Canadian black belt who won both the 2021 North American (East Coast) Trials and the 2022 North American (West Coast) Trials. She had to defeat a who’s who of opponents to earn her spot, including decorated opponents like Raquel Canuto and Nathalie Ribeiro.

Ste-Marie was the winner at two of the deepest ADCC trials in history, and that should be enough to put her ahead of all of her contemporary trials winners on the seeding charts. 

Mayssa Bastos will be close behind. Despite being dramatically undersized in the -60 kg weight category, Bastos surged through the 2nd South American ADCC Trials, earning several submissions, including one in the final over Julia Alves.

Bastos is famously undefeated in no-gi competition as a black belt, and is one of the most decorated grapplers competing at ADCC this year, regardless of division. If Karppinen takes the four seed, Bastos will almost certainly take the six.

That leaves European Trials winner Julia Maele, and Oceania & Asia Trials winner Adele Fornario, who will probably take the seven and eight seeds, respectively.

But this seeding hinges upon how much weight the bracket makers give to Karppinen’s ADCC experience and her default bronze medal; she did not fight Mesquita for third in 2019, as Mesquita was injured in the semifinal.

If ADCC officials prioritize Ste-Marie’s dominance in back to back trials over Karppinen’s history at the ADCC World Championships, that would dramatically change the path to victory for everyone in the division.

With Karppinen at no.4, the top half of the division would be loaded with Basilio, Davies and Ste-Marie. The bottom half would offer a slightly easier path to victory, especially for Mesquita, who’s toughest test would be the dramatically smaller Bastos, or the less decorated Karppinen.

But if ADCC awards Ste-Marie the no.4 seed, Mesquita — arguably — gets the worst of it. In her second round, she would have the winner of Bastos and Mesquita, two of the division’s most unpredictable, yet surging, opponents.

ADCC may decide not to separate Basilio and Davies, who are long-time rivals despite now flying the same Atos flag.

If Basilio and Davies are separated, the division appears more well-balanced throughout. Mesquita and Davies could have the opportunity to settle their 1-1 record at ADCC; each of them has defeated the other via armlock.

If that’s the case, who is no.4 and who is no.5 won’t ultimately matter, as Karppinen and Ste-Marie would then clash in the first round. The winner would likely face Basilio for a shot at the final.

But if the brackets are seeded this way, with Basilio on the opposite side of the bracket from Mesquita and Davies, Bastos would get the worst of it. Her first-round match would be the 2019 runner up, Davies. In a second round, she would likely face Mesquita; and Basilio would probably be waiting for her in the final.

No matter how the -60 kg division at ADCC 2022 shapes up — no matter what seeding choices the officials make — the bracket will put the best in the world against the best. Hopeful ADCC debutants like Ste-Marie and Bastos will be as dangerous as any in the division, including returning favorites and returning champions.