2022 ADCC World Championships

Veterans vs The New Guard, The 88kg Bracket At ADCC Spans Generations

Veterans vs The New Guard, The 88kg Bracket At ADCC Spans Generations

First timers and seasoned veterans will share the mat at ADCC in the 88kg division. But how will the bracket take shape? Here is our prediction.

Sep 8, 2022 by Corey Stockton
Veterans vs The New Guard, The 88kg Bracket At ADCC Spans Generations

The ADCC 2022 World Championships are, to our rampant excitement, just a few days 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.

The 88kg bracket at the 2022 ADCC World Championships is in some ways difficult, and in other, a bit obvious to predict.

It’s equal parts established veterans and hungry young athletes, making the seeding at the top and bottom of the charts relatively easy. The middle of the pack is a bit more puzzling to seed with accuracy. But there are three clusters of teammates in this division, representing Atos, Fight Sports and B-Team.

ADCC regulations stipulate that teammates must fight no later than the second round of the tournament, meaning many of the corners of this division are somewhat neatly defined.

So is the no.1 seed, Matheus Diniz, the reigning champion of the division.

The no.2 seed will likely go to an Atos representative, either Josh Hinger, who took third in the division in 2019, or Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa who took third in the -99kg category that year. Ultimately, those two athletes will be left to the two-seed corner of the bracket, opposite Diniz. The only question is which of them has to fight fellow Atos athlete, Tye Ruotolo, in the first round.

Diniz is likely to find the no.16 seed in the first round, and whichever of the two former Atos medalists does not face Ruotolo should find the 15-seed first. Then, that corner of the bracket should look something like this:

With the would-be three seed bound up in the Atos cluster, the no.3 on paper will likely be Vagner Rocha, who took silver in the 77kg category in 2019, and bronze in that division the season prior. Rocha has at least one potential opponent decided in his corner of the bracket, as his teammate, Alexandre De Jesus “Robinho” won the South American Trials at 88kg.

The four seed is likely to go to the only other former medalist in the division, two-time ADCC champion and five-time medalist, Xande Ribeiro.

In broad strokes, then, the top four of the division could appear as such:

Things get a bit more convoluted from there. The only remaining certainty is that Izaak Michel and Jay Rodriguez will have to face off in the second round, as they both represent B-Team. As Diniz will likely find the no.16 seed — likely the Oceania & Asia Trials winner Bob Dib Frias, Rodriguez and Michell will likely end up in a cluster with the Fight Sports duo, or with Ribeiro and one other.

The remainder of the division?

How do they fit into this bracket?

Mason Fowler and Pedro Marinho are ADCC veterans, giving them a potential edge on their un-seeded colleagues. Fowler may get the edge, as he has an ADCC victory to his name. Let’s call Fowler the no.5, and Marinho the no.6.

With only two remaining spaces in the same block, the B-Team representatives would have to take the 12 and 13 seeds. Rodriguez would likely get the priority, as he won the West Coast Trials, the most loaded tournament of all time, with seven submissions.

We can anticipate that Bodoni and Bahiense would get higher seeds than O’Flanagan and Lilius; and Lilius would likely get the 15, as he won the second European Trials, O’Flanagan, the first.

Bodoni and Bahiense are a toss up. Bodoni won a deep 88kg division at the East Coast Trials, but Bahiense won the South American Trials, defeating former ADCC absolute champion Claudio Calasans in the final. In this version, we’ll give the edge to Bahiense; but it’s razor thin. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which of the two get the higher seed. The no.8 and no.9 are destined to face off in the first round of the tournament.

Ultimately, no matter how this bracket is drawn, the newcomers and twenty-somethings will be stacked up against the seasoned black belts time and time again in this division. It will be a test of young energy against veteranship and experience. And you can watch it all on September 18-19 on FloGrappling.