Vote for the Best Male Grappler, Best Female Grappler, Best Breakthrough Grappler, Best Match and Best Submission of 2021. Click here to cast your vote
Cole Abate | 2021 FloGrappling Breakthrough Grappler of the Year
Jan 22, 2022
Cole Abate has been clamoring for top-level opposition for years. The 16-year old had his wish fulfilled this year at WNO Championship, where he entered the 155 lb division, and defeated the veteran Geo Martinez in the opening round. He then fought to a tightly-contested split decision with Gabriel Sousa, a loss.
But Abate was just getting started, and demonstrated the extent of his abilities at the ADCC East Coast Trials. There, he submitted his first three opponents, and outscored four more — namely, Estevan Martinez, Jon Calestine, Deandre Corbe, and Keith Krikorian — becoming the youngest ever male ADCC trials winner. It was an exceptional run, as Abate did not give up a point in seven matches, and none of his matches required overtime.