Brazilian jiu-jitsu legends Mario Sperry and Ricardo Liborio capped off a scintillating day one of ADCC 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, during the afternoon’s lone super fight. After 20 minutes of intense clinching, it was American Top Team coach Liborio who had his hand raised in victory.
Liborio and Sperry, both sporting white hair and incredible endurance, battled to a virtual stalemate for the entire match. With neither man looking to pull guard or able to take the other off his feet, the bulk of their duel took place in the clinch. Each competitor looked to gain head and wrist control, which unfortunately left quite a bit to be desired in terms of pure action.
Liborio became more aggressive in the second overtime, shooting for a takedown on two occasions. Sperry stuffed them both, but since Liborio was a pinch more active in the closing minutes, the referee decided to award him the decision after a double overtime.
However, what Liborio-Sperry lacked in excitement, the opening day of the world’s greatest grappling tournament more than made up for in terms of submissions and excellent matchups. Heel hooks and rear-naked chokes were the submissions of choice throughout the morning and afternoon, and some upsets were sprinkled around the tournament as well.
Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson was submitted via rear-naked choke in his opening-round encounter with lesser known Russian Abdukadirov Magomed. Other upsets during the afternoon saw Jeff Glover, Garry Tonon and Eddie Cummings come up short in their quarterfinal battles.
Still, some of the event’s favorites were able to advance to Sunday’s brackets. Fan favorite Keenan Cornelius, UFC veteran Vinny Magalhaes and women’s star McKenzie Dern all advanced, but most of their matchers weren’t walks in the park.
Dern and Michelle Nicolini were dominant in the women’s 132-pound bracket, easily moving on to day two. Tammi Masumeci and Beatriz Mesquita were able to score victories, rounding out the semifinals for Sunday. In the women’s over-132-pound bracket, Amanda Santana, Ana Lauta Cordeiro, Jessica Oliveira and Gabrielle Garcia all had their hands raised.
In the men’s 145-pound division, the star of the bracket was American Jeff Glover, who came onto the mat with colorful shorts and white tank top. His typical clownish antics were not amusing to opening round foe Daniel Hortegas, but Glover’s brilliance and unconventional style allowed him to land his signature heel hook. Glover didn’t fare as well in the quarterfinals, though, as he lost on points to Geo Martinez.
The first round of the division saw Rubens Charles, Gianne Grippo, Augusto Mendes, Eddie Cummings, Bruno Frazzato and Renan Sancar all advance. However, only Martinez, Charles, Frazzato and Mendes were able to pull off victories, all via points.
The men’s 170-pound division was just as intense. Otavio Souza put A.J. Agazarm to sleep with a rear-naked choke; Tonon heel hooked Dillon Danis; and Magomed took out Henderson to highlight the opening round. Other winners in the set were Vagner Rocha, Lucas Lepri, Davi Ramos, Gabriel Rollo and Gilbert Burns. Out of those victors, it was the quartet of Souza, Lepri, Ramos and Burns who were able to advance to the second day.
Neiman Gracie and Romulo Barral both subbed their opponents via kneebar, while Pablo Popovitch, Yuri Simoes, Rafael Lovato Jr., Rustam Chsiev, Cornelius and Claudio Calasans all won their 194-pound bouts. Cornelius took out Calasans, Chsiev eked past Lovato Jr., Simoes bested fill-in Zbigniew Tyszka, and Barral nabbed Gracie with a kimura to move on to the semis.
In the men’s 218-pound bracket, Alexandre Ribeiro stole the show with a sensational omoplata submission over Yakiyasu Ozawa. Kamil Uminski toppled Tom DeBlass, and Hector Lombard defeated Jason Bukich, while Rodolfo Vieira tapped Adam Sachnoff with an arm-triangle choke. Other winners were Joao Assis, Felipe Pena, Jimmy Friedrich and Cassio da Silva. It was Assis, Pena, Ribeiro and Vieira who prevailed, moving on to Sunday.
Finally, the men’s over-218-pound didn’t lack excitement, either, as UFC veterans Dean Lister and Magalhaes all won their opening-round bouts with slick submissions. Lister tapped Hyoung Chul Lee with a straight armlock, while Magalhaes forced Paul Ardila to tap due to a heel hook. The massive Orlando Sanchez beat Janne-Pekka Pietilainen, while Rodrigo Cavaca, Jared Dopp, Abraham Marte, Joao Gabriel Rocha and Rodrigo Artilheiro all were victorious. The trio of Sanchez, Dopp and Rocha advanced on points wins, while Magalhaes made Artilheiro submit to a twister.
The semifinals on Sunday are as follows:
Over 218 PoundsVinny Magalhaes vs. Orlando Sanchez
Jared Dopp vs. Joao Gabriel
218 PoundsXande Ribeiro vs. Rodolfo Vieira
Joao Assis vs. Felipe Pena
194 PoundsRomulo Barral vs. Yuri Simoes
Keenan Cornelius vs. Rustav Chsiev
170 PoundsOctavio Souza vs. Lucas Lepri
Gilbert Burns vs. Davi Ramos
145 PoundsRubens Charles vs. Augusto Mendes
Bruno Frazzato vs. Geovanny Martinez
Women’s Over 132 PoundsGabi Garcia vs. Jessica Oliveira
Ana Laura Cordeiro vs. Amanda Santana
Women’s Under 132 PoundsMichelle Nicolini vs. Tammi Musumeci
Bia Mesquita vs. Mackenzie Dern