The Giant Slayer

The Giant Slayer

For submission grapplers there are many events to compete on – Polaris, Kasai, Fight to Win etc. but above all stands, one and that is the ADCC. The story going into this years ADCC was what was to be expected from the Renzo Gracie Academy and No-Gi kingpin Gordon Ryan, not one to shy away from speaking his mind, he let everyone know that he was coming for double gold, in his division and to take gold in the Absolute division that had eluded him in 2017 to his Brazilian opponent Felipe Pena in the final, Pena won on points which meant he managed to secure the Super Fight match with Andre Galvao which happened this weekend with Galvao retaining his title. Ryan achieved his goal by complete domination, winning double gold and submitting a combined 75% of his opponents along the way in both divisions, at only 24 years old he has won 3 golds at the ADCC and if he beats Galvao, which is highly likely considering Ryan being 26 at the time and Galvao be nearing 40, one would have to assume that age is not only on Ryan’s side but perhaps skill as Ryan looks like the greatest NoGi grappler of all time. What makes this ADCC so unique though is that the big story that has come out of it isn’t the King achieving what many expected, but instead by the underdog from down under, Dr Lachlan Giles, the grappling coach from Absolute MMA. In the first round of his 77kg division, he lost 3-0 to Lucas Lepri, his division dreams were over, he entered the Absolute division the next day and drew 99kg+ gold medallist Kaynan Duarte in the very first round, but what happened next was very special…

Despite being an underdog in weight and one would assume skill, Lachlan attacked with his speciality – leg attacks. One would be understood to have predicted a dominant performance from Duarte but that isn’t what happened, instead, Lachlan was able to find the submission via inside heel hook, forcing his heavyweight opponent to tap. Next, he drew Patrick Gaudio, another impressive Heavyweight who eliminated from his division by Lucas Barbosa, no shame there. Once again Lachlan followed his same strategy on another behemoth, securing a bite on his attack, forcing Gaudio to submit via inside heel hook The arena was now electric, win or lose he was now in a position in which he could fight for a medal at just his size, next he drew Gordon Ryan and the arena was anticipating this, the electricity building to see if Lachlan could, in fact, dethrone the man many calls “King.” Not one to be deterred, Lachlan once again went for Gordon’s legs but there is a reason why Gordon gets called the king, that and with the substantial weight advantage he controlled Lachlan and managed to use the widely back attack system of John Danaher to get to Lachlan’s back and secure the rear-naked choke to advance to the finals to meet Marcus Almeida who just defeated IBJJF Heavyweight World Champion Mahamed Aly by the same submission. Setting up Lachlan Vs. Aly for the Bronze.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…

Just like that history was made, from Craig Jones is the story of ADCC 2017, this year it was the man who gave Craig his black belt.

Congratulations Lachlan.

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