ADCC’s East Coast Trials saw eye-opening performances from some of the best no-gi grapplers on the planet – including a few upsets over longtime favorites.
Crowd-pleasing submission victories ruled the day. Daisy Fresh star Jacob “Hillbilly” Hammer, who’s been on a tear recently, continued to dominate his division by taking home a whopping seven submissions in seven matches to punch his ticket to ADCC 2024’s 88kg division. Also on a submission streak, Amanda Leve – known for her victory over long-dominant Gabi Garcia, as well as an impressive MMA career – tapped out all four of her opponents to earn gold in the women’s 65+ kg division.
New Wave’s “Big Dan” Manasoiu also submitted his way through his division, decisively taking out five opponents and avenging a previous loss at ADCC European Trials.
Meanwhile, over in the women’s -65kg division, John Danaher’s teen protege Helena Crevar experienced one of her few upsets in recent competition – at the hands of Tabula Rasa black belt Mo Black, who ultimately emerged victorious over five opponents to earn gold.
Another teen phenom, however, dominated the field: seventeen-year-old Dorian Olivarez, a high schooler coached by his father Mike Olivarez – who first exploded on to the scene as EBI Combat Jiu-Jitsu World Champion earlier this year – won the men’s 66kg division. Olivarez, who additionally cross-trains with B-Team, is currently the youngest champion who to have earned a spot at ADCC 2024.
Other men who have punched their tickets to the big show include Paul Ardila, who competed in the 99kg division, and just won his fourth Trials at the age of 32, making him one of the older competitors in the field. Elijah Dorsey, meanwhile, won the talent-stacked 77kg division, taking out some big name ADCC veterans like Nicky Ryan and Oliver Taza, on his way to the podium.
Other standout performances included that of Atos’ Alex Enriquez, who defeated five opponents – including a first ever victory over longtime rival Jasmine Rocha – to become the inaugural East Coast Trials champion of ADCC’s brand new women’s -55kg division.