Kaynan Duarte vs. Matheus Diniz Road to ADCC

On Sunday, July 18th, ADCC gold medalist Kaynan Duarte will take on ADCC gold medalist Matheus Diniz.

Both men won their divisions at the 2019 ADCC world championships, and both men represent two of the strongest teams on the planet, Team ATOS and Team Alliance. 

Will the phenom Kaynan Duarte beat Matheus Diniz like his teammate Lucas Barbosa did at BJJ Stars?

… Or will the superstar overcome one of the best grapplers of his generation? 

We find out at FloGrappling’s “Road To ADCC.” 

Let’s dive deeper to see how this match may play out. 

Kaynan Duarte (BJJ Heroes) 

  • Record: 99-13-0
  • Height: 6’0” | Weight: +205 (Heavyweight)| Age: 23
  • Wins: 35 SUB, 11 decisions, 43 points, 10 Advantage, 
  • Losses: 5 SUB, 2 points, 4 Decision, 1 Advantage, 
  • Noticeable Wins: Victor Hugo, Leandro Lo, Marcus Buchecha, Rodolfo Viera, Nicky Rod, Craig Jones
  • Noticeable Losses: Gordan Ryan, Roberto Abreu, Nicolas Meregali, Lachlan Giles
  • Current Ranking: #1 Heavyweight | Last match: Joao Araujo

Fighter’s Weaknesses: 

Over the past few years, Kaynan Duarte has repeatedly proven he is one of the best grapplers of his generation. 

Duarte has beaten ADCC champions, rising superstars, and legends in the sport.

This phenom’s game is nearly perfect. 

That said, many of Kaynan Duarte’s losses come via a 50/50 heel hook which reveals that defending this lower body submission is his greatest weakness. 

During the 2019 ADCC absolute matches, Duarte was momentarily stunned by Lachlan Giles’s 50/50 heel hook entry and was quickly submitted. 

Last year, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu Cyborg submitted him with a similar technique. 

What’s peculiar and interesting is that Kaynan Duarte has shown excellent proficiency in defending lower body submissions. Especially against world-class leg lockers such as Craig Jones and Tex Johnson.

This begs the question, why did he lose against Lachlan and Cyborg via leg lock?

Perhaps, because Duarte’s only deficiency is his 50/50 game. 

He is well-rounded, but the 50/50 heel hook is relatively new— so, his knowledge is limited. 

If Matheus Diniz wants to beat the phenom, I recommend he target that specific position. 

Fighter’s Strengths:

Kaynan Duarte is strong in every position.

Duarte can play both top and bottom positions. 

He can wrestle, pass, retain guard, submit his opponents, and initiate counterattacks efficiently. 

But Kaynan Duarte’s main strength is his ability to initiate attacks and counterattacks that allow him to transition to the back successfully.

If you watch Kaynan Duarte’s match against Craig Jones at Kasai Pro 5 in 2019, you see Duarte immediately counter Jones’s outside Ashi-garami entry and ends up taking his back.

Seconds later, submitting the Aussie via rear-naked strangulation in under two minutes. 

Even against Gordan Ryan at the 2018 No-Gi Pans, he countered the king’s inside Ashi-garami entry and successfully transitioned to a back take.  

These matches reflect Kaynan Duarte’s knowledge of back takes from the top position.

… But it begs the question, what about from the bottom or standing positions?

Well, in his 2019 ADCC matchup against Nicky Rod, Kaynan Duarte was able to wrestle up from half guard and expose Nicky Rodriguez’s back in the process. 

Eventually, taking it and scoring the points that would win Duarte the match.

One year later, in his 2nd match against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Legend Rodolfo Vieira, Kaynan Duarte initiated a throw-by into a back take— submitting the legend via RNC in 2.5 minutes.

Duarte’s bread and butter is taking backs! 

Typically, if he successfully takes his opponent’s back, he gets the submission.

And remember, this 23-year-old phenom is a future legend who has not reached his prime performance years. 

Matheus Diniz (BJJ Heroes) 

  • Record: 75-29-1
  • Height: 6’0” | -205 (Light-Heavyweight) | Age: 29 
  • Wins: 34 SUB, 6 decisions, 29 points, 3 Advantages, 1 OT
  • Losses: 5 SUB, 14 points, 4 Advantages, 5 Decision 
  • Noticeable Wins: Craig Jones, Josh Hinger, Murilo Santana, Pedro Marinho, Gabriel Arges
  • Noticeable Losses: Felipe Pena, Gordan Ryan, Lucas Barbosa 
  • Current Ranking: #3 Light Heavyweight | Last match: Otavio Sousa 

Fighter’s Weaknesses: 

Matheus Diniz cannot play off his back.

This weakness is evident in Diniz’s match against the king. 

Matheus Diniz heavily relies on his brute strength and explosiveness to escape Gordan Ryan’s top pins during this match,

It appears like Diniz is using violent scrambling as an escape method because he lacks the technical knowledge from said position to escape calmly and proficiently. 

Perhaps this is why he is reluctant to play the bottom position in many of his matches. 

Fighter’s Strengths:

Matheus Diniz is strong, fast, explosive, and maintains a high level of physicality during his matches. 

Diniz favors a vicious blast double leg takedown that can momentarily stun his opponents long enough for Diniz to take them down. 

His top game is excellent, his opponents rarely control him, and he has only been submitted one time as a black belt in a No-Gi match (Gordan Ryan). 

This is why Matheus Diniz is an ADCC World Champion. 

Diniz’s forte in creating movement and shutting down submission attempts is what makes him formidable. 

Honestly, most explosive and robust competitors tend to disengage, stall, or run away, but he does the opposite. 

Matheus Diniz does not stop moving or freeze up like many other competitors. 

… Don’t count Diniz out!


I don’t believe Matheus Diniz has the technical capabilities to stop, let alone counter Kaynan Duarte’s grappling game. 

Duarte is big and strong but also a world-class tactician who rarely loses.  

That said, Matheus Diniz used his athletic capabilities to survive for several minutes against the #1 tactician in the world, Gordan Ryan, so Kaynan Duarte is in for a long match. 

Ultimately, I forecast Duarte will submit Diniz via rear-naked strangulation or heel hook.

The “heel hook” is how Matheus Diniz lost to Gordan Ryan, and that’s how Kaynan Duarte won his 2nd match against Nicky Rod— a bigger, faster, and more explosive version of Matheus Diniz. 

Heel hooks are an efficient technique used to hinder and slow down big, explosive competitors. 

And if Kaynan can do this, he will either finish the submission or use the heel hook attempt to find a route to Diniz’s back. 

… But I could be wrong.

Matheus Diniz trains with one of the greatest grapplers of all time, Marcelo Garcia. 

Diniz could surprise us all by winning via a 50/50 heel hook; which is his best option for submitting the phenom.  

Although it’s statistically unlikely he does, anything is possible in submission grappling.

… Either way, the match could end with a lower-body submission. 

That’s my prediction, what’s yours?

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“After graduating in May 2018 with a B.S. in Cyber Security, Max Takaesu Hsu decided to pursue Martial Arts as his path. He began training at the legendary Renzo Gracie Academy. Two years later after spending countless hours on the mats with numerous high level competitors and world champions, like the Danaher Death Squad, he decided to travel the world. This digital nomad goes by the nom de plume, the Wandering Warrior Poet and, is currently working from Kyiv, Ukraine. Over the past 18 months, he has trained and lived in Turkey, Japan, Honolulu, and Serbia. You can follow the Wandering Warrior Poet on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.” https://www.jiujithsunomad.com/


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