The 77 kilogram division is wide open for a new ADCC champion.
Thirteen days remain before the 2017 edition of the ADCC tournament kicks off in Finland. Every two years this event features many of the best men and women in competitive grappling. 2017 is no different and the 77 kilogram is one of the divisions that are wide open for the taking. With 2015 champion, Davi Ramos out of the tournament due to mixed martial arts commitments, there a number of men that can hoist the title this year.
The 77 kilograms division is home to a number of men that are very popular across the grappling space. With Ramos out, there’s a lot of question around who will take home the title this year.
Two Brazilians stand near the top of the list as Gilbert Burns and Lucas Lepri currently have the best betting odds to win the division, according to BetDSI. Lepri made it to the finals in 2015 before being defeated via a flying armbar by Ramos. Ramos also defeated Burns, who made a somewhat surprising run to the semifinals in the 2015 tournament. Many are expecting these two to face off at some point in the tournament, which could set up an exciting final.
But the list of potential winners does not end with these two men. Five of the top American grapplers are in this weight class as JT Torres, DJ Jackson, Garry Tonon, Vagner Rocha and Mansher Khera each have the abilities to lay claim to the throne. All five men have remained very active since the 2015 tournament and picked up big wins during that time. Tonon may be the most recognizable name on this group; especially after the big wins he’s had including defeating Burns via heel hook at Polaris 4 and Dillion Danis at Polaris 5.
Jackson isn’t to be ignored as well. He’s earned some important wins including beating Caio Terra at 2015, Tonon in 2016 and Rocha in 2017. He’s coming off of a big tournament win at Copa Podio earlier this year and the Team Lloyd Irvin standout has a wealth of momentum heading into this event.
Torres should also be on the short list of potential champions. In 2016 he and Lepri had an exciting battle at Worlds in which Lepri would win on an advantage. While Lepri has recent wins over Torres it was Torres that took home the “W” the last time they met on the ADCC mats in 2013.
Felipe Cesar, Oliver Taza and Osmanzhan Kassimov are three other names that fans should not overlook as well. Each of them qualified during ADCC Trials to find themselves in this year’s tournament. Taza is slowly working his way out of the “shadow” of his teammates on the Danaher Death Squad and carving his own legacy in the sport; taking part in his biggest competition to date. Cesar is a multiple-time champion that brings a lot of experience into this tournament.
Each of these athletes have an intriguing style and mixing in the ADCC ruleset creates a dynamic set of matchups that can be different from anything seen in previous bouts. The 77 kilogram group is going to be an exciting spectacle to see who walks away as the champion in a weight class without a defending titlist. ADCC 2017 begins on September 23 and is available for viewing on FloGrappling.