This August, the most prestigious no-gi submission grappling tournament will take place, the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championships. Known in shorthand has the “ADCCs,” it is a professional grappling tournament held every two years that attracts the top grappling talent from all across the world. The rule set is extremely open in terms of submissions and positions allowed, the scoring system designed to increase aggressive takedowns and an attacking style on the ground. The event features a tournament and then one-off super fights between major ADCC champions.
Some of the athletes – specifically former ADCC champions, other major grappling champions, and well known MMA fighters, are invited to come compete at the ADCCs, while others go through regional qualifiers. This series will seek to profile some of the major players at the 2015 ADCCs.
Who is this guy?
Garry Tonon is one of the more recent rising American stars in the Jiu-Jitsu. Tonon was a wrestler in high school and transitioned to Jiu-Jitsu. Tonon earned his black belt under Tom DeBlass and trains in the Renzo Gracie Association, specifically spending a great deal of time with John Danaher.
Tonon started to gain traction as a brown belt, winning Pan Ams and Worlds in both gi and no gi. He has really broken out in the new wave of competitive formats that feature different scoring rules or are just submission only rule sets. Tonon has competed with FIVE Grappling and recently won a superfight with Joao Miyao, has won the Eddie Bravo Invitational twice, has wins in both Metamoris and Polaris, and had an instant classic performance at the 2013 ADCCs.
What is his game like?
Tonon has a fun, all-terrain game that is submission focus to nearly a fault. Tonon is a very good wrestler and always starts a match engaging on the feet. His wrestling game feeds into one of Tonon’s primary submission attacks, his guillotine, and he will also mix in the truck roll to the back, another one of his favorite techniques. Once on the back Tonon has vicious squeeze on his rear naked choke, and he will finish the face crank or the choke even when the opponents have a hand in the choke.
Originally wrestling and back takes made up the core of his game, though in the past few years Tonon has become one of the very best leg lockers in all of grappling, and his specifically known for his outstanding heel hook. Tonon’s leg lock game plays heavily into his passing attacks and his bottom game, which features outstanding the deep half play. Tonon is very much a part of the a newer wave of American grapplers who use leg locks as a position in between passing guard and playing guard, and either trying to finish the submission or use their opponent’s escapes to take a better position.
How is he likely to do?
Tonon is likely to be in the thick of the action and to have at least one jaw dropping submission. Tonon’s game is very much geared more towards submission only competition and he will happily accept a sweep in order to try to find a submission. Tonon can play the point game, he has done very well at it, but he will very much be in his element during the first portion of ADCC matches that have no points. Many mark this year as Tonon’s breakout year in ADCCs and he looks primed for it. Tonon is in one of the most stacked divisions in the entire tournament. He will be faced with long time champions like Otavio Sousa and Lucas Lepri, tough veterans like Davi Ramos, AJ Agazarm, and JT Torres, up-and-comers like Dillion Danis, a former UFC Champion in Ben Henderson, a few very tough unknowns like Abdulkadirov Magomed. Against that field it is hard to pick anyone with any certainty, Tonon could get out pointed early but he seems primed for a run deep into the tournament.
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