(Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports)
The -88kgs division at this year’s ADCC Championships is arguably the most talent rich of any division in the tournament. The division isn’t just brimming with talent, but it also brings plenty of star power too and features submission grappling royalty. This could be the most hotly contested division at the tournament, with every match providing plenty of intrigue and excitement.
Winner; Leandro Lo is the obvious choice as the winner of this division but there are several competitors who could give him a run for his money. Lo should be favoured purely based on his recent run of form, where he has looked unstoppable in both Gi and No-Gi and when he has lost, it has been by the thinnest of margins. Lo has added a lot of muscle over the past year and this will give him and advantage over the majority of the division.
Contenders; Where to start? Keenan Cornelius is due a big win at one of these tournaments after achieving silver in 2015 and double bronze in 2013. Gordon Ryan will be given the opportunity to prove he is the king and show that he cannot just win titles in the EBI format. Xande Riberio and Romulo Barral are all time greats who will not roll over for anyone and then there is also Dillon Danis, the Marcelo Garcia black belt who despite his brash social media persona is a legitimately fantastic grappler.
Ones to watch; Australia’s Craig Jones has a dangerous arsenal of leglocks and Rustam Chsiev has great wrestling and will be tough to takedown, allowing him to dictate the pace of the matches.