Lachlan Giles just became the smaller grappler’s hero here at ADCC.
Giles, who competed in the 77kg weight class yesterday, lost in the first round of his division matches. But today, in the absolute division, he turned into a giant slayer.
First, he stunned everyone by heel hooking Kaynan Duarte, who had just won gold in the +99kg category after beating Nick Rodriguez. But maybe it was a fluke, right?
Giles then moved on to the second round, where he again submitted his opponent. This time, it was Patrick Gaudio, who competed in the 99kg division yesterday. By this point, the audience knew they were watching something unforgettable.
Giles’ next opponent was Gordon Ryan, who was coming off a win in the 99kg division. Giles attempted to move forward with the same plan that had given him the win over his previous two opponents, but Ryan escaped Giles’ clutches and moved into mount, ultimately taking his back and submitting him. Giles would then compete for bronze against Mahamed Aly. Surely he would be far too exhausted to do any significant damage to such a formidable competitor in the +99kg division.
Giles moved with remarkable speed, executing his game plan to — yes, again — find the perfect position on Aly’s leg and leglock him. The crowd sprung to their feet, and Giles had his hand raised to the tune of thousands of people chanting his name.
Of all the crazy moments that have happened at this year’s ADCC, the story of a smaller competitor using pure technique to submit athletes whose legs are as wide as he is might just be the best one yet.