It may have just been one match in the first round of the absolute division, but what just happened here at the Anaheim Convention Center is going to be remembered for quite a while.
Australia’s Lachlan Giles has defeated Kaynan Duarte, the latter of whom just came off a win in the +99kg division here at ADCC. Despite his impressive resume and reputation for world-class coaching, Giles was the clear underdog here. Not only was he eliminated from his division in the first round of competition, but he also competed multiple weight divisions below Duarte, in the 77kg weight class.
This time around, though, Giles proved that good technique can overcome size even when your opponent is proven to be one of the best athletes in the world. Giles was relentless in his pursuit of a heel hook against Duarte, and with just three minutes left to go, he finally got the tap he needed to advance to the next round.
Update: Giles submitted 99kg division competitor Patrick Gaudio in the second round.