JANUARY 22, 2022, TEXAS, USA. Yesterday was the first Who’s Number One event of the year (12th overall). As per usual, the well-known no-gi jiu-jitsu promotion brought forth a fantastic production with exciting matches between some of the sport’s top talents.
Of the many exciting matches on offer, we would highlight the footlock battle between Brianna St. Marie and Amanda “Tubby” Santana as a war worth revisiting by fans of high-paced action. Brianna and Tubby were not alone in the excitement department as there was no shortage of outstanding performances.
Performance wise, it would be hard to pick between Mikey Musumeci’s technical dominance over the Tazmanian Devil that is Estevan Martinez, and Tye Ruotolo’s brave display against Levi Jones-Leary. The 18-year-old was fierce, entering the Australian grappler’s guard – one of the most dangerous players in the world – and taking full advantage of his skillful scrambles. For a more detailed depiction of yesterday’s matches and the full results, check below.
– Geno Morelli def Kemoy Anderson via unanimous decision
– Michael Pixley def Cameron Reed via unanimous decision
– Jessica Crane def Alexa Yanes via inside heel hook
A dominant performance by Musumeci from post to post. Mikey started the match by attacking the legs of Estevan but struggled to control the knee line due to Martinez’s solid defense and shorter stature (4’11”).
Unable to get a real bite on the legs, Musumeci started switching to upper body attacks, finding more success in stifling Martinez’s relentless pace and chaotic movement with closed guard and omoplata attacks to the back.
Later in the match, Estevan’s foolock attack ended with Mikey controlling the back once again. Although there were no dangerous submission attempts obtained from either side, this was a very fun match to follow overall with a very decisive winner in Musumeci.
– JACOB COUCH def DAVID GARMO via inside heel hook
A decisive size difference for the Hillbilly Hammer here (Couch), but in the end, it was all down to Jacob’s skillset. After a short exchange on the feet, Couch opted to pull Garmo into his forte, the guard.
Jacob worked his dangerous triangle choke from the closed guard at first, a smart strategy given Garmo’s strong guillotine game. David eventually broke free of the closed guard and immediately tried to jump on a guillotine, a move that saw him on the wrong end of a leg entanglement, one Jacob who used to finish the Detroit athlete.
– BRIANNA STE-MARIE def AMANDA ALEQUIN via split decision
We believed this clash had all the ingredients for a Match Of The Night award, and it did not disappoint. These two well-rounded and experienced grapplers clearly enjoy finishing their opponents more than anything, characteristics they showed throughout the match
The match had back and forth sweeps and submission attempts, particularly toe holds, some of which made many people watching (cough-cough, us) grimace. In the end, the match could have been a draw but ended in a split decision.
– ELDER CRUZ def NICK RODRIGUEZ via split decision
Two athletes who heavily favor the stand-up and passing game and rarely (if ever) concede the guard-pull. Both did try to stay active but no deep takedowns took place. Another match that could have ended in a draw, if those were given at WNO.
The berimbolo expert versus the technical scrambler turned out to be a very fun match to follow. Credit to Tye for completely disregarding Levi’s guard game and jumping right into the fire.
Foot stomp passing attempts, toreadas, and pretzel bolo’s, Ruotolo was relentless with his attempts. From these many scrambles, the Atos standout managed to control the outside ashi garami, going for an outside heel-hook/kneebar attempt for the tap. Beautiful and fearless performance for Tye Ruotolo.
Styles make matches and stylistically this was a tough one for the Aussie grappling star, Craig Jones, an athlete who has struggled in the past with explosive, top game-centric, counter fighters like Pedro Marinho.
A double gold medalist at last year’s IBJJF World No-Gi Championships, Pedro came in ready and – although the youngest of the two – with the mentality of a seasoned veteran.
While standing neither athlete was particularly successful, but once Jones opted to pull guard to get the grappling rolling, Marinho took full advantage with a quick long step pass to secure north-south position. This was the key moment in the match, one that likely won the judges over.