OCTOBER 21, 2021, AUSTIN, TEXAS, saw the 10th edition of the Who’s Number One event – 11 if we take into account the WNO Championships, although that one show followed a tournament setting against the more common super-fight set-up laid out by the promoters (FloGrappling).
Always with great production value, the WNO 10 set forth a series of interesting no-gi jiu-jitsu superfights between well-known faces of the sport such as multiple-time world champions Mikey Musumeci and Luiza Monteiro, as well as women’s BJJ legend, Bia Mesquita.
The event also offered another Gordon Ryan headliner match. This time an exhibition clash with MMA fighter, and UFC welterweight contender, Philip Rowe. Given the exhibition ruleset, the match would reset from the feet every time a submission occurred. This turned out to be much like a light sparring session for Ryan who conquered a number of submissions on Rowe.
Aside from the Levi Jones-Leary upset win over John Danaher’s star pupil, Oliver Taza, the highlight of the event was likely Mikey Musumeci’s creative submission over Richard Alarcon, a beautiful job executed by the masterful technician which we report on in further detail below.
– Damion Anderson def. Estevan Martinez via decision (unanimous)
Great match with never-ending offense from both parties. 15 minutes of movement, with Anderson using his size and strength advantage to conquer the upper hand in the majority of the exchanges.
Although Damion is about 3 weight classes above Estevan’s, he is also substantially less experienced than the current world no-gi rooster weight black belt champion. In last night’s performance, Anderson showed great composure under the bright lights of the event and a wide range of technical solutions in his arsenal, displaying back attacking sequences and a solid top game in addition to his already well-developed leg-lock game.
– Brianna Ste-Marie def. B. Robertson via triangle choke
A solid performance by Saint-Marie, showing great knowledge of jiu-jitsu fundamentals against Roberton’s more novel and leg-lock-centric grappling style. When on bottom Brianna fought to be on top, when on top she focussed on establishing dominant positions, a game-plan she executed perfectly. Dominated from the top, passed, mounted, set up multiple attacks, and got the finish.
– Jacob Couch def. Hunter Colvin via violin armlock from triangle
Couch proved once again why he is so loved by the grappling community. Always on the offense, Jacob attacked every limb he saw, working from top and bottom.
The match ending sequence appeared to be an ode to the old school jiu-jitsu rule that states: “never place your hands on the mat when inside the closed guard”. The Hillbilly Hammer demonstrated why this is still crucial today by finding his way to a tight triangle choke from Hunter’s mishap.
Usually, there is not a lot to tell from a clash that lasted only 54 seconds, but this wasn’t the case this time. The big news here was an interesting technical detail by Musumeci.
What appeared to be a lateral kneebar at a first glance proved to be a heel hook submission instead. One using above-shoulder-line leverage to enforce the tap after a k-guard leg entry. Check the photo below of the grip below.
In the first minute of this match Oliver Taza looked for the saddle control from a passing position, an offensive maneuver Levi countered with a beautiful back take. After this solid exchange in favor of Unity JJ’s team member, we did see Oliver return to the driver’s seat, pushing the pace relentlessly (albeit with no real danger) and Jones-Leary, sadly but understandably, taking a passive role in the fight.
Near the end, Levi gave us another glimpse into his genius. A spurt of his attacking prowess with a sweep to mount control, a move that sealed the deal for the judges in favor of Australia’s Jones-Leary.
If prior to the match, someone would have told us we would see a wrestling battle between Davies and Ribeiro, that person would have been laughed out of the room, nevertheless, this is what we saw. Not the sloppy pushing and shoving type of wrestling either – so common in the heavier weight classes – no, these two featherweights went to war!
After heated exchanges on the feet, with 90 seconds to go, Ffion opted to pull guard where the battle continued with a few leg locks exchanged between the two. An even match with the edge being slightly on the side of Wales’ athlete, a dynamic that was translated with a win via judge decision.
The sport’s top middleweights came to blows once again. No strangers to each other’s game, with the majority of those clashes going towards Mesquita it would be hard not to have given Bia the edge from the get-go. A good match with Beatriz playing from the top position where she conquered most of the exchanges, albeit, without getting close to the finish against a resilient Monteiro.