MAY 1st, 2021, AUSTIN – TEXAS held another edition of Flograppling’s Who’s Number 1 (WNO), a self-produced, regular show on the well-known streaming platform.
Although initially scheduled to headline Danaher Death Squad’s Craig Jones versus Atos’ Tye Ruotolo, unforeseen circumstances set back the Aussie grappling star, giving room for Brazilian Fight Factory’s William Tackett – one of the rising stars on the US circuit – to fill in Jones’ place on short notice, then pushing the co-main event (Rafael Lovato vs Gilbert Burns) to the main event. Check the full results below.
– Rida Haisam DEF. Sloan Clymer via decision
– Jessica Crane DEF. Lauren Sears via RNC
– Andrew Wiltse DEF. David Garmo via RNC
A fun match to follow and a very clean performance by Wiltse. The match was very even until Andrew pushed for an extra gear in his arsenal, applying a beautifully timed hook sweep to throw-by pass, to back take. Ending the match with a one-handed RNC.
– Kade Ruotolo DEF. Ethan Crelinsten via Darce choke
If there were any doubts on the past clash between these two, as to who was the real victor, those qualms were completely blown out of the water last night. A relentless pace and dominant performance by the American grappler, who nearly ended the match earlier with a very tight armbar from a back-taking scramble, an exchange that could very easily have injured the Canadian DDS member, Crelinsten. Ethan appeared to be diminished or, at the very least, more tentative after that interaction. Kade continued pressing forward, eventually snatching the Darce choke in another beautiful exchange.
– Grace Gundrum DEF. Alex Nguyen via armlock from reverse triangle
Another fun match to follow (there were a fair few of those on the card). Nguyen posed more threats than initially anticipated, pressing the action early and conquering positions of her own. Gundrum never stopped grinding and looking for the finish, getting close to it with an electric chair attempt and later, with a couple of minutes to go, sinking in a beautiful armlock from a reverse triangle.
– Nicky Ryan DEF. PJ Barch via split decision
In this clash we saw Ryan playing on the offense throughout the 15-minutes, either attempting leg entries or trying to come up and wrestle from the bottom. Barch, on the other hand, never truly found any offense inside Nicky’s guard, playing very conservatively which did not allow for as many fun exchanges as we – the fans – would have hoped. Nevertheless, a solid performance by Ryan.
– Tye Ruotolo DEF. William Tackett via decision
Another huge performance by a Ruotolo last night, and again a very high-paced match. The grinding/relentless movement of both Kade and Tye is indeed one of the twins’ biggest weapons and one that, once again, reaped benefits.
Tackett did play a good game, seeking Tye’s legs to attempt one of his strongest games, the leg-locks. Ruotolo defended well and attempted to counter the leg attacks with the famous pretzel-bolo (back taking) technique, getting what he sought on one of the exchanges. William also tried to wrestle from the bottom, sweeping Tye with a tight body lock on one occasion, but the Atos teenager is not an easy man to keep down as he sprung back up shortly after.
Ruotolo’s pressure started wearing William out during the final 5 minutes of the match, where Tye did the most damage. Ruotolo passed Tackett’s guard twice and achieving mount also a couple of times. A solid decision win for Tye.
– Gilbert Burns DEF. Rafael Lovato Jr via decision
Arguably the upset of the night as Gilbert “Durinho” Burns beat the American grappling legend that is Rafael Lovato Junior. Although most would have confirmed Rafael’s favoritism here, many would also predict that whoever established top control would have the upperhand. In the takedown race, Lovato opted to pull guard, possibly fearing Burns’ wrestling.
The guard pulling option saw Lovato chasing Burns’ speed, a battle that remained at a stand-still for most of the match. Near the end, however, a beautiful hop-over pass by Durinho forced Rafael to expose his back, an opportunity not laid to waste by the former IBJJF World Champion. The back control was enough to sway the judges towards Burns for the unanimous decision win.