MAY 28, 2021, AUSTIN, TX, USA was the home for another edition of Flograppling’s Who’s Number 1 (WNO) event, a show that is becoming a popular platform for no-gi jiu-jitsu in the channel’s portfolio and gaining plenty of traction thanks to the support of a few big references in American popular culture such as Joe Rogan, Lex Friedman, and Alex Jones.
Although initially scheduled to headline Danaher Death Squad’s Gordon Ryan versus Luiz Panza, the match was forced to a last-minute swap given to Ryan’s current health condition – being diagnosed with Gastroparesis. In his replacement came Gordon’s teammate, ADCC silver medalist Craig Jones.
Although the main event generally generates the most interest in combat sports, the 9th edition of WNO saw the new generation of jiu-jitsu captivating most of the hard-core fans, particularly the inclusion of Cole Abate, Mica Galvão, Andrew Tackett, Jessa Khan, And Nicky Ryan on last night’s card. All of whom made an excellent showing. Check the full results below.
– Damien Anderson DEF. Luiz Quinones via RNC
The 10th Planet representative (Quinones) started the match with the pedal to the metal but started to fade away after the 4-minute mark. Anderson looked composed and gained momentum from then on, ending the match with a beautiful back take from a back-step passing attempt, which he used to tighten a match-ending choke. A highlight reel type maneuver, no doubt.
– Cole Abate DEF. Bird Wiltse via Triangle Armlock
A solid win by Cole against a very popular “Bird” Wiltse, a member of the Pedigo Submission Fighting team, and a regular appearance on the Daisy Fresh web series.
Although social media would have you thinking otherwise, Abate was undoubtedly the favorite here, favoritism he proved on the mats last night. A dominant performance from start to finish, Cole’s match ending sequence started with a back attack from a passing position, which was followed by a crucifix, to a kimura trap, to a back to a back take, then to an armbar and ending with a triangle finish. What a scramble!
– Mica Galvão DEF. Andrew Tackett via decision
This was the most anticipated match on the card for us here at BJJ Heroes. Two of the best up and comers in our sport, both still in their teens. The clash looked particularly enticing given their styles as neither is known for taking a step back when competing.
Although even on paper, Mica proved to be very dominant throughout the 15 minutes of the match, giving no space at any time or anywhere the bout went. Galvão swept Andrew, passed the guard, mounted, attacked the back, and put on a show of dominant positional grappling while attempting a few submissions also. The closest these attempts got to a finish were those achieved as the match neared its end. One armbar with 1 minute to go, and another close one, also via armbar, as time ran out.
Two very different grapplers and two very clear strategies from each athlete.
Alves’s game plan seemed to be to work from the bottom towards a sweep and look for the Canadian’s back from a passing stance. Taza, on the other hand, believed his wrestling would be superior (he was right) and planned to force a knee cut type passing to force Alves to respond and expose either his back or the saddle position, where Oliver could use his specialty – the heel-hook.
Taza’s game plan looked good early on as he got very deep in a leg-locking position at the 7-minute mark. Alves remained composed and escaped the submission attempt.
Johnatha, on the other hand, swept Taza a few times and did establish the dominant side control on one of those occasions. Taza continued to attack Alves’s feet throughout the match with the AOJ lightweight defending everything with relative ease. Near the end, Alves attempted a footlock of his own, which did not seem to phase the DDS soldier.
A very tough match. Alves attacked more and had the sweeps on his side while Taza had one or two dangerous submission attempts. There needed to be a winner and the judges saw it in Oliver’s favor. This was a close one but, ultimately, a good decision.
A very dominant performance by Jessa who started aggressively, pulling guard and immediately sweeping Fontes, then working from the top half-guard towards a guillotine. Khan passed and mounted, but lost the position while attempting a submission.
Once again in the bottom position, Jessa returned to her game plan: Sweep to half-guard and hunt for that neck. While looking for another guillotine, Khan used the scramble to snatch Patricia’s arm and take the win via submission.
A clinical performance by Ryan who dominated a heavier, more experienced, Gabriel Almeida, from start to finish. Working from the top position, Ryan passed the guard from one of DDS’s trademark passing styles, the body lock. In a symbiosis of guard passes to back takes, Ryan cruised towards victory.
Gabriel did conquer a sweep in the 3rd portion of the match, then working from the top to attempt to pass the guard, albeit, with no close attempts.
The match was spent on the feet, with lots of collar snaps in traditional Rocha style.
We’ve seen Hinger pull guard in the past when trying to keep the action going against more tentative competition. These past guard pulls ended up being a losing strategy for Josh, as such, we did not expect the veteran Atos player to repeat this tactic against Rocha and indeed these were the dynamics that rolled out in this clash. Rocha is not an athlete who brings the fight to his opposition, he traditionally plays on the outside with aggressive collar ties and pushes, frustrating his opponents to come forward. Hinger did not take the bait.
As neither athlete was willing to pull guard and with both were even on the feet, the result was a “coin-toss” type decision.
A quick match for Musumeci who came in hot using the K-guard to attack Pinheiro’s squared stance. After a failed attempt at an initial heel-hook sequence, Michael was quick to return to his game-plan, but this time using a deep DLR hook to sit Lucas on his butt and reach the heel exposure and the match-ending sequence. Beautiful work under 1 minute.
You would have been hard-pressed to find anyone who gave Panza a real chance at beating Jones in this match prior to the event and for good reason. These were two athletes at different stages in their career and it showed. Craig took the win via his patented heel-hook in under 30 seconds.