WHO’S NUMBER 1 is back! The super-fight based show, presented by FloGrappling, opened its doors in 2019, having since matched-up closely-ranked athletes who compete for higher placement in the promotion’s standings.
These dynamics will be repeated this Friday’s show (Oct. 2nd) in clashes such as #3 88KG no-gi athlete Craig Jones vs #4 Roberto Jimenez, as well as #1 Pound 4 Pound Gordon Ryan vs #8 Matheus Diniz, #6 Paulo Miyao, at 66KG against #13 Geo Martinez, to name a few.
There are, however, other matches set outside the rankings scale. This weekend that out of the box clash will fall on American wrestling veteran and former Hawkeyes star, Tony Ramos, who will be competing against 19-year-old Nicky Ryan (#13 ranked by Flo’s nogi standings) in a submission only clash.
All matches (Ramos x Ryan included) will follow the standard, no-gi, submission-only rules, where – if a submission is not reached by the end of regulation time, a victor will be decided by the judges. There will be, however, a change to the event’s previous ruleset, which followed the F2W parameters (no relevance given to positional dominance). These previous guidelines did fall on some controversy, particularly in the Kade Ruotolo x Ethan Crelinsten match (WNO 3), and have since been rectified. This event’s decision making will follow a more traditional jiu-jitsu stance, where the dominant player will take the lead.
Below is a short description of what to expect from the event’s super fights.
Friday, October 2nd at 8:00 ET
Where to Watch?
One of the few tough tests left for Gordon Ryan in jiu-jitsu, and a very fun match at hand.
In a submission-only format, there are very few competitors out there who can challenge the DDS standout, and with 30 minutes to play, there are lesser still.
Matheus’s style would be best suited to challenge Ryan in a points format, nevertheless, Diniz is the most dangerous opponent Gordon has faced in over 1 year. Diniz will be the faster of the two, and his passing is as good as they come. You should expect Matheus to do everything in his power to conquer that top position without exerting too much energy to make the most of his dynamic passing. That is his path to a strong performance. Gordon has a more well-rounded game here, with more roads leading to victory. Exciting and strategic match ahead.
This is a serious contender for Match Of The Night, as will be Steele x Leon and Tacket x Rau, though, in this case, a much more clear-cut clash of styles. Craig is the most fun to watch when engaged in the center of the mat, and Jimenez is exactly the type of man who will grant him the favor.
Outside of the stylistic battle between the counter grappler and the grappling equivalent of a slugger, Jones will have experience, strength, and precision on his side. For Roberto, the upper hand will be speed, scrambles, and aggression. A serious challenger to Jones’ ranking, yet, expect the Aussie athlete to have a slight advantage here.
An intriguing match ahead, and a very commendable action by Gabi – one of the most dominant athletes in the history of our sport, who took a match against a brown belt. A very, very, dangerous brown belt, but certainly not with the same name recognition as Garcia.
Clay has a very fun game from the bottom – where she will likely spend the majority of this match, flexible and technical, yet also powerful. Her guard is dangerous from various angles and submission oriented, so don’t kid yourself about her lack of experience, Clay has what it takes to get the W here. Nevertheless, expect Garcia to be the favorite. Her crushing pressure and “hips back” style posture seem to be the perfect antidote to Elisabeth’s leg entries.
This could be a soul-sucking defeat for the Alaskan talent, with a possible 15 minutes shoulder pressure grind, or could very well be one of the biggest upsets in the sport.
Two very aggressive middleweights with no shortage of gas in their tanks, nor will be there a scarcity of power. Expect Steele to play on the outside and possibly win the takedown exchanges (if he manages to stay clear of Dante’s guillotine), and Leon to play offense from his guard.
Although a very proficient top tier grappler, Steele is not known for his submission-hunting, Leon, on the other hand, is one of the most sub-oriented grapplers in the 185 lbs division. Given that premise, if the match goes to a decision, we lean towards a more favorable outcome for Kody, if a submission takes place here, that would likely come from Dante.
If Miyao wins, this will be his 200th victory as a black belt (ou of 220 matches thus far), he has also never been submitted as a black belt. Martinez, on the other hand, has a total of 46 matches and 32 wins.
Looking at these numbers, it is hard not to point to Paulo as the favorite. That said, both athletes have been away from the competition scene for a while and Miyao is currently in a transitional period of his life, having left Unity a few months ago he is currently training at a UFC gym with friends.
Martinez is one of the most dangerous grapplers ever created by the 10th Planet team. Dangerous from all angles on the ground, be it from the bottom or top position. He is also shown time and time again to have the cleaner leg-locking game.
Overall, Paulo ticks more of the right boxes and therefore should be looked at as the favorite. He has the overall experience advantage, he is head and shoulders the superior grappler defensively, he is also the most well-rounded competitor of the two. On Martinez’s side, you will see an athlete more fine-tunned to this type of ruleset, and the savvier leg-locker.
Although both athletes are mostly known for their work with the gi, Luiza and Nathalie’s no-gi experience is vast, with both holding IBJJF World No-Gi titles.
Ribeiro has one of the craftiest guards in the game, though Luiza is the bigger of the two, and equally proficient from the bottom. Monteiro is also the more submission oriented of the pair, which makes her the stronger candidate to take home the win here.
165 lbs 15 minutes
NICKY RYAN VS TONY RAMOS
There are not a lot of paths to victory here for Ramos. Tony is a spectacular wrestler, but he will probably be swapping his wrestling shoes for running ones as jogging is the only way he will last the 15 minutes of regulation time with Ryan without tapping (#schaubing).
The other likely scenario in which Ramos is not submitted is if he uses the Urijah Faber type tactics, which we saw at the Polaris Invitational 10 last year. A slap fest used as a tool to avoid submission or positional exchanges with the young Danaher student. We will have to wait and see, but we expect a big advantage for Ryan here.
190 lbs 15 minutes
WILLIAM TACKETT VS JASON RAU
This will be a rematch of the 2019 ADCC West Coast trials. That duel, almost 19 months ago went William’s way by points (4×2), but make no mistake, Rau was the aggressor throughout that match, always on the attack with deep leg entries, which, in a sub-only type format, could have easily swayed the judges Jason’s way.
Although playing defense during a large portion of that first clash, William Tackett was a purple belt in his mid-teens back then, and has evolved tremendously in a number of ways since. Tackett is now physically stronger, bigger and much more accustomed to the leg-lock game.
A complete grappler. William should be seen as the favorite here, given how far he has grown as a martial artist over the past 12 months.