In the previous episode of Who’s Next presented by FloGrappling, the contestants faced off in a series of shooting challenges that ultimately determined the third quarterfinals match up between Kyle Chambers and Mike Rakshan. After 30 minutes of grappling, Chambers was able to secure a heel hook finish to book his spot in the Who’s Next semi finals.
To start off episode 4, the contestants arrive at the Town Lake Texas Rowing Center in Austin, Texas with standing paddleboards in front of them. The contestants then saw who they thought was Hollywood Mike ride up in style on a boat. It ended up being Team Jones’s assistant coach Spencer Fossier AKA the Sewer Rat disguised as someone else once again. The real Hollywood Mike then showed up dressed as the Sewer Rat and introduced the first challenge of the day, the stand up paddle board challenge. The rules for the challenge were for the contestants to make it down and back as a team within the fastest time. The prize for winning the competition was not for picking matchups but for the winning team to be sent to Carve American Grille for a meal on Hollywood Mike.
Tim Spriggs checked out the water and confirmed that it was pretty cold. Right after Spriggs tested the waters, a few members of Team Spriggs (Big Dan and John Bradley) expressed that they were not great swimmers. On Team Jones, Izaak Michell and Andrew Tackett both had previous experience paddleboarding, Team Jones seemed confident in winning the challenge. Their team’s strategy was for the whole team to make it to the end of the first half quickly, and mess with the other team on the way back. Tackett, Jansen Gomes, and Michell exploded out the gate and quickly reached the turnaround point. Team Jones then immediately targeted Bradley, where Tackett tackled him off his paddleboard and started dragging him away from it. All hell broke loose when the contestants got close to the dock. Everyone was getting thrown off their paddleboards and Craig Jones even got into it by pushing members of the other team off the dock. Team Jones ended up winning the stand up paddleboard challenge in the end.
Team Jones were then shown to be at the B-Team training facility for a training session. The viewers were then given an inside look at Rene Sousa’s background. Sousa started off speaking about his respect for Gomes and his strengths, but acknowledges that his commitment to jiujutsu and getting to the top will ultimately lead him to the win. Sousa is a 10th Planet grappler who balances competing/training with a full-time job as a teacher. Sousa started training jiujutsu at 11 years old and fell in love with the sport ever since.
Team Spriggs then walked into the facility to start their training session. Jones bashed Spriggs for ducking him for a rematch, with Jones winning the first match. Spriggs stated that he wanted to fight a step up in competition and that Jones was not worth his time. Gomes stated that his strategy was to stay out of side control and leg entanglements since Sousa has a strong buggy choke and leg lock game. Gomes grew up in a small favela in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. He talked about the gang violence and shootings that he saw as a kid and his dad’s influence on him to stay on the right path. His dad used to set up raffles to raise money for Gomes to fly to competitions, now Gomes is training at CheckMat HQ with Leo Vieira. In an emotional scene, Gomes gave thanks to his family and friends for supporting him in realizing his dreams.
The show then panned back to the contestant house with Sousa starting up the grill for some Brazilian styled steak. Sousa and Gomes had developed a pretty close friendship, both being relatively laid back guys throughout the season and seem to both have lots of mutual respect heading into their matchup.
Rene Sousa vs. Jansen Gomes Recap
The match kicked off with hand fighting on the feet. Sousa then jumped guard and attacked Gomes’s legs. The contestants scramble for a few seconds and Gomes was able to escape. Sousa then shot for a single leg where Gomes defended with a front head lock. Gomes almost took Sousa’s back but Sousa is able to escape. Sousa went after Gomes’s legs once again but it was unsuccessful and Gomes was able to take his back, Sousa escaped once again with blood time being called. The coaches were both able to give their grapplers pieces of advice before they returned to the mat. At 23 minutes in, Gomes was able to secure a Kimura lock attempt but Sousa was able to escape. Gomes then transitioned a flying triangle attempt into a beautiful takedown, where Gomes was able to take Sousa’s back and lock up a Kimura for the finish at 32:03. Jones and Spriggs immediately engaged in a heated shouting match after the match ended.
Jansen Gomes defeated Rene Sousa at 32:03 via Kimura
With Gomes winning, the semi finalist for Who’s Next were now locked in (Izaak Michell, Andrew Tackett, Kyle Chambers, and Jansen Gomes). On a preview of the next episode, the viewers see Rakshan tossing flour all over the contestants in the house, the final challenge on a go kart track, and Michell vs. Jansen in the first semi finals match up.