Who’s Number One (WNO) will be returning on July 14th at the Palmer Event Center in Austin, Texas. The main event will be between the current WNO champion Pedro Marinho and one of the most electrifying jiujutsu athletes in Gordon Ryan. The card will also include the finale between Izaak Michell and Kyle Chambers to crown the winner of the first season of the competition reality show Who’s Next. The winner of this match will go on to win a cash prize and a contract to Who’s Number One. Many of the other competitors featured in the reality show will also be competing on this card as well.
WNO: Who’s Next Finale Preview
In the main event, these two competitors last met in 2019 at ADCC, where Ryan submitted Marinho via inside heel hook within 3 minutes of the match. Since then, the two competitors have taken slightly different routes. Marinho had earned double gold at IBJJF NoGi Worlds and the WNO Light Heavyweight championship over Craig Jones, while Ryan had spent some time off dealing with health issues regarding his stomach. Ryan still stayed relatively active and had beaten the likes of Jacob Couch, Vagner Rocha, and Roberto Jimenez in the past year. Between the two grapplers, it is hard to predict what strategy they will be bringing, but 50% of Marinho’s submission wins have come via guillotine. And for Ryan, he usually comes with a strategy and sometimes even predicts his method of victory ahead of time in a sealed envelope. It will be interesting to see if he chooses to do so again with a dangerous Marinho. The match between the two is set for a 30-minute exhibition.
In what you could call the co-main event of the evening, Izaak Michell will be facing off against Kyle Chambers to determine the winner of the first ever season of Who’s Next. To get to the finale, Michell was able to defeat Adam Bradley and Jansen Gomes, while Chambers defeated Mike Rakshan and Andrew Tackett. As of recent, Chambers has been sidelined due to a hand injury while Michell won gold at the ADCC Oceania and Asia Trials where he submitted three out of four of his opponents. This should be a match full of fireworks and outstanding jiujutsu. During the shows filming, Michell was a part of Team Jones and Chambers was a part of Team Spriggs. Throughout the season, both coaches engaged in some heated arguments, so who knows, that rematch may also be on the horizon.
The Who’s Number One card also will feature competitors that were on the show as well as competitors who lost in the preliminary matches to get on the show.
Andrew Tackett vs. Rene Sousa
Tackett definitely made a name for himself on the show. Being one of the youngest competitors, he not only took down Big Dan but also a bull in one of the episode’s challenges. Throughout the show, he was able to showcase his bright personality and phenomenal jiujutsu. Sousa on the other hand, is a 10th planet grappler who utilizes buggy chokes, which recently became more popular on the competition scene. This match will almost definitely bring the viewers an electric submission.
Dan Manasoiu vs. Tristan Overvig
Big Dan will be facing off against Overvig, who lost to Adam Bradley in a grueling three hour battle to book a spot in the Who’s Next show, showing Overvigs will to win and unreal cardio. Since the show ended, the leg lock specialist Big Dan took second at the ADCC North America Trials and Europe Trials. This will be a great match between two large humans.
Andy Varela vs. Jay Rodriguez
Both grapplers here were on the preliminary bouts but were unable to capitalize and make it on the show. Rodriguez, the younger brother of Nick Rodriguez had gone on to submit all seven of his opponents in the 88 kg division at the ADCC North America Trials. Varela on the other hand, took second in the 77 kg division.
Spencer “Sewer Rat” Fossier vs. Mike Rakshan
One of the fan favorites Sewer Rat will be facing off against Rakshan in a rematch of one of the most electric matches of the preliminary bouts for Who’s Next. Sewer Rat started off that match with throw and attempted to play dead like a possum at some point, but Rakshan was able to secure the victory. Hopefully this bout will be just as entertaining as the first, as the viewers are in for a treat.
Breylor Grout vs. Luke Griffith
Grout will be looking to rebound from his Who’s Next preliminary bout lost to Big Dan against one of his teammates at New Wave. Griffith was also the European Trials winner.
Fabian Ramirez vs. Max Hanson
Both contestants were featured in the Who’s Next preliminary bouts and will be looking to make a name for themselves as well as kick off the card on a hot note.