Who’s Number One (WNO) returns tonight at the Palmer Event Center in Austin, Texas with the title of the first ever Who’s Next champion on the line. In the main event, this WNO card will feature a highly anticipated match between Gordon Ryan who is considered by many to be one of the best grapplers in the world and Pedro Marinho, who is the reigning WNO light heavyweight champion that also won double gold at IBJJF NoGi Worlds. These two competitors met back in 2019 at ADCC where Ryan was able to submit Marinho via inside heel hook within 3 minutes of the match. Ryan has not been as active as he would have liked due to some stomach related health issues but was still able to rattle off some dominant victories recently. Like his previous bouts, Ryan stated that he will be predicting the outcome of his match against Marinho ahead of time. Marinho has an extremely strong guillotine game as he has been able to finish 50% of his wins with the submission.
B-Team’s Izaak Michell will be facing off against 10th Planet’s Kyle Chambers for $10,000, a three-fight WNO contract, and the title of the first ever Who’s Next champion. In the first season of Who’s Next, coaches Craig Jones and Tim Spriggs both sent one of their contestants to the finals. Throughout the season, the two coaches engaged in some heated back and forths that may even lead to a match between them later on. Michell defeated Adam Bradley and Jansen Gomes to reach the finals. After the show, Michell won gold at the ADCC Oceania and Asia Trials where he submitted all but one of his four opponents. During the press conference, Michell predicted an early finish of his opponent. Chambers on the other hand defeated Mike Rakshan and Andrew Tackett on his way to the finals. Since the show ended, Chambers has been mostly sidelined due to a hand injury. These two competitors will look to bring it tonight as they look to cement themselves into WNO history as being the first ever Who’s Next champion.
The rest of the card will feature many competitors that were on the Who’s Next show, as well as competitors that lost in their preliminary bouts to receive a spot on the show.
Breylor Grout, an IBJJF NoGi Pans brown belt champion who lost in the preliminary Who’s Next match will be facing the 2022 Worlds absolute champion Nicholas Meregali, who stepped in for Luke Griffith. Meregali is mainly a competitor in gi but has recently made a transition while learning from the likes of Gordon Ryan and John Danaher.
Andrew Tackett and Rene Sousa who were both on Team Jones will be facing off. Tackett was able to take down the largest competitor on the season in Big Dan Manasoui before falling to Chambers, while Sousa lost to Jansen Gomes. Both grapplers have most likely made significant improvements since the show and will be looking for the finish.
To kickoff the main card, New Wave’s Giancarlo Bodoni will be stepping in for Andy Varela to face B-Team’s Jay Rodriguez. This fight will be a treat for the fans as it is a matchup between the 88kg winners of the ADCC West Coast and East Coast trials. Bodoni will have a slight weight advantage heading into this matchup.
In the free prelims, fan favourite Spencer “Sewer Rat” Fossier will be getting his rematch against Mike Rakshan. The aforementioned Big Dan will be facing Tristan Overvig, who as a purple belt barely lost to the black belt Adam Bradley in a three hour battle. Big Dan trains at New Wave BJJ with some of the best talent in the world. He took second at the ADCC North America Trials and Europe Trials. It is always fun to see two large atheltic competitors go at it. Finally to kickoff the prelims, Fabian Ramirez will be fighting Max Hanson.
MMA Sucka has fight fans covered with WNO: Who’s Next Finale Results, with the card starting at 8pm ET/5pm PT on FloGrappling.
WNO: Who’s Next Finale Results
Main Card Results:
Gordon Ryan def. Pedro Marinho via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 25:59
Izaak Michell def. Kyle Chambers via Submission (Arm Lock) at 2:00:00
Nicholas Meregali def. Breylor Grout via Submission (Arm Triangle) at 13:11
Andrew Tackett def. Rene Sousa via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 5:57
Giancarlo Bodoni def. Jay Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Free Prelims Results:
Mike Rakshan def. Spencer “Sewer Rat” Fossier via Submission (Camel Crusher) at 4:55
Big Dan Manasoiu def. Tristan Overvig via Submission (Inside Heel Hook) at 4:41
Max Hanson def. Fabian Ramirez via split decision