Who’s Number One returned on Wednesday, October 20th with a card headlined by an exhibition match between Gordon Ryan and UFC welterweight Philip Rowe. In the first event following the WNO Championships in late September, three more WNO belts were on the line. The event also featured undercard matchups with some of the sports top up and coming competitors.
Gordon shows off well-rounded skillset in his first match since hiatus
When it was first announced that Gordon Ryan would be returning to competition, many fans expected him to jump right in against a top ranked opponent. However, due to Gordon’s ongoing stomach issues, he’s been unable to train with the type of consistency and intensity needed to fight the best grapplers in the world. Philip Rowe came into the exhibition off a UFC win via TKO in late July and has competed in grappling events before, including a WNO event in June of this year. Gordon scored four submissions in the match including a heel hook, a guillotine, and two triangle chokes. Rowe showed a willingness to enter into Gordon’s game and eagerly jumped right back into action after each submission, despite competing with a broken hand.
Bia Mesquita def. Luiza Monteiro via unanimous decision
In the co-main event, Bia Mesquita of Gracie Humaita faced Luiza Monteiro of Atos Jiu-Jitsu for the WNO bantamweight title. Although the two have fought multiple times, this was their first no-gi encounter. Bia came into the match wanting to showcase her top game and she did just that, securing multiple guard passes against the Atos Jiu-Jitsu representative. The passes and control of Bia were enough to secure the unanimous decision victory and the WNO bantamweight belt.
Ffion Davies def. Nathalie Ribeiro via unanimous decision
2021 No-Gi World champion Ffion Davies took on 2021 Pan gi and Pan No-Gi champion Natalie Ribeiro in a flyweight title bout. Ffion is known for her pressure passing skills while Nathalie is more known for her guard work. Much of the match was contested on the feet, where Ffion scored multiple takedowns and pushed the pace for the entirety of the match. With the win, Ffion was crowned the WNO flyweight champion.
Levi Jones Leary def. Oliver Taza via unanimous decision
Despite having competed almost exclusively in the gi in his competitive career, Levi Jones Leary showed that he’ll be a dominant force in no-gi competition. Taking on ADCC European Trials champion Oliver Taza, Levi showed that his berimbolo game could translate to no-gi, despite the lack of gi grips. He used the berimbolo position early in the match to get to Taza’s back, and controlled the pace throughout the rest of the contest. Taza escaped Levi’s first back take, but struggled to pass Levi’s guard, getting mounted shortly before the conclusion of the match.
Mikey Musumeci def. Richard Alarcon via submission (Mikey lock)
The first match of the main card was a 135lb. title bout between Mikey Musumeci and Richard Alarcon. Mikey came into the match as a heavy favorite, ranked #1 as a bantamweight. He competed at the inaugural WNO Championships at the end of September and suffered a first round loss to Gabriel Sousa, in a match where Sousa passed Musumeci’s guard. Alarcon’s main accomplishments include IBJJF No-Gi World and American National titles at brown belt. He is also a Kasai Pro veteran and a former Division 1 collegiate wrestler.
Mikey didn’t take long to show why he was such a heavy favorite. In just 57 seconds, Mikey secured a leg lock variation similar to a heel hook that he’s now calling the “Mikey lock.”
Jacob Couch def. Hunter Colvin via submission (triangle choke)
Brianna Ste. Marie def. Bri Robertson via submission (triangle choke)
Damien Anderson def. Estevan Martinez via unanimous decision